A Message to My Mother In Heaven:
Alagi Yorro Jallow
Yai Marieme Leigh, from whom the story of my life begins. You, who carried me for nine months, offering life, protection and love to a cluster of cells forming into a baby in your belly; for that’s all I was.
Dear Yai Marieme, I thought I knew you but now that you have left us, I just realized that I didn’t. I didn’t know the young beautiful woman who captured the heart of my father, a strong intelligent man who had no time to waste with people who were not serious about life and about their own development.
Yai Marieme. I didn’t know the woman who dedicated her life to God with such faith, zeal and humility that we now have three (3) Mosques pleading for the opportunity to host the funeral service of one of their own who lived her life like an earthly angel.
Yai Marieme. I didn’t know the diligent mother who worked her entire life in the service of family and humanity, who, in her spirit of service, had really wanted to become a nurse but ended up serving nurses for because of your hungry for love and thirsty for kindness.
Yai Marieme: I didn’t know the eldest child of a big extended family who became more than just a sister to her siblings but a more of a matriarch to the whole family as soon as she became an adult.
Yai Marieme. I didn’t know about your strength and charisma that left every doctor and nurse who came in touch with you during your seasonal battle with illness and old age, inspired by your joy and encouragement despite being the one who was ailing. Now that you are physically gone and we can no longer know you or judge you by the acts of your mortal body, I begin to see the true angel that you have always been.
Yai Marieme. I now know for sure that heaven is within you and is in the hearts of all those whom you touch during your lives and in the works that you do that outlive us.
Ya Marieme, I’m now beginning to see you more clearly. I see your heart-warming smile in all those whose lives were touched by your sacrifice, generosity and kindness. I feel the love that you had for the world in all those who speak fondly about you. I am moved by your passion and commitment to God that will now and forever echo through your family, friends, colleagues and in the many in the Tariqa Tijanniyya that you were a member. I grieve the loss of a mother, but I celebrate the life of a woman with a great heart whose love for the world through God was just as great as her love for her family.
I now miss everything that you were, but I didn’t know because all I saw was a loving mother to my siblings, a wife to my father and an over-loving grandma to my nephews and nieces. As we prepare to lay your body to rest, I also realize one more thing; this day, this holy month of Ramadan was just as special to you as it was to every Muslim. That in giving me life, you almost lost yours and on this day your life also began anew. May your Soul in
Jannatul Firdausi, Rest in Love mum!