“Remember” is not the word you use for someone unforgettable! You simply don’t go a day without reminiscing over something they did or said and even when you do, your life by default responds to what they would have said given the situation you find yourself.
Uncle Sam is present! He is not just present by being here through the legacy he built in lives and communities, for Kingdom and humanity, he is a PRESENT, a gift that we will always be thankful to God for.
When you passed on last year, I couldn’t bring myself to cry, I still haven’t. I went into shock because we had plans about uniting the family, rebuilding broken down altars and changing the few negative narratives around our families for good. Sometimes, when I think about our several conversations from my teenager years – how you encouraged me to speak up, how we would negotiate my ‘punishment’ because I dropped the ball concerning something you had said not to do…I smile. I’m always in your defence, telling all who cared to listen, that you are not a difficult person to live with as long as they obeyed your instructions. But they don’t believe me and truly never did stay long with you, but I did and our friendship (despite the age gap) grew till you passed on.
Being a voracious reader with no TV to watch back then (because you didn’t want one contaminating my values), I remember the look of disappointment on your face when you ‘caught’ me reading a James Hardley Chase! If anyone knows a “Chase” book, you would recall that the cover would definitely be that of a semi-clad woman. But like I told you in my defence, that it was a thriller and had no sexual thingy in it..and boy, I love thrillers! You still felt, the pictures were suggestive and would pollute the mind. You bi Deeperlife Pastor, what did I expect?! I particularly didn’t like the pictures either, but I needed to read the stories. So I resorted to taking off the back…or covering them with used calendar to avoid-stories-that-touch. I think eventually I stopped reading them whilst with you so I don’t feel guilty.
One of our favourite pastime were our conversations! You would ask me what I did during the day after school, write about my holiday when I returned from Port-Harcourt (it was in one of my “How I spent my holiday” that you learnt what I had been up to as I would give details) poor child, what did I know. I was just being myself, saying it the way it is. But these are the values I learnt from you, speaking the truth at all times and with boldness. Our conversations even after I had gotten married, was one that Oba couldn’t interrupt. LOL. He had his own special time with you.
I remember on one of your visits to see Daddy, you said to me, “you guys are still ‘disturbing’ popsie” and I responded, “you know your brother, he doesn’t know when to stop because as far as he is concerned, we will always be his children”. You continued that he still treats you guys as little brothers too even after marriage and children (and I wasn’t even married then) and we laughed conspiratorially because that’s Daddy for you.
Your commission to Ini and I to gather information and write about the family was never done. Will we do it? I don’t know, but one thing I do know is, I will keep sharing your values, the Word, listening to your VNs and reading the few chats I have left of you and remembering the Uncle who became a 2nd father to me.
Happy posthumous 70th birthday to you Uncle Sam, I miss you so much!
@imanikel 02032023 (c) Frances Kelvin Otung
I Manifest Adonai’s Nature