It was a lovely, lazy Saturday……until I got a weird message from my sister. Did you hear that Anthonia Oji is dead? And I told her it could not be! Went to check my high school class whatsapp group…and it was sadly true!
I thought back to my last phone call with her. Did I tell her that I appreciated her friendship? I am not great at keeping in touch regularly but whenever we spoke it was like we were back to being teenagers and still in high school. I could laugh and be silly and not have to be anyone other than ‘Nchike’, as she would call me – a play on my name Nkechi
Tonia was a living saint, literally and figuratively! She was (still can’t believe I am using past tense!) the most caring, empathetic person ever. Always willing to put herself before others. Even when suffering or going through pain, she would check in to see how you’re doing. She was head girl in high school and remained that years after – coordinating and pulling everyone together. Always the voice of reason…and love! So much love!
I know I should take heart that earth’s loss is heaven’s gain and that we should not mourn like those without hope, but right now, it just hurts too bad! To know that she’s no longer a phone call away and that we can no longer have those deliciously long calls 😪😪
But I rest in the fact that she is no longer in pain. Our last few chats were often punctuated with involuntary sighs of pain. And when I asked, she would tell me she was getting better with that quiet smile you could always hear in her voice.
Rest in peace, Anthonia Egwu Oji. You were more than a friend. You were a sister, leader and above all, a human being in every sense of the word and your sister’s/brother’s keeper.
Rest in peace!
To those of us alive, take a moment to check on your loved ones. Enjoy the day you have – you’re not sure of tomorrow because your life is not your own!