Sunday, May 8, 2011

My life as Remi's daughter

I got my first ever mother's day card this year :o)


It had me thinking about my mom and how much I miss her.

I find it remarkable that I have so many memories of her... She passed when I was 20 and I didn't like her very much in my teens, so I didn't listen to her much. Not having to deal with her "DRAMA" was one of the reasons I loved boarding school. She was ALWAYS up in my business!! She once called a guy I had just broken up with to tell him not to take me seriously as I "didn't know what I was doing". aaaarrrgh!! Who does that?! She said he was "husband material" I was 17.....

Remi was a force of nature!! Everybody knew her everywhere we went. She considered it her life's mission to stand up for folks who couldn't stand up for themselves. Case in point:
Many many years ago...I don't know exactly, lets just say '97 or 98 when fuel scarcity had become the norm in Nigeria. She was at a filling station when a random guy was accosted by some mobile policemen as he was leaving with his jerry can of fuel. They attempted to impound his "treasure"(which he had queued for hours for) on the grounds that it was illegal to carry fuel around in a jerry can. Classic case of "chancing"(like seniors in secondary school used to do to juniors). Of course my mom couldn't stand by and watch. She marched straight to the policemen and told them off for taking advantage of the guy, reminding them that because of their uniforms, they could easily have jumped the queue and gone straight to the pump. She made them return his jerry can of fuel and then gave one of them her keys, pointed out her car and had him drive it all the way to the front and fill her tank. She must've been feeling like VOLTRON.. Defender of the universe.

Now that I have children of my own, I realize what HUGE sacrifices she must have made, raising all five of us. Me especially, cos I was a VERY troublesome energetic child. She showed us tough love!! and is alive in my heart, almost 12 years later just like my dear friend reminded me when she replied my tweet earlier today.


@ To live in the hearts of those you love is not to die..She lives on in you as you live out those ideals she taught you.
Reminded me of a facebook note I wrote 2years ago on the anniversary of her passing...


My life as Remi's daughter part 1

by Gbemi Adekoya on Wednesday, September 16, 2009 at 12:15pm

“GBEMI!” Her voice rang out. “Are you sleeping? That seems to be all you do these days” 

“This woman has come again oh!” I thought silently to myself. “I’m on holiday, am I not allowed to sleep anymore? I’m here now, why did u call me?” I asked her, giving her ‘the look’.
I want you to fix this weave for me. I don’t feel like going to the salon, she said.
“FIX WEAVE?? Me I don’t know how to fix it oh! You better just go the salon jeje”, I exclaimed, thinking “does this woman know what she’s saying”.
“Come and fix it jare! The thing is easy to fix. I watched the stylist closely the last time I was at the salon and I’m sure you can do it. Just weave the hair and sew the weave on. Don’t worry I’ll show you.”
“Hmm, if I spoil it, don’t shout oh!” I warned her.
“You won’t spoil it. I’ll guide you through the process.” She seemed confident, so we started.
Fast forward a few hours later and several warnings from her “if you prick me with that needle one more time, you’ll be in trouble” and my “sorry now, I didn’t do it on purpose”, we were done and then, she attempted to pay me.
“What’s that?” I asked her, really surprised. “Why would I take money from you for making your hair?”
“Bring your right hand here!” she commanded, putting N250 in it. She held on to my hand and said to me:
“I am paying the same amount I paid the stylist a few weeks ago to teach you a lesson. This is so important; you must pass it on to your children. YOU CAN MAKE MONEY FOR THE REST OF YOUR LIFE IF YOU LEARN HOW TO DO THINGS WITH YOUR HANDS. School is important, but you must acquire skills. Learn all you can, because LEARNING IS A TREASURE TO TAKE WITH YOU EVERYWHERE YOU GO. If you get robbed or ever lose everything, you can start afresh if you know how to do something. More importantly, you would never have to be at the mercy of anyone, because you can generate your own resources.”
This happened many years ago. I must have been 15 or 16. I don’t know the exact date, nor did I pay much attention to her words then, but they have gone on to shape my life and inform my career choices.
I have not only made a living from turning the gift God gave me into a skill, I have given the 7(and counting) people on my team the opportunity to earn a living and I have also made many women happy.
It’s exactly 10 years since you’ve been gone and I’ve been so busy following your advice, I only just found time to write this tribute now. You packed into 44 years what many cannot attempt in 100. I am privileged to have been born by you.
SHALOM OLUREMI OLUSOLA SODUNKE (22-10-1955 to 16-9-1999) RIP

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Oluwaseyi OguntuboSeyi Soremekun AdegbesanAdedayo Odunfa-Badipeand 10 others like this.
    Happy Mother's day Mommy. I loooooooove you.

    23 comments:

    1. This was a beautiful tribute Gbemi
      I'm sure your mum will be so proud of you

      You know what they say about 'when people are too similar, they don't get along?'....I believe you are very much like your mother - Industrious and bold.

      You have definitely done her proud
      xoxoxoxoxoxox

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    2. Awwww...this is sooo touching. I dont know what i'll do if my mum passes anytime soon. Oh god! We werent fans of each other in my first ffew teenage years either. But the physical distance between us is doing so much wonders. Last I checked, I realised I was becoming tooo much like her! :-o. I love her to death!

      I pray that you will get that far and even beyond for your own kids.

      Welll done...and Happy Mother's day.

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    3. Awww.... this is so nice and touching at the same time. May her soul rest in perfect peace.

      ReplyDelete
    4. Aww that was a wonderful tribute to your mom! May her soul continue to rest in perfect peace.

      And Happy Mother's Day to you, may God grant you the strength, grace, wisdom, and resources to continue to be a GREAT mother! God bless

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    5. awww... what a beautiful post. May she continue to rest in peace.

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    6. so lovely..... May her soul rest in perfect peace.. I really love how she dealt with the police guys. Good 4 them.
      www.secretlilies.blogspot.com

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    7. Wow, you did actually emphasise the right text Gbemi. May her soul RIP. Those lessons are deep, I'm a stickler for learning too, so this post just hit the right cord. Thanks for sharing, it is a good one to pass to generations. God bless you too for heeding the advice.

      www.folafayo.blogspot.com

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    8. Great post Gbemi! It's nice to be reminded that even though our mums drive us crazy sometimes, we still need to appreciate them. I love the lesson your mum taught you about acquiring skills and learning a trade- look how far it's got you! Bless you, and happy mother's day!

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    9. OMG, the remembrance you quoted from FB almost brought tears to my eyes. Mothers are awesome.

      ReplyDelete
    10. O my goodness! This made all sorts of emotions run through me. We never really appreciate our parents (mums esp) till we get that independence we desperately longed for as teenagers.

      Your mum was a beautiful, good woman and i'm happy you didn't take her teachings for granted. May her soul rest in peace and God bless you for sharing. xoxo

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    11. *A standing ovation*


      words are not enough to express my feelings.

      I would pass such words of wisdom to my children, i wish i had heed to such advice in the past.

      ReplyDelete
    12. wow girl this is beautiful. Your mum is absolutely right . I also think you take after her in so many ways like i say to my friend at work who lost her dad recently gorl you should be proud, so proud to have had the pleasure of having a mom like yours. The memories of her i'm sure are definitely worth their weight in gold. You should be thankful not sad (although i know that you'll still feel a bit sad cos we're human) but still you should be happy and thank God for giving you a mother such as her no matter how short the time you had together was.
      err..... now that we have finished all the big grammer when are you sending me my dress??????????!!!!!! (just thought to make you laugh a bit)
      YETUNDE

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    13. A beautiful tribute to what sounds like an amazing woman. Happy mothers day in arrears.

      ReplyDelete
    14. Happy Smiles.. HAPPY MOTHERS TO U AND UR MUMMY...

      She was very wise and still wise, her words have made a positive impact to u and your future. May her legacy forever live on in you heart.

      I make effort to appreciate my mum everyday and thank God she is my best friend.. I pray she will live to eat the fruits of her labour. I also pray you will live to eats fruits of your own labour with ur lovely kiddies....

      :):):)

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    15. Thank you ladies :-*
      May we find grace from God to be good mothers and grow old to see our children's children

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    16. So sweet. Happy mother's day. Memories are precious!

      Adiya
      http://thecornershopng.blogspot.com

      ReplyDelete
    17. Oh wow! Where have I been, and how did I miss this post???
      So touching. Such a lovely tribute! May you do the same and even more for your own children.

      God bless you.

      ReplyDelete
    18. awww my mom behaves the same way...asin we never get along @all she is always all up in my business....she even forced me to learn how to bake and how to braid hair when i was 14. At some point she wanted to force me into learning how to sew, make beads and tie gele but i managed to escape those ones...im trying to build my relationship with her and i really do appreciate her efforts though we dont see eye to eye

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    19. You were blessed indeed to have her as a mom....:)

      ReplyDelete
    20. awwwww This is so cute! So I have been going through your blog for an entire hour now (according to ur guest from around the world thing>>) and I absolutely love it: your dresses and your inspiring posts! It is way too obvious how much you love God and your family (my two most important values too)
      BUT THIS post got me choked up! I just lost my mum about 15months ago too and it really is incredible how so many 'insignificant' memories have come to mean so much now. Thank God for great legacies to follow.

      P.s. your mum and mine have the same birthday AND I was 20 when my mum passed too - what a coincidence!

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    21. This post is very inspiring especially the part you highlighted in bold. Makes me want to really learn a skill that can work for me. Thank you so much for this.

      Came across your blog today and I'm impressed.

      Well done.

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    22. toluuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuTuesday, January 17, 2012

      lovely ,may her soul rest in peace

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    23. This is so sweet
      My grandma just passed away
      and i still can't write about it
      sometimes i feel numb
      why can't i have feelings like everyone else?
      But she did impact many people's lives including mine
      she was 5 feet of pure energy.

      ReplyDelete

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