Every Summer, I remember painful event of that horrifying Sunday morning of July 30, 2000. I can still remember every event as if it just happened a few moments ago. The painful event of that fateful morning affected my life and that of my family members in ways we could never have imagined just a few hours before that morning. The event was the sudden demise of my father, Bolanle Ogunwale, popularly called Mr. Bee by his friends and associates.
As if it was a joke our family doctor said “I am sorry, we did the best we could but unfortunately he didn’t make it. Mr. Bee is dead.” I was totally distraught and couldn’t process the message at that point as it was way in excess of what my mental capabilities could cope with. I broke down in tears and said “o pari” meaning “it’s finished” in english.
Mr. Bee, I have tried severally to accept that you’re truly dead and failed but the only conviction I have is that for the entire two decades you shared out of my life there was no time you travelled this long and so I’m forced to believe the reality that I will never see you again in my lifetime. Even though it been very long since you left I still find myself going into your room wishing you would just come out of one of the closets.
Dad, I want to believe you can see and also hear me every time I run into the corner of my room asking God why did he take you away when He did. I have also severally wonder what the journey to the unknown world must be like for you. How I wish we can get to sit down to talk like the friends we used to be. Of the many things you told me one that has continued to show true its manifestation was when you said “the best gift a man can ever give his child(ren) is to love the mother” and I am happy to inform you that the love you shared with our mum has brought the four of us (your children) this far in life through the grace of God. For that, on behalf of my siblings we’re thankful.
Dad, I want to quickly inform you that you now have two lovely angels as your granddaughters. I will ensure I tell my children and all my nephews and nieces about the great things you did for us when we were so little. One of the events that I can never forget was how you risked your life in Kano to save your children during one of the unrest that broke out and claimed so many lives in 1990. You drove all the way from your office in Ahmadu Bello Way to Court Road where our house was then. You got home just in time before the Almajiri brought down the fence and gained access to our house. You rescued us and took us all to safety in Kaduna. As a child I saw death so near even though the implication didn’t sink so much then but I can never forget that day.
Dad, I am not sure if you can remember this but I can still recollect the event vividly. Christmas of 1990 while on a journey from Kano to Offa in Kwara State your wife, my mother was involved in an accident wherein people died and many lost their body parts. You did not rest until you found her alive after 2 days of checking virtually every hospital and mortuary between Kaduna and Kogi state. When we eventually found her you said “Nike, I have never imagine living this world without you”.
You taught us to be kind, respectful and responsible. You showed us love and good leadership as a father. You were the best friend I ever had because I could talk to you about everything including girls at that tender and early stage of my life.
Dear Lord, our eternal perfection. The beginning and ending of all things. We thank you for the life lived by my father and also for the lives of family and friends he left behind.
We thank you oh Lord for this past twelve years since his departure and how you have kept in peace all his loved ones – particularly his household
We pray to you our Lord for your continual mercy and grace over all his family and loved ones.
For all these and many more we give thanks and pray
Sun re o, Asunmo ose l’opo yekan omo Ola loje. Omo ajo gberu ma jo gba eko. Omo o pa igi da so igi d’eyan.
I wish you could come back. I have been counting days since you left and today makes it exactly twelve (12) years.
Dad, I miss you.
You can also find me on twitter: @bisiogunwale