Love Letters

Florence

 My Darling Florence,

I’d start on this note: the meaning of Florence captured my heart as i a name for my fashion label… ‘House of Florence’ resonated with me so much but Bukola and Kehinde Obimodede didn’t seem to buy the idea. They probably felt it was a pity-party thingy. But no, it wasn’t! I love Florence so much because it means to Blossom, and Blossom you did! There is this quote of how we don’t die but we multiply and in four ways and more, I find this to be true as I look at my siblings and me.

A rehearsal of today’s event especially being a Saturday comes to mind as we celebrate your fiftieth year on Earth! Of course, I don’t know which colours you have in mind but I believe blue or pink will be just fine. And then, I know you don’t joke with your gold accessories. Getting Pelumi to comment on our dressing has gotten hard over the years; he does two things now. He either keeps silent or rolls his eyes. But for you, I know he’d tell it all. The clothes Bukky, Jola and I are to wear are well inspected because have rang it into our being such words as decency, Modesty! Mummy, I tell you, you can’t cope in this age oh! Even me, I feel old school a good number of the time when words fail me. I simply say “My mommy will not allow this”. The way full blouses have become cropped and trousers, bump shorts have become daily acceptable, so have morals also been given a cold shoulder. Mom, you just need to be here, things have changed!

Of course, seven years is a long time but never perfect enough to heal the pain of your absence. Seeing a PeakCanDoMore advert the other day, I really felt sad I wouldn’t get the opportunity to cook for you because you see ehn, I am a very good cook. I excel at Egusi soup and Efo Riro Tete actually, not Soko o that’s when you’d say you favour Soko-oko. Really ma, the pain has not stayed firm over the years but even the littlest of things trigger memories; your talking, your voice. I know that your going is also part of my growth process. People think I am daddy’s girl, they don’t know that you were my run-to-person, my shield, my jasi mom with whom I could talk about anything, including boys and not be scared. You always were you there to listen, advice and instruct. I am still my mummy’s girl.

Your exit did me some hardening. I lost feelings such that when death was mentioned and guarded fiercely my close ones. As though, if I held on firmly they’d go nowhere. Truth be told, it has done me more harm than good making me a chief worrier, a task I only get paid for in fear. I have learnt; Mum, to cast it all on God. I’m sure now you see us, you are glad you led us to Jesus, perhaps the best thing you ever did for us… the gift that keeps giving.

Well, if not for Lautech, I’d be writing you as a graduate today (don’t roll your eyes ma). But truly, I think it doesn’t matter because having given it to reason, I realize that graduated or not, I am first the daughter of a creative woman. You did leave that with us… you just have to hear how well Jolaoluwa sings now, with ease ma! Amongst others, I have taken the pen and it is so vibrant. While writing Oblivion, I wanted Kofo to die so as to pour my experience out but I realized I did not want Olabiyi and the children to go through that, I felt they were not ready for such a life change. Perhaps this is how God felt about Layi and the children, when he called you to be with him. Well, we have not shied not from it and indeed our Father God has been faithful. People doubt your absence, not because the void is filled but because God hasn’t given us more than we can handle.

Mummy, how do I update you on all these stuff? Your absence has helped work with others in like conditions. You have to believe it when I tell you that Iya Blessing and co at Shangisha market sell to us good rates and give us extras. Some even say “Your mother was a good woman” and do us favours. For me, I tell you ma, I want to be like you. Your character has become a life model because you taught us to ask, “What would Jesus do?” And you also strived to live by this principle. I don’t think my letter can end. These the few things I have to say as I pause this letter;

The remembrance of the righteous is evergreen, yours is!

You have four mini me(s)

Even in death, you have become more beautiful

Thank you for marrying Daddy, he is the best father.
Forever and always,

Oluwatomilola.

(18th March,2017)