To Everyman a Different Calendar

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By Eddy Odivwri

As I sat in the theatre-like auditorium of the Foursquare Gospel Church, Gbagada last Friday, it soon struck me that indeed, the world is a mystery. I had gone to the church, that morning, to partake in the funeral service of a friend and former coursemate, Mrs Ndidi Obielumani Ogbolu, nee Osuya; at the University of Benin, Benin-city. She had passed at the beginning of the year to our utter shock. She was barely 52.

A few of our course mates had also come along to pay their last respect to Ndidi. She had become a pastor over the years, having also married a pastor, Henry Ogbolu, a lawyer and chartered accountant.

Ndidi who was quite active in curricular and extra-curricular activities in her days as an undergraduate, had indeed gone through the academic crucibles to have her doctoral degree from the prized University of Ibadan. The prevailing COVID-19 pandemic had however hitched her formal defence of her doctoral thesis.

At the beginning of that same week, I had, on Monday, February 15, attended another church service at the Church of the Pentecost, Festac Town, to celebrate the 90th birthday service of one of the elders of the church, Pa Jeremiah Olagbaiye Solomon.

Pa Solomon is a special gift to humanity. At 90, he still reads without glasses; his brain is as sharp as that of a budding teenager. He is famously called a moving encyclopaedia , what with the clinical accuracy of the historical details he shares on past events.

Though weakened by the passage of time, Pa Solomon is yet fit and moves unsupported. Many parishioners who gathered to celebrate him literally touched the helm of his agbada, hoping to inherit the gift of long life.

But on that Friday, there Ndidi layed, calm and motionless, ready to bid this sick earth eternal farewell. It was as solemn as it was emotionally-challenging. Her children, yet young, looked into space, not quite sure what had befallen them. Her husband (HIC) carried on with the twin courage of a Christian (Pastor) and a man. Yet, in his tribute he confessed that “yes, some tears will never dry”, promising that “my love for you will never die”.

While the same God who made Ndidi and Pa Solomon did not allow the former to even hit the Diamond age, he granted the latter the nonagenarian crown. Who can question God? To every of His creature he had drawn a different calendar. Your calendar is different from mine. That is why even when some planes crash, there are survivors.

Doubtless, life is a gift from God. Yes, our being careful and mindful of what we do and when we do them can help preserve life, but how much time we spend here on earth is ultimately in the hands of God, who says He will have mercy on whom he will have mercy.

In all, while I congratulate Pa Solomon and wish him even more life and strength, I wish my dear class mate and fellow Delta (kwale) sister, Ndidi, a restful sleep in the bosom of her Maker.