Words seem to feeble in moments like these. But Surely, Allah takes what is His, and what He gives is His, and to all things He has appointed a time. Those who have patience get rewarded. Death leaves a heartache no one can heal. Our hearts still ache in sadness, for what it meant to loose you no one will ever know. You were a father whose worth can never be told. There’s a place in our hearts no one can fill. We miss you and always will. The loss of a father no matter how old you are changes your life forever, you never really get over the loss, you learn to live with the loss and he is never far from your thoughts.
Our father was a man like no other, if love, humility and compassion had a form in human then it was him, he was an icon worthy of emulation, a true definition of what a family should be like. He was a hero, a strong support system, a hardworking and strong individual who was always there for his family. Family meant so much to him he never travelled and left home for a long time. He was selfless, he lived for others always willing to help, he was highly principled and stood firm for what he believed was in the general interest of everyone. He was a team maker, always there for peacekeeping and upholding family ties and friendship. He never allowed anyone ploy his fatherly roles such as; taking us to school even at our university level as grownups. I remember sometime in 2014 when we had a ghastly motor accident, one of our father’s darkest moments in life seeing his loved one go through such a tragic moment with so much pain, he went over and above at that time.
At the time we had the accident he was unable to drive us to Abuja as he had a close friend’s burial to attend in Kano which led to our separate journeys. Upon the news of our accident so many people had concluded we were together in the car knowing that he would not delegate his duties to anyone. I remember when my brother was posted to Sokoto State for his national youth service my dad took it upon himself to drive him all the way there and waited for him to process and get an exit from the camp for his redeployment before they came back to Kaduna. That was how close a father he was My friends and that of my siblings cherished the relationship we had with our father as he could call each and every one of us more than three times a day amidst his busy schedule whenever we were not together. He gave so much importance to family time as he did not allow us chat or make phone calls while spending family time together. He always wanted to know what was up our sleeves so as to put us through where the need arise. He was a friend to us all. There are no words enough to describe just how amazing our father was to us and all the lives he touched and what a powerful influence he was.
Our father was loved so dearly, and brought so much happiness to the many hearts he touched. He was always kind, caring and understanding towards people. And if help was ever needed then it came so freely from him. He was a blessing and God’s gift to everyone he came across and brought so much joy to us.
Life became empty ever since he left us. But Alhamdulillah we give Glory to Allah for our father was that perfect husband everywoman would love to have beside her. He was always there for our mother, and they shared everything life could offer together. They were a great team supporting each other in every possible way as well as being there for their children. Our silent tears flow each time we remember you’re gone but your loving, caring, fatherly role and legacy will continue to give solace to our humble hearts. The morals and values you taught us will continue to be a guiding light in our lives. We will try our very best to live by the righteous virtues you’ve raised us with. We will always remember that charming smile of yours, that caring heart, and most importantly, a valuable life lesson that ‘family is key’ and to always stay together through thick and thin, and to support, love and respect each other. He was a great character worthy of emulation and we will all love to live by your legacy. For as long as there is a memory they live in our hearts to stay. When someone dies, they live on in the hearts of those left behind and when we die, we are promised to be reunited with our loved ones. Let’s hold onto hope, its everywhere in the deen. Love leaves a memory no one can steal. When someone you love becomes a memory, the memory becomes a treasure.
Nevertheless, as painful as it gets, we are incredibly grateful to have spent our last moments with him. He was a fighter. He fought his battle so well until he could fight no more because it was time. Alhamdulillah he died fulfilled knowing he had the greatest support of his family and friends who meant so much to him. We gave him a surprise visit to Cairo. Upon opening his eyes he saw us and couldn’t believe it because he didn’t expect it. He got teary and very emotional and that made us happy knowing it meant so much to him. We fed him and he ate like a baby. We were so happy to see him. They were moments we would cherish for the rest of our lives. He was always chanting praises and blessings on us of how grateful and happy he was to have us around. The day we were leaving back to Nigeria it was such a mixed feeling. He was fed and was given his last bath by my mum and brother while I trimmed off his nails, little did we know that we had said our last good byes forever because he went back to the intensive care unit that night. Upon our arrival to Nigeria the following day my brother told me his condition was not getting any better and became worrisome. By the next day I got a call and they broke down crying saying his organs had failed and he was in a coma. That broke my heart into a million pieces and for a moment I felt my world crushing before my eyes. But I hoped and prayed for a miracle to happen. As heartbreaking as it could get he was placed on life support because nothing was functioning but his breath. I am pleased knowing heaven has gained an angel by the special grace of Almighty Allah because his mercy and signs were present during his last moments. A once agile, strong and active individual who was later reduced to nothing due to his ailment regained his body and looks back as though he did not go through that phase. This was the power and mercy of the Almighty.
Truly, to Allah we belong and truly to him we shall return. May Allah S W T have mercy on my father, forgive his sins, shine his light upon him, expand his grave and grant him Janatul Firdaus. And may he have mercy on all the ones that have passed before us. Ameen.
Barrister Hadiza Rabiu Garba writes from Abuja