Tribute to baba Elder Peter Onaiwu Osaigbovo
“Oto dede ukhun dede eroghorumwonkpa” is a saying my father often use. I have so much to say and yet I don't know what to say because I am short of words. Probably because I still find it hard to believe that my father is actually gone to be with the Lord forever. I feel so much at a loss because it has been 10 years since I last saw you face to face, years I never got to spend with you.
I don't know where to begin, all I keep thinking is how I wish I had that "one more" opportunity to see Baba, to hear his voice, see him smile or even hear one more of those his sayings/idioms. I spoke with Baba on the phone Saturday, he was taken to the hospital on Monday and by the following Monday, i am told he is gone. I never knew that Saturday will be the last time I will ever hear my father’s voice. I wish I have been there daddy to care for you in your last days. I wish I had been at your bedside holding your hands up till the moment you gave up the ghost! Just maybe, I would have felt better about your passing.
You had promised to wait for me to return, to hold my baby in your arms, to one day come over to the US to visit with me. I guess none of these will ever be again. I try not to wonder why you decide to leave at this time or why you sustain a stroke just when you were about to start reaping the fruits of your years of hard labor; just when things seem to be getting better for your family, and when everyone seemed to be getting settled in life. I wish death wasn’t a part of life, unfortunately, it is a call we must all answer one day. I am humongously saddened to know that i will never hear your voice again, see you smile back at me or even get a hug upon my return.
When I go down memory lane, I am proud to be born into this family. My father was a great man, who loved his family deeply. He worked hard endlessly to sustain the family. Nights or days. Rain or shine, he would work to ensure he put something on the table. Baba was a hardworking man. When not working, you would find him in the pool office in those days when he used to play pool or at church after he became a believer. Other days you would find him sitting on the chair near the window of his room reading his bible, and some days, he would sit outside on a recliner greeting passerby with a small handheld radio by his side which he often listen to news or soccer during season.
Baba, you were many things to us all as much as i can remember. A father, a grandfather, a great grandfather, a husband, a brother, uncle and friend to many. You were a farmer, trader, doctor, teacher, leader, mentor, counselor, minister, handyman, disciplinarian, a hero and much more. You were fearless, brave, strong, optimistic, determined, daring, articulate and enthusiastic. You taught us your children to be strong, hardworking, honest, respectful, loyal and responsible. Your love for education was apparent such that even though you could not acquire any degree, you encouraged us all to do so. I regret that during your lifetime we were not as close as I would like to be. I always looked forward to growing up and being able to sit with you to discuss your life and much more like you do with my much older siblings but then you died before i ever had the chance to realize this dream. I guess I grew up too late. Amidst my sorrow, grief, disbelief, and regrets, one fact is certain, you lived a fulfilled life. Whereas you have departed this world, you can never be forgotten because your legacy lives on. Your gentle, loving, kind and generous heart will never be forgotten.
I am writing this tribute with tears filled eyes and a broken heart, but the lord comforts me daily with thoughts of the life you have lived; a life worthy of emulation. I am consoled that you knew the lord before your death, hence that you are in heaven with the lord who loves you most, singing hallelujah with the angels, and free of pain or agony. Continue to rest in peace daddy till we meet to part no more.