I couldn’t help it any longer. She reminded me of mum in many ways. Her smile, her laughter,and her angry face. How could mum be this reincarnated in a 2 yr old?? So I strapped her into the seat belt and drove 3 hrs all the way to where it all began and ended.
Timi wasn’t always this calm, more so in the car. She would always pull out of seat and stand behind me at the back seat singing beautiful nonsense into the glass, looking out. But this ride was different,she sat cool and occasionally smiled at me as we drove to mum’s graveside.We got there and I met the security man at the cemetery. I requested if I could spend some time at mum’s graveyard and he pitifully shook his head, not in refusal but in consoling grant at my sobriety. As I walked past, he asked if my daughter ever met mum, I replied no. He looked at me and then took another glance at my daughter who by now was wondering what was going on. After a few seconds, he muttered “please take her to meet mum, she’ll be waiting there.”
At that moment I felt a jolt. This is strange! Do the dead truly remain in their graves? It’s been five years since mum died. I’d never returned to her graveyard since we laid her to rest. Emotions rushed through me as I tried to locate where she was buried. By now Timi had started to cry as she held on to me tight. I couldn’t help it, I burst into tears too as I held her tighter.We both cried as we searched for my mum’s graveyard. After some minutes, I located it.
Dried brown leaves littered all over the marbled slab. I picked a leaf branch nearby and swept the dried leaves away. With tears partly blurring my sight, I looked at the grave and sat down on the slab.
“Mum, I miss you but words fail me right now. I’m here because of your granddaughter. I thought I should introduce her to you. Her name is Timi. She looks so much like you. She is 2 years old now and folks say she looks older. I wish you were alive to hold her to your….”
And right there! I don’t know how it happened. I thought I held Timi in my hands at the last recount, but there she was lying down sound asleep on the marble plaque in a manner as if she were cuddled. A gentle breeze swept past us and I felt a third company. Okay now, I thought this was the time to be scared. But I didn’t feel that way. I felt peace.I couldn’t speak anymore. I just muttered “Mum, Timi and I love you”. Then I stood up and gently lifted up Timi in my arms. It was time to go. I felt relieved and refreshed. The tears had dried. I was a stronger man. I took one more look at the grave as I walked out of the cemetry with Timi, and before I could speak, Timi waved as if to someone sitting right there and said “bye bye”.
I knew I shouldn’t speak anymore. Timi was mum’s guest. I was just the transporter. She said “bye bye” again with a big smile this time.
The trip back home was calm. Timi slept all through. I felt fulfilled. I felt relieved. I felt touched. I’m not sure if I’ll make the trip again, if and when my next child is born. But I feared the sting of death no more. The beautiful ones never die.
Written by Bamidele Kulajolu
My name is Bamidele Kulajolu. I’m a better listener than talker. Writing lifts my mood and I’m proud of what life affords me.
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