Big Mami etc_01
Mary Angeh Kwende
  • 90 years old
  • Date of birth: Jan 1, 1926
  • Place of birth:
    Mbu I - Baforchu, NW Region, Cameroon
  • Date of passing: Jan 1, 2016
  • Place of passing:
    Brussels, Belgium
Let the memory of Big Mami Mary be with us forever

This memorial website was created in memory of our loved one, Big Mami Mary Angeh Kwende, 90, born on January 1, 1926 and passed away on January 1, 2016. We will remember her forever.

Memorial Tributes
This tribute was added by Lizzy Kwende-Achirimofor on 25th January 2016

"HOW MY SWEET MOM LEFT THIS WORLD, SITTING RIGHT NEXT TO ME ON A PLANE, BRUSSELS AIRLINES, WITHOUT SAYING A WORD TO ME; IN THE MIDDLE OF NOWHERE!!!!

Shared by Lizzy Kwende-Achirimofor on 01/24/2016

My dearest mother, my best friend, my confident, my adviser, my best Nanny, my best chief-whip to the grand kids. I left with you in Dec. 2015 for a three-week vacation in Cameroon where I thought it was a good idea for you to touch base with your family, after staying abroad in the USA with us for more than 10 years. Two years ago, we took this same trip to Cameroon, and all was fine, and I thought this was going to be the same.  You were very happy to go on the trip. On our way to Cameroon, we played and made fun with each other on the plane until we arrived Cameroon. You were very happy in Cameroon, and I do not know what suddenly happened, and on our way back on Brussels Air lines, close to when we were to land in Brussel to catch a connecting flight to the USA, you left me, you left me, mamma without a word, so that I could get and feel your last thought and voice.  You left so quietly and went without a word. Now, I am wondering if you were in pain or not. I wish I saw your last moment. But just as the bible says, death sneaked on you and got you like a “thief”. No sound or noise for me to turn and see you go.  Mammy, I wish you gave me some notice so that I could have given you one last kiss to wish you farewell on your journey to see our Lord.

    I know you were every happy with me in Bamenda, and we drove around Bamenda buying groceries, and you made me buy all the foods that you loved to eat. You loved your house that I had built for you, and you were very happy that I honored you by carving your name on the house. For truly, I had always wanted you to be comfortable and I know towards the end of your life, you were happy.

  I just wish I knew that you were to leave us, Mama, I am still suffering the pain and night mares of having to give you good bye on the plane.  I find myself asking a lot of questions, WHY? Why? Why? The whys are too many. Why did mammy had to leave me in this way? Why did it have to happen on a plane?  Why did I not see some signs?  Mammy fooled me by eating her last meal very well. Mammy you love Sneakers, and your granddaughter Fri-Atsoh AchiriMofor had bought you a lot of it when you were going to Cameroon, and your last meal was one of these sneakers on the plane. You ate with very good appetite, and drank water, and that kind of gave me good hopes that you were every comfortable and well. So we started sleeping for we were at the cruising altitude when light was turned off in the plane, and everyone was sleeping. You and I were sleeping and I thought all was well, just for me to suddenly wake up, one and a half hour to arriving in Brussels, and I saw you sitting with your chin, drooping on your chest, and I thought you were just in a bad position; but when I tried to adjust you, I realized that you may be in trouble, and I screamed for help.

Air Hostesses came and announced for a doctor on board to come help. Two healthy men lifted you from your seat and lay you on the floor of the plane, and CPR started by one Dr. Benedette Atanga from Cameroon, (thank God for her presence on board), and stayed on for about one and a half hour until we landed in Brussel. All along, some nice woman was praying for you. When we landed, I heard that an emergency crew came on board and declared you gone. Before I knew it, you were taken behind the airport, and then I was escorted to you.
Cruel people on Brussels. No one told me officially that you were gone, I had to figure it out myself that you were gone. The so-called emergency doctors who came on board to attend to you, knew that you were travelling with your daughter, but none of them cared about you enough to ask to talk to me your daughter, in order to pronounced you death, to. I cried out there in the middle of nowhere thinking that it was a joke, but it became all real in my face in a few minutes. Oh Mother, why did it have to happen in this way?  In the middle of nowhere, I found myself calling Cameroon and the USA to inform your children and grandchildren that you had just left us. What a difficult phone call was that. My brother in Cameroon Alfred Kwende who had just been at the Airport the previous night to see you off, screamed like a baby when I broke the news to him, but I had no time to moan with him, for I had still another difficult phone call to make. Yes, yet another very difficult phone call to the USA to your other kids and Grandkids, to make the same dreaded announcement of your passing on. I could hear my son, Akehnji, who was named after your father, mom, and happens to have a special bond with you; screaming uncontrollably in the back ground after my announcement. Oh death, why did you come in this way?

Now I find myself in the middle of nowhere shopping for a funeral home to keep you, mamma. That was my next step, after delivering the horrible news to your kids/grandkids. How did I do this? Kept my mother where there was not bed for her to sleep in. Kept you in ice. Kept you among strangers, Kept you in the middle of nowhere. Mammy must have been wondering where her daughter, Lizzy, was, when I kept you in the funeral home, filled papers, releasing your body and passport to the Funeral Home attendant.  Mammy do not worry. The ice on you is going to be just for a while, I know Jesus already welcomed you and gave you the best of everything. Warm bed, nice cloths, etc,  I found myself in the middle of nowhere shopping for a tight casket for you. I had no choice. But I told myself that the casket in Europe were too small for you, and so I promised myself that I was going to get a bigger bed for you; an AMERICAN CASKET; your eternal bed with a lot of room for your comfort, and I have kept my promise by shipping one from the U.S.A, to Brussels.

How could I have left you behind and boarded the next plane to the USA. I do not know how I boarded that Plane, without you. I was crying silently until I reached the USA. How did I make it to the USA alone without you. There was no more laughter, like the one I had with you when we were flying to Cameroon. You were gone, gone like a puff of flower that just got released into the air by the wind.  I did not know I was going to make that flight, but I did. God took me across the Atlantic Ocean in one piece., for that flight over the Atlantic seemed to be an unending flight. But it did end. Thank God.

Mom, you left me without me recording all those nice Mungaka songs that you used to sing in your troubled days when some people on this earth acted like they owned you, and tormented you. You would sing these sings and bounce back to happiness. I watched it all at age five, and sometimes, I used to cry along with you when you sang those songs. I promise you that I will look for that Mungaka hyme book, and will sing all those songs in your glory, and make you happy where ever you are.

Or sweet mom, mother of all children. You did not discriminate on any child. It did not have to be your biological child for you to take care of. All the children of all the teachers who worked in all school campuses that our dad worked, will testify that you fed all children in the school yard. You put from the fire was so big about three persons had to come help you to put it down. And then after that everyone’s dish was filled up, and even those of neighboring children, and visitors. You fed all new arriving teachers to the school campuses where my dad was school Principal, who did not have food for their children. You were really a Godly woman. I think we, your children should consider ourselves very Blessed to have been assigned to you by God. You have always been an angel in my eyes. I have no doubt now that you are one of the ANGELS IN HEAVEN.

You always kept family together, you never got upset. You always forgave all, and you let people trample on you for the sake of peace, and I am very happy that you slept in the house that I built in your name.  You suffered all your life at the hands of those who wanted to play God on you, but your long life is a testimony that no one is above God. I remember when I was 5 years old, and when the torment on you was too much to take, you would get outside in full moon and lift your hand up to God and prayed your honest prayer, asking God to bring you peace. And God sure listened to you, and made us grow big and responsible enough to take good care of you. I remember I did not have hair on top of my hair when I was young for I had to sell everything that you ginuiosly fried or baked, from puffpuff, to cake to chicken for sale, so that we could survive. And the tray that I carried these things for sale and move around to sell, eroded all hair from the top middle part of my hair.  

You were almost 90 when you left us, but we still morn for you, for you were still functioning as a 60 years old woman. Your strength was that of a teenager. You were the family adviser, you were my best friend, you still did dishes every day.  Even before the trip to Cameroon. You still cooked for us at the Thanks Giving feast that just passed in November, and even all the guess that were with us during that Thanks Giving, and had some very meaningful and fulfilling conversations/times with you, were most shocked that you had left us. My In-laws, Ivo Mokom, Tembei and Lum chiawah who spent Thanks Giving with us, and enjoyed your conversations, and prayer, blessing our food for that day, are in disbelieve. You were the chief wipe, for the kids listed to you and your wisdom. You were still braiding our hair, still stitching the kids cloths, Oh Grand Ma. How the grandkids miss you. So when we morn for you, people out there may say, “oh she was old”, so according to them, you are old and withered, and so deserve to die. Yes, you were old in age, but not in spirit, and physically. you were still very variant and was our entertainer.  All my friends who visit will be happy they met you, mom, for you will offer then food, and hold wise conversations with them, until they would want to come back to see you again and again, especially my friend, Martha Ngwainmbi.

Oh mom, where are you?  I still feel your gentle breast as you used to feed me and protect
me from danger. The grand kids miss you too much. Even our White neighbors miss you. You had friends of all colors even though you had a language barrier with some of these American friends, but that did not stop you from communicating with them.  Oh MOMMY, where are you?

   I am missing you when we have not even lay you to rest. Mom, I in Particular need you very much. Where are you? Please, give me some sign to show that you know what is happening with me, your baby, right now. I am in so much pain, and please, mom, give me some sign that you know what I am going through. The pain of being by myself when we lose you will never go away. I am trying to do all to make sure that you rest in peace, but things are not working. Please, mom, come take care of me. I break down last week and was in the hospital. Please, I need your support as you used to do when you were here. You are not even gone, and I am in so much pain?  Please, mamma, give me a sign that you know my heart and know what I am going through. I love you so much mamma. I cry for you are not there to tell all, that you know my pure heart, and that I am doing my best to honor you, right know until you are put to rest.

Mammy all your friend miss you. All of them miss seeing you sit in front of Silver Spring Church after service, as you greet everyone. Mammy, Akehnji still morn for you. He goes to your room every now and then, and try to put on the T.V on the FOOD Channel that he always put for you and that you liked so much.  My husband Richard misses buying your drinks and putting under your bed as usual, and you would jokingly tell him that he is trying to make a drunkard out of you and your daughter, (ME). You will usually continue and say, “My pickin and me no be de drink, but you dong make my pickin start drink”. We all miss this peep talk mamma. Rest in perfect peace, mamma. There is trouble in the house, mamma. Send a sign to solve this. I love you my best friend, my adviser, my story teller. The best MOTHER/NANNY to grand kids.

  I wish I had listened to you when in Bamenda, you tried to give me some clues about leaving us. You told me this dream where you were in some place where all was clean and white as snow, and that you were part of this very happy group, but the difference was that you had wings, and since I thought wings means death, I quickly told you to stop telling me the dream. I wish I had let you finish your dream. I could have been better prepared that you are going, and so could have given you the appropriate “BYE”.  Again you tried to tell me and Ni Alfred that your time is near in Bamenda, and we again stopped you from talking, and your response was, “alright, if you all do not believe me, then when it happens, I will be laughing at you”. And all of us busted laughing and asking you where you will be, laughing at us?  We wish we had listed again to you. May be you are truly laughing at us now?  Mammy you are truly an angel for you could see your end coming, a thing that we humans cannot see.

  And you again, told Akehnji, your best friend, that you were going to die on your birthday. Akehnji just laughed at you, but you again ended up laughing at Akehnji. You have Jan. 1st as your birthday on all your documents, and you ended up dying on Jan. 1st, as you had told Akehnji. Why did we not listen to you, Grand ma?  ANGEL MARY KWENDE, rest in perfect peace.

  I have so much to tell you, but I am going to stop for now. I promise you that I am going to keep my render-vous with you every day, and keep talking with you. I love you, ANGEH MARY KWENE, the GREAT woman who is my MOTHER. PROUD that you were my mother. YOU maintained your integrity right to the end of your life. A lady like no other. Gentle and meek as a lamb.  Thank God for all the years he gave you to us, REST IN PERFECT PEACE, ANGEH, your middle name, which I understood I could address you by as if you were my age mate, when we were in the best of moods with each other. Talk to you later, MOMMY. I LOVE YOU VERY MUCH, AND EVER WILL, TILL I COME MEET YOU. SAY HI TO MY GRAND MOTHERS, and DAD, who went ahead of you, for me. AMEN."

This tribute was added by Lizzy Kwende-Achirimofor on 25th January 2016

"HOW MY SWEET MOM LEFT THIS WORLD, SITTING RIGHT NEXT TO ME ON A PLANE, BRUSSELS AIRLINES, WITHOUT SAYING A WORD TO ME; IN THE MIDDLE OF NOWHERE!!!!

Shared by Lizzy Kwende-Achirimofor on 01/24/2016

My dearest mother, my best friend, my confident, my adviser, my best Nanny, my best chief-whip to the grand kids. I left with you in Dec. 2015 for a three-week vacation in Cameroon where I thought it was a good idea for you to touch base with your family, after staying abroad in the USA with us for more than 10 years. Two years ago, we took this same trip to Cameroon, and all was fine, and I thought this was going to be the same.  You were very happy to go on the trip. On our way to Cameroon, we played and made fun with each other on the plane until we arrived Cameroon. You were very happy in Cameroon, and I do not know what suddenly happened, and on our way back on Brussels Air lines, close to when we were to land in Brussel to catch a connecting flight to the USA, you left me, you left me, mamma without a word, so that I could get and feel your last thought and voice.  You left so quietly and went without a word. Now, I am wondering if you were in pain or not. I wish I saw your last moment. But just as the bible says, death sneaked on you and got you like a “thief”. No sound or noise for me to turn and see you go.  Mammy, I wish you gave me some notice so that I could have given you one last kiss to wish you farewell on your journey to see our Lord.

    I know you were every happy with me in Bamenda, and we drove around Bamenda buying groceries, and you made me buy all the foods that you loved to eat. You loved your house that I had built for you, and you were very happy that I honored you by carving your name on the house. For truly, I had always wanted you to be comfortable and I know towards the end of your life, you were happy.

  I just wish I knew that you were to leave us, Mama, I am still suffering the pain and night mares of having to give you good bye on the plane.  I find myself asking a lot of questions, WHY? Why? Why? The whys are too many. Why did mammy had to leave me in this way? Why did it have to happen on a plane?  Why did I not see some signs?  Mammy fooled me by eating her last meal very well. Mammy you love Sneakers, and your granddaughter Fri-Atsoh AchiriMofor had bought you a lot of it when you were going to Cameroon, and your last meal was one of these sneakers on the plane. You ate with very good appetite, and drank water, and that kind of gave me good hopes that you were every comfortable and well. So we started sleeping for we were at the cruising altitude when light was turned off in the plane, and everyone was sleeping. You and I were sleeping and I thought all was well, just for me to suddenly wake up, one and a half hour to arriving in Brussels, and I saw you sitting with your chin, drooping on your chest, and I thought you were just in a bad position; but when I tried to adjust you, I realized that you may be in trouble, and I screamed for help.

Air Hostesses came and announced for a doctor on board to come help. Two healthy men lifted you from your seat and lay you on the floor of the plane, and CPR started by one Dr. Benedette Atanga from Cameroon, (thank God for her presence on board), and stayed on for about one and a half hour until we landed in Brussel. All along, some nice woman was praying for you. When we landed, I heard that an emergency crew came on board and declared you gone. Before I knew it, you were taken behind the airport, and then I was escorted to you.
Cruel people on Brussels. No one told me officially that you were gone, I had to figure it out myself that you were gone. The so-called emergency doctors who came on board to attend to you, knew that you were travelling with your daughter, but none of them cared about you enough to ask to talk to me your daughter, in order to pronounced you death, to. I cried out there in the middle of nowhere thinking that it was a joke, but it became all real in my face in a few minutes. Oh Mother, why did it have to happen in this way?  In the middle of nowhere, I found myself calling Cameroon and the USA to inform your children and grandchildren that you had just left us. What a difficult phone call was that. My brother in Cameroon Alfred Kwende who had just been at the Airport the previous night to see you off, screamed like a baby when I broke the news to him, but I had no time to moan with him, for I had still another difficult phone call to make. Yes, yet another very difficult phone call to the USA to your other kids and Grandkids, to make the same dreaded announcement of your passing on. I could hear my son, Akehnji, who was named after your father, mom, and happens to have a special bond with you; screaming uncontrollably in the back ground after my announcement. Oh death, why did you come in this way?

Now I find myself in the middle of nowhere shopping for a funeral home to keep you, mamma. That was my next step, after delivering the horrible news to your kids/grandkids. How did I do this? Kept my mother where there was not bed for her to sleep in. Kept you in ice. Kept you among strangers, Kept you in the middle of nowhere. Mammy must have been wondering where her daughter, Lizzy, was, when I kept you in the funeral home, filled papers, releasing your body and passport to the Funeral Home attendant.  Mammy do not worry. The ice on you is going to be just for a while, I know Jesus already welcomed you and gave you the best of everything. Warm bed, nice cloths, etc,  I found myself in the middle of nowhere shopping for a tight casket for you. I had no choice. But I told myself that the casket in Europe were too small for you, and so I promised myself that I was going to get a bigger bed for you; an AMERICAN CASKET; your eternal bed with a lot of room for your comfort, and I have kept my promise by shipping one from the U.S.A, to Brussels.

How could I have left you behind and boarded the next plane to the USA. I do not know how I boarded that Plane, without you. I was crying silently until I reached the USA. How did I make it to the USA alone without you. There was no more laughter, like the one I had with you when we were flying to Cameroon. You were gone, gone like a puff of flower that just got released into the air by the wind.  I did not know I was going to make that flight, but I did. God took me across the Atlantic Ocean in one piece., for that flight over the Atlantic seemed to be an unending flight. But it did end. Thank God.

Mom, you left me without me recording all those nice Mungaka songs that you used to sing in your troubled days when some people on this earth acted like they owned you, and tormented you. You would sing these sings and bounce back to happiness. I watched it all at age five, and sometimes, I used to cry along with you when you sang those songs. I promise you that I will look for that Mungaka hyme book, and will sing all those songs in your glory, and make you happy where ever you are.

Or sweet mom, mother of all children. You did not discriminate on any child. It did not have to be your biological child for you to take care of. All the children of all the teachers who worked in all school campuses that our dad worked, will testify that you fed all children in the school yard. You put from the fire was so big about three persons had to come help you to put it down. And then after that everyone’s dish was filled up, and even those of neighboring children, and visitors. You fed all new arriving teachers to the school campuses where my dad was school Principal, who did not have food for their children. You were really a Godly woman. I think we, your children should consider ourselves very Blessed to have been assigned to you by God. You have always been an angel in my eyes. I have no doubt now that you are one of the ANGELS IN HEAVEN.

You always kept family together, you never got upset. You always forgave all, and you let people trample on you for the sake of peace, and I am very happy that you slept in the house that I built in your name.  You suffered all your life at the hands of those who wanted to play God on you, but your long life is a testimony that no one is above God. I remember when I was 5 years old, and when the torment on you was too much to take, you would get outside in full moon and lift your hand up to God and prayed your honest prayer, asking God to bring you peace. And God sure listened to you, and made us grow big and responsible enough to take good care of you. I remember I did not have hair on top of my hair when I was young for I had to sell everything that you ginuiosly fried or baked, from puffpuff, to cake to chicken for sale, so that we could survive. And the tray that I carried these things for sale and move around to sell, eroded all hair from the top middle part of my hair.  

You were almost 90 when you left us, but we still morn for you, for you were still functioning as a 60 years old woman. Your strength was that of a teenager. You were the family adviser, you were my best friend, you still did dishes every day.  Even before the trip to Cameroon. You still cooked for us at the Thanks Giving feast that just passed in November, and even all the guess that were with us during that Thanks Giving, and had some very meaningful and fulfilling conversations/times with you, were most shocked that you had left us. My In-laws, Ivo Mokom, Tembei and Lum chiawah who spent Thanks Giving with us, and enjoyed your conversations, and prayer, blessing our food for that day, are in disbelieve. You were the chief wipe, for the kids listed to you and your wisdom. You were still braiding our hair, still stitching the kids cloths, Oh Grand Ma. How the grandkids miss you. So when we morn for you, people out there may say, “oh she was old”, so according to them, you are old and withered, and so deserve to die. Yes, you were old in age, but not in spirit, and physically. you were still very variant and was our entertainer.  All my friends who visit will be happy they met you, mom, for you will offer then food, and hold wise conversations with them, until they would want to come back to see you again and again, especially my friend, Martha Ngwainmbi.

Oh mom, where are you?  I still feel your gentle breast as you used to feed me and protect
me from danger. The grand kids miss you too much. Even our White neighbors miss you. You had friends of all colors even though you had a language barrier with some of these American friends, but that did not stop you from communicating with them.  Oh MOMMY, where are you?

   I am missing you when we have not even lay you to rest. Mom, I in Particular need you very much. Where are you? Please, give me some sign to show that you know what is happening with me, your baby, right now. I am in so much pain, and please, mom, give me some sign that you know what I am going through. The pain of being by myself when we lose you will never go away. I am trying to do all to make sure that you rest in peace, but things are not working. Please, mom, come take care of me. I break down last week and was in the hospital. Please, I need your support as you used to do when you were here. You are not even gone, and I am in so much pain?  Please, mamma, give me a sign that you know my heart and know what I am going through. I love you so much mamma. I cry for you are not there to tell all, that you know my pure heart, and that I am doing my best to honor you, right know until you are put to rest.

Mammy all your friend miss you. All of them miss seeing you sit in front of Silver Spring Church after service, as you greet everyone. Mammy, Akehnji still morn for you. He goes to your room every now and then, and try to put on the T.V on the FOOD Channel that he always put for you and that you liked so much.  My husband Richard misses buying your drinks and putting under your bed as usual, and you would jokingly tell him that he is trying to make a drunkard out of you and your daughter, (ME). You will usually continue and say, “My pickin and me no be de drink, but you dong make my pickin start drink”. We all miss this peep talk mamma. Rest in perfect peace, mamma. There is trouble in the house, mamma. Send a sign to solve this. I love you my best friend, my adviser, my story teller. The best MOTHER/NANNY to grand kids.

  I wish I had listened to you when in Bamenda, you tried to give me some clues about leaving us. You told me this dream where you were in some place where all was clean and white as snow, and that you were part of this very happy group, but the difference was that you had wings, and since I thought wings means death, I quickly told you to stop telling me the dream. I wish I had let you finish your dream. I could have been better prepared that you are going, and so could have given you the appropriate “BYE”.  Again you tried to tell me and Ni Alfred that your time is near in Bamenda, and we again stopped you from talking, and your response was, “alright, if you all do not believe me, then when it happens, I will be laughing at you”. And all of us busted laughing and asking you where you will be, laughing at us?  We wish we had listed again to you. May be you are truly laughing at us now?  Mammy you are truly an angel for you could see your end coming, a thing that we humans cannot see.

  And you again, told Akehnji, your best friend, that you were going to die on your birthday. Akehnji just laughed at you, but you again ended up laughing at Akehnji. You have Jan. 1st as your birthday on all your documents, and you ended up dying on Jan. 1st, as you had told Akehnji. Why did we not listen to you, Grand ma?  ANGEL MARY KWENDE, rest in perfect peace.

  I have so much to tell you, but I am going to stop for now. I promise you that I am going to keep my render-vous with you every day, and keep talking with you. I love you, ANGEH MARY KWENE, the GREAT woman who is my MOTHER. PROUD that you were my mother. YOU maintained your integrity right to the end of your life. A lady like no other. Gentle and meek as a lamb.  Thank God for all the years he gave you to us, REST IN PERFECT PEACE, ANGEH, your middle name, which I understood I could address you by as if you were my age mate, when we were in the best of moods with each other. Talk to you later, MOMMY. I LOVE YOU VERY MUCH, AND EVER WILL, TILL I COME MEET YOU. SAY HI TO MY GRAND MOTHERS, and DAD, who went ahead of you, for me. AMEN."

This tribute was added by Lizzy Kwende-Achirimofor on 25th January 2016

"HOW MY SWEET MOM LEFT THIS WORLD, SITTING RIGHT NEXT TO ME ON A PLANE, BRUSSELS AIRLINES, WITHOUT SAYING A WORD TO ME; IN THE MIDDLE OF NOWHERE!!!!

Shared by Lizzy Kwende-Achirimofor on 01/24/2016

My dearest mother, my best friend, my confident, my adviser, my best Nanny, my best chief-whip to the grand kids. I left with you in Dec. 2015 for a three-week vacation in Cameroon where I thought it was a good idea for you to touch base with your family, after staying abroad in the USA with us for more than 10 years. Two years ago, we took this same trip to Cameroon, and all was fine, and I thought this was going to be the same.  You were very happy to go on the trip. On our way to Cameroon, we played and made fun with each other on the plane until we arrived Cameroon. You were very happy in Cameroon, and I do not know what suddenly happened, and on our way back on Brussels Air lines, close to when we were to land in Brussel to catch a connecting flight to the USA, you left me, you left me, mamma without a word, so that I could get and feel your last thought and voice.  You left so quietly and went without a word. Now, I am wondering if you were in pain or not. I wish I saw your last moment. But just as the bible says, death sneaked on you and got you like a “thief”. No sound or noise for me to turn and see you go.  Mammy, I wish you gave me some notice so that I could have given you one last kiss to wish you farewell on your journey to see our Lord.

    I know you were every happy with me in Bamenda, and we drove around Bamenda buying groceries, and you made me buy all the foods that you loved to eat. You loved your house that I had built for you, and you were very happy that I honored you by carving your name on the house. For truly, I had always wanted you to be comfortable and I know towards the end of your life, you were happy.

  I just wish I knew that you were to leave us, Mama, I am still suffering the pain and night mares of having to give you good bye on the plane.  I find myself asking a lot of questions, WHY? Why? Why? The whys are too many. Why did mammy had to leave me in this way? Why did it have to happen on a plane?  Why did I not see some signs?  Mammy fooled me by eating her last meal very well. Mammy you love Sneakers, and your granddaughter Fri-Atsoh AchiriMofor had bought you a lot of it when you were going to Cameroon, and your last meal was one of these sneakers on the plane. You ate with very good appetite, and drank water, and that kind of gave me good hopes that you were every comfortable and well. So we started sleeping for we were at the cruising altitude when light was turned off in the plane, and everyone was sleeping. You and I were sleeping and I thought all was well, just for me to suddenly wake up, one and a half hour to arriving in Brussels, and I saw you sitting with your chin, drooping on your chest, and I thought you were just in a bad position; but when I tried to adjust you, I realized that you may be in trouble, and I screamed for help.

Air Hostesses came and announced for a doctor on board to come help. Two healthy men lifted you from your seat and lay you on the floor of the plane, and CPR started by one Dr. Benedette Atanga from Cameroon, (thank God for her presence on board), and stayed on for about one and a half hour until we landed in Brussel. All along, some nice woman was praying for you. When we landed, I heard that an emergency crew came on board and declared you gone. Before I knew it, you were taken behind the airport, and then I was escorted to you.
Cruel people on Brussels. No one told me officially that you were gone, I had to figure it out myself that you were gone. The so-called emergency doctors who came on board to attend to you, knew that you were travelling with your daughter, but none of them cared about you enough to ask to talk to me your daughter, in order to pronounced you death, to. I cried out there in the middle of nowhere thinking that it was a joke, but it became all real in my face in a few minutes. Oh Mother, why did it have to happen in this way?  In the middle of nowhere, I found myself calling Cameroon and the USA to inform your children and grandchildren that you had just left us. What a difficult phone call was that. My brother in Cameroon Alfred Kwende who had just been at the Airport the previous night to see you off, screamed like a baby when I broke the news to him, but I had no time to moan with him, for I had still another difficult phone call to make. Yes, yet another very difficult phone call to the USA to your other kids and Grandkids, to make the same dreaded announcement of your passing on. I could hear my son, Akehnji, who was named after your father, mom, and happens to have a special bond with you; screaming uncontrollably in the back ground after my announcement. Oh death, why did you come in this way?

Now I find myself in the middle of nowhere shopping for a funeral home to keep you, mamma. That was my next step, after delivering the horrible news to your kids/grandkids. How did I do this? Kept my mother where there was not bed for her to sleep in. Kept you in ice. Kept you among strangers, Kept you in the middle of nowhere. Mammy must have been wondering where her daughter, Lizzy, was, when I kept you in the funeral home, filled papers, releasing your body and passport to the Funeral Home attendant.  Mammy do not worry. The ice on you is going to be just for a while, I know Jesus already welcomed you and gave you the best of everything. Warm bed, nice cloths, etc,  I found myself in the middle of nowhere shopping for a tight casket for you. I had no choice. But I told myself that the casket in Europe were too small for you, and so I promised myself that I was going to get a bigger bed for you; an AMERICAN CASKET; your eternal bed with a lot of room for your comfort, and I have kept my promise by shipping one from the U.S.A, to Brussels.

How could I have left you behind and boarded the next plane to the USA. I do not know how I boarded that Plane, without you. I was crying silently until I reached the USA. How did I make it to the USA alone without you. There was no more laughter, like the one I had with you when we were flying to Cameroon. You were gone, gone like a puff of flower that just got released into the air by the wind.  I did not know I was going to make that flight, but I did. God took me across the Atlantic Ocean in one piece., for that flight over the Atlantic seemed to be an unending flight. But it did end. Thank God.

Mom, you left me without me recording all those nice Mungaka songs that you used to sing in your troubled days when some people on this earth acted like they owned you, and tormented you. You would sing these sings and bounce back to happiness. I watched it all at age five, and sometimes, I used to cry along with you when you sang those songs. I promise you that I will look for that Mungaka hyme book, and will sing all those songs in your glory, and make you happy where ever you are.

Or sweet mom, mother of all children. You did not discriminate on any child. It did not have to be your biological child for you to take care of. All the children of all the teachers who worked in all school campuses that our dad worked, will testify that you fed all children in the school yard. You put from the fire was so big about three persons had to come help you to put it down. And then after that everyone’s dish was filled up, and even those of neighboring children, and visitors. You fed all new arriving teachers to the school campuses where my dad was school Principal, who did not have food for their children. You were really a Godly woman. I think we, your children should consider ourselves very Blessed to have been assigned to you by God. You have always been an angel in my eyes. I have no doubt now that you are one of the ANGELS IN HEAVEN.

You always kept family together, you never got upset. You always forgave all, and you let people trample on you for the sake of peace, and I am very happy that you slept in the house that I built in your name.  You suffered all your life at the hands of those who wanted to play God on you, but your long life is a testimony that no one is above God. I remember when I was 5 years old, and when the torment on you was too much to take, you would get outside in full moon and lift your hand up to God and prayed your honest prayer, asking God to bring you peace. And God sure listened to you, and made us grow big and responsible enough to take good care of you. I remember I did not have hair on top of my hair when I was young for I had to sell everything that you ginuiosly fried or baked, from puffpuff, to cake to chicken for sale, so that we could survive. And the tray that I carried these things for sale and move around to sell, eroded all hair from the top middle part of my hair.  

You were almost 90 when you left us, but we still morn for you, for you were still functioning as a 60 years old woman. Your strength was that of a teenager. You were the family adviser, you were my best friend, you still did dishes every day.  Even before the trip to Cameroon. You still cooked for us at the Thanks Giving feast that just passed in November, and even all the guess that were with us during that Thanks Giving, and had some very meaningful and fulfilling conversations/times with you, were most shocked that you had left us. My In-laws, Ivo Mokom, Tembei and Lum chiawah who spent Thanks Giving with us, and enjoyed your conversations, and prayer, blessing our food for that day, are in disbelieve. You were the chief wipe, for the kids listed to you and your wisdom. You were still braiding our hair, still stitching the kids cloths, Oh Grand Ma. How the grandkids miss you. So when we morn for you, people out there may say, “oh she was old”, so according to them, you are old and withered, and so deserve to die. Yes, you were old in age, but not in spirit, and physically. you were still very variant and was our entertainer.  All my friends who visit will be happy they met you, mom, for you will offer then food, and hold wise conversations with them, until they would want to come back to see you again and again, especially my friend, Martha Ngwainmbi.

Oh mom, where are you?  I still feel your gentle breast as you used to feed me and protect
me from danger. The grand kids miss you too much. Even our White neighbors miss you. You had friends of all colors even though you had a language barrier with some of these American friends, but that did not stop you from communicating with them.  Oh MOMMY, where are you?

   I am missing you when we have not even lay you to rest. Mom, I in Particular need you very much. Where are you? Please, give me some sign to show that you know what is happening with me, your baby, right now. I am in so much pain, and please, mom, give me some sign that you know what I am going through. The pain of being by myself when we lose you will never go away. I am trying to do all to make sure that you rest in peace, but things are not working. Please, mom, come take care of me. I break down last week and was in the hospital. Please, I need your support as you used to do when you were here. You are not even gone, and I am in so much pain?  Please, mamma, give me a sign that you know my heart and know what I am going through. I love you so much mamma. I cry for you are not there to tell all, that you know my pure heart, and that I am doing my best to honor you, right know until you are put to rest.

Mammy all your friend miss you. All of them miss seeing you sit in front of Silver Spring Church after service, as you greet everyone. Mammy, Akehnji still morn for you. He goes to your room every now and then, and try to put on the T.V on the FOOD Channel that he always put for you and that you liked so much.  My husband Richard misses buying your drinks and putting under your bed as usual, and you would jokingly tell him that he is trying to make a drunkard out of you and your daughter, (ME). You will usually continue and say, “My pickin and me no be de drink, but you dong make my pickin start drink”. We all miss this peep talk mamma. Rest in perfect peace, mamma. There is trouble in the house, mamma. Send a sign to solve this. I love you my best friend, my adviser, my story teller. The best MOTHER/NANNY to grand kids.

  I wish I had listened to you when in Bamenda, you tried to give me some clues about leaving us. You told me this dream where you were in some place where all was clean and white as snow, and that you were part of this very happy group, but the difference was that you had wings, and since I thought wings means death, I quickly told you to stop telling me the dream. I wish I had let you finish your dream. I could have been better prepared that you are going, and so could have given you the appropriate “BYE”.  Again you tried to tell me and Ni Alfred that your time is near in Bamenda, and we again stopped you from talking, and your response was, “alright, if you all do not believe me, then when it happens, I will be laughing at you”. And all of us busted laughing and asking you where you will be, laughing at us?  We wish we had listed again to you. May be you are truly laughing at us now?  Mammy you are truly an angel for you could see your end coming, a thing that we humans cannot see.

  And you again, told Akehnji, your best friend, that you were going to die on your birthday. Akehnji just laughed at you, but you again ended up laughing at Akehnji. You have Jan. 1st as your birthday on all your documents, and you ended up dying on Jan. 1st, as you had told Akehnji. Why did we not listen to you, Grand ma?  ANGEL MARY KWENDE, rest in perfect peace.

  I have so much to tell you, but I am going to stop for now. I promise you that I am going to keep my render-vous with you every day, and keep talking with you. I love you, ANGEH MARY KWENE, the GREAT woman who is my MOTHER. PROUD that you were my mother. YOU maintained your integrity right to the end of your life. A lady like no other. Gentle and meek as a lamb.  Thank God for all the years he gave you to us, REST IN PERFECT PEACE, ANGEH, your middle name, which I understood I could address you by as if you were my age mate, when we were in the best of moods with each other. Talk to you later, MOMMY. I LOVE YOU VERY MUCH, AND EVER WILL, TILL I COME MEET YOU. SAY HI TO MY GRAND MOTHERS, and DAD, who went ahead of you, for me. AMEN."


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This memorial is administered by:

Akehnji AchiriMofor
Lizzy Kwende-Achirimofor
Richard MOFOR

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