My Life with My Grand Mum (Grandma Martha Nang’s Eulogy)
My Sis Lucy Ngah (her kid sister) is how you always called me. You have been there from the labour room until your departure four days ago. How you lived your life prioritizing us and our needs from the word go made us think you will never leave us. Big (grandma) it was in your house that we grew up. Yes, that house that had a bedroom and one large kitchen with the capacity of always containing hundreds of galloons of maize. Big, I remember when I was less than 2 years old while crawling around the kitchen, I fell into a large pot of water and if not for your smartness, I would have drowned. I still remember very well what you said about us when we were deemed ineligible for dedication in the church as babies. You condemned such a decision and prayed over us declaring the blessings of the Lord on us. This you did, not just once but all the times and you kept telling us that we are the Lords. Your love for the Lord and His church taught us from childhood that God is our Father and that He cares about us. We saw grace in your life before we ever came to learn of what the Grace of God truly is. The kindness of your heart, the love with which your treated anyone who tried to hurt you, the eagerness with which you forgave people and the love you poured on us makes me wonder if any of us can ever live up to this.
Big, we saw the Lord keep you in good health in a supernatural way that I have never understood. Despite the health challenge you had as a young woman, the Lord blessed and healed you and you still lived a very normal life, very active in all you do. You raised many girls with so much love and devotion. You trained them to be independent and industrious women. You farmed for Mama (my Mum) for two years when we were born just to enable her to give us the maximum care we needed when we were born.
The one thing that characterized our childhood was strong parental love and this was because of you. I can vividly remember how often we moved in to live with you each week. At the slightest inconvenience with Mama, we always packed our bags and came straight to your home where we knew we will be pampered.
You worked so hard and there was never a season of the year where you did not have a surplus of food in your home. Everything you did prospered, your businesses and crops. You did ensure that almost all your girls graduate from primary school. You were such an enlightened woman that we can only thank the Father for sending you to be our Grand Mum.
We saw you honour and respect your husband until his very last day on earth. Whenever you were moved out of the village for healthcare reasons, as soon as you felt better, you will start mounting pressure on everyone saying you want to return and join your husband even at the age of 60+, reprimanding us that no woman leaves her husband to come live with the children. We saw how you honoured him and served him as a wife with dignity and honour.
Big with the love you had for us, whenever you heard of the slightest thing that has gone wrong with any of us (even simple fever), you will spend days of sleepless nights and will barely eat anything because you never wanted the least thing to happen to any of us. We saw you raise all your girls and all of us you grand and great-grandchildren without any discrimination or bias or preferential treatment. Who does that? Well, you did!
Big, thank you for raising us just the way you did. I could not have asked for more. I will always remember the times we spent together and our last call on WhatsApp four weeks ago and the words of benediction you declared on me. Well, I am sure you can see how far these words have brought me Big. You died on an afternoon when I was traveling to speak in a conference attended by a head of state, 10 first ladies, more than 15 ministers and hundreds of the world’s best scientists from across the world. The nurturing from your pots that never lacked food and motherly benedictions have built-in us resilience and a great love for excellence that we are completely unable to go unnoticed anywhere we find ourselves. Big I am truly grateful and eternally indebted for who you were to me, for the love, the sacrifices and above all, the opportunity of seeing you live a unique and simple life. We all know where you are now and it gives us great hope! It truly hurts but the joy of having you around for the past decades is one of the best things that we could ever ask for. We will see you again! Your lone sister, Lucy Ngah (Jackie).