My mother, Ngozi (blessing) Adaeze Lilian Onwugbenu was truly a blessing and a gift from GOD not only to us her children, but also to many of our relatives and friends. In fact while growing up, I remember that our home was always like a school hostel due to the sociable and accommodating nature of my mother. Off which to us and other kids around, her motherly abilities and charismatic personality were very much visible in whatever role she played. As a matter of fact, she could easily become a reliable friend, an understanding sister, a sweet mother and even an exceptional father, depending on what the issue was or what the situation warranted at that point in time.
But even at that, we never got carried away and disobeyed her in any form, shape or size, because she was also a very strict disciplinarian who had no in-between. I mean with her what you see is what you get, so whenever we went astray, we always knew what to expect. However, she was a great provider who without paid employment or means of steady income raised five great children on her own. And in doing so, she developed a thick skin and the knack for making even the most unusual periods of financial hardship appear very usual. Also in those days, I remember always overhearing her close friends and associates praise her for being a selfless single mother who goes through life helping other families, while still ensuring that her own family members were diligent, responsible, respectful and grateful to GOD against all odds.
In short, my mother who was naturally an awe-inspiring woman was everything a good mother should be and so much more. She was strong, courageous, gracious, understanding, forthright, caring, generous, and GOD fearing. But even more so, she was a strong woman who was always ready to go to war so that her children could have peace. She never failed to give us the best of herself even though we always felt like it was never enough, until eventually when we understood that she was doing the much she could do for us with the little she had. I can go on and on about how much of a precious gift my mum was, but the simple truth is that looking back now, I see how her grace was amazing, how her love was sufficient and how her sacrifices were priceless. Obviously, she was a true agent of Christ, and I guess this is the reason why heaven had to relieve her of her earthly duties sooner than expected.
And as I offer her my last respect in retrospect, I would like the whole world to know that really and truly my mother is not only a worthy template for all mothers to emulate, she is also a monument that should be erected all over the world for every single mother to understudy. Yes for sure they will find that in the story book of her life, some chapters are great and others not so much, but whatever is the case, her life story will always make a good read. Moreover, she had many tenets of motherhood, and one that easily comes to my mind is her belief that ‘ony kwe, Chiya ekwe (if you agree or allow, GOD will also agree or allow)’. I can never forget this particular principle of life because it’s one which has helped shape my own personal philosophy that if you make a move, GOD will make a way. So without mincing words, that she is my mother and that I am her son, is my greatest achievement till date.
Having said that let me close by recounting in English the lyrics of an Igbo Christian song that my mother occasionally sang to us; ‘I know the chosen few will eventually go to heaven, so I’m placing the worries and pains of my heart in the hands of GOD, because by so doing, it feels like I am in heaven right now’.
Yes mum, indeed you are in heaven right now for you fought the good fight of faith till your death, and now it’s time for you to rest. I will mourn you till I join you, but before I do; I’ll uphold your dreams until they come through. Nne Oma, Ezinne, Mama Mmadu, Nne eji eje mmba, Iya mi, Mama na, Princess, She Baby, General Onwugbenu, Our Warrior, Queen Mother, and Lily of the Family ….Rest Peacefully In Heaven!
I love you,
Chuma (your son).
Mummy, I hope I get to meet up with you when am finally gone, so that again, we can become Mother and son.