Tuesday, 21 June 2016

Thank You Daddy ( A letter to my Father-in-Love)

Dear Grandpa Suleja. 

That's what the children and I used to call you to differentiate you from my Papa, my Prof who was Grandpa Minna. Thinking of you right now, various words tumble around in my head: Hardworking, Practical, Simple, Blue Jeans, White shirts rolled up at the sleeves, Caring, Funny, Sweet tooth and Storyteller. A lover of Nolly and Bollywood movies. And of course, a fan of Crime Investigation, World's Dumbest videos and Wrestling shows! I smile now as I replay the sights and sounds of you and my LBS laughing out loud as you watched some funny show on TV.  Precious memories. One thing is sure, you loved to enjoy life, tell stories and to laugh. 

Daddy, your son, my husband is one of the most hard working men I know. I believe he got this trait from you. All your children did I think. Thank you for teaching your children the value of a good name and honest hard work. I  remember how as you got better and began to walk a little, you would say 'soon, I'll be able to go to the Factory and keep an eye on what those funny people are up to'. Even then all you wanted to do was work. To help. To contribute to your son's success. Sitting in that wheel chair all day was not your cup of tea at all and we all looked forward to that day with you but God is Sovereign. 

You were a jolly good guy.
Thank you for a jolly good time
Daddy, thank you for always being kind to me. As a young wife, as far as I know you  were always on my side. You always looked out for my interests.  I recall the time my team from work were going to Calabar for a retreat. My colleagues wanted Afang, fish and palm oil. I just mentioned it to you in passing but before I knew what was going on you had personally sorted it all out! My colleagues were blown away by the military precision with which you put it all together. One of them, till this day still talks about. I mean, how many wives can boast of a Father-in-law who would personally organize food stuffs for her any chance he got? Anytime you visited, you would always come with bags of every Ibibio wife's dreams. That's just who you were. The man who made things happen for those he cared about. I will always treasure these good memories I have of you Grandpa. 

Thank you Daddy for the good memories while you were alive. But you know what? I just have to thank you especially for the good memories I will have of your going away. Not the actual burial and all that. I mean, the time I got to spend with family in Calabar; the old friends I got to see because of you. True, there were some sad, emotional times, There were even some stressed, loud and angry times. But mostly, we had a good time gisting, laughing, eating and dancing! Boy did we eat! I for one refused to eat rice through out. How can? Eat rice in Calabar when there are all kinds of soups to demolish with pounded yam! Lailai! And my waist can testify! 

Yes, we had a good time. At least I know that I had a good time and I have you to thank for that. As your daughter, my sisterinlove said, the only thing I would trade for the time we had together, would be to have you back alive with us, well and whole. As that does not seem to be in the works, I shall just encourage myself with your final gift to us all. Good times. Family time. Great memories. You would have loved every moment of it had you been there........Did you see my Mom yet? And Prof? How about my Uncle Abiye or Uncle Augustine? I bet if Pastor Eskor knew you were our Dad, he would surely walk up to you and ask about us. 

*exhaling* Who knows how things work up there anyway.....but I hope in my own God given time to find out by myself....

For now, Daddy, I am truly grateful to you. Thank you. Rest in peace. You deserve it.

Mama Akan.

PapaGod, thank you for holding up my MGM and his siblings as they pulled this off. Thank you for being our Source and our Cover.   Thank you for every single person that prayed for us and stood by us during this time. Thank you for bringing everyone in and taking them all back safe and sound to their various destinations. PapaGod, when all is said and done, it is to you I owe my greatest thanks.

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