Mum Mum,

The plan we had for March 1st was for us all to think about Dad on his birthday and imagine what he would have been doing on that day in heaven. The plan was never for you to leave us.

When Dad left us in June, I taught myself how to pray ‘ozo emena’. I prayed ‘ozo emena’ in public and I prayed ‘ozo emena’ in private. I prayed ‘ozo emena’ because with every fiber of my being, I did not want this to happen. I believe in my name that you and dad gave me – Chukwunwike! I believe God has the power to answer any prayer but He chose not to answer mine and I accept it.

I am writing this tribute five weeks after you left us and still cannot believe that you have gone forever and that I will never see you again. I have so many questions to ask, but I don’t know who to ask because once again, I have been told that I cannot ask God questions.

There is nothing I have not thought about and wished to happen to bring you back. God raised Lazarus from the dead from the tomb in Bethany. He could have raised you and dad from that room at Regina Caeli in Awka.

I am completely lost and empty and afraid of thinking about tomorrow. Life from now on will be different for me but I am going to be strong. I am going to be strong because I can hear your voice saying just that to me and I am choosing to let myself be guided by your voice that I hear.

Mum, thank you for my life. Thank you for shielding me in your womb while running and hiding for safety during the civil war. Thank you for all that you had to endure with a baby in war time. Thank you for all my childhood memories, my teenage memories and my adult memories. Thank you for fighting my battles in public and in private. Thank you for being my rock, our rock.

I still have not found the words to express how I feel and how much I will miss you but that’s OK because finding the right words will not change anything.

I have to learn to live in and understand a world without Bee and Wasp which is a world I cannot imagine. I don’t know how I am going to do this.

Your light on earth may have been extinguished but your light in heaven is now shining bright.

My darling mother, Eleti Oku, Eleti Nnem, Oku na-enwu enwu, I want you to rest in peace knowing that we will continue to practice all you taught us in life, until we all meet to part no more.

Once again, I will believe that He who owns the Heavens and the Earth knows best. Rest in Peace, my sweet mother. I loved you in life and I love you in death

Chusie