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    My Dearest Adunni,

    Where do I start from? I never expected to write this in my lifetime. 

    I recall vividly our initial meeting in December 2007 in Magodo Phase 2 when I visited Nigeria on holiday – how I thank God that we bumped into each other while shopping to pick up a few items at the supermarket. I recall how tough it was to get your contact details to even open up discussions to be friends. I remember my persistence and how you reluctantly gave me the number and then you sped off almost immediately. I couldn’t sleep till you picked up the phone much later that night. This initial friendship took us places and you subsequently stopped over in London twice to say hello on your way to the U.S.

    It took two (2) years for you to finally decide to give us a go. I recall you always said you will never start what you can’t finish so it took you a lot of time to study and understand the person you were about to deal with and it took even longer because we lived in different countries (though that didn’t slow down our regular communication during the course of the day). The truth is you picked up the broken pieces of me and molded me into what I am today.

    Our union took us places and round the world. We both enjoyed exploring new countries and fine dining. There was nothing we wanted and prayed for that we didn’t have and even though not in abundance, we were very comfortable in modest terms. The only thing we always looked up to God for was finally given but then you left almost immediately after.

    Adunni, the love we shared and the understanding we had was best known to us & was something we cherished and guarded religiously. We never permitted 3rd party interference into our marriage. We thanked God so much for what we had and prayed quietly for what we looked up to Him for.

    You were a Woman of Prayer and would always pray by our altar at 12am while I snored by your side. How could this happen to a true daughter of Zion? You gave willingly to the work of God like there was no tomorrow and sometimes I tried to imagine if all was normal.

    How do I begin to explain the level of exposure you brought into my life when I initially thought I knew it all! How do I begin to explain that I haven’t visited a Barber’s Saloon for a hair cut in the last 9 years of my life and that my great Barber lived with me inside our house as my better half? We went on several trips around the world, exploring new countries and places. I always called you my “Aristocrat Wife” because you had seen & experienced so much in life. I will always count myself lucky for having you in my life.

    I always told my friends I have all I need inside my house so there was never any need to look far for anything because most things were a phone call away from you. 

    Death has struck where it hurts most! I am still in a state of shock and disbelief …

    How do I explain my adorable and dear wife is no more …? We had great expectations from this trip and looked forward to Samuel being born.

    How do I come to terms with the fact that you named Samuel over six years ago and got almost all that was needed to take good care of him as far back as then? Who would believe you set up Samuel on Netflix several years ago and he had his own profile to sign in so he can watch cartoons and children shows when he comes of age? I recall you would say- Sweetheart, are you okay? And when I respond, you would always say you are speaking to Samuel and not me. I keep asking God why you and why now? I am still waiting for an answer. Why does God allow bad things to happen to good people?

    ADO 1, my life is shattered and currently feels likes it is without meaning. Where do I go from here? How can I live without you? What is the true meaning of life? You made our House a Home … You made our union a genuine partnership … You made life so stress free for me … You made me understand what living the good life is all about … How many of these can I mention? We visited the best places in the World and had a program for other visits. I wish I had a premonition that something was about to happen but there was no clue …. I would have taken the hit without even having second thoughts.

    Actually, I thought It was all a dream and that at last you will wake up from the deep sleep you were in. You were an advocate for fairness for all and always strived for perfection in many aspects. You were not perfect but close to the perfection I imagined in anyone. You fought severally for our success and meant well for everybody you came across. Everything you touched turned to gold … Do I need to mention start-up businesses you turned to million & billion Naira businesses within a few years all with your creative mindset and through your unshaken faith in God? You cared less even when you were cheated out of what was truly yours … You will always say- “I leave them to God” and will continue planting. You had no bad thing to say about anyone … Hmmm, Adunni!

    The plain truth is I have never seen a woman as beautiful and gorgeous as you inside and outside and that was where my contentment and confidence laid. Someone has to understand you to get your underlying principles. You were a complete Wife … No one compares! I should have known that good things don’t last forever. I got more than I bargained for in a Wife. Where do we go from here? Life is now so empty without you !

    You were a Woman of charity, and you always said- “The left hand should not know what the right hand has given” … Who would believe you paid for In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) cycles for several people to have children and be happy while we were trusting & waiting on the Lord? I was always amazed by your level of generosity. I won’t even go into the number of school fees you paid for children in your lifetime, completion of people’s houses, donation of musical equipments or your act of feeding widows and the less privilege every now and again especially during festive seasons. I still recall your Bags of used clothes programmed for half yearly donation to Internal Displaced Camps (IDP Camps). You were a financial problem solver! Madam Cedarwood Foundation, It is well! “Emmanuel, don’t stop me from doing things God sent me to Earth to do … It’s money provided by God through the Business” … Thank you God for a Faithful & Selfless Wife!

    I will forever cherish the gift of Samuel you gave us. This was what we always wanted but didn’t anticipate this final outcome. People are surprised Samuel is our first. Our privacy level was top-notch and nothing could shake or break us.

    Adunni, I could go on and on and on. I regret the times I took you for granted because I always thought you will always be here. Perhaps, I should have shown more love, care and understanding. I will always continue to hold what we share dear to my heart and uphold the values and promises we made to each other. You are even greater in death than I ever could imagine! The outpour of love is enormous. Oh, My Dear Wife!!!

    I take solace in the fact that you are in a much better place surrounded by Angels of your kind. We adore & love you but it seems God loves and needs you more.

    Love you forever and from me it’s good night and not goodbye. We will see each other on resurrection day and I really hope that happens soon. I will choose you again and again and again if given the same opportunity. 

    May God grant us the ability to accept what we cannot change.

    I will end this by blowing you lots of kisses from Samuel & myself. Elizabeth was our next plan but it is well …

    Love you Forever Sweetheart! I still feel you around me every now & again …

    Forever in my Heart,

    Emmanuel Osa Avielele

    My Aunty Ko ko, as I so fondly called you, my darling sister.

    Deki, you were always so full life – you took it by the horn and lived it to the fullest. You never let anything stop you and always found a way to get what you wanted. You did everything with passion; you loved ever so passionately; when you were upset you were passionate…. but it always just seemed to be a show ‘cause you couldn’t stop loving and you just seemed to move on to the next thing like nothing ever happened.

    You were the Master of lightening things up; you made our gatherings as a family so much fun. It’s hard to think that I will no longer see your face, feel your hugs or hear your voice tell your amazing and funny gists.

    I can’t ever forget how you would call your Nephew’s name – enunciating the –“niel” – in a way no one else ever did….can’t believe that I will never hear your sweet voice say that again. I can never forget your broad smile (and so many facial expressions) that made us all smile, laugh and more. You were not only an amazing sister – who will go to the ends of the earth for any of us (and many times you did) but also a great aunty – the love of all your nephews and nieces. We all miss you so dearly and look forward to seeing you again.

    Your legacy lives on and will never be forgotten. 
    
    Sun re o!

    We’ve always been six, five of us girls and one boy. We were raised to treasure and support each other and that’s exactly what we do. The riches of this world do not matter as long as we have each other. 

    We’ve always been very close too – a tight-knit family who share an unbreakable bond. Oh yes, the occasional squabble and bickering, not to forget the endless jests and teasing. However, we comfort each other, we applaud our successes, we share, we carry, we always stand by each other! But one of us is gone! Cruelly ripped from us by the cold hands of death! How can it be, how can we be incomplete! 

    This is a tribute to a fallen star, one I was privileged to call my big sister Diekolola Olatanwa. 

    Deki remains one of the few people who have known me all my life and remained consistent. She was a true star indeed as at every stage in her life her star shown brightly, maybe a bit too bright for some who always tried to stop the shine, yet they couldn’t, how can anyone stop a shooting star? And shoot she did until the star fell and the glow dimmed. But not after making an incredible impact – lighting up its environs thereby leaving a big hole on the earth it fell into. 

    You have left a big hole my darling egbon, one that can never be filled! My voltron and defender, you were a sister in deed, holding my hands when I needed it, dancing with me when the occasion called for it, crying with me when it was necessary, rooting for me and cheering me on all my life.

    I lay awake most nights as I still struggle with what has happened, when I finally drift off I wake up to the reality that you’re no more, perhaps I should stay in the bliss of sleep cause this reality is one too painful to bear! A real cold reality it is, what dirty slap life has given us! I don’t know how to recover from this Deki, my heart is broken, my spirit in tatters, how cruel life can be! 

    The boys are struggling with it too, Josh prayed and kept praying assured that Jesus will raise his dear aunty up, I watched as his dad explained gently to him that Lord sometimes just wants the person to come home to rest, he had to be careful so as not to dent this young believers faith. 

    How can I ever get over this, you were such a huge presence in the family. A stickler for excellence, hardworking and virtuous. You gave over 100% into everything you did and so you couldn’t understand why anyone would give a lack-lustre performance! You certainly didn’t suffer fools gladly and you abhorred mediocrity, oh Deki mama you had such exquisite taste and standard and settled for nothing less. The spirit of excellence was certainly on you. You were a straight shooter, no pretense bone in you, people always knew where they stood with you. Your loyalty to people was always without a doubt and you expected nothing less in return. I’ll emulate that. I’m glad I never hesitated to celebrate and appreciate you, I’m glad you knew you were loved by your family. I can only hope I was a good enough sister to you… 

    I take joy in knowing how thrilled you were the last month’s before your demise. You had prayed and waited for a child, oh what Journey that was, a 10+ year wait, the treatments, the pricking, the prodding, the pain, the heartbreaks. Yet you didn’t give up, you held on to God’s promise and your beautiful child finally arrived and you gave your life for him. What sacrifice, a love so beautiful, so amazing. A love so costly too, only too costly for us as we lost you. He will be raised well Deki, raised to remember the loving, amazing soul his mother was. We’ll make sure he remembers you. He will celebrate you, his children will as well, so your legacy lives on my Deki. Please Celebrate my sister with me, celebrate her, she did well!

    Once again you stung us o death, you stung us badly. But where is thy sting, where is thy victory now o grave! Deki will live forever, forever in our hearts, forever in our thoughts and forever in our discussions. You won Deki , you fought a good fight and won. 

    Abimbola Dayo-Adewoye 

    Rest now my beloved sister, rest, the toiling is over, it’s time to rest. Odaro egbon mi atata till we meet to part no more

    TRIBUTE TO A SWEET SOUL… OUR WIFE OUR IYAWO 
    We have tried our best to put words together, but we still can’t find any.
    IYAWO!! this hits us so so hard..
    Never did we think there will be a time to write about you in such a manner..
    You are and will forever be our sweetheart and a super human..
    We spoke every week and you always wanted the best for everyone around you..
    You always cared for our children and we can never ever forget how you call on video calls to see them smile and happy…
    We made sure our three daughters were your god-daughters because you showed us love unspeakable..
    You became our sister in-love by both love and heart..And from the first day, you never changed..
    Oh death, where is thy sting—
    THIS WAS NEVER THE PLAN…
    Not even when our Joy came in full…
    IYAWO— we cant question God, but we hope to meet you on the resurrection morning and we pray that in the next life (if any) , you will still be our sister and we will still love you so so so so so much…
    Rest in Glory and May we be consoled by the grace of God…
    .
    .
    Love always 

    I am speechless, I am livid& I have lost words to express how I truly feel. Death, must you be this cruel? 

    How can my Iyawo be gone? How can I be writing a tribute to someone who was a blessing to my family? How can I express the pain over the demise of someone I had a larger than life impression of? How can I come to terms with the fact that our Angel& pride is no more?

    Sister Dieko, one of the greatest regrets is that I never really expressed how much you were loved& appreciated, as I would have loved to.

    You were always there for Me, in my highs& lows. You were patient, tolerant& always listened to me, even when I was speaking tons of gibberish. You always prayed for me, supported me& wished me well in all my endeavors in life.

    You were an epitome of a selfless, caring& virtuous woman. You were the most accommodating person I ever met.

    You redefined the true meaning of an in-law because I saw you more as an elder sister than my brothers wife. You were my Madam Fix-it, solving even the most difficult of issues.

    You were a pillar of strength & support, not just to my brother but to his siblings as well. You were the wind behind him that propelled him into lofty heights, success & greatness he has achieved today.

    I remember the role you played during my mum’s demise. Your presence, actions& overall support gave us succour & you eventually grew into a mother figure in our lives.

    You were also deeply religious. You loved GOD unconditionally & always put him first in all you did. You were a prayer warrior too& I felt safe sharing my dreams with you. With your unwavering faith& undying love for GOD, little wonder the heights& success you attained in your brief sojourn on Earth.

    And as for those of us you left behind, particularly your husband, Baby& siblings, I want us to take solace in the fact that my Iyawo is with GOD the almighty. We should thus be thankful that we had an encounter with an Angel in human form, because you touched our lives& blessed us in inexplicable ways.

    And the only way we can make Angel Dieko proud is by holding strongly to the virtues she stood for.

    Just like the great Julius Ceasar, VENI, VEDI, VECI( You came, You Saw& You conquered) but your life was like a candle in the wind, you illuminated so many lives.. But only for a short while.

    Angel Dieko, it is not how long a person lives that matters, but how well the person lived & what legacies were left behind.

    From the inner recesses of my soul, I want to thank you once more for being a part of my life. I will always mourn you & you will be sorely missed.

    ADIEU

    My Dear IYALE MI has gone to be with the lord, we were all shattered when we heard the news of your demise, our pillars came crashing down, it was a bitter pill to swallow, we have definitely lost a strong, virtuous, prayerfully and loving being and the heavens have gained an angel, your strength and all the virtues you stood for I admired it a lot about you and how u tried to impact and touch us all with the love that you had enough to express and touch lives with.

    My IYALE MI has done to be with the lord and may the lord grant you eternal rest. Forever in our hearts ADIEU MY BEAUTIFUL AND SWEET IYALE MI

    GOLDEN DEE

    How do I say ‘Goodbye’ to a sister-in-law who loved me like her own sister?

    Sis D, as I always call you, You were more than a sister to me. You were one I ran to each time I was in a fix, the only person I complained to…

    O! You listened to me and several times I had issues you advised me to ‘step up my spiritual game.’

    You were a perfect Proverbs 31 woman. 

    The way you cared for your husband was next to none. You pack his luggage, select his clothes and all he needs for each trip.

    Your friendship was everything. I remember my daughter asking you if Uncle Emmanuel’s name was “sweetheart” cos that’s the only name she heard you call him.

    You were so caring, so full of life. Oh my sister, I enjoyed every moment we spent together.

    I remember meeting you in Daddy’s house in 2008. Daddy called to tell you I was in town and could only trust me with you. We went out and our bond grew. You decided to pick me up as a Fresher in England, took me to school and helped with my shopping.

    I still remember vividly how hard it was securing the exact accommodation I had in mind. You ensured I got my keys before leaving my school.

    You visited me several times in England. I spent sometime in your home and I was welcomed, I felt at home. 

    Back in Nigeria, nothing changed; we were always talking on the phone all through my Job hunting days. You were there and allowed me to stay with your Dad in Abuja.

    Sis D you were a blessing to me, I remember how excited you were planning my wedding, shopping… Sacrifices you made to get the chairs and Aunty Laura to Benin. 

    Today I am close to my sisters in law because you were a model. With you there was no barrier.

    I admired you alot and everyone close to me has a thing or two to say about you. You were an ideal woman.

    An ASTUTE business woman, a loving wife and a fantastic daughter in law to my Parents.

    I went through you to get things from Daddy and your husband and when you dont give your blessing I usually let it go.

    You genuinely wanted the best for me intellectually, in marriage, spiritually, in business etc. You supported me, cheered me, You saw more in me that I even saw in myself.

    You encouraged me to always pray for my siblings.

    You were a star Sis D, my Brother had zero worries with you…. almost everything I admired about my brother’s dress sense had to do with you.

    I know I told you thank you several times but I sometimes feel I didnt say it enough.

    I pray all you stood for lives forever.

    I pray for your son and your husband.

    Sis D, continue to watch over them.

    It’s hard to say Goodbye…. but that’s what it has come to.

    May God help us understand this.

    I love you.