80 years of Loving and Living- A Tribute to my Mum’s Mum

Sarah Ajoke Oyewole  1935-2015

Sarah Ajoke Oyewole

In the last few days, I’ve had to tell a few people that my grandmother passed away, but every time I’ve said it, it sounded hallow. It sounded like just some person I am related to has passed on. Many even equated the loss of my grandmother to party-time. They unfortunately missed the point. This is because, for me, the words “my grandmother” don’t even come close to describing how much my Mum’s mum means to me.

It would be very difficult for me to list the many, many ways my grandmother has graced my life with her patience, her wit, and her practical wisdom. She has been a constant in my life; from my earliest memories to the latest and fondest ones, Grandma has always been present.

I am very sad that she went before I was ready for her to go, but I am happy that she has lived a long, full and happy 8o years of life. I am sure that today, she is looking down on me, with my mum at her side smiling.

She personified absolute patience, and she did so ever so gracefully. My mum told me how much Grandma sacrificed for her and her five siblings. All the things she told me about Grandma, I found to be true for myself through the patient and sacrificial life Grandma continued to live even in her old age.

Our last picture together

Our last picture together

After my University education, I had to stay with my grandparents for a few months. During this time, I had frequent disagreements with my grandfather. After each argument I would have with my grandfather, she would call me into her room to tell me how much patience I needed to exercise, how I could not win an argument with grandpa and much more. In these subliminal teachings, I learnt principles that I now use at work and in other relationships.

I consider my Grandma to be a strong cord that binds this family together. Each time she is home from the United States, she will always tell me how my aunties in the US care so much about us (my siblings and I). She will then encourage me to keep in touch with them and hold them in high esteem as they do us.

On her last trip home, I went to pick her at the airport. When she saw me, she looked at me from head to toe and complained seriously about how lean I looked. She kept asking me questions; ‘Why are you so skinny? Is it the stress from work? Have you been fasting? Or is it the hassle peculiar to living in this city that has made you so thin?!’

She then advised me to take a lot of food supplements and multivitamins so I can add a little bit of weight. She also requested that I take few days off work to rest and rejuvenate. I took to her advice and I was home to celebrate Easter with her few days later. While I was home, we cleaned my room together, rearranged my library and cleared my wardrobe. We laughed and shared stories around my high school report cards, old pictures and the old clothes we saw while rearranging my library and clearing my wardrobe.

I cannot even begin to write all that is in my heart right now about Grandma. We had great times together, some good times, some bad; a lot of laughter, a lot of tears and a lot of history. I’m sad that I’ll never see my Grandma again, but I’m at peace because she won’t know the feeling of pain or sickness anymore. Instead, she will now know tranquility and the joy of reuniting with two of her daughters.

I am convinced, with the addition of Grandma to the assembly of saints in heaven, that heaven is certainly richer!