Tribute

By Osadebe Osakwe

For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens (2Cor 5:1)

My dearest Agatha, was a woman, wife, mother, helper, counselor, teacher, humanist and lover of God and fellow human being. We believe fervently in the above scripture that though your mortal body may have been “dissolved” into mother earth but are confident that Christ had built you a house not made with hands, eternal in heaven. Our confidence is not misplaced because of your exemplary life while you were with us.

Firstly, you were a woman, a true woman; a chaste woman who conducted herself in the most dignified manner that elevates womanhood to near deity, if you will pardon my apostasy. Agatha was a quintessential woman, you were humble, kind, faithful, detailed oriented, very prudent, contented, humane and devoted to me and your children. You did not allow your physical beauty to get into your head and remained an epitome of womanhood till the end. We are so grateful to God for the woman you were.

Furthermore, Omalicha was a mother; you cared passionately for your immediate and extended family. You celebrated our little achievements and monitored us very closely. Your calm disposition and frequent counseling sessions with me and my children were disarming as much as they were insightful. You took total control of your children’s physical, moral and educational development and relegated me to a mere adviser and financier. You were the mother that had all the information and of course you used it to dominate our home and life.

At a point I outsourced everything about the home to you and only called for briefings. Agatha, you were a perfect mother, a sweet mother and your children and I can attest to that. In fact, you were a “Mother Hen”.

Additionally, Ndidi served God the way she understood it. The Catholic Faith and doctrines were the compass of everything you did while on earth. Agatha trained as and became a Catechist at The Catholic Church of Divine Mercy, Lekki where she prepared a generation of young people for Baptism and First Holy Communion. This work for God made my late wife a better mother and wife.

You will always tell me you wanted to check with Priest first, including whether we should make additional babies through modern medical technology.

Just like things of God, some of the decisions may not be what we wanted but you will only do what is approved by the teachings and traditions of the Church. You insisted that we cannot choose and pick what we believed but all the teachings of the Church were sacrosanct and must be obeyed whether it made us uncomfortable or not. After all, one must also make sacrifices. Life and indeed marriage cannot be a bed of roses. The same love you gave to us you extended to our extended families. I thank you for loving us.

Moreover, my exquisitely beautiful wife was a good member of the community. She radiated love and peace to all mankind. Agatha Ndidi was at home with everybody and people also loved her in return. I had always wondered why everybody she met loved her even though she was a very attractive woman.

But there was more to it. I eventually concluded that it is what you give to the world that you reap. Omalicha gave love to all and reaped abundant love.

Omalicha, I can attest to the fact that you were an excellent wife and it will take the special intervention of God to find a replacement. But Agatha will always be unique and there can not be two of you in this sinful world. You cared passionately for me and my children and kept an eye on us to the extent I used to accuse you of selfishness but you will laugh and ask me to tell you why God is a Jealous God? I can write a whole book on our relationship and even on our trials but in all while I was aggressive and impatient you were calm and steady. I designed the family vision and you executed to perfection. You were a banker but that did not get in the way of being a wife and mother. We salute you for this!!

When the Doctors in London said you were going to die because of the surgery you did in the Lagos hospital was badly managed, I wept but you remained calm even consoling me. Agatha, you had the best feminine look but a heart of a warrior. I admire your courage.

My dear friend, Omalicha as we remember you on this first anniversary of your passing on, we are comforted by the exemplary life you lived while you were with us and, more importantly, we are convinced that you are in the bosom of the Lord among the Saints who are praying for those of us sinners on earth. Your middle name, Ndidi is very instructive but your virtue had greatly helped us endure this unfortunate physical separation. Yet in all this we ask; O death, where is thy sting; O grave, where is thy Victory (1Cor15:55).

Agatha, we love you and we will strive to live our Catholic Faith and hand same over to our children and children’s children. This is what we owe you because this is what you always desired. Adieu Omalicha.

––Dr. Osakwe’s tribute to his late wife