It was a cold night, not unusually cold, but cold all the same, we were getting set for bed, after a long day of writing exams; exams we had studied day and night for, under the most stressful conditions; you see, it’s quite difficult studying for an examination and dodging either bullets or machetes, and not exactly in that order, because we always dodged whichever came first, but we studied all the same, because deep down in her hearts we had the hope that someday soon, the turmoil would end, and we would be allowed to face our futures, so we decided to prepare for it sooner than later, we were not going to allow anything take away the only thing we had that was capable of giving us the lives we dreamed of, so we persevered and we studied.
Dearest Soldier’s Wife,
If you are reading this, it means i am no longer with you, and sadly i will no longer be able to tell you how much i love you, but one thing that warms my heart is the simple fact that i can watch over you and the children, so let’s just say you are now connected in high places.
I can only imagine the look on your face right now, but you know me, i always need to make a joke, just to keep you smiling, i am so sorry i had to leave, and i know it must really be hard for you to understand, why i decided to choose my country over my family, trust me i asked myself that same question, but the only answer i got was that it was simply my calling.
My love, i know i never say this too often, probably because i feel you already know, but i am the luckiest man alive, i knew that marrying you would be my greatest achievement, you are the best thing to ever happen to me, and i want you to always remember that.
I won’t pretend to know how you are feeling right now, or what you are going through, but i can assure you that with time, the pain will pass, and also take comfort in the fact that we shared a wonderful life together, no matter how brief it was, i am one of the lucky ones to be blessed with the sort of family i was given through you, and anytime you feel sad, and angry, just look at our children, there has to be some reflection of me there somewhere, and i know you don’t need to look to hard before you see it, tell them what type of a man their father was, remind them always why i had to leave.
Tell them that after you, they are the best things to ever happen to me, all three of them, tell Ikenna to please stop biting his nails, and to always remember to lace his boots properly before playing football, so he doesn’t trip over himself too much, always remind Habiba, to minimize her sugar intake, remember how you had to stay up all night some months ago because of her tooth ache, i know she is a brilliant girl and will grow up to be a great woman, and remind my little angel Aramide, whom i was, i know she is too young to remember me, but please tell her who i was, and remind all of them that i will be watching over them, and i promise not to let any harm come to them.
I love you with all my heart, and i apologize again for leaving you without warning, and i want you to know one thing, your happiness will always be my happiness, do not be afraid to be happy, never you feel it is selfish to want to be happy, simply because i am no longer with you, yes reading this letter, you may feel i have gone mad, and should not be talking about impossibilities, but trust me, and have faith in the fact that, joy and happiness will never be far from you.
I am glad to have spent the time God gave me with you and the children, and deep down inside i know you and the children have more happier days ahead, but always remember that i love you, and the kids more than life itself.
Written By Arome Ameh (The Priest)
Dedicated to all our Fallen Nigerian soldiers, fighting the good fight to keep us safe, and to all their families, left to mourn their loss, we pray for and with you, and we say thank you for the sacrifice.