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June is the month of sadness for this city girl

 Photo: Courtesy

June is the month of sadness for this city girl

The month of June is here once again and it comes with lots of memories. This is the month that took my parents away, but I choose not to mourn them. Instead, I celebrate the time I had with them. My mother, she was full of strength and dreams. Even dreams she knew very well would never come true. Like dreaming of taking me back to her womb then pray and fast that I become a boy. To her, I was too crazy for a girl. Maybe she had concentrated so much on my craziness that she forgot that she was the headquarters of that craze.

The last time I laid my eyes on her was when she was escorting me to school one Opening Day. Unlike the other days when she would escort me all the way to school, on this particular day, the furthest she took me was to the bus stop. She helped me board the bus and explained to me that she was too tired to take me all the way. I almost fainted! I had never travelled even a kilometer on my own and here she was telling me to go more than 100kms alone! At first, I thought she was joking and smiled back at her and said "It's okay".

She looked at me in shock and insisted that she was serious, then she turned to the driver and told him to make sure I alighted at our school. She shook my hand facing down, probably hiding the tears in her eyes and got out of the bus. It then hit me that she was serious and I started crying as I ran after her. She firmly held me and sat me on the seat then softly said "If you shed another tear, you will never see me again. In our culture, one is not supposed to cry while bidding someone bye. It could result to the other person's death."

Those were the last words I heard from her. Three weeks later, she was no more! She was in a red suit and had curl kits on her hair. She had her brown handbag and huge sun glasses. That's the image that will never leave my mind. The way she walked away from the bus on that day, she totally avoided eye contact. She was slowly dying, that is what I learnt later.

My last moments with my father were not any different. Only this time I was an adult. I had gone to visit him back home. On my way back, he escorted me to the bus stop. He was so jovial and had so much life in him. No one could even guess he would be no more in a few days. Being the authoritative man he was, he sternly warned the driver not to drive recklessly. I looked at him through the window as our bus sped off and smiled.

Unlike my mother, he looked straight into my eyes with so much pride in him. I saw him signal whoever was standing next to him then pointed at me then waved bye. He was probably telling him "That's my girl".

Few days later, I got a text from him "I love you my children so much, your mother loved you too. Just like me, she is always proud of you wherever she is. Whatever happens, just stick together and know that we will never stop loving you". He had sent my siblings and me this text as he was being wheeled into the theatre. A brain surgery that was supposed to take him for ten hours took him forever.

You know why I have never been bitter with God? Because at least He made sure they both said bye to me. That's a privilege.

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