I was working from outside my office on Thursday August 6, 2015. While waiting for ‘the boss’, I decided to call my mum. We spoke briefly. She confirmed she would go to see my grandma (her mum), as was her usual custom on Thursday mornings.
Grandma. We called her Maami. Or Granny.
I remember my mum, after a burial, a few weeks ago saying;
“Iya Mayowa buried her mother
Ronke buried her grandmother
Omoyeni buried her great-grandmother”
And I remember praying that my grandmum will live long enough to see my kids born. That will not happen anymore, as I lost my Grams on August 6, 2015, after she had a fall. She was 79.
I remember her laughter. I remember describing her laughter as a girly, infectious laugh. I remember thinking she had a friendly and warm spirit.
I remember my head tucked in between her knees, as many years ago, she plaited my hair, didi-style.
I remember her prayers. Granny would come to our home, or we would go to her place, and she would enfold us and pray and pray and pray for us.
I remember her visits to our home on weekends. Like clockwork, she would show up over and over again to see how we were doing.
I remember her asking after my brother, Deji, with the name she had given him: ‘Bawo ni Tosin?’
I remember her beans. Granny used to sell food. Her specialty was ewa goin. It is the funniest thing, really. One of my sisters recently started to stay with me. On the evening of August 5, 2015, she bought beans on her way home. She ate very little, and complained that no one made ewa goin quite as good as our Grandma had made. I mentioned her warm spirit. My sister’s comment, ‘are you telling me?!’
Grams went to Primary School for a short while. She was pulled out at Primary 3, because “a girl didn’t need to go to school”. Her Dad pulled her out, and sent a boy to school instead. Guess who was more financially responsible in later life? What she was deprived of made me grateful for what I was given. She made the best of her life, and pushed her kids for the very best.
I remember Grams weaving mats.
I remember a day Granny and I went out, and I realized her eyes were failing, and she needed more intensive care for her eyes.
I hate that she died after a fall.
I hate that she will not see her great grandkids. My mum is her first child, and I am my mum’s first.
I hate that she won’t get to see my mum restored financially
Nonetheless, I celebrate her life.
“Maami, you are gone
But oju oni ti wa
Your loss will be restored.”
Sleep well, Emily Ojuotimi Soderu.