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Florence Adaline Jarrett 

I lost the greatest person in my life on August 21, 2018. My Mami, Florence Adaline Jarrett was everything to me. 
I replay our last conversation in my head everyday. I called her from Ibadan in her hospital bed in Los Angeles when I got a message from my daughter that my Mami was in the hospital, she had suffered a stroke.

When I got my Mami on the phone she went into her usual Oriki, you see my Mami never says hello or hi to me on the phone or when she sees me. She starts with “Atunsu me me omo mi, omo iya……”

You see although my Mami’s speech was slurred I could hear her every word clearly. I have heard my Mami’s Oriki a million times but this time I felt would be the last time.

It was about 7pm and I was in the middle of Adelabu Market when I got through to my Mami. The noise of a typical Yoruba open market, polluting sounds of a thousand electric generators all faded to the background. I could hear my Mami clearly while I pictured her beautiful smile.

You see my greatest fear in life was loosing my Mami. My decision to leave the US to go live in Nigeria was bitterly opposed by my family members and my friends figured I am looney to put it lightly.

She told me how much she loves me “I love you very much, I love you very much” I told her I love her very much too. I told her she is the greatest mother, I told her she is a genius.

My Mami asked me where I was, I told her I was in her house in the old neighborhood. I could feel her smile and happiness through the phone…………

Ogbeni Ayotunde

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