“HAD I KNOWN, I WOULD HAVE BEEN DIFFERENT.”
#Jejeniwa Olamilekan writes,
Just like another two, Miss Jejeniwa Oyinkansola Opeyemi was not only my immediate sister but was the first fruit of our parent. She was 27 years old when she embarked on the journey of no return.
I’d say, many years ago our parent were blessed handsomely with three girls and two boys. Unlike in most households where sibling’s love for each other were made obvious to the world through their interactions and unconditional love for each other, we the five children in my family have gotten used to concealing our love for each other with almost daily hubbub and commotion. We became a sleuth at unraveling each other’s shortcomings.
Our parent and their first fruit turned every stone just to change the state of things with the incessant recalcitrant interactions between the remaining four children but to no avail. Suffice to say, we had never once thought of breeding an iota of love and respect for each other that sometimes we wished each other ills. Little did I know that there is more love and affection amidst siblings that fights often. We blindly continued in the light of our ruckus not knowing one of us’ demise was imminent.
Miss Oyinkansola Opeyemi, a four hundred level student of Sociology, University of Ilorin, after writing her final examinations and submitting her project fell ill. Just like she had thought, we all assumed it was the stress she had encountered while in school especially in her final lapses before graduation and also with the belief that she would recuperate just like every other illness she had once reported and successfully treated.
In no time, the slight headache she had reported aggravated immensely that it made her into a vegetable on the University of Ilorin teaching hospital bed for more than seventy-two hours; sleeping.
Alas! See how my sister’s beauty faded away like sunlight in the cool of the day. At this time was when we the other four siblings started subscribing to amnesty and started seeing in each other the concealed love that none of us have never brought to light. I wished this new development would pull a string but it is quite unfortunate that even something that much couldn’t change the condition she was. With united hands we started praying and nursing her back to health.
Fortunately, after sleepless nights of prayers coupled with shrank stomachs, Opeyemi opened her eyes on the fourth day. Oh! I remember how joyous everyone was on seeing her open her eyes. The atmosphere was so remarkable that everyone with us turned the hospital hall into a Cathedral.
As fate would have it, our smiles faded and joy was again buried when after conducting series of test to determine she couldn’t move the left part of her body which includes her left hand and leg, her doctor diagnosed Oyinkansola to have developed an egg size tumor in the left lobe of her brain. It was at this particular point in time that I realized how much I loved this lady and wouldn’t her to be permanently paralyzed.
To cut this story short, the first issue of a loving parent gave up the ghost during a multi-million naira surgery operation. Then, at that instant I realized how short life can be for a man. Every time I remember how matured she behaved each time she finds us raising our stentorian voices on each other, I develop a sense of regret, saying to myself “if only I had known I wouldn’t have been the way I was”.
I however took a cue from this turn of event and I added it to my knowledge about life particularly on how to treat people around me especially each time I remember no one knows when he/she shall breath his/her last. Whatever is worth doing at all is what doing well as no one knows what he/she will be remembered for after our ‘all’ looming extemporaneous demises.
However, I learnt a greater lesson from the antecedents of event surrounding the loss of this young life and that goes thus: “Never you take for granted any sign of illness in your body”. The moment you experience incessant headaches and any other health related issues, please desist from concluding on your state of health and self-medication but see a doctor to know your prognosis. Every big illness that kills people today must have been giving signs that we Nigerians most of the time take for granted. Don’t think you know your body better, please get a doctor.
If the Life of Jejeniwa Oyinkansola Opeyemi was truncated before it could mean anything to the outside world, then I feel I should make her demise count in a bid to make people learn a major lesson from it. The egg-size tumor that claimed her life had been growing there years before her extemporaneous demise but she occasionally complains of headache and eye problem and she treated just those. Today I remembered how much her well spent life had blessed me and I want her death to bless you and perhaps if it’ll make someone pay more attention to their health henceforth.
Today, I remember my late sister and that beautiful Sunday 14th July, 2013 and I’d like you to send heart warming tributes to wherever she might be for I know she rests till judgement day. You can consider this story my Sunday blessing to you.
#Jejeniwa Olamilekan Samson