Tuesday, May 31, 2011

She lives...

My phone rang and it was my mum calling... my heart skipped a beat. The only time she gives me a phone call when we are both at home is when there's something interesting or hilarious on TV she wants me to see, but on this night, no TV in the house was on.
And when she whispered "Dooshima", my heart skipped another beat because the only time she calls my full name is when i've committed a crime - and she usually yells it.
"Rumun kpe..." (Rumun is dead... ) I didn't hear the rest of the sentence, i didn't want to, i didn't need to. My favourite aunt had just died and that was all i could take at the moment.

Some call it shock, i don't have a name for it. It just felt strange and tears failed me.

We got in the car and drove to my uncle's house. It was quiet. There was no wailing. Little sobs and teary faces but no wailing. I still couldn't cry.

My aunt had been ill for quite a long while and we all thought she'ld get better but she only got worse and eventually became bed ridden. I was serving (NYSC) in Abuja at the time when my mum called to tell me how bad it was and asked me to come and see my aunt, that's why i was in Makurdi the weekend she died. I'll always be grateful to my mum for 'making' me see Aunty Rumun shortly before she passed on.

My mum's friend came to see us the next day wailing and shouting. It's quite funny now. She fell on the floor and threw her scarf away, lol. I couldn't stand it so i just went back to my room but the silence there was deafening so i headed back to the living room. And that's when i saw and heard my mum cry for the first time in my life... it broke my heart.
She was consoling her friend and lamenting " little sister, why? Why didn't you come to me? I've always been there for you. Who will tell me what's happening with Dooshima now? Ehn? She tells you everything. Who will i ask? I told you and Kpadoo to take care of my baby when i die... who will i ask? Who will i make plans with? ..."
I froze
I died
and rose
and died again on that spot
my mummy was crying!
...but i still couldn't shed a tear, just stood there and stared. It was all too much to take in at once.

The most i got for tears were little shakes, i just couldn't cry. Not at the wake keep 2weeks later nor at the burial the next day (where i also saw my grand mum cry for the first time and my auntie's 8yr old run away, crying from the burial ground).  When the grief was overwhelming, i shook and sobbed... without tears.

I went back to Abuja and life went back to normal. I finished Service later that month and joined the oh-so-jolly state of unemployment.
Another month later, i had just gotten a job and was driving home excited so i picked up my phone and started scrolling through the phonebook to call my aunt and share the good news. That's when it hit me. Aunty  Rumun was dead. I cried, bawled and just lost my mind. It was like all the tears i'd forgotten how to shed had found an escape route and were rolling out in waves. I cried myself to sleep that night.

I cried alot after that - the first time i was proposed to (because i picked up the phone to call her again) and many random nights over the last year. I have cried almost everyday since last week.

My aunt played a big role in my life... she's the reason i learnt make-up and how to do facials, the reason i know Psalm81 and 91, the reason my little cousins call me "Aunty Dosh Dosh", the only aunt who called when i was going for the most important interview of my life and the reason i understand and forgive somethings i held against my mum, leading us to have a better, stronger relationship.

My aunty died a year ago two days back (on the 29th) but she is still alive... she lives in my heart.

The early '90s, check out her brows :')