The earth is to be envied. Taciturn yet loud. Full yet famished, never satiated. Ugly yet holds captive all that is beautiful. Under its bowels lay the best of treasures. From it all take root and to it all return, both great and small; full and hungry; wise and foolish; all come bowing to the earth.
Powerful yet humble. We mess with it. Defecate on it. Pee on it. Evil men even convert it to incinerator of destinies. It soaks evil incantations and libations. Deceptively friendly, bearing our weight but yet in fits of rare anger, it sometimes swallows up men and sweat. It is in league with our arch enemy, Mr. Death, who cannot be tamed. Death roams wild and wide, rampaging, ravaging and sparing not even cods of blood in their mothers’ wombs.
It has hit me again, twice in a year, stealing in on me and snatched my brother, a man among men, inexhaustibly loving and lovable.
Just like that, it struck me like thunderbolt. Unexpected. Inexplicable. Yet very devastatingly real. That was exactly how the sad news hit me. I was too benumbed to come to the reality that my beloved brother, Nze Celestine Emeka Osuji had joined the saints triumphant and will be sowed as seed to the earth on Saturday, June 9, 2018.
How do you reconcile the thought of never ever seeing again, except, perhaps, we both make it to the Kingdom? Is it not strange that the mere earth we tread and upon ultimately snatches our very best so carelessly, as if it does not matter? The more you ponder, the hungrier it becomes.
He ‘is’ the man that lit my candle in the thick of my darkness. He ‘is’ the man that gave me the key to the world. Though the brambles of life have done much to retrieve this key, he never lost faith in me.
I can still see his tears that fateful day he put me aboard KLM flight on my way to seek higher education abroad. He feared that little me would get lost in transit or be sucked in by strange cultures, which was not to be.
I returned home garlanded but stepped on the slippery sand of our forest that devours its own and I never got round to really telling him how proud of him I ever will be and how depth my gratitude. Till death snitched took Socrates away.
Yes, Socra, as he was fondly called, initiated me into the world of Literature and writing. He was just up there, illuminating my kindergarten prattles until I matured as a man of letters, affecting the world and being affected by the written word or musings of vagrant souls.
No, my brother did not die. Morsels of him live in me still, and in my nephews and niece.
He has taken a seat among the stars from where the world remembering him would be better illuminated. Wherever and wherever my nimble feet shall tread, know it, o’dear Socrates, that but for you, I would have been manacled to riotous befuddlement, marooned and shipwrecked by life so unkind from the cradle…
But I cannot embark on this trip with you; not even your wife and children. Reminds me of the last wishes of Alexander the great. He was indeed a great man until he fell into the hands of the great ripper.
As a military commander, he was undefeated and the most successful throughout history. On his way home from conquering many countries, he came down with an illness. He realised that death was imminent and he would be unable to return to his homeland.
So, he told his officers: “I will soon leave this world. I have three final wishes. You need to carry out what I tell you.” His generals, in tears, agreed.
“My first wish is to have my physician bring my coffin home alone.”
After a gasping for air, Alexander continued: “My second wish is scatter the gold, silver, and gems from my treasure-house along the path to the tomb when you ship my coffin to the grave.”
After wrapping in a woolen blanket and resting for a while, he said: “My final wish it to put my hands outside the coffin.”
Very curious, Alexander’s most favoured General kissed his hand and asked: “My Majesty, we will follow your instruction. But can you tell us why you want us to do it this way?”
After taking a deep breath, Alexander said: “I want everyone to understand the three lessons I have learned. To let my physician carry my coffin alone is to let people realise that a physician cannot really cure people’s illness. Especially when they face death, the physicians are powerless. I hope people will learn to treasure their lives. My second wish is to tell people not to be like me in pursuing wealth. I spent my whole life pursuing wealth, but I was wasting my time most of the time. My third wish is to let people understand that I came to this world in empty hands and I will leave this world also in empty hands.” he closed his eyes after finished talking and stopped breathing.
That was the greatest summary of life. All life’s struggles and accomplishments are vain. You take nothing with you. Naked we come, naked we return.
On that glorious day of my departure, tell me goodnight for there is yet hope of a great dawn on resurrection morning. How I wish that’s your choice too. DECIDE FOR CHRIST NOW!!! “Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” John 3:3. If you are heading in the wrong direction, God allows u-turn!
For my beloved brother, my prayer still is: As you journey to eternity, may God show you kindness the same way you did to me. Your indelible imprints, no flood shall erase and I dare say it, goodnight, dear Socrates.