IHUTOM (MY LOVE)
Our call woke me up that morning and I checked the time, it was just 6 am, I yawned and picked up my phone, your voice was so lively at the other end and you called me the special name, the only name we both agreed to be calling each other, “Ihutom” which literally means my love, there’s always this fulfilling smile whenever you call me that.
“…sleepy head…wake up… is a beautiful morning, I always want to be the first person to wake you up every day “Ihutom, you are my true love and very soon I will be sleeping beside you, is just a matter of days, I can’t wait, it will be a dream come true for me, waking up beside the woman my heart beats for every morning will be great, the beautiful mother of my unborn children, my sunshine, the only one I want to spend my entire life with, Ihutom you mean the world to me…and I promise to love you forever…hope you dreamt of me…
“hahaha…yes I did, I was walking down the aisle with you in my dream, and the second dream is…we were growing old together with our children and grandchildren, celebrating our fifty years anniversary together, it was really a big happy family, Ihutom, and I can’t wait for it to come true…
You make my world complete and I’m so happy you chose me to be your wife and together we will bring forth lovely children in the lord and grow old in love, it will certainly be so beautiful, so before I forget I will be going out to the wedding gown shop this morning…
We talked about all those things and how our day will go, just as usual.
And that was how it was, within a few days we did our traditional wedding, then our white and court wedding followed suit, we made sure all the weddings were properly done. It was, first of all, a dream come true, getting married to the one I love and planning for a great future, we lived in another state far from the one we came from, it was just both of us and few of family member who comes around sometimes.
You loved me so much and I couldn’t love you any less, my life was a fairy tale, like I was watching a lovely movie or reading one of those Amah’s Heart beautiful stories, and when our son was born, it was joyous, as I was being envied by most, Ihutom you were so happy as we welcome our son, our bundle of joy, he has your eyes, so beautiful.
Everything all sound and look good as there was always a reason to smile,
your father died, after his burial, your brother drops dead and followed by another brother, it was shocking because they were never sick, they just die out of sudden.
It was like seeing them and laugh with them today and by tomorrow they are gone, it was a bad nightmare for the family having to lose three family member within a few years, your father and then your two brothers, it was saddening and after the mourning was over we tried to move forward despite just remembering them brings tears to the eyes. We managed to move on and when we thought it was going to get better you lost your job.
Things became so hard for us, our fairytale story was turning sour, it was beginning to look like a horror movie, I went into prayer and fasting, I prayed so much as I have never prayed before, we refused to sell the properties we acquired because of our son, and all the children we planned to have, we didn’t sell off the properties despite how tempting it was because we don’t know what the future holds further, all I did was to pray.
After a contract is awarded to you, by the time you get there to resume work is being given to another person, you will come home more rejected and sad.
This happened many times, and all we could do was to wonder what was going on, instead of getting a better life was becoming more difficult,
Your family members still come around, some even stayed with us at some point, we found ways to make sure there is always food in the house for everyone, just like old times. In those sad time, when all you did was to think, you looked so frustrated and was sick at a point because of too much thinking, I couldn’t watch you keep beating yourself so hard, I tried to talk to you that things will be fine, as far as there is life there will always be hope
I kept on encouraging you and to stop thinking despite that I know it wasn’t easy but I needed my loving husband, who always made me laugh both when present and absent, I needed the man that I married not the one that kept to himself thinking of how he will get a better job and provide for his family, our little son also needs his daddy back.
And then you smile that evening and promised not to keep to yourself again, I was happy, I knew it was hard but I was determined to do everything I can to bring back the spec in our home.
Ihutom, Do you remember when one of your friends visited and gave our son ten thousand naira, it was like ten million to us, there were so many things to do with the money yet all I did was to wrap it in an envelope and took it to Shiloh, I traveled down to Shiloh and right there I cried to God to open ways for you.
I sowed seed with the ten thousand because what was happening was beyond us, I pleaded with God to bring back the sweetness in our home, I begged him to restore your job, and God did, he answered my prayer, you got a job and started going out again, I was happy, everything was beginning to look fine again, I thanked God for answering my prayers and giving you a job.
Then suddenly calamity struck again, just when we thought we have recovered from the last shock of you losing a father and two brothers, another of your sibling died, making it the fourth person to die in your family out of sudden, with no sickness or any pain, they will just slump and die.
I asked you severally what is going on in your family, why are your siblings dying like fowls, this was something to look into, first it was your father and later your brother, followed by another and then another, four members of the same family all died suddenly, no sign of any sickness.
They all died the same way, something must be wrong somewhere and all you told me was there was nothing wrong, it was probably their time to go, death is really unpredictable you said, we mourned as usual and the dead were buried. What a tragedy.
We did our four years wedding anniversary on the 23rd of November, and we prayed for more beautiful years ahead, better years to grow old together. Because every day with you was so loving, you were a good man and put your family first before anything, it was as if God created you for me because you never stopped loving me just like you have promise and I loved you, who wouldn’t love an awesome man like you.
We agreed to travel during the December period that year, you said since it was too early and you needed to take permission at work. You asked us to go ahead that you will join us once your request is approvea, so I left with our son.
We spoke every day and every night, and it was just so lovely when you still find time to call and check on us and to make me laugh over the phone.
Ihutom the sweet loving memory with you was so treasured and stored in my heart, I can’t trade it for anything, I looked forward to you coming to join us as you said you will be on your way in few days from that time
After talking with you that afternoon, I was so happy as I looked forward to having you around me because I was so used to you just like you are used to me. After a few hours your call came in again, and I just smiled as I picked it and I called you your usual name “Ihutom” but it wasn’t you, it was your colleague at work
“Madam your husband just suddenly slumped and we are rushing him to the hospital….”
I had thousands of questions I asked out of shock, “what happened, how, why…where is he, what is going on, where is my husband?
“Madam I can’t answer all this question now, we are on our way to the hospital, he just slumped suddenly so we are close to the hospital…
And the line went dead, I was panicking, I was afraid, I was shaking all over, I was confused, somebody I just spoke with not long ago, and he was so healthy and so loving as usual on the phone how can he slump and he is being rushed to the hospital.
And I kept calling for an update and later the sad news came, like a bomb, like a thunder strike. “you were already dead before they arrived at the hospital, the doctors pronounce you dead on arrival,
No…no, no it can’t be true, is not my husband, is not the man I just spoke with a few hours ago, is not my Ihutom, my love, there must be some kind of mistake, the doctors need to check well and check again, they need to do something because it can’t just be my husband…
Everywhere became silent and cold, it was as if another part of me was gone, I felt goose bomb all over, this was 15th of December, my life was never going to remain the same again.
The worst kind of pain is the kind you feel in your soul, it slowly devours everything and weighs you down until you can’t move again. It hurt more than any burn, any bruise and any scar because it can’t heal, is not a physical wound that needs treating, no, it echoes deeply and painfully in the heart and it makes life unbearable, no matter what you do, it will always be there inside you, the saddest part is that no one can see it.
That was exactly how I felt, words can’t fully describe it.
Ihutom you were the fifth person to die in your family, and yet nobody was bold enough to tell me the cause of all this sudden death that has gotten to my own skin, In pain I began to dig, I wanted to know what is happening, to get to the root of all this, and then I found out it was a foundational problem, which you also know of but refused to tell me, all through the few years we spent together you did not tell me why people where dying in your family,
I still wonder why you kept mute, I still wonder why you hid it away, you thought the death toll will not get to you but here we are, you are gone leaving me and our son in this empty world.
The sad part is that you were not even mourned, most of your family member was after the property we acquired, they fought me until they collected everything from me, all the property and the house was taking from me leaving me empty with just my son after your death, they did not even care to leave some for our son, they took everything.
How cruel can life be, death took you from me unripe and sudden, and everything we labored for was also taking from me and they also threatened to take my son who I vowed to protect with my life.
I wanted to fight back, but how do I even start, my father asked me to let it all go and I listened and let it all go, but I still couldn’t let you out of my heart
It hurts every day, sometimes is shocking of how fragile life could be, I still can’t believe that you are gone Ihutom, all our dreams and aspiration was pulled down into the drain, why do you have to go so soon…
Sometimes all I want to ask is why me.
why do an unfortunate thing as this chose to happen to me, why do you have to go now, is being one year already and I still can’t get you out of my heart I don’t know if I will be able to recover from the shock of losing you to the cold hand of death.
Why didn’t you tell me the problem in time, the foundational problem, I would have known how to channel my prayers.
even if I have to pray and fast every day or take a dwelling in Shiloh I would have done everything possible for you to live, I would have prayed so hard, I will suffer my flesh to make sure the death is diverted from you.
But you kept mute and refused to say anything. Even after two to three deaths in your family which raised questions, you still refused to tell me the cause, even when I asked.
I am beginning to cherish life more than I have done.
Ihutom, every 15th of December will always bring tears to my eyes, the day laughter was taken from my mouth. Is been hard living without you but I try to live every day at a time with our son.
Keep resting Ihutom….keep resting.