The first time I saw her, it was like deja Vu; she reminded me of Franca; gorgeous, elegant, graceful, and with that refreshing, intoxicating smile. I admired her from a long distance. Mrs. Ugo Nweke, that is.
One evening about six years ago, I attended a high school graduation house party. When I walked in, I saw beautiful family portraits hanging on the walls of this house. It was obviously her home, and son’s graduation party. I asked to meet the lady of the house. She stood tall, ever-gorgeous, elegantly dressed, right there in the middle of her family room…and with that, ever-refreshing smile on her face! I walked up to her, and introduced myself. “Hello Darling!” She said. We talked for a bit. From that moment, it was like she knew me the day my mother bore me, and loved me like I was truly; her baby sister. She introduced me to everyone as so, and became my Aunty Ugo. She became my family, and I became hers.
Twenty-three years ago, when Franca, my oldest sister, died, something in me died too. When I met my Aunty Ugo six years ago, there was a rebirth… I was thankful.
My Aunty Ugo fell sick, I questioned God for the second time. I did what I have always done, rather than holding on to fear; I prayed, I fasted, and I hoped. I believed the grace of God will see her through, and that we will come together; to sing praises to God’s name, and testify her healing. She had no fear, and held on to God till the very end.
On July 16, 2017, at exactly 9:05PM, my Aunty Ugo took her last breath. At 9:27PM, the news came to me, and my world stood still. My breaking heart left my body, and I could not catch my breath. I wept for hours, but no one heard me. I called out for my Aunty Ugo, but she did not answer me! I cried out to God until I had no more strength in me to cry. He remained silent, and watched. I wallowed in pity…in my own tears. And then, I suddenly became numb.
Morning came; it became a reality that she truly was no more!
Looking at her photos gave me mixed feelings; Her smile made me smile, but tears were not far from my eyes. And then, it hit me; I will not see my Aunty Ugo for awhile.
It is important to always give thanks in all things. I am certain of these, therefore, thankful:
~ My Aunty Ugo Nweke was loved and surrounded by her family & true friends.
~ Her faith in God was unquestionably, her most prized possession that she left with.
~ She’s my Guardian Angel too.
~ She was full of life and laughter.
~ She was an epitome of beauty, inside out. ~ Her smile made the sun jealous.
~ Her sense of humor was refreshing.
~ Her elegance and kindness echoed.
~ She was imperfect; just like you, just like me. However, she was a rare gift widely treasured.
~ She ran her race with integrity, grace, kindness, humility, and love.
~ And finally, God was gracious to have been with her till the end.
We shared many memories. I am thankful for the grace to have loved her, and been loved by her. I will miss her terribly.
Life is indeed a journey, therefore, we experience pain and joy. It’s meant to be that way. However, in this journey, no matter our experiences, possessions, accomplishments, and expectations, the one thing we will take with us when death comes knocking, is our relationship with our Marker; our Father in Heaven.
Like an eagle (Ugo), she fought a good fight, and did not surrender to death, but to life after death. Let’s cry no more. My Aunty Ugo is not dead, she simply returned to the One who gave her life.
I will not say, “Adieu my Aunty Ugo, “Ngalakwesili. I’ll say, see you.”
~ Nkem DenChukwu
Sugar Land, Texas