Write your own eulogy.
We are all gathered here today in the world’s largest hall (and I hear that there are some people in the annexes, a crowd outside the complex and millions watching online) to celebrate the life of our dearly departed Adeboro, my mom. I am extremely honoured to be delivering this eulogy – it feels underserved.
I have sat at my computer staring at a blank screen and hoping that by some miraculous wonder, I would find words fitting enough to describe the legend that is Adeboro. I don’t know where to start and I do not know whether if I start, I can end; because you see, a person’s life is not in the number of years he or she lived, but in the number of lives that changed for the better because of that person’s life. And from the crowd here, we can see that millions of lives have been changed by the single life of Adeboro.
Adeboro grew up as a pretty normal child in Lagos Nigeria. She attended a couple of schools and bagged a couple of awards and degrees. But those were not the most important things in her life. I feel like I am preaching to the converted as I go on to tell you about Adeboro’s love for God, people and for life itself.
Adeboro loved God like her life depended on it because, as she would always say, ‘My life depends on it.’ One of the best discussions we had was when she told me about how much she believes in the grace of God on her life. She said, ‘When people look at me and are amazed at how much impact I’ve made on earth and how wealthy I am, they are awed and most times they ask me what the secret to my success is. It’s hard attending all these secular forums where they ask to share the secret of success because how do you want to tell a bunch of worldly-intelligent people that you cannot calculate, formularize or rationalize the Grace of God. You can only receive it. I mean, you don’t even have to earn it! I am nothing. And since I know that, I always just stick to the Person who has deemed it fit to make me something.’
What can I say about Adeboro and her love for people. No, maybe you didn’t see her always hug people everywhere and shed tears in public, but that woman had a heart of compassion for the human race. She’d tell me, ‘I’d rather live in a world were there are no people at all than live in a world of suffering people.’ From one cause to another, she blazed the trails she herself set. All the peace awards and international recognition couldn’t quite capture the magnanimity of her heart. And I really do hope that young and old people around the world learn from this example of selfless and genuine love for one another.
Adeboro and her uncountable successes! Really, one cannot go on to list the things she has done which have been established as world class successes. We all know them! They are all around us – almost every sector of the economy has actively and significantly benefitted from her businesses or projects. While she was alive, she usually always talked about how her feet were really large and how she could never wear those tiny cute shoes. Well, I would take that complaint figuratively now and say that she has left really large shoes for women who want to run businesses or charities. She set the pace… and it is a really fast pace!
I could go on with personal examples of how much she changed my own life personally. As her son, I sometimes look at myself in the mirror and wonder how much good I had done in my former life to be granted such honour not just to be born of my mother, Adeboro, but also to be born of my father! She was pretty much complete and well-rounded. She was a family woman to the core. I remember growing up; one night, she had come to tuck me into bed. She told me two bed time stories and even lay with me in my bed as we played with flashlights in the dark and talked to each other. I remember feeling like it was just me and her in the world. She was no doubt my bestest friend. I also remember asking her that night, ‘Mom, how do you get to be superhuman and supermom?’ And she had laughed and said, ‘What? Don’t make me blush, please. I should be taking notes from you on how you manage to be the best son in the world, most intelligent person in the world, the most generous, the kindest and whatnot. There isn’t any bad bone in you baby. I should be asking you how you do it.’ And it was weird hearing her say that, because you see, only that afternoon, I had thrown the most terrible tantrum and had broken three of the vases in the house.
I could go on and on and talk about my mom. But I can feel everyone almost bursting at the seams with their own testimonies of what my mother was to them. Adeboro was not just a great woman, she was a rare specie of a super legend. I envy my father for his choice. I envy my grandparents for raising a child like this. And I envy the heavens, because it just got more beautiful…
And until when we all are invited to this rejoicing in heaven, the world would greatly miss and continuously celebrate you mom!