It was less than 3 days to Christmas, when daddy died.
Oh, how we cried,
though now, our tears, we’ve dried,
yet, every yuletide,
down this memory lane, we take a ride.
How have we managed without you?
We were so unsure then, how our lives would go on.
On 22.12.2000, it seemed like our world had ended.
I remember, just like it was yesterday.
You had been ill for some days, mum was also ill and you were even treating her, you were home not admitted, family & friends popping in every now & then to check on you.
On 22nd morning, a Friday, you woke up and went to the guest room and asked me to make you a cup of tea, which I did, you also said something about the fan and I can still see your face, your eyes looking at me as I fiddled with it, trying to make sure I got what you wanted. I remember not being very smart that morning ( I’ve not always been a morning person), if only I had known that those were my last moments with you…
Mum went in and spent some time with you, some of your friends also stopped by that morning, they were in the guest room with you…
At about 9am, you passed, just like that.
They carried you out after asking for a shirt for you, saying you had agreed to go to the hospital, they carried you out, that was the last time I saw you.
Gosh, I’ve missed you!
You were such a brilliant, smart and fine man, Dr Habeeb, with such a big heart, so kind, you touched so many lives, such a nice, yet no-nonsense man.
Your legacy sure lives on.
Though busy, you made time for us, I remember you at being around at meals, at birthdays, at holidays, spending time with us in the evenings.
I remember how you’d say “don’t be silly” with a stern look, to me when I was being naughty.
I remember you doing most of the school runs, even when I was in boarding school in Delta state, you’d always drop & pick me up, when I was sick, it was you who came, even on most visiting days.
I didn’t quite like traveling with you then because of all the questions you ask, my God, is it a doctor’s thing, asking questions?
I remember one time we were traveling and we saw pigs, you asked me what they were, I thought to myself, this man should know that I know pigs so if he is asking me what these are, maybe they are not pigs, so I said I don’t know and you said, “you don’t know pigs?” Lol
I remember coming home on holidays to a novel or some book waiting for me to read.
I remember, I & Hafiz eating with you.
I remember how you encouraged us to always do our best…
I’m thankful that I have these sweet memories of you, great moments shared with you, can’t put it all in words.
Remember this letter, I wrote it to you when I was in school, it was an assignment, written out of duty and it was somewhat crappy but this, I’m writing from my heart, to let you know that you are always in my heart, I LOVE YOU, I MISS YOU and I’M SO GLAD AND PROUD YOU WERE MY DAD.
Mum has been amazing. She sometimes jokes that we should be glad that she didn’t run out on us, lol, I mean, you left her with F.I.V.E kids, the oldest being 13, wow!
We are more than glad she didn’t run out on us (we know she wouldn’t have), we are forever grateful for such a beautiful, strong, selfless, strong again, simply amazing woman.
Hafiz is tall now, lol, yes, he’s all grown up and prides himself as the man of the house and he’s not doing a bad job, he’s more loving now and hardly makes any trouble. Remember when he practically drove your car, the Benz for that matter, into a ditch, lol, he’s a better driver now. He’s done with school & doing his youth service at the moment.
Taofi & Taiba, Oh my God, dad, you have the prettiest, smartest, wittiest, intelligent, know what they are doing & where they are going, set of twins ever. It was just 3 weeks to their 6th birthday, when you left but they are all grown up now and they think the world of you. Guess who just graduated? Yes sir, you guessed it.
Taiba, specially wants you to know, that she misses you and wishes you were here to see how far she’s gone and how beautiful, she’s become.
Zafi aka Baby, barely 2 when you left, has grown into a sweet, pretty young lady, making everyone proud, plus she’s the celebrity in the family, yes oh, we’ve got one, she’s makes trouble every now and then but it’s just between her and mum, nothing to worry about, she turned out fine.
You should be very proud sir.
And me? Oh well, I write now, I know you’d like that and I didn’t end up as a pharmacist or banker as we used to talk about, I ended up in engineering and I’m working in that line. I’m not married yet, I guess you know because I think I had a dream the other day, of you asking me when I’m getting married? Anyways…
We really miss you dad, we can’t stop imagining what it would have been like if you were here, so much has changed, so much.
16 years today since you left, I just wanted to let you know, on behalf of the family, that WE LOVE YOU AND MISS YOU ALWAYS.
Continue to rest in peace, don’t worry, we are doing okay, God is taking care of us.
You, dearest daddy, are always in our hearts.