I heard the news quite early but God forbid that this news be broken here especially when I prayed so hard that it wasn’t true. It’s been surreal. I struggled with myself whether or not to write this because for me, this is just not the usual blog post but this is sort of closure for me since I just couldn’t get past this news and blog like it’s another day. I couldn’t help it. In as much as I’d like to take this shock in my own way just as others have and are still doing, your demise is all I’ve been thinking about for days now. I am heartbroken. This shook me to the core. I am asking questions. What guarantee of our life do we have here on earth? None!
I heard the news from one my relatives who is pretty much your son. I called back immediately and from the sound of his voice, it was certain you are gone. I thought hard. I tried doing other things and I just couldn’t understand the heart sinking feeling I had through out, then I just remember the news and I get even more downcast. Howwww? C’mon!! Death is inevitable I know but why now? Why you? Very few news of death have shaken me to the core. This one has.
I stepped my foot into House On The Rock, Port Harcourt in 2002. In as much as I saw so many things to keep me as a member, one I spotted so fast was the “upbeat break-dancing chick” on stage during the choir ministeration. Few Sundays and Thursdays of attending and I was already sold and wanted to be a member and a church worker as soon as possible. I found out that “break-dancing chick” was you and I was curious to know you. I finally met you when I joined The Potter’s Treasure and all I could think of was your uncanny resemblance in demeanor and looks to the Hollywood actress, Vivica .A. Fox. You were so vivacious, a happy-go- lucky personality you had. Then the day came when I was supposed to have my first ministeration with the choir and was asked to lead on the mic that same day. Feeling excited, yet nervous while praying backstage before the start of service, I was told I was wearing inappropriate shoes so I shouldn’t go on stage. You jumped in and told the authority then that it just didn’t matter. So we went ahead singing Kirk Franklin’s “Always”. I was so into the ministeration but tried not to get too carried away as I also watched you conduct us. I didn’t want it to end. We got off stage and you gave me the kind of praise every first timer would love to hear. You clowned and mimicked how much I was in the spirit and I laughed so hard. I was new and word on the street had it that you were “Pastor Lanre’s Fiancée” and I just couldn’t help my curious youthful eyes from prying. Watching your body language with him and I just saw how in love you two were with eachother. Wedding bells, and I picked my dress early enough not to miss the union. I watched you two exchange your vows and I wished for same thing for me. During the ‘order of photographs’ session, I watched you in admiration how you stepped aside for pictures you weren’t supposed to be in. You held your gown with your hands clenched to your bouquet, and side-hopped rhythmically out of the picture and back into the spot when it was your turn. I remember standing there and saying you didn’t wear gloves for your wedding when wearing gloves was fashionable. I liked the no-gloves look so I said I won’t wear gloves too, in my time. My decision didn’t turn out to be a rebellious one since it happened that the no-gloves trend was in style. So I always think of you when I think of bridal gowns and my perception towards gloves. And I always think of you when that Kirk Franklin’s song comes to mind. How you tilt your head to the side and call my name in a sing-song manner, that Pastor Lanre emulated too will forever be in my head. Oh that smile! You were fun, witty, cute, loving, so down-to-earth. You had a smile that lit up the room. Your eyes sparkled. You and your husband were so in love with eachother and people still testify about it till now. When the mantle was given to Pastor Lanre to lead the church, as scary as that might have been for you, I knew you were strong enough to lead with him. I pray God gives him, your kids, your friends, relatives and the church the strength, to be consoled in Him. Only God can heal this wound. I can’t imagine the pain Pastor Lanre feels right now, if I feel it this hard.
Why am I doing this? I want to freeze memories like these and have this on my blog for keep sake. Many people who know you as a pastor and a pastor’s wife might mystify you, which is in order but I can never get the “Sister Inem” you were to me out of my head. When I found out you were also a senior Ex-Student of the same secondary school I attended, that was when I understood that “je ne sais quoi” about you was likely the “Abubabe” factor. We normally say you can spot an ‘Abubabe’ when you see one. Darling Pastor Inem. You will truly be missed. I can’t bring myself to writing ‘RIP’ beside your name. I just can’t . You were beautiful in and out. This is not because you are gone and a good tribute is due for the demised. No! You were truly beautiful in and out. Every person who has had an encounter with you would attest to that. You recently celebrated your 40th birthday and you looked even more beautiful in those photoshots. Pristine smile, gazing up. You looked celestial. Did you know heaven was calling? The Church is broken. I’ve been away for years yet your impact is so strong. How much more the lives you’ve touched in recent times? I’ve got questions to ask God when we all see. I know His ways and thoughts are not our ways and thoughts but C’mon, It’s Pastor Inem! Goodnight Pastor Inem. Go be with the saints .
Deep thoughts: After all the dream chasing, the need for a good life, the extra effort put towards healthy living, it’s sad to know these things don’t matter. When it’s your time, It’s your time. The hymn says, “…only remembered by what we have done…”. Be good to people! Impart your generation!
PS: I had an original post set for today in regards to giving and accepting condolences. Little did I know I will be giving one today. Make your life count!
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