…And Death stole my Mother

by Ahmed Dodo


Death stole into my life on the 10th, April, 2024 in its habitual unannounced nature and cogently stole my MOTHER away. On this unforgettable day, I lost my most precious and unquantifiable jewel at the time Muslims across the world were celebrating the Eid-el-fitri (Small Sallah) after the holy month of Ramadan.  Her death was painful, but my solace in Almighty Allah as the owner and giver of everything under the sun reinforced my faith, cheered up my broken heart  and spurred  me  more into submission to the power of the creator who always decides when and where it will always Be!.

My mother Malama Hauwawu  Aliyu  Umar was God’s light in my life. She was the full space that occupied all my striving and all the vanity treasure I ever owned, dream to own and planned to own. She was the positive element that daily spurred me to go forward and the soft voice that always propelled me to be patient and be kind. She was the ray that always shines brightly whenever darkness displayed its gloomy face on my path. She was the impenetrable pillar that held us together as a family. She was the most faithful human being around me and the most unshakable patient woman I have ever seen.  She fought her obstacles and challenges gallantly and was blunt. She showered me with blessings and extended same to family and friends. She was that human that never pressured me into doing anything in life. She gave me freedom and unquantifiable love and affection and showed me how to epitomize respect over fear.

My mother taught me so many things that would be too long to reveal in this tribute.  But among some of this wisdom of life was the important need to be patient, forgiving, faithful and loyal in my dealings. She taught and showed me why to always pay evil with good.  She equally taught me how to be fashionable and proud of myself and be bold in confronting every negative element around me. And to always stay firm against all the conflicts of life. She smiled and taught me how to smile against any force that tried to steal my joy.  She drummed love into my ears and whispered generosity into my heart.

My mother was the reason I could read and write today. She was the one who insisted and sacrificed that I must go school. She was the woman who escorted me to primary school and persisted that her son should be enrolled despite the fact that I was then too small to be enrolled.  She had pleaded in her jovial manner to the headmaster that he should give her  ‘small boy’ a chance to prove to him that I could also do all the things the registered pupils could do perfectly without being a nuisance to the school. And I proved her right that day by the grace of God.

I could still remember the very moment she took me to Bata Shoes to buy me my first brown Cortina sandals, white socks and the famous Green Beret.   I recollect when she brought me my water jug and my school box.   I recall all the educational exercise books and textbooks she went to all length to ensure I had in my school box, including my slate. Not forgetting all the pencils, cleaners, sharpeners and crayons she ensured I never lacked among my mates despite her low income.  Her focus and generosity in  my schooling extended  forward into my secondary school where she dished out more of her sacrifices  with numerous  words of encouragement  and  all the necessary tools and foods that sustained me both as a day and boarding  student.  She refused to give up her contribution as I entered higher institution ensuring that her positive words and generous heart stamped their presence around me. I now realized that I never gave her an inch of all she gave to me nor did I surpass all her sacrifices with all my education, knowledge and all the vanity and illusive things I ever owned and still owing alive. .

I saw nothing but an empty space around me the very moment my younger ones called to inform me about the departure of ‘Mama’ on that inevitable journey to the land of the dead. That mysterious land where we must all embark  on one day no matter our statue, position and class in life. Nothing means anything to me any longer. I see and feel so empty without my dear mother.  I now see nothing but an empty space around me as everything now turns to nothing across my view but dust and sand.

Death has finally punched me hard on the face and inflicted the deepest cut in my heart. But my solace in God in whose Hands belong everything that dwells in heaven and on earth still stands as the strongest pillar around me and on this I have placed my fate.  And I have also resolved to  adore my heart  with that smile my mother taught me to  always wear  against any force that tried to steal my joy. On this premise I succumb and on this resolve I  will continue to live till my own time beckons to depart on the inevitable journey  of  death whenever Allah wills it to Be!

I pray that Almighty Allah gives us her children, Dauda, Abu big, Mudi, Amina and Abu small the fortitude to bear this irreversible loss and munificently grant our mother the sweetest abode in Aljanna Firdausi.

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