Updated: May 27
On a Saturday morning on May 2021, I was woken up by my phone buzzing. The call was to tell me that one of my mum's sisters had passed away. She was almost 90. Immediately, memories came flooding into my mind. Though I would miss her dearly, my aunts death triggered a whole bunch of mixed feelings and thoughts on my life's journey.
20 year malice
It hasn't been smooth sailing between my aunty and I. There was a huge blank/gap in our relationship. To put it simply, my mother's sisters left our lives once my mother was buried in August 1995😊. So there was a 20 year gap, in which I had no communication from any of my mothers 4 sisters (same mum, same dad). Looking back at it now, I was abandoned, left to get on with life with no parental guidance from any of her immediate sisters. People I expected to step in and guide me in the absence of my mum. It didn't happen. I have often reflected on this event in my life.
Inability to nurture
On reflection now, I realise that these women had mother-child connection issues, even with their own children. They lacked the ability to nurture a child. It was not in their making. Having a child is one thing. Being a mother is another thing. They were not able to show compassion in the way we could identify with. So I guess it was a blessing in disguise that they left me (and my siblings) to grow up on our own.
Abandoned by friends
Not just my mothers sisters, my mothers friends too, just washed their hands off all of us immediately my mum died and was buried. Friends that used to come and sleep at our place. Sisters that used to eat 3 meals a day in my mum's kitchen. That's a huge life lesson for me. So I grew up not expecting anything from others, minding my business and doing my thing understanding that no one owes me anything.
I am not sure what they (mums sisters and friends) expected to happen to us children. But here we are. 26 years later, battered and bruised, but standing tall and looking. Aunty Ngozi, has a special place in my heart and this is a story for another day.
Grandad had 7 wives
Aunty Ngozi is my mothers sister. Mummy and aunty Ngozi shared the same father, different mother. Their father, npa (grandad), H.R.H Eze Rapheal Obinna Abakporo. Eze Udo Il of Obibi Uratta Autonomous Community, Owerri, Imo State, Nigeria, had 7 wives. I guess it was a case of saved by the bell. When 4 failed, 1 came to the rescue. For this, I am grateful 🙏.
Family trauma therapy
Anyway fast forward recent times. As my mothers sisters aged, I became more aware about their health and well-being challenges, and observed a kind of loneliness. Unfortunately they had a very turbulent relationship with their children. This relationship is indeed a story for another day. One word comes to mind to describe this relationship "traumatic". I really do feel they would all benefit from some form of therapy.
Life is indeed a box of surprises... very funny.
Nonetheless, I still loved my mother's sisters dearly 💗. This love stemmed from my mother. As a child I observed the relationship between my mum and all her siblings. To start with, mummy had a relationship with all her siblings, from all the wives. And most especially, with her immediate sisters, she had a bond. Holding them at high esteem.
A duty of care
As an adult, after the gap in communication, I made a conscious effort to reconnect with them and build a relationship from there. Let's just say I have enough sins without adding this one🙈. In addition, I love taking care of people... especially the elderly/older person. And as it so happens, they were now all firmly in that elderly category. Being old and lonely is a terrible thing.
A generation passing
I will definitely miss this aunty of mine. We call her Mama T .... she was one of the elderly people I would religiously visit anytime I arrived in Owerri. It is sad to note that 3 have died within the past 6 months... Dame Rose Osuji, Sir TCK Osuji and now Chief Theresa Abakporo leaving just one person😞....
I have very fond memories of my aunty Theresa. She was a true Owerri woman... fearless. My spirit person. She would always get excited anytime I visited her. Any time I visited her at home we would spend hours joking. She was such a blast. Narrating to me her life's stories and love. Then we would agree to meet the next day or so at her favourite Owerri club.... she knew everyone and everyone new her. She was such a queen👸 that was in control of her subjects. At home and in public. Such a Diva. We have so much laughter, fun and food💗 together... that makes her really happy.
Following this sad news, I called and spoke to my other aunt who lives in London. She initially was consoling me but then bust into tears when she realised her loss. My mum's death a few years ago (which i feel she never recovered from) and now her other sister😞. I took a day off work sometime in 2020, during one of the lock-down to spend a day with this aunt. It was a blast too. Going to take time off next week to go and see her. I really want to give her a big hug....
Rest in peace Mama T 💗💗💗💗💗🌻🌻🌻🌻🌻🌺🌺🌺🌼🌼🌼💜❤💚🧡💛💖💙