Life is such a mixed bag , of joys, moments of sorrow and loss, fear and faith, times of enjoying great health and other times of sickness around us . This is the reality of what it mean to be alive, taking the good and the bad while finding ways to appreciate the entire process of living.
I have had a great loss recently. My beloved father was a giant Iroko tree and his exit has all who sheltered under his love , exposed to the harsh reality of life without him.
It is Dec 30th and we have just arrived into Abuja airport, Nigeria , from Owerri . My sister and our husbands with our cars packed full of our children and cousins, in laws.. we have just accomplished one of our lives most solemn milestone . We have successfully laid our father and grandfather to rest, next to his own father in the soil of their homeland.
This season has been a very long 3plus months since the death of our father on that unsuspecting September 15th morning. The day was Our Lady of Sorrows feast day in our Catholic faith . It commemorates the day that Mary the mother of our savior Jesus receive his body from the cross after he drew his last breath on the cross and proclaimed “ It is finished “. Jesus’ finishing of his business on earth commenced the salvation of humanity.
Therefore we as Christians are able to breathe easier knowing that at the end of our time here on earth,as believers we can inherit eternity in heaven with God.
That day on calvary cross , I imagine a sense of relief that Jesus must have felt upon completing his “love obligation “ to humanity. Today, I too feel a deep level of relief completing my obligation to have my father’s last wishes to be buried in his homeland accomplished.
Our father’s burial occurred in stages , first in October we gathered to honor his life and legacy in St. Louis, Missouri. A service of Songs event planned in a hurry that drew a crowded hall full of family , friends and well wishers.
Then there was the funeral service held in New Orleans,the next month in November. Our parents Committee of friends showed up in style to help us plan such a befitting celebration of life event in honor of our father and grandfather. The whole event was magnificent with the sour note being the absent of our Dad in the physical form , although I am convinced his spirit along with choirs of angels dances along the New Orleans brass band that escorted his body out of the church after the mass!
The day after United States of America’s thanksgiving celebration in Baltimore, Maryland where one of my brothers lives, they too gathered to honor our Dad in a very special way.
Finally our father’s body was travelled back to his homeland in Nigeria, where we ALL gathered against all the odds to honor the giant of man in a most befitting burial mass interment and cultural celebration. Chief Omenka is a peaceful giant and gem and it was no surprise that every detail of his burial was smooth sailing
What happened in Ezeka Umunze Orlu a few days ago was a miracle, an outpouring of the immeasurable grace of God. Every detail of our Dad’s burial went smoothly and our guests returned to their locations safely, all the praise to our God.
We as a family have had a lot of support from loved ones near and far in order to accomplish this and we are most grateful for the many ways our loved ones and well wishers have contributed their support of us. A direct deflection of the value they placed on our late father Chief Omenka, who in his lifetime accumulated so much good will which is now trickling down on us his children and grandchildren.
There were so many who gave their time, some their advice and wisdom and yet others supported us spiritually, financially,emotionally and physically.
How can I thank you for what your love has meant to us in this season. Please know of our grateFUL hearts and wishes for every wonderful blessing in your lives.
I had so many supporting and encouraging us along the way . At times when doubt attempted to derail me, I had to rely on others to increase my courage.
Ultimately, it truly was GRACE of God that carried us through. We travelled across continents with our entire families to Eastern Nigeria , at a time when many forwarded us of so many dangers including the risk of kidnapping , all of this in the backdrop of the upcoming political election in the country. If I said I was not terrified about the risks involved, then I would be telling a big lie.
The truth of that I was scared but I also had faith in a God is bigger than all my fears including kidnappers. I prayed Psalm 91 consistently to fortify myself and invited others to pray along with me. This Psalm provided me with the comfort daily as our trip approached . Everyday I trusted more and more in the promises of God’s protection on those who put their trust in him. I trusted God and he has over delivered!!! Worthy is his name!!
Our Dad is a special creation of God and he will sorely be missed …nonetheless he lives on in us his children and grandchildren and therein lies his legacy by the special grace of God🙏🏾
Now we are left to live on with the memories that we will cherish of his life with us. Dad was indeed a gatherer, and no surprise that his burial gathered SO many despite the uncertainties and insecurities that was in the air at the time .
Following his burial and thanksgiving mass , we had opportunities for family reunions, anniversary and birthday celebrations. There were graces for loved ones who were spared from harm on the roads and from illness. All of these make up that mixed bag of life! We keep muddling through the process of life while keeping our eyes out for moments of Joy.
Ofcourse we took many safety precautions on this trip however I am convinced that my Dad was already busy at work in heaven watching over all of us .
At the end of my fears for what it would take to travel home honor my father’s final wish to be buried in his homeland Nigeria this Christmas was my faith in God to see us all through safely.
God never fails.
Finally thank you all for your support and well wishes. Our family wishes you and yours a Merry Christmas Season when light entered into our dark world in the form of baby Jesus and now prayers for a blessed new year💕