A Tribute to My Grandma
Deaconess Abigail Abebi Abodunrin (Nee Talabi)25 August 1920 – 6th May 2013
When death comes for some, it comes swiftly and unexpectedly. For the very lucky ones, it comes with a notice. Whether it’s in the form of an illness or a failing body due to old age, a lucky few get the privilege of putting their house in order, saying goodbye to their loved ones, and slipping away to the life beyond in quiet sleep. My Grandma, who just passed on, was one of the lucky ones.
When I went to bed the night before she passed, I had so many things on my mind, issues to sort out, people to contact, kids to raise, a job to do, a home to run, a man to love—loads and loads of things to worry about that only concern the living. And as I laid my head down to rest that night and worried myself to sleep, I had no idea that it was going to be her last. There was nothing usual about that night, nothing dramatic to suggest I was going to lose someone close to me, nothing memorable except that my baby kept on waking me up to feed. And as uneventful as the night was to me, ninety three years of living was ending for another soul.
My father broke the news to me via text in the morning, and my first thought was, “how sad.” Then I started to think about her and talk about what I remembered of her life. I began to realize that her death, although sad, wasn’t entirely so; she had lived a good life and left behind a great legacy—generations and generations of godly children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren.
My earliest memory of my Grandma was the time she came over to visit us. I must have been seven or eight years old, but I remember her visit because she came with goodies. As kids, we welcomed her and rummaged through her luggage searching for what she brought for us. She always brought a bag of biscuits and sweets, which we were not allowed to eat until after our meals. Somehow Grandma always helped circumvent my Dad’s orders, and we ended up eating a lot of the goodies instead of our meals. Then, at night, when we were asleep, she would come into our room and begin to pray for each of us, placing her hands on our heads as we slept and uttering heartfelt prayers in our native language. Grandma’s meals were also entertaining for me because she never had a meal without a big bowl of tea to go with it—not a cup, a huge bowl! It always amazed me how one person could consume that much tea in one sitting. She was sweet and inspiring to have around, and a welcome break from the routine in the house.
As we grew older and started to leave home, I began to notice something else about my Grandma: she was driven to live and enjoy every area of life. In spite of her age, she wanted to continue to do business, buy a new car, and travel the world! She traveled long distances to attend every one of her grandchildren’s weddings. She even entered the digital world, got a mobile phone, and made sure she checked on us from time to time. Even though she couldn’t remember our names and often mistook us for each other, I just loved the fact that she cared enough to call, just to see how we were doing. She didn’t sit on the sidelines and wait for life to pass by; she got involved, which is more than I can say for a lot of young people today.
Grandma taught me that I really could move any mountain if I prayed about it, and she did pray a lot. So when I Iook around now at the lives of her family, I appreciate how much she prayed for us all, and I’m grateful she did. She lived her life well and gave most of it in service to God and the church. As we celebrate her inspiring life and take comfort in the memories she left behind, I wanted to share a little bit of my Grandma with you and hope something in the life she lived would inspire you to live yours better.
A bientot Grandma.