Some dates remain ever memorable; I’ll never forget
October 8, 2022. Yes, it was the only birthday, on which my wife, Marian Ngozi, aged 50 (I called her Soulmate), a UNIBEN-trained lawyer, never wished me “Happy Birthday, Mr. T”. That accursed Saturday, she was battling against death right inside Garki Hospital. Was it her sixth or seventh hospitalization since April this year?
Sincerely, I have lost count. What I can’t forget is that she endured two surgeries in two months. Her soul returned to God that night. Ah, how does a man write about the death of a wife? It is easy to recount the battles with the demons of heartache, the devil’s of uncertainty, the archfiends of fear that grip the heart as you surrender all initiatives to the doctors.
Those are the easy paths; the recounting of the threos that tore the heart into shreds as an illness progressed, ravaging the body and mind of a loved one and as hope would begin to fade, is the difficult part.
How hard has Soulmate’s passing been on me? I must confess that in the afternoon of Thursday, 13th October, when I ended a phone conversation with a Form Master of one of my son’s classes, I said aloud: “let me tell Soulmate about this conversation”. Only the ohhs and ahhs of the people who had gathered for condolence visit brought me back to reality. And that same afternoon, I visited the Gaki Hospital Mortuary to see her remains while it is possible. Ah, the face was serene. She was free from her agonies.
At times like this, your columnist finds solace in music. A Greek singer, Nana Mouskouri, says (in THERE’S A TIME) “ There’s a time for live for love to grow, and to end in lonely tears. There’s a (face) I adore that I’ll see no more though I live for a hundred years. There’s a time for losing all you want and for travelling on, but the hurt in my heart, it goes on from day to day, will not go away, keeps on longing for what’s gone.
And the hurt in my heart knows you are never coming home till the sea runs dry. In my dreams you have left yourself behind, you caress my mind when the nights grow dark and chill. Where’s the magic wand that will bring you nearer home?”That magic wand doesn’t exist! And that’s my tragedy. And the song’s conclusion? “
But the hurt in my heart, it goes on from day to day, never goes away, for it is all I have left of you”.2022 will remain an “annus horribilis” to me. Since our marriage it’s the only year we never danced to Shania Twain’s “You Are Still The One” to celebrate our wedding anniversary because she was in hospital. The song says: “Looks like we made it, look how far we’ve come my baby. We are still together, still going strong.
You are still the one that that I belong to, the one I want for life, the one I kiss good night”. But all that is past and gone, now. Now. Dear dear Soulmate, the reality is from Fatback band’s 1980s hit record, To Be Without You Love “is like to find the sun is gone” and “how can I be strong when half of me was you?” I have the rest of my life to answer that question. “Oh, how I miss you”. Ah, that came from Jimmy Cliff, the reagge super star.