- 39 years old
- Date of birth: Oct 21, 1974
- Date of passing: Feb 8, 2014
|...And when there was nothing more to add, He knew His masterpiece was complete, And so He called her Ajoke...omo apinkunle fun oba je, omo ada'so si'le d'oye, omo Olorun Oba ogo...|
It has been three years battling the ups and down of cancer. And Ajoke fought valiantly. Her words? "Cancer thinks it has been dealing with people. But in me it has met its match." She gave as good as she got...we all did till it was glaring that God needed His angel more than we needed her to stay. It is still surreal...it is still not possible to imagine her...not here. She lives...just not on this side of life and thats fine...that thought comforts.
This memorial website is created in loving memory of Ajoke Jemigbeyi, 39, born on October 21, 1974 and slipping gently away on February 8, 2014. We will remember her forever. This poem, sent by a dear friend, is dedicated to her...she loved poems and wrote herself.
You would know the secret of death.
But how shall you find it unless you seek it in the heart of life?
The owl whose night-bound eyes are blind unto the day cannot unveil the mystery of light.
If you would indeed behold the spirit of death, open your heart wide unto the body of life.
For life and death are one, even as the river and the sea are one.
In the depth of your hopes and desires lies your silent knowledge of the beyond;
And like seeds dreaming beneath the snow your heart dreams of spring.
Trust the dreams, for in them is hidden the gate to eternity.
Your fear of death is but the trembling of the shepherd when he stands before the king whose hand is to be laid upon him in honour.
Is the shepherd not joyful beneath his trembling, that he shall wear the mark of the king?
Yet is he not more mindful of his trembling?
For what is it to die but to stand naked in the wind and to melt into the sun?
And what is to cease breathing, but to free the breath from its restless tides, that it may rise and expand and seek God unencumbered?
Only when you drink from the river of silence shall you indeed sing.
And when you have reached the mountain top, then you shall begin to climb.
And when the earth shall claim your limbs, then shall you truly dance.
"Hey Babe...I came by here again to say hey...I carry you with me everyday sis J...everyday.
And I miss you..everyday. Its frustrating to not be able to talk to you when I want to but...it is more agreeable now...I think of you with a smile now, with nostalgia. Sometimes with pain, sometimes without but always with a longing. Always.
Sometimes the pain comes like a bolt out of the blue, something unexpected triggers it. And it hits me from the blind side unexpectedly. I grope blindly for a shoulder, an ear, someone's hair (sorry Joy...) to cry into because the force of the gale shocks even me. It is wrenching when that happens, inexplicable and it comes from somewhere so deep that i had imagined it sealed up.
But time has shown me that it never will be...It will just be. I think the only thing that seals it up and makes it better is that bright morning when I see you again on the other side of eternity. Oh to hug you again...wow. Dear God please look not upon my sin and help me to make heaven so I get to see Sis Joke again.
I expect it will always be this way...I will always miss you. I have made my peace with it...the memory of you I carry with me. And it is ok.
By the way, Jasmine is taller than me now...at 10. The girl is still growing, all arms and legs lol! Tuoyo has lost the baby fat, he is a kind, compassionate boy. Very smart at school too. God watches us sis J...you are not to worry. Curtis, Mom, the rest of us...everyone is good.
Take care my sister, my friend...I love you...always have, always will."
"Ajoke mi, thinking of you today. I got a notification on Facebook to wish you a happy birthday...so I am doing that. I decided not to do it on Facebook but to come here. Thinking of how you left is still painful but I take solace in the fact that you are free from pain and basking in the presence of the Lord. Hope you've had a fantastic birthday - our Heavenly Father doesn't do things by half measures so I know a party would have been thrown for you today. And knowing you, you would have enjoyed yourself! Love you my friend, now and always...."
"Happy birthday sis mi...you would have been 41 today...Kai I miss you die. And it hurts every time. I miss you in ways indescribable. I miss being able to talk to you...ask advice. Or just simply goof around. I can't hurt too obviously cos mom will know what's up and she go into "rhapsodies" of her own so I fight to keep it together as I know you'd want me to. I'm trusting that God keeps you and tells you how much I miss you. I miss you so so so much. I will love you always. Oh 'Ster 'Ke....I miss you...a lot. And a lot does not cover it. Nothing can. So many things to ask you, to talk about. To share. My friend, my sister. My person. It's amazing how you think the tears are finally done but they're there...the ache is always there sis mi. And only seeing you again can make it better. I love you sis...always have, always will. Happy birthday. Have a party in heaven if it's ok and have fun for two ok? Love you scatter...by the way, the kids are fine, they grow like stalks. Tuoyos losing the baby fat and stretching. Jazz is almost my height at just 9. She'll be very tall. So they're ok..."
"Ok so I know you wouldnt want me to still be missing you one year after...I am told this gets better. That the pain lessens...that it doesnt hurt as much...that the tears lessen and maybe stop falling all together. That someday...someday I'll forget the date exactly...the time exactly that the call came...I'll forget where I was, what I was doing...what had happened earlier that day...my tears and seeming premonition (it was someone else's 40th that day) and how sad and heavy I felt that morning...like somehow i knew. Truly...I feel spent...like all the tears I have to cry on this matter have been cried...and maybe that is what I unconsciously want to do. Cry all that I have to, sniff a quick sigh, let it out and move on. I dont know though if that time ever comes.
Daddy left 2-sth odd years ago and I still remember what I wore that day...what time it was and that it was raining when it happened. That is Daddy...how then could I forget you? How...?
Was at the grave side last week...I felt at odds..didnt know what to say...listless. It was hot...dusty and I just missed you.
I still do. The long chats, the laughter, the really really warm, long hugs, the sound of your sob when you cried because you were so happy....the spark in your eyes when you were mad about something...and its ok. I will always miss you. Forever and a day..."
"Its your birthday today big sis...you would have been 40. I woke up this morning sad...then angry as I considered the unfairness of it all. Why you? Why now? and i was just angry all over again. I sang for you...a sobbing "Happy birthday to you...", barely getting the words out because somehow i sense there might be a party for you in heaven.
How I miss you 'ster 'ke....I begged God to tell you how much...and to hug you...and to hold you and keep you safe, at peace and at rest. To let you fly all over heaven, happy and free from pain (I hated the pain esp because it was one thing I couldnt share to make better) and let you have a drink of that sweet flowing river on me. Its your birthday Ajoke, have fun over there for 2...I will miss you everyday till I get to hug you again.
Today I miss especially your love that did not judge me. Even when something was not right, or I needed scolding, I knew you would tell me what I needed to hear and that however tough it was, that it stemmed from a heart hat had only the purest of love for me. Unquestionable, it did not depend on who I was or on what I did or didnt do...it just was. You taught me to love first before proposing to judge anyone... because when you love...:) the rest is easy.
I love you egbon mi...always have...always will..."
"You were beautiful in your own way, a rare gem. I will always feel your guiding hand. Rest peacefully."
"Ajoke mi, as I grew to fondly call you, I have visited this page virtually everyday since it was set up but it has been so difficult for me to put into words, what I have felt over the past few years and especially in the past couple of weeks; but I write I must as you were such a woman of faith and impact that your life deserves to be shared about and celebrated.
I recall seeing you a couple of times over the past 15 - 20 years, anytime you came to Lagos and worshipped at church. We were not really close but your younger sister Bunmi was (and still is) a dear friend and was one of my bridesmaids at my wedding and she it was who brought us close to each other. I had shared my idea with a few friends, including Bunmi, to set up a prayer group via BlackBerry messenger and once the group was set up, Bunmi had mentioned your name and told me how excited you were about the group and your desire to join. I recall the various challenges you had with your phone and how eventually, the Women of Prayer group reached its maximum capacity. I recall having to set up Women of Prayer 2 because of you and trying severally to add you to the group and we kept experiencing technical issues we couldn't resolve,but you did not give up, that was how determined you were to join the group. It was during this time that you and I became fast friends, getting to know each other, and getting to the point where we were able to chat about anything and everything. Shortly after, a space opened up in WoP1 and in you came. Your presence and evident faith challenged many in the group and your sense of humour was never far away. You were so easy to talk to and even across thousands of miles your effervescence, your exuberant and lively spirit, your warmth and fierce love for God came through so clearly.
Ajoke, you were a soldier, a prayer warrior, and a selfless woman through and through. Even in your pain, your thoughts and prayers were about your children, down to the person hired to take care of them while you sought treatment in far away India. Your prayer was for your husband, that God would strengthen him and encourage him as he managed the home in your absence. Your prayers and even our conversations were about your Mum and siblings and though you were going through so much pain and you were open about how you were feeling, still you wanted to shield and protect your loved ones from the distress of watching you go through the pain. Your thoughts and prayers were always of others. Yes, you wanted to live, and even then, it was to spare your loved ones pain.
Ajoke mi, I shall miss our anything-anywhere-any-hour-of-day-or-night chats where we shared our struggles and cackled over some private joke or other, exchanging experiences of marriage and parenting and where we chatted about your career plans, you asked for advice and shared your dreams. I recall one of our last conversations, where we excitedly discussed in detail what you would wear for your renewal of vows on your anniversary, not knowing you would go home just a few days later. I shall miss calling you for us to pray together over the phone. It's amazing to me to think that we probably only met in person a couple of times - such was your ability to connect with people.
Ajoke Omo Oba Aganilagbatan (the daughter of the King who saves completely), Omo Oba Ara (the daughter of the amazing King) - these were the names you gave yourself - the Women of Prayer 1 prayer group will not be the same without you but I am at peace because you told me you had made your peace with God and totally surrendered to his will. I was afraid that you had not reached that point but you assured me you had and only asked, in your characteristic selfless manner, that I (and of course our other Women of Prayer) look out for your siblings. To me, this means you were at peace because your Lord was beside you every step of the way.
Yes, my friend, you did not live long, but you lived well. You touched lives and your legacy lives on even with the disciples in the Bangalore church of whom you were a part throughout your treatment. As one of the sisters said, the Lord has taken you to a place without pain.
I thank you for being a part of my life and for living out the statement 'faithful and joyful in affliction' for indeed you personified this. I thank our Heavenly Father for bringing you into the lives of all who knew and loved you. As you are laid to rest today, I ask him to strengthen your husband, your two beautiful children, your mum, your siblings, fellow believers, colleagues and friends.
To Him be all the glory now and ever more. Amen.
Sleep on my friend till we meet again at the feet of Jesus."
"A legend, planner, a dedicated and devoted christian, a loving and courageous mother. Hm! Ajoke that was all I heard at your service of songs. As for me u were an embodiment of family organisation with the spirit of rehabilitation, reconstruction and reconciliation. Ajokeade I doff my hat for your affection and robust understanding. Not just good but a great sister. She was just a bible that could have been read by many more. Rest in peace"
"A FRIEND, A SISTER ....A MEMORY.
‘Joke, my friend
Our parents related first in the early 80s
Of the century gone by.
To burn away the loneliness that haunted them
In that land away from home.
As tiny tots,
We began the establishing our marks at birthdays and such family gatherings.
Alliances were formed, broken and reformed and broken again...
As youngsters, we moved on with our lives
connected to work related exigencies of the adults.
In our youthful impatience,
We lost touch and moved on to chart the paths for our future.
Fate? Destiny? Providence? Chance? Call it what you may
That, whatever it was brought us back together
after almost a dozen years.
Through Florence Obi, (is she aware?)
I looked up and saw this hazily familiar looking female
Yes, you were always one too difficult to forget
(we cannot even begin to contemplate how, now)
Yes, that distinct Adeleye face
dark, in all its splendour.
I made a silly remark about the past,
You commented about my head
Florence laughed and we reconnected,
recollecting what we could of the past
Until I met mumsie (I wonder how she REALLY feels),
she also commented about my head
Florence nearly passed on with laughter.
You became a Sister
When the stress of getting a degree away from home weighed me down
Spending weekends with you and your family became the antidote
That returned me to normal, as close as possible I guess.
The heated debates (on everything and anything),
The intellectual discourses – at least for our level then,
The Adeleye family vs me chess/draft games,
The walks down Oyo Efam
The acrimony of disagreements,
The celebration of personal/family accomplishments,
The attractive danger of that ‘mango’ tree
The quiet companionship,
The meals – especially the beans and that lot of activities
That formed the loose yet unbroken bond of ‘familihood’ you extended to me.
That mother hen instinct that defined you,
I saw you for who you had become
That force of nature exuding the charm and warmth that held all together.
You gave meaning unknowingly to all and everything around you
From then on into the future that has become our now
...a now we all will have to bear without you
My dearest Ajoke
Pictures fade, laughter dies away, tears dry up, wounds heal,
But memories of you will NEVER blur because we will not let it
Constantly ‘Joke, We will cause you to be in this present
As you have transcended into that being of youth forever in our minds.
It hurts, ****! It hurts and it has not even sunk in properly
Ajoke Adeleye Jemigbeyi,
A memory you have become,
As I cannot now make sense of you in the present
A sweet memory of friend and sister,
who forever will be treasured.
Not many can claim to have had the honour of being who you were to me,
You may have been more, but the Almighty made you ..
My Sister ..,
and has transformed you into that memory
that will forever be young in my consciousness
"FAITHFUL FRIEND, FAREWELL!
" I am the Living One; I was dead, and now look, I am alive for ever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and Hades."
Aj love, my deepest source of strength is that you died in the Lord.
Our early years were molded by the same circle of teachers, though we had no clue back then.
We got to know each other shortly after i signed up for the heavenly race and it's been over eighteen years of REAL friendship.
You were a friend to me and my family, you travelled miles to be a part of our events. Even with your health challenge in India, you remembered to get my mum an ointment for arthritis.
Ajoke, you were such a strong woman, very few knew the depth of pain you lived with, you were determined to go through many cycles of therapy which you explained to be like liquid fire running in the veins, in your words "d process long but it's better than dying".
What hurts is that despite the long and painful treatment you went through, you still died.
I will miss our times together, the sleep overs, ekpang/jevinik runs, endless chats n plans. You were easy to relate to and very caring. Am surrounded by things that remind me of you.
Thank you for being my friend, for always thinking of other's. My entire family and Kanmani are saddened by your death. The only friend whose picture was displayed in my mum's bedroom (we the kids did not have such honour).
Goodbye whitedwarf. Goodbye Aj. Farewell my dearest friend and sister. Your kind is rare!!!
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