I was on my way back home on a bike when I got the news. I had just left the house that morning to make a withdrawal at the ATM and then head to the salon. On my way back home I was lost in thoughts, thinking of how my day would go, how to manage my time and ensure that I did all I had to do that day. In the midst of these thoughts, I saw an okada man flash down my okada man just infront of the estate gate. The man stopped and I thought within myself that it’s probably their usual way, stopping one another for change or some other issue. All I wanted was for them to finish and let me go, I was in a hurry. I didn’t know that the information the okada man will give would come to affect me so much.
He said to my okada man “eeyan to mo daadaa ni, a fe gbe lo si mortuary nissiyin ni.” Meaning he is someone you know very well, we want to take him to the mortuary. He was holding up a poster that read GONE TOO SOON and a picture of a fine fair young man as he spoke.
When I saw the picture, I was at a loss for words, it was him, yes him, it was someone I knew, he was my church member, he was that young man that always took me free each time I was on his bike, he would insist that he takes me free. Some days I will see him and try to avoid him, he will find me and still take me free, even days when I formed annoyance, he would still take me free. He was never tired of rendering that service. He did it with the whole of his heart and happily. He was kind at heart and a very loving person. When you see him, he would just smile, he was not a man of many words but he was very helpful. He loved to wear a face cap and each time I see that fair face underneath the cap I just smiled because he was not just an okada man, he was more than that face on the bike.
I didn’t know much about him, even his name wasn’t known to me, but that face, that face, calm and ever smiling, I would never forget. I remember him saying to me one day that he would no longer be regular in church because he moved to a far place but he did promise to come whenever he was able to make it. He was indeed a wonderful person.
I looked at the picture again and all I kept saying was “oh my God” it was unbelievable. I managed to ask what happened and the guy said he had complained of a fever the previous night, he slept and never woke up to see the light of day. I was deeply touched, I couldn’t get over the news.
When I finally got to my destination, I just kept wondering, I kept asking people if they knew him, I needed someone to tell me that he wasn’t the one, that maybe there was another young man who looked liked him but no one did.
That night after my prayer meeting in church, I walked with a torch in my hand to search where they pasted his obituary, just to see again if it was him or maybe I was mistaken, I didn’t see the obituary but conversations I had with people later just proved he was the one. It wasn’t just me he gave free rides; he did to many other people from our church. He would take them and refuse to charge, he was that good. He had every right to collect that money but would not. Oh how I would miss to see that face. You may wonder why his death hit me so hard, I myself cannot understand it but I feel it and each time I think about it, it is always a sad story. Beyond the free rides, beyond his red face cap, beyond his very fair face was a very kind heart and even if I overlooked other things, I would never overlook that.
He was just 28 years when he died. It is a sad death but I am hopeful because God has a reason for everything. He knows the end from the beginning, He gives and He takes. He is not an unfaithful God and for all that happens, there is a purpose.
We cannot question God, we can only mourn with those who mourn and hope that while we still journey on this earth, we fulfil purpose before the owner of life comes to seek it.
Most of us do not know when death will come calling, some know when their time is up, but whichever way it is, please let’s live our lives as if each day is the last. This life we are living is not ours. Let us live it as unto God.
Benjamin, I do not know where you are now but I do pray that you find eternal rest and that God grants your family the fortitude to bear your absence and that your absence will not cause more problems but rather bring peace and unity to your home.
You are fondly remembered by your family, the Glory2Glory House and your friends. Keep resting till we meet to part no more.