I lost you on this day 12 years ago, and no year goes by that I don’t miss you more. You were the calmest, most intelligent and open-hearted person I ever met. And I am glad I got to know you.
I remember when you’d come into my room in the middle of the night when I was little to wake me up to go pee so that I don’t mess the bed up.
I remember how one of my favourite activities was watching football with you and shouting “Goal!” after every pass as I was too little and did not know how football worked.
I remember how much I used to love taking walks with you as we held hands, and how much I used to enjoy sitting beside you as you respond to your emails in the cybercafé.
I remember how joyfully you sang hymns and how there was just so much warmth around you, particularly “showers of blessing…” as I can remember vividly how I looked up to you with so much admiration as you sang it in church on that mid-week service.
You were such a loving person and you meant the world to all of us.
Unfortunately, you fell sick, and God knows I’d give my right hand to erase what happened during that period. That period was so dark, and still hurts me as I write remembering it but I am glad because throughout that period, it never broke your spirit, it never changed your attitude.
I remember playing one day when I ran towards your room, looked into the little opening of your door and saw you ask God “Why me?” on your sick bed. I remember losing all the zeal to play, going into my room, shutting the door and crying on my bed.
I remember when on your sickbed you asked, and were very much interested in my health and well-being.
You were a great person, and the world does not deserve you. But wherever you are right now, I hope you still clap as loudly as you do when you were still with us.
I just turned 24. I’m a man now. And yeah, I got all your books – those are my most prized possessions. I love you, and always will.
Rest in Peace Chief Emmanuel Oko Okpara.
I love you, dad.