I'm sharing this here for those who missed my social media post on August 11, 2022.
I was scrolling through my photo gallery when I saw this photo of my youngest child with my father-in-law. My chest ached with grief, yet a smile broke on my face.
My father-in-law transitioned to join his ancestors on Saturday, 30th July 2022. He LOVED his grandchildren, all 28 of them.
When I first met him, he was a larger-than-life authoritarian figure to me. I was an Igbo woman dating a Yoruba man, and some of their traditions were alien to me. Like being made to kneel for an elder and being chastised because it didn’t come naturally to me or because I couldn’t understand Yoruba.
But as the years went on, he mellowed, and I came to respect and love him. He was a man who cared about his family. Some days he would call our house to talk to me and check how I was doing. My husband would even complain that his father would telephone to speak to me, not him. LOL. He would call on birthdays; mine and the children. He never missed them. Sometimes, I was speaking to him more often than I was speaking to my birth father.
So, it is no wonder his personality influenced some of the fictional father figures I wrote about over the years, especially the much-loved Chief Essien.
To us, he was Daddy and Granddad and he will live on in our hearts. Goodnight, Daddy. May your soul rest in peace.
PS: It’s been a terrible couple of weeks with the recent sudden passing of playwright and filmmaker Biyi Bandele and my favourite perfume maker, Issey Miyake. May their souls rest in peace.