“Daddy”, am certain is how I would have called you, if you were here with us. I must confess though that, “Paa”, “Daa”, “Dad” equally made it to the top three. However, “Daddy” sounds better on my lips.
Mum still misses you every day. She lovingly and tirelessly tells us over and over again about your numerous adventures. like how you loved hunting and became unhappy when you caught nothing. Like how you shot somebody’ pig out of anger because it had crossed you causing you to fall from your motorbike bearing in mind that you had caught nothing on your hunting spree that night and when the owner came to confront you, you threatened shooting him in addition.
She talks of how you protected your family. Both the nuclear and extended making her feels safe when you were here.
Daddy, mum has succeeded in convincing me that you were Batman with a little bit of James Bond.
There is so much I want to tell you. The happy times, the sad times, the betrayals, the good Samaritans, my fears, strengths, etc. So, I will send you a different letter once in a while since I am not a consistent writer.
Today, I plan telling you more about the love of your life. Because I know you equally miss her and you dying to know more. Since I could not stop your first death, let me try stopping the second dying.
She has had a really hard time. I think she still does not want to believe you are gone even after 29 years. Do you know that, she still makes us cook festive food during “Eid Al-Fitr and Eid Al-Adha” though there is no longer a Muslim in the family just as we do for Christmas and Easter?
Daddy, we became homeless after you were gone which I blame you for. But lets have that discussion another day. Mum had to go back to nursing school to further her education to enable her get better income in order to cater for us like you guys planned it. Children were not allowed in the hostel. So after school we would sit under trees till the hostel became quiet at about 9:00pm, then we would sneak in to sleep but had to wake up very early the next day to get ready for school before all others woke up. Thank God for mummy’s understanding roommate.
But your wife made sure it was for a few months. She worked so hard and persisted like the widow in the bible until the authorities were fed-up and gave us a place to stay.
Your wife became Bat-woman. She sold water, ice cream, Dawadawa, confectionary and even started a drug store to enable her care for us properly. I must confess we did not always support her the way we ought to have. We would give the products to friends for free and made her run losses. Though she never could afford certain foods and meat, she made interesting mixtures for us that were delicious and made us look like rich kids. Till date, people tell me that, we were blessed as children because we were rich. I think Bat-woman’ objective has been achieved.
Bat-woman would sometimes cry too. but only when she thought we were asleep. But oh we would see from her eyes that she had been crying. oh boy, you married one hell of a woman and should be proud of yourself. If I had to choose all over again my parents, Batman and Bat-woman would be my choice. But Daddy, this time you would have to stay and see me grow and enjoy your grand children.
Daddy am sad to tell you that, she stopped dancing after you were gone. I hear she was the dance queen and won all the medals. She struggled to smile for a long time. She was clearly lonely and had few friends; all your friends equally abandoned her. she had a lot of responsibility from both extended families too.
But yes she started an organization that has grown to empower other widows and orphans. Yes we are all now independent and doing well. Oh boy, you need to tell me, weather you saw this in her the first time you saw her? She is indeed a fighter.
Daddy, Your Bat-woman has made you proud.
Till you hear from me soon.
Your Loving Daughter
Fati Abigail Abdulai
NB: This write up is dedicated to all the hard working widows. We see your strength and pain