Mrs. Augusta Umoren (1936-2018)
Mama, your name Augusta, was a title of honour to wives and daughters of emperors and great kings. You were great, gracious, magnificent and caring. You were a precious gift from God to my father and to your children
I was told it was not easy for you during your early years in marriage. You were blessed with everything, but children. Yet, you endured and kept your marriage.
God endowed you with patience and virtue that is lacking in contemporary women, to weather the storm from critics, both within and outside your family.
To the glory of God that in the fullness of time, you became a mother, a sweet mother!
From then, you became my first love, my first teacher, mentor and guide. You were my fountain of hope and “food basket”. You supplied my needs and those of my siblings.
But mama, you also disciplined me. I remember those whips you made from hibiscus flowers anytime your instructions were not kept. Such corrective measures were needed at that time.
All told, you loved us with all your heart and sacrificed everything to give us a future and with Papa, you made us who we are today.
Mama, you were an embodiment of a virtuous woman. You were like the merchant ship, an expert in anything you set your mind to achieve.
To many, you were a seamstress (Mma tailor), to some, a trader, yet to others, you were a baker.
You knew the seasons and you never folded your arms to wait for support – so much so that you did not only send us to school, you taught us to use our hands and toil the soil.
I never saw you sleep and slumber. You were always the last to go to bed yet, before we woke up our breakfast was ready. You never got tired- a trait you passed on to some of us.
You led us to Christ and taught us how to fast, read the Bible and put our trust in God alone. You also taught that love conquers everything.
You embraced other children and welcomed them like your own. You did not have a mansion, yet you lacked no space to accommodate others. Your instructions were very vital for my today and future. I also remember those words anytime you wanted me to assist you in the kitchen.
“If you help me in the kitchen, you will help your wife in the kitchen. A son who loves to work with his mother will also love to work with his wife,” you used to say.
Mma teacher, you were the strongest and most determined woman I ever knew. You did not believe in defeat. You had the ability and the grace to withstand stress, endure competition, hardship, hatred and malignity from those who never expected the favour of God in your life.
You were very disciplined, strict and courageous. Mama, you were patient, that was the reason you gave me the name Ofondiyeneime which means “it is good to be patient”. These qualities made you an enigma.
The cruel hand of death has taken you from us. Your soul has descended to be with the Lord and your photographs may be destroyed, but your memory will be evergreen in my heart.
Adieu Mama! Adieu! Adieu! Rest in perfect peace.
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