The logical part of me understands that it’s been one year, yet the other side of me can’t believe that it’s already been so long since you left. I’m here debating whether “left” is right term, or if “taken” would be more suitable, but that’s just me nitpicking. And that isn’t why I’m here writing this letter.
A lot has happened since that day. There’s so much I want to tell you, so much I want to say, but I guess you already know, because I believe you have been watching over all of us. Hope heaven’s doper than any of us here imagined; yeah, I also believe that’s where you are because I know whom you served and whose you were.
I miss you every day. I miss your laughter, I miss the mischievous twinkle in your eye whenever you were telling a joke or a story. I miss your booming voice. Heck I even miss you getting angry and shouting. Okay, maybe not really. But, really Daddy, I. Miss. You. A lot. It is ridiculous how I’ve come to appreciate on a whole other level so much of the things you used to tell all of us growing up. One of them being, honoring and cherishing our cultural and national identity while still appreciating other people’s cultures and identities. Being in the midst of such a melting pot of cultures and races has given me a greater appreciation for who I am.
I also understand what you meant about Nigeria being my home and being grateful to God that we weren’t born anywhere else. More and more since I’ve been here I’ve realized that truth time and time again. Don’t get me wrong, there are times I wish I had at least been born with dual citizenship, because it would have made certain things A LOT easier, but I also realize that being black in a land like the US, isn’t an easy burden. I remember all that you did with Nigeria and it’s future as your impetus, and now, more than ever before, I think I get it. I pray I can do even a fraction of what you did in your life time in service to our nation. I pray I make as much of an impact in what I’ve chosen to do. Ultimately, it’ll be because of you and the conversation we had in November of 2008 after I was done with my undergrad degree.
On a lighter note, I’ve ended up applying to the business school here twice. Even though I got to the interview stage the last time, I got rejected. I wasn’t hurt to be honest, because it was a very good learning experience, and it made me go back and really think about whether or not I really wanted an MBA. Plus, there’s the fact that only five people got accepted in that round. As such, this time I applied first round. According to the director of admissions, even though there was a 32% increase in the number of first round applicants, they still invited the exact same number of people to the interview. So basically, I’m in a very good place. They’ll get back to us on decisions in a couple weeks, so right now I’m praying that God’s will be done.
Looking at the picture above reminds me of how I’ve come to terms with a lot of things in this period. All those years of discipleship; sitting with you in front of the office, working with you all day, the times when you would annoy me, the times when you would counsel me; all those years played one of the greatest (if not the greatest) role in the man I am today. When I look in the mirror, I see the younger version of you, but I also see myself as well. There are weaknesses in me that I got from you, but there are also strengths, and I’ve never been more grateful about both those things as I have been in the last one year.
We’ve lost some more people dear to us in this last year. But we’re still going strong. We’re still pushing ahead, because that’s what the living do. I believe you’re proud of us, I believe you’re proud of me. I also know that you’d want me to keep striving to be a better man and to improve myself. It’s how you lived your life; it’s the example you constantly set for us. I hope that I can do the same, not because of your memory, but because that’s the person you taught me to be.
I pray one day, I’ll hear your voice again, and I’ll see your face again, not simply in a dream, but for real. So till the next time “we” talk, just remember one thing, I love you Daddy. I always have, and I always will. Keep resting in peace.