By Oluwatosin Momodu
How can I say it? What will I say that will be convey my feelings about my grandma passing? I can’t find the words. As I struggle to put these words together, I consoled that grandma is resting peacefully in the bosom of our Lord . Olatomi Sorunke Adeyi was born into a Christian family in Igbogun in Ifo LG. Growing up, she was a favorite because of her charming, outspoken and humorous attitude. She was always fun to be around. A very compassionate individual, which led her to the care-giving profession called nursing.
Trained as a Grade II midwife at Catholic Hospital, Owo, she was offered appointment into the local government system due to the diligent and hardworking attitude she displayed. She later attended Oba Ademola School of Midwifery, Abeokuta where she obtained her Grade I Midwifery certificate.
She worked at Ila-Orangun and Edun-Abon Local Government Areas in Ife, and, Owode, Ado-Odo/Ota, Ifo and Yewa South, in Ogun State where she voluntarily retired from government service in year 1983, at the age of 45 years after 25 years of active service.
She then proceeded to establish a private practice named Ibukun-Olu Maternity Hospital in Ifo Local government, from where she entered full retirement at the age of 70.
As a midwife she had an average of 30 delivery per month during the period of her private practice, which won her hospital the status of ‘Model Maternity Clinic’ and attracted both foreign and domestic visitors. She was with the chieftaincy title of ‘Iya Abiye of Igbogun land’.
Her Christian life was exemplary. Her dedication and peace-loving nature earned her the chieftaincy title of ‘Majeobaje of Cathedral Church, Oke-Nla’.
Her philosophy and attitude to life was rooted in her undying faith that ‘with God, nothing shall be impossible’. And from this she derived strength and achieved the much she did with complete humility. She was generous to a fault, always the first to offer help to anyone who needed it. And her home was the abode children and adults alike from different families and places. As a traveler, you could be sure to have a roof over your head if she was aware of you needed a place to pass the night or rest.
Her generosity did not end with her own children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren alone, who enjoyed from her, upkeep and motherly attention. It extended to their friends, classmates and even strangers. She was a surrogate mother to many children who lacked parental care, sending them to school, clothing them and feeding them. Even as at the time of her death, she had about eight children under the age of 15 under her care.
I used to call her ‘Iya gbogbogbo’, meaning everyone’s mother and she would laugh without saying a word.
My grandma believed immensely in the value of hard work, and she never shied away from any form of labour and always told her grandchildren that ‘blessed is the child that has his own, for he shall not be disappointed’.
She was also a loyal person, and would never turn her back on anyone who needed asisstance. I remember her building a house for her driver who had accommodation problems and had served her for years. She bought another driver a van to work with after he retired from working for her.
She also did all within her power to nurture unity in her family. Infact, after God, her next passion was family. She served as the matriarch of the family, a rallying point for the most part of her adult life.
One of her grand children’s spouses reminisced that “when I first met grandma, I was scared that she would be difficult. But all she kept on saying is that I should take care of her grandson, and I should be prayerful for the sake of her great-grandchildren. In fact, she adopted me as her own, and I stopped seeing her as an in-law but as my own grandma”.
Grandma also loved to appear regal, and was known to give people who were well dressed special attention for being presentable. She hammered into our heads very early in life that ‘you are addressed the way you are dressed’.
Grandma was an Angel, a woman of virtue, a woman of immense strength, a woman of great wisdom, a classy woman and a practical woman who joked and laughed and made many of us laugh. She was a gem, her spirit, warmth and happiness shone through in everything she did.
Indeed, we have lost a rare gem and a pillar of support. We will all miss her. Rest in peace.
Dr. Mrs. Momodu