By Adedayo Adejobi
Dedicated to my loving brother, Adebola Adejobi, for his unwavering faith, during his ride on the storm.
How do I write the words? How do I say it out loud? When death, Man’s enemy steals the life of someone you love, there are no words. Simple words don’t do an entire lifetime justice. Nothing can explain why death swoops in, grabs someone you love and swallows them whole.
So, I try to write the words. I try. I write. I delete the words. I write. I hit the delete button again. I write. But there are no words. Tears flow instead. Today, I feel defeated by my brother’s death.
My heart feels like a block of lead that I can’t lift off the ground. The sadness makes me reflect on the loss of my dear brother. I reflect on the fact that so many beautiful souls on this earth are taken away. It is so painful.
As I began to reach out for the right words to express my thoughts about my big brother, Adebola, I remembered the many valued and meaningful roles that he played throughout his life.
A brave, deep, wise, meticulous, diligent, handsome, courageous man of style, panache and class he was. His convictions were unshaken. He flew high the family flag and worked in God’s vineyard selflessly. He was indeed a pace setter, and goal getter, neat, very sociable and fashionable.
My brother was an entrepreneur, ideas hub, friend and champion to others. He loved to work, but his life was so much more than that. He was also devoted to God. Family traditions were very important to him. He was steadfast, willing and good fun. He exemplified courage, leadership, wit, brawn, care, and how to fight and win. With your death, Life is no longer taken for granted.
Turning through the pages of his life, I saw a man, who was bold and unwilling to settle for less. He lived a principled life underpinned by a strong sense of right and wrong. He was hardworking, consistent, and never complacent. You were no doubt an inspiration to me.
As a business man, he saw opportunities and made the most of it. One could say that what he touched turned to gold because he had a vision and his vision prompted him to act. He knew that two or three heads were better than one when it came to business.
As I turn the page again, I come face to face with a man of passion and a dedicated supporter of a new Nigeria. He remained an ardent lover of news, Politics and Nigeria.
His love for music was second to none. How he dissected the word came with great wisdom only a Rabbi could accomplish. As a purveyor of rich African culture, values and language, he replied wicked, conniving, and drunken minions in simple, fluid, spot-on and deeply penetrating language. His wisdom was simply traditional, while his life was a huge success.
Few hearts like his, with virtue warmed, few heads with knowledge so informed. If there’s another world, I can almost bet he’ll live there in bliss; as his last moments, an ordeal with death, were an attestation to how Eden Olonowo, Adebola Adejobi saw God and made Heaven.
Nothing will ever take away memories of my brother. Death, though, leaves a heartache no one can heal, but love leaves a memory no one can steal. Although it’s difficult today to see beyond the sorrow, I know for certain that we never lose the people we love, even to death.You will continue to participate in every act, thought and decision we make. You have left an indelible imprint in our memories. We find comfort in knowing that our lives have been enriched by having shared a lot in common. While we mourn the loss of our brother, father and friend, others are rejoicing to meet him behind the veil in Heaven.
As I look out at the faces in the Church of Antioch, I remember how he used to exchange banters with everyone-young and old, thus enlivening the church. I see many family members and friends who will miss the friendship that he brought into their lives.
His compassion, zest for life and relentless drive to challenge himself has inspired friends and strangers alike. No one could deny his magnetic personality, nor ignore his persistent drive to make things better.
He enjoyed Gospel, Jazz, R n b, Soul and Music generally.
As you went through the vicious rounds of clinical procedures, physical and emotional struggle, fragile as you seemed then, your heart was constant, determined and sure. He strove to be independent and never a burden. He gave us strength, and Hope.
The world, with all its beauty! Sunrise meant more every day. On your knees, you got, stronger, in so many ways. Deep inside, a fire still burned. You knew you weren’t alone.
It is through an appreciation of the many complex dimensions of your wife, children and family’s heart – particularly the relentless strength of their affection – that my memory of you will endure. God must have looked upon you, and knew what he had to do.
God saw you getting tired; a cure was not to be. He wrapped you in his loving arms and whispered ‘Come with me.’ He suffered much in silence, but your spirit did not bend. You faced pain with courage, until the very end. God took him to His loving home and freed you.
I am so grateful that I was able to visit, spend time, talk and pray with him. For the few times I saw him, I felt his pain and I knew that this would be one of the most profound moments that I would spend with my brother. All through the time we spoke, prayed, especially the latter months, days and weeks of his life on earth, with great hope, he sounded so strong and reassuring. I remember those deep conversations. Your heart was that of an activist, and a fighter.
I will remember your passionate engagement with life – both in hardship and in triumph. It is evident that God’s fingerprint has been all over these difficult circumstances, and death proved the truth of these words.
You did not go gently into that good night. You raged against the dying of the light. Adebola No! Death is just a stop-gap. “Thank You Jesus. Now, I am all yours.” These deeply penetrating words with your maker will forever remain etched in our hearts. The tender firebrand that you were will live in our hearts – incandescent and unyielding – forever.
It was an awful, but beautiful moment — a painful goodbye, but another sweet testimony to God’s genuine gentle care for my brother. The pages of your book will never be closed.
You may not realise it, but you leave an amazing legacy behind, three beautiful, handsome and brilliant children. They are your legacy! Through them you leave this world a better place than you met it and for that you have to be very proud.
I say goodbye with a heavy heart and take comfort in knowing that it is now your time to dance in Heaven. You will forever dance in heaven and in our hearts.
In the end, your life mirrored the grace of the thief at the right hand of Jesus and you found salvation in the end. Rest on; sleep well at His bosom. Adieu Adebola