I recall Evergreen Pictures of my Departed HOD
I would always nurse evergreen memories of Dr (Mrs) Obonganwan Edim, Head of Department of Mass Communication in Cross River University of Technology. She departed this world, last Sunday. I hate to write about her in the past tense. But I need to be factual.
Dr (Mrs) Edim was my Head of Department. She departed in a manner that has left us in shock and reminded us about life’s transience. She was full of life two days before her death, when she presided over our Departmental Board meeting.
Some memories never fade. In this vein, I would always remember how she harped on the need for peace and love in the department, following developments that deviated from the needed camaraderie. In particular, I would always nurse evergreen memories of how she begged for forgiveness from those that she may have inadvertently wronged, in the course of discharging her duties as Head of Department.
She wore smiling looks and exhibited uncommon humility throughout the duration of that meeting. She almost knelt, while begging for forgiveness. At that time, none of us knew that she was unwittingly making amends with everyone, in preparation for her final exit from this world. Thankfully, everyone at that meeting embraced her gesture of peace. Apparently, she was forgiven by those who felt aggrieved by some of her previous actions.
Also, I would forever recall the fact that she sent three messages to our Department’s Whatsapp platform for staff, on the day of her death. Those messages gave no hint of imminent death. My phone’s memory is evergreen. Therefore, I would always stare at those messages and marvel at the intriguing nature of life.
She sent the first message at 6.43 am. It was a copied message that enjoined us to learn from Japan’s gesture of leaving a “thank you” note in their dressing room, after losing 2-3 to Belgium, at the ongoing FIFA World Cup.
The message states that although Japan has Shinto and Buddhism as their main religions, the people of that country demonstrate a high level of responsibility and respect. That message concludes that: “Dear 9ja people, don’t show me how holy and prayerful you are to prove to me how you value God; rather show me how you value and respect life plus take responsibility for getting results in life, and I will agree you love God. God bless Nigeria.” That message suggests that Dr (Mrs) Edim had Nigeria in mind, on the day of her death. She must have thought about the need for tolerance and understanding in this country. Her thoughts on that day should always serve as food for our thoughts.
The second message from my departed Head of Department was sent at 6.47am. It was an electronic copy of an appraisal form for promotion of staff.
Late Dr (Mrs) Obonganwan Edim sent the third message at 7.42 am, on the day of her death. She wrote: “Good morning. Please find attached above the 2018 appraisal form”.
According to reports, she went to church that morning and officiated over her church’s activities. Thereafter, she reportedly got home and was active in the kitchen. According to a reliable account, she slumped at the dining table and departed, shortly after.
I would always nurse diverse thoughts of my Head of Department. Thankfully, her gesture of love at our last meeting, would prevail over every other thought.
In addition, I would always remember that I published a post on her exemplary motherly deed in her first class, after the burial of her husband, two weeks earlier. I stated in that report published on November 5 2017 that: “During the course of that lecture held in the department, a baby belonging to one of her students was reportedly distracting the class with reckless cries in the hands of his mother, a student of that class. That was when the motherly side of this Lecturer took over the formal and academic side of her.
“According to Duke Valentina Bassey, a student of that class, Dr (Mrs) Obonganwan Edim calmly collected the baby from his mother and held him throughout that lecture. The baby reportedly kept quiet throughout that period”.
Hopefully, that post and its pictures would remain evergreen in this blog. This could immortalize her.
Once more, here are pictures of that scene, as shared by Valentina Bassey:
Linda and I wish Dr (Mrs) Obonganwan Edim peaceful eternal rest. We commiserate with her family on this very painful loss.
Facebook: Cornelius Ellah