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Opinions of Saturday, 9 December 2017

Columnist: Ramatu Sulemana

Letter to my family: After my death

Dear Auntie Araba, If you are reading this letter, it means have finally become a feast for worms under mother earth.

Although I am writing this letter to you, it should be an open letter because it is going to contain messages to the rest of the family and every other person.

Our elders say, “If you have a family, you have the most precious gift”. Then, to be abandoned by family or people you care about in your time of need is the most cancerous situation that you can find yourself. I pray it doesn’t happen to anyone alive today.

My dearest Auntie, you have paid your dues. You have done what a mother will readily do for her child. I know you are struggling to make ends meet, yet you come running with help whenever I call on you.

You have given me what money can never afford. Your words have their way of giving me strength anytime I slip down into the buckets of sorrow. You have never described me as a ‘disappointment’, a word that has become my second name in the mouths of people. May God reward you.

Tell my beautiful sister Ama that I miss her. I miss when we were young and innocent. I miss when we used to race for first hug when Paapa and Maame always came back from work. I miss when we used to fight over who should have the first ‘maame oo dende’ or ‘alewa toffee’ that Paapa never forgot to bring home. I miss when we used to sneak out to play in the heavy rains and end up receiving slaps and canes for being disobedient; I remember her sad and teary face that made me forget my own pain.

I need her to know that I have and will never lose a drop of the ocean of love I have for her, although clearly, she is still mad about the misunderstanding we had. Anyways, it won’t matter soon, will it? I want her to understand that life is too short to hold grudges. I have learnt my lesson. I pray she doesn’t learn hers the hard way.

To my nephew Kweku, please tell him I promise I will not bother him anymore. ‘S? asa’! I won’t go to his house to seek for any help anymore. Afterall, the strength in me has been drained by sickness. He shouldn’t worry anymore about putting his wife in a position to lie about his whereabout.

I came to him because I felt he would understand better than anyone what distress feels like. After everything we have been through, this is how he chooses to repay me. Indeed, when the music changes, the dance changes too.

To the rest of the family, let them know their kinsman felt dejected. They couldn’t even pretend not to be tired of my calls. I needed to constantly call because my wife and children were hungry.

Even mother earth will attest to my hard work during my days of strength. They know I have been forced to become a lazy man. I fell! I fell so hard that I couldn’t land back on my feet. God knows I tried. I kept trying until sickness glued me to the mat.

But I surely know one thing; they will show me their ‘love’ by spending lavishly on my funeral after I am gone. Please tell them the hungry man says he won’t need that.

As for my wife and children, I believe God will see them through. After all, He always has. My song to my beloved Ama everyday is to continue to work hard and strengthen her trust in God; not in any man. She has eyes to see where the latter has ended me.

To anyone reading this letter, help a loved one genuinely in distress before you end up regretting. Sometimes it is not about money, it is rather the weight your words carry.

Your kind words and gestures can light the path of a loved one to come back from the darkest corner of their hearts and bring back the hope they have lost. Cherish every second with a loved one, there might never be a tomorrow or next minute, or a next second. Those moments you witness now, you never will again.

Please make the best out of them and keep close your greatest treasure, family, all the days of your life and peace will come hugging you.

It is never too late to make amends. You may have not showed care in past events. The good news is that there are more loved ones alive. Value them and treat them as you want to be treated.

The next moment is never promised. Auntie Araba my dearest, my weak hand is begging me to stop writing after putting it through stress for the past four days. I needed to write this letter. People must hear my story. I don’t want what happened to this family to happen to anyone.

May God continue to bless you Auntie. Thank you for being there to the end, because I know you will.

Your heartbroken nephew,

Kofi Dabias?m.