Tribute to my Dad Chief S. S. Anosikeh
For those who have experienced loss, there isn't much you can do except remember the good times and carry that person's spirit in your heart. I don’t think I would want to re-live the pain of knowing my father was sick, that he could die. In the end, I am relieved that he died, without a huge amount of pain. That he died on his terms, peacefully. I've heard people say that they were prepared, but what I've learned from this is that you are never prepared to loose a parent no matter how old they are, because there is an unbelievable pain that goes with knowing that someone you love is dead. I now believe that the loss of a parent is the most traumatic event. It’s something that is un-measurable with almost anything else.
This past Thursday, October 26, 2006 my worst fear came true. I woke up around 3am sweating. Usually when I wake up in the middle of the night, I will go in my sanctuary and pray. But this particular day I just tossed and turned for over an hour. Finally I picked up my cell phone to see if I had any missed calls. Lord and behold, I had ten missed calls and it was all from Nigeria. I ran into my sister's room to get a calling card . I called home and when my sister picked up the phone, the first thing I asked was, 'how is Dad?' She told me to hold on and gave the phone to my brother. When my brother came on the phone, I asked him if my Dad was dead, he just blurted out that we lost him. My Father had died from complications of diabetes and prostrate cancer. It was painful to hear that such a strong man could crumble under this horrible disease, but you can't fight fate. What is done is done. You can't change it, and there is nothing you can do to reconcile it except to find some peace within yourself. But also there was fear mixed with confusion.
My Dad is Chief S S Anosike, affectionately known as "WAR" to a lot of my friends. My Dad was a good man. Not a perfect man. Kindness was his calling card to everyone around him. Surely I can talk about some of his past mistakes, but no one is perfect, and such seems trivial now. However, inside, my father was very sensitive, very caring, always helpful.
During my childhood, my father worked constantly, We hardly saw him. He had a passion for life, both in business and his family. When I look at my life I see that a lot of him is in me and that is what I need to carry on. If you had met my father, you would say that he was loving, caring, a good father, strong, intelligent and a hard worker. He was a wonderful Father and I remember many fond memories. The things I remember the most is how he used to sit us down every Sunday and cut our nails when we were little. He used to let me use whatever car I wanted. I remember how I used to write him from school and tell him what driver and car that I wanted to pick me up from school, and I always got it. He always made sure that his family was provided for. Through the happiest of times to the saddest times I know that I can always call him to rescue me. I thank him for everything he ever did in my life whether I liked it or not... I learned and he did teach me a lot.
I will always treasure the last few years of his life. We became especially close, The last time I saw my father he left me with a memory that will stay with me forever. My greatest pleasure was going shopping with him, I spent a lot of time with him, talking about business, politics, going to the doctor, shopping. I will forever remain grateful for this very precious time that we were able to share. And then we had a big argument , until then, nobody in my family had found the courage to speak honestly and directly with my father, and I had to be the one to change it. By telling my father how I experienced our relationship growing up, I thought that I was risking what little connection I had with my father, but instead it made our relationship grow stronger and a whole lot more realistic. The day before he left I came into the room and asked him to bless us before leaving, not knowing that will be the last time that I will see him. My father broke the silence by giving me what would become my "blessing." He prayed for me, my sister and my niece, and he also prayed for his children that were not there. I feel fortunate to have had the opportunity to ask for my father's blessing.
When he went back to Nigeria, I called him every week and if he didn't hear from me he will tell my sister to call and check if I was ok. I do regret the fact that I was not there to take care of him in his last days. But even in his last days he was still worried about me. I could not ask for a more caring father who bestowed upon me the capacity to learn, reach, and grow; traits that will hopefully result in my own legacy.
May your soul rest in Peace. Amen.