It seems like only yesterday that you embarked on your long journey. I trust you are well and enjoying your lovely new home with our Father. “𝘐𝘯 𝘮𝘺 𝘍𝘢𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘳’𝘴 𝘩𝘰𝘶𝘴𝘦 𝘢𝘳𝘦 𝘮𝘢𝘯𝘺 𝘳𝘰𝘰𝘮𝘴; 𝘪𝘧 𝘪𝘵 𝘸𝘦𝘳𝘦 𝘯𝘰𝘵 𝘴𝘰, 𝘐 𝘸𝘰𝘶𝘭𝘥 𝘩𝘢𝘷𝘦 𝘵𝘰𝘭𝘥 𝘺𝘰𝘶. 𝘐 𝘢𝘮 𝘨𝘰𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘳𝘦 𝘵𝘰 𝘱𝘳𝘦𝘱𝘢𝘳𝘦 𝘢 𝘱𝘭𝘢𝘤𝘦 𝘧𝘰𝘳 𝘺𝘰𝘶.” (John 14:2). We miss you, but we are comforted that where you are there is no pain, no suffering and no COVID.
Your sudden departure exactly 7 years ago left a huge void in our hearts. Our lives were shattered in one day, one minute even, when you passed. What? Komla has left us? Noooooooooo!!! But the Lord had said yes.
Life stopped momentarily – or so it seemed for us – and it was strange to step out to hear the birds still singing, see the sun still shining, and activity on the streets. Slowly we forced ourselves back into our daily routines. We took tentative steps and went through the daily motions of school, work, church and shopping etc again. At first it felt mechanical, robotic, but we grew stronger as the days passed.
I often wondered how I was going to cope without you. Could I raise 3 children on my own? Could I run a house, our entire life, without you? Your large presence made our home so vibrant, so energizing. How was I going to ensure our children were happy and stimulated at home? We all knew I am terrible at telling jokes! ”𝘐 𝘭𝘪𝘧𝘵 𝘶𝘱 𝘮𝘺 𝘦𝘺𝘦𝘴 𝘵𝘰 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘩𝘪𝘭𝘭𝘴, 𝘸𝘩𝘦𝘳𝘦 𝘥𝘰𝘦𝘴 𝘮𝘺 𝘩𝘦𝘭𝘱 𝘤𝘰𝘮𝘦 𝘧𝘳𝘰𝘮? 𝘔𝘺 𝘩𝘦𝘭𝘱 𝘤𝘰𝘮𝘦𝘴 𝘧𝘳𝘰𝘮 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘓𝘰𝘳𝘥, 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘔𝘢𝘬𝘦𝘳 𝘰𝘧 𝘩𝘦𝘢𝘷𝘦𝘯 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘦𝘢𝘳𝘵𝘩.” (Psalm 121:1-2). God has indeed been our helper. He has given us beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning and the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness (Isaiah 61:3).
The other day, when I picked Araba up from school, she said something that gladdened my heart. She looked at the mothers and fathers waiting to pick up her friends and said, “Mummy, you know, I am quite used to the fact that it is just you and us. Of course, I wish Daddy were around, but I am used to the fact that he is not here, and I am content just the way we are.” I drew her close, gave her a big hug and said a prayer of gratitude to God. Yes, our family is happy together. . We have come very far as a family. We have withstood the storms, ridden the waves and grown stronger together.
Elinam is now 18. She has grown into such a fine young lady and fills the house with so much laughter and good cheer. She follows closely in your footsteps (she is a sought-after speaker at debate clubs) and she has your irrepressible sense of humour. She came up with the word ‘Kwansequences’ – which is what awaits whoever gets on Mummy’s wrong side! We will miss her presence greatly when she leaves for university later this year. She enjoys studying philosophy, ethics, sociology, classics – all those subjects with deep open-ended ethical questions. How I wish you were here to engage with her on some of these issues! My poor eardrums!
Elorm is 15 and has wisdom and emotional intelligence beyond his years. He behaves like he is the man of the house much to everyone’s annoyance sometimes. He gave up football for basketball (because football matches are always on a Sunday in the UK and clashed with church time), and I believe that God has rewarded him for this sacrifice. He is a fantastic basketball player – I wish you could see him play; but perhaps you can. I have been banned from his matches because he says I scream too much on the side-lines. We all agree that when he is annoying, he is very very annoying; and when he is good, he is sweeter than honey. Only thing is, the honey moments are becoming very few and far between. I have put it down to teenage hormones and told the others to give him some space, but they are not so conciliatory. The last time he annoyed Araba, she revenged by pricking one of his basketballs with a pin. Even though he has several of them, he is still very salty about that one!
Your precocious little madam Araba is now 9! She is a bundle of joy – a ray of sunshine who enlivens the house with her presence and boundless energy. She has been a great source of comfort especially as the older two have become more independent. She has great artistic ability and was so thrilled when a friend recently commissioned her to produce some artwork for a project. We joke that you can find out where Araba is by following the crayon and paper mess trail tsk tsk tsk…
Our children bring me so much joy and comfort. My child-raising responsibilities are far from over but I hope I have done you proud so far.
As for me, I can now say that I am fine. Yes, it has been hard. Yes, I have cried myself to sleep many times, but I am in a much better place now. I have had to up my game. My jokes have improved; I am learning to dunk a basketball; and I can meet the kids toe to toe in the prank department. I have also had to be brave and have stepped out in ways previously unimaginable, but the Lord has held my hand.
Today, I can testify without hesitation that “𝘛𝘩𝘦 𝘓𝘰𝘳𝘥 𝘪𝘴 𝘮𝘺 𝘴𝘵𝘳𝘦𝘯𝘨𝘵𝘩 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘮𝘺 𝘴𝘩𝘪𝘦𝘭𝘥; 𝘮𝘺 𝘩𝘦𝘢𝘳𝘵 𝘵𝘳𝘶𝘴𝘵𝘴 𝘪𝘯 𝘏𝘪𝘮, 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘐 𝘢𝘮 𝘩𝘦𝘭𝘱𝘦𝘥. 𝘔𝘺 𝘩𝘦𝘢𝘳𝘵 𝘭𝘦𝘢𝘱𝘴 𝘧𝘰𝘳 𝘫𝘰𝘺 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘐 𝘸𝘪𝘭𝘭 𝘨𝘪𝘷𝘦 𝘵𝘩𝘢𝘯𝘬𝘴 𝘵𝘰 𝘏𝘪𝘮 𝘪𝘯 𝘴𝘰𝘯𝘨.” (Psalms 28:7).
I pray that you continue to sleep well Komla. I pray that your soul is at peace. What you accomplished on earth was enough. What you did for us was enough. You were a blessing to us, and you still are. You should have no regrets whatsoever. I do not regret even one second of our time together. And one day we shall all meet again. Amen!