It has been a very emotional weekend for me.
On Friday after blogging and working, i was looking forward to the weekend so much. Then my friend E came online. She is one of my best friends and we have been close since England and then she moved to Atlanta and we hung out all the time. My move to Chicago and back to Lagos didnt change things. By virtue of this relationship, i met her parents many times and her siblings became mine. This girl - young woman is so beautiful and precious to me. Work in Lagos made our phone calls reduce but we always chatted on line and exchanged emails and we would just take it from wherever we left of.
She came online and i was soooo excited and ready to play catch up when she typed "Uzo, i lost my mom". My reaction was one of shock. What did she mean? With shaking fingers, i typed and typed and she told me her mom died. I just started to cry. I knew i had to make that call. To talk to her and reach out to her. See E is one very strong chick. She makes fun of how much of a softie i am. I cry at everything and i can honestly say in all the years that i have known her, i have never seen her cry.
When she picked up the phone, i could hear and feel her pain. I was trying hard not to cry so i wouldnt upset her more. As the details of her loss came out, i could only listen. Wishing i was there with her. To hug her and pray with her. Just to be there. When i asked when she was coming home, she said next month after all arrangements have been made. I asked how she was doing..She said she had cried and cried but she had to be strong for her siblings. See E is the 3rd of 6 kids and the first girl. She has always been the mother hen so at this time of loss, everyone including her dad is looking to her for strength. She said she couldnt believe that her siblings were making plans to buy a casket for her mother. She said to me: i cant belive i dont have a mom anymore. We hung up and i just cried and cried. I was heartbroken for her family. For her. I knew her mom and she was sooo vibrant and fulland was truly the matriach of their family. I cant really explain how much pain i felt, as i cried, i couldnt breathe. I was simply overwhelmed by sadness.
And it was with this heaviness in my heart, that i called my mom. She is in the States with my sisters and i havent seen her in a month. Immediately she heard my voice, she asked what was wrong and i just started to cry as i told her. She knew E as well but had never met her mother. My mother was quiet as i cried and cried and she said all the right things about God and faith and strength. She said i had to be strong for her seeing as i am determined to be by her side when she comes back. As i cried, i told my mom over and over that i loved her and that every time we fought..i was sorry for always getting mad at her, for fighting with her, for not talking to her sometimes. She laughed and said we would be back at it once she got back but that it was all about love.
I couldnt stop crying. When i calmed down some, i tried to call L and since he's out of the country, i couldnt reach him. As much of a daddy's girl i am, i couldnt call my dad. This was not his forte, and i didnt feel like he would truly understand how i felt...since i couldnt even put it into words. Besides he was out of town as well. I called my other friend O, and he picked up immediately that i was off kilter. He asked if i had a cold. In his way, he made me feel better by not talking about the loss but about mundane silly things. I managed a giggle or 2 and i hung up. I was still lost.
This weekend, i spent talking to E, journaling and being alone. Then on Sunday, the news about the plane crash. More loss. Added to the fact that my dad was in Abuja and my phone was ringing off the hook. People calling to ask where my dad was. See, my dad was in Abuja and went to Kano and Thursday and was back in Abuja on Friday. People close to us know that my dad travels quite a bit. More of a scare. Its Monday morning and he just called to say he is at the Abuja airport, on his way back. And i am scared. I am sure it will be well but its hard to explain.
I have always known this but this weekend reminded me harshly that life is not to be taken for granted. What's the use of saving things for that special day when we might be gone in the next instance? Why should we fuss and fight with our loved ones over the silliest things? Even if the fights are justified, make peace. Point out what hurt and move on. Holding grudges...So not worth it. Tell your loved ones and show them how much they mean to you. And if you are in a position of responsibility, then begin to prepare to take care of the ones that depend on you. So many stories of widows left with nothing. Not knowing about their husband's affairs, acocunts and relatives swooping in to sow where they did not reap.
Life can deal several hands and while we cant control things, we can aim to make things right while we are still here.