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This Mother's Day, I would like to revisit a piece I wrote in February 2011. It is a tribute to someone that is special to me and to many, many other fine and phenomenal women out there. This is dedicated to that special woman who though she bore no child of her own, was mother to the masses; teaching, disciplining and loving young women during that critical time of adolescence. We love you. Rest in Peace till we meet again.
It was a shock when my parent’s decided to ship me off to boarding school to begin middle school (which was referred to as junior secondary school in Nigeria). It was with heavy heart that I parted from friends and family. Worst of all, I was to go to a Catholic school and not cognizant of their ways, I felt I would be a sheep among wolves.
I remember the day that my aunt took me to the campus and presented me to the Principal as her newest student. She was a Reverend Sister. My aunt told me to kneel as is the culture, indicating respect. I would not budge. She asked me again. Like Daniel, with godly defiance, I mentally repeated: “I will not bow. I will not bow.” Then my aunt hit me and pushed me to my knees. Like in a joke I've heard, I determined that though I was kneeling, I was still standing strong in my heart.
I did my best to hold on to my godly principals. I remember singing a song based on Psalms 63:3 for the junior talent show while others shared their physical stats and shook their behinds to a popular song by Shina Peters. These shows were secretly organized by students since the principal had banned them.
Once the Principal, fed up with some extreme religious practices on campus, made a proclamation that all religious material be banished from campus. I went to my classroom in tears because I had a daily devotional that I loved called Keys for Kids. I went up to her with tears streaming down my face and showed her the book, begging that she would not make me part from it. She took it from me and flipped through the pages. She said that it was fine. I smiled brightly and returned to my classroom practically skipping. I really, really miss those days of strong commitment to Christ; hunger for the Word of God; and pure desire to delight in His presence. If only I could return to that…
On the day that I received a letter from my mother stating that I was to return to the US to continue school, I was sad that I would be leaving the place that I had grown to love. Regardless, my aunt came to pick me up even before the semester had ended. But before I left, I approached the entrance of the principal’s office. When she beaconed me to come, I knelt down at the entrance on her dusty floor and tearfully crawled my way through the expanse of her office, up to her desk. She watched me with tender and understanding eyes. She placed her hand on my shoulder and prayed for me, wishing me the very best. Little did I know that I would truly never see her again in this life.
Rest in Peace, my dear Mother in Christ. I, and the masses of other phenomenal women that you raised, are truly grateful.
Let us all be mothers who make a lasting impact well beyond our lifetime...