Oh My Mother: retfa eht llac… 

… Emma… Mama’s gone… 

Eight hours earlier… 

I’d just returned back from work cos though it was a Saturday, my boss called for me to come help out with some office work (think the call made me change my mind from traveling). 

I took with me my sound card and headphones (of course I had my laptop in my backpack) since I was gonna be alone and a day before, I ran into this beat on my laptop which I’d started and abandoned. But that Friday I couldn’t cos the piano sounded great and the bass too was awesome so I got hooked on it soon as I played it from my Fruity Loops (FL) Studio. Just when I was about done with the beat my sister called in since she’d been at the hospital with mom to update me about her health condition; it didn’t sound good, and in that trice, something in me just took over and I began laying words on that beat. That part of me that was inclined to singing other than the usual rap showed up and took the center stage and so verse by verse I wrote until the song was almost done, electricity went off and in a short while I shutdown. 

Saturday afternoon I opened the door, flung my back pack on the couch and laid on the rug, in a little over thirty minutes electricity was back (oh sweet Jesus I could almost hear me yell). I set up my studio and was ready to roll, I was done with the lyrics and was trying to master the track, I finished up but kept on with it, I was singing to the headphones playing in my head, I sang until the lights went out but I was done so no worries. All that remains now is the voice over, that would either be in Jos or Abuja so I went outside the room to get some air cos all of a sudden, the room was overly hot again. 

I got out and Reuben my friend and neighbor was out already, we talked you know as guys would, talked about different things before delving into soccer which was his favorite, and as we did I was like an open drain cos I was jittery, I could barely hear myself speak, I kept thinking about my mom and any call on my phone gave me a jump in my heart, I hadn’t eaten lunch and it was dinner time already and the sad part is I hadn’t prepared any food and didn’t even have the appetite for any but I knew I had to eat. 

My phone rang, I looked and it was my sister, how far I asked?  Fine! Mama’s not breathing well so I’m going downstairs to go fetch the doctors, OK I said. I told Reuben I was gonna go get some groceries but soon as I stepped out that gate, all I wanted to do was sit… On the road; on the sidewalk just anywhere… I was restless and sweaty. I found a spot beside a hotel that had the grocery shop and I sat on the pavement… A minute passed and it felt like I’d been there the whole day, I got up went to the shop and bought all that I needed to buy and headed straight home, I was outside with Reuben again. Vick my sister called while I was out and in just about five minutes after the call she called back again… I knew it was it… And the words ran…

OK! I didn’t know where I was in the next couple of minutes that came, my friend had noticed my silence and didn’t utter a word either. I waited for the tears but they wouldn’t roll, so I picked up the courage and I told him Mama ta tafi… (Mama’s gone)… He followed me quietly to my room trying to strengthen me asking that I’d be strong. All of a sudden all the pain I’d felt and the perplexity just vanished in an instant and I felt that lump drop; I was calm. The time was 21:35 I looked, April 22nd, I’d never forget.

Mama had passed an hour earlier 8 pm 8:30 pm there about, so all that five minutes between calls I’d been saying all the while was only five minutes in my head; more than an hour had passed, I was that restless and so out of sync with time. But after I’d regained myself, I began sending news to my friends who’d been there for me throughout the journey (thank you so much guys, I couldn’t ask for better friends than you; you are my family). 

May the heavens and angels receive your gentle soul Mama, I’ll miss you; that dance we always had, but I’m happy cos now you’re resting, you don’t have to feel no pain no more. Your time here’s done and that’s why you had to leave, don’t worry I’m strong now, I have an army of people who’d take care of me while you’re away… I have a friend I can always bug, she even asked me to share her mom too… Lol! So bye now Mama… 

Here’s a link https://soundcloud.com/user-750998328 you can download the song I made for her for free titled “Inen Le” meaning “Oh My Mother” (in my local language Alago) . Please enjoy and share with your friends. Thanks for always stopping by… 

Oh My Mother – erofeb eht llac… 

You don’t now but eventually you will, you’re not gonna know it but it will come maybe not today but soon, you’ll see! 
My cousin’s words ran as we sat on the couch chitty chatting. My mother passed on after battling first arthritis for so many years, but it was recently (two years ago) that everything intensified taking different dimensions from two of her discs crashing to having multiple fractures on her arm and femur. 

My mom had two surgeries within a year and for her age (approximately 75-85) you can tell what effect that would have on her. But anyways my mom fought hard like a soldier after the first major surgery (lumbar laminectomy and disectomy). Her Physio therapist (McMillian)  was amazing and mom picked up pretty fast using a walker and within a few months could move herself round the spacious living room without help, she could stand herself and even go to her bedroom alone. But all that came to an end when she fractured her arm. She became scared and that slowed her recovery and even when the arm eventually healed she could barely rely on them. 

In a little over two months after the arm, she again had a broken thigh bone and well complications set in after the second surgery to repair the femur and on 22nd April this year, she passed. God rest her soul. 

In these two years I watched my mother’s health deteriorate and it was like I could see her vanishing into the dunes, sometimes you think the blurry image is becoming clearer until you realize it’s just one from your head; your wishful image of her hoping she gets better.

In the first month of her illness, I got so scared and the thought of not coming back home to meet my mom only brought tears to my eyes and I could barely hold them back. I cried as soon as I got back to Lafia, I couldn’t be a man that day sitting alone in my room. I never saw my mom on a sick bed in all my years and suddenly loosing her? The thought of it I couldn’t bear, and somehow I began to get used to it and all I resolved to was prayer which soon took away all the depression I felt at the time and with that I thought it wise to spend more time with her instead (and I’m glad I did that). 

I got news from my sister about three days before her passing that mom was spinning and couldn’t recognize her again, her condition was declining fast and asked for me to come home… I couldn’t face it, I was home just the weekend before and I was at the hospital with her the whole time and it was such a beautiful moment; we had a great time together, but I wasn’t ready to ruin all that so I stayed back. It was like I saw it coming though you know that feeling of it might or it mightn’t? I had that for some inexplicable reason as I gazed at my mom, it was a strange feeling this time; it was different. I could tell it was our final moments but didn’t know how to come to terms with it, didn’t know whether or not to believe it I was confused really, so I said my rosary just like she’d tought me. 

That evening I was outside talking soccer with my neighbor but all I thought about was my mom, I tried to calm myself down but all that would go south and in just about five minutes, a call came through… Emma… Mama’s gone…