I was rushing to Shasha, around the Egbeda area of Lagos on that Sunday evening, cutting short my pre-marital class. It was getting dark and different thoughts were running in my head, “Maybe I should not go”, “Is this a ploy to make me come running to see her?”, “Did she get someone to send exaggerated messages for me to run visiting as she sometimes does?”

But my focus returned. The text message I had received in class continued to stir at the back of my mind. I didn’t even notice anything around me. In that moment, I felt so dead. The tap on my shoulder by my friend beside me was what woke me up to reality.

Earlier that day I had received news that my mother, had tragically and unexpectedly passed away. Her heartbeat no longer held her to this world. I remember the scene like it was just yesterday. When you lose a loved one, the only strong feelings you get are usually feelings of regrets of the things you wished you could have done differently.

Reflecting back on this experience, I have come to realize that when we lose someone, it temporarily or forever changes something in us. We suddenly have a better idea how we could have treated the person or how differently we could have acted in different situations.

These lessons we learn from loss are valuable reminders for our own personal growth. They serve as directions that lead us to the “how” to live better. In finding my own “how”, my pointer was to let go of judgement. This, to be honest, I still struggle with but I’m a work in progress. Too often we form negative judgments about people based on their mistakes and choices they made that we don’t agree with and in doing so, we can’t see the best in them. We create generalizations that cut us off from the people around us.

I didn’t get along with my mother for more than twenty years, so I didn’t get to really know her. I only started to know her last year before she passed away. Sometimes I thought she had a hardened heart because she separated with my dad and we didn’t hear from her for years.  A lot of times I came in to do damage control for relationships that went soar even with my siblings. She had so much hurts in her and hurting people was the only way she knew. She quarreled and accused almost everyone including me (lol) if you didn’t keep in touch. She would complain about me not visiting her often, even when I visited her just the day before.

Yet, there were so many things I could have appreciated more by simply looking beyond my judgments. She was friendly and known by so many. She had a great sense of humour and was one person that if she told you she was going to pray for you, she would. It didn’t matter who you were to her. She was always fasting for her children even with her state of health.

Her energy and zest for life was contagious. I really admired her courage and desire to keep working instead of just sitting around. She always finished my airtime blessing me. I never met anyone who blessed me as much as she did and in a short time we really became friends. But I never told her how much she really meant to me while she was alive because I was too busy judging her choices. And now I’ll never have the chance.

What judgments are getting in the way of connecting with people in your life? What would you appreciate about them if you knew your time with them was limited?

Meghan Trainor says it better in her song, Like I’m gonna loose you. “…No, we’re not promised tomorrow, so I’m gonna love you like I’m gonna lose you, And I’m gonna hold you like I’m saying goodbye, Wherever we’re standing, I won’t take you for granted, ‘Cause we’ll never know when, when we’ll run out of time…”

The moments we have are little grains of sand, rather than waste time quarreling over something which, when it’s all said and done, amounts to nothing in the end, use that time to let your loved ones know that you really appreciate and love them.


Photo Credits :

The toastmaster as he is often called, Archibong enjoys adding special value by masterminding new forays into the improvement of communications. He uses his communications skills and writing skills to help actualize his mission in helping to bring out the BEST in people, teams, and organizations.

  • Achenyo Blessing Alfa
    November 5, 2015

    I completely relate with this post. I got along with her and totally miss her but know she’s in a better place. It’s a lot easy to appreciate your own through another’s eyes.

    May I say, I appreciate you today for who you are and who you are becoming.

  • Ayo
    November 5, 2015

    Mothers are treasures, am sure she was proud of you and the relationship built the past year before she passed.

    This post is very reflective for me, having had so little time for family recently.

    Thanks bro

  • Emeka
    November 5, 2015

    Thank you for sharing this write-up. Sometimes, we forget that our greatest treasures are the people around us and not our material possessions.
    A truly touching message.

  • Stitchesneedles&embroidery
    November 5, 2015

    If you love somebody, walk up to the him/her and tell them you LOVE them… May God help us

  • Giwa
    November 5, 2015

    Entirely true. Love them like you will lose them the next minute…..

  • Ebuka
    November 6, 2015

    This is heart touching, honest and instructional all at the same time. Thanks for sharing

  • Gabriel Aiyegbo
    November 6, 2015

    This is a fantastic reflection of life reality

  • Austin Otu
    November 8, 2015

    Wow,you just awaken something new in me,I just have been relating the whole thing with what I’m currently going through right now and I find this write up as a great instrument in going through what I call “JUDGEMENT STAGE”Thanks a lot,you are just simply amazing.

  • Isidore A.
    November 9, 2015

    I couldn’t agree with you more – how often we let our judgements & generalizations blind us from seeing true value in others.

    Life is too ephemeral to spend it hating others. I hope I can remember this every day of my life.

    Cousin, that was a really touching piece. Bless you bro.

  • victor andrew okon
    November 9, 2015

    dis is an incredible piece. I knew her jst a litle n i rememba so wel dat she ws a mother with a
    heart of gold. It hurts 2 kno dat she’s no more bt our consolation is dat she is havin rest in a beta place

  • Awolesi Olusegun
    November 10, 2015

    This is awakening! Hmmmm…the spirit of mothers is so powerful especially for their sons. I happens to be the only son in a family of eight and been away (within the country) for awhile for a better life but one thing my mum will always ask is that when are you coming home? Just this morning, I was still pleading am sorry , never sent any thing to them lately but she said she doesn’t need anything, that she just want to see me in person. I said ok! And later gave the phone to my niece living with her, that always calls me DAD, the first thing my niece would say is that dad, when are you coming home? I must tell you, that word from that little girl got my spirit totally arrested and after telling her all I’ve been doing that doesn’t give me time to come and say hi to them, the little girl said, Dad! I love you…( oh my goodness) I said, honey I love you more. I think I need to plan a vacation for them right now no matter what. Loving them makes the world around me a better one. Thanks for the great reminder “Toastman” May the good Lord bless your heart and all of us together.

  • Enoh Gloria
    November 12, 2015

    ‘Who sat & washed my infant head, when sleeping on my cradle bed, & tears of sweet affection shed? My mother.’ I am gonna retrace my ways of dealing with my mum. Mothers heart, ever mild. Treat ’em with love, they are 1 in a million.

  • Williams Chidi
    November 19, 2015

    Damn!!! I wish alot of ppl can see wat judgment destroys rada than create.
    Wat a lovely and inspirational piece.
    This is awesome!!!

  • Mayor
    May 6, 2017

    Hmm! This is something I know so well, reflect on very often and try to practice, and I even ‘preach’ about it… yet reading this piece, I could hear it calling me out!

    Thanks bro, for this inspiring writeup and more thanks for sharing it with me at this very time when the lessons are most applicable…

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