FOR AS LONG AS I AM.
One hundred and eighty seven people. There were one hundred and eighty seven people at my funeral. Eighty seven of them were those who were dead and already buried, while the one hundred were the living souls who showed up to pay their last respect to me.
My spirit had grown very weary after a hard five year long battle against cancer. I had to give up because I could not keep up with the fight anymore. I was ten years old when I was diagnosed of cancer and fifteen years old when I died. I was the only child my mother had bourn but they lost me any way.
My parents loved me very much and they showed it in every way they could. I never knew who I really looked like because a lot of people said I had my mother’s eyes though I looked like my father, while some said it was only my father’s nose I had inherited. My father said my eyes gave him peace and made him calm whenever he looked at them but he was jealous that my mother and I shared the same eyes. Mum and Dad loved each other very much and they had a very strong bond too. They always teased and played with each other a lot. They were the best people in the world as far as I was concerned.
For five long years, while cancer ate me up in bits, I got an endless never dying rain of love from them. I died of leukemia. The wicked cancer cells ate my blood cells up and left me for dead. The doctors believed it was a miracle that I was able to live with the illness for as long as I did. I woke up every morning grateful to God for a new miracle of life. We might never understand the value of life until we come close to loosing it everyday. I went to bed each day for those five years, waiting on death. It was no august visitor when it came I took me away.
Waiting for death made me appreciate life better. It made me love every strand of the sun’s rays that penetrated my skin, and every rain drop that slid down my body. The sound of the wind became good music, while heat became necessary combustion. I realized how much I was going to miss them when I was finally gone.
Mum and Dad were with me always. They became the evidence that God is.
On those days I passed out or went into a coma, they stayed there with me till I came back. They never gave God a break because they prayed ceaselessly. On the day I died, I passed out for a couple of minutes and came back again. Mother had been falling in and out of good health herself so she had a test done the day before the day I died. Her result was ready that morning. She was pregnant. She was two moths pregnant and she had no idea she was. At least one prayer had been answered. Dad told me about it just before life was sipped out of me. He said he hoped it would be a baby girl this time, and I told him her name would be Chiwetara. Death took its pond of flesh that day, and all that was left of my sick blood went with it.
I was buried after two days and I was happy my little sister was there at my funeral. We never got the chance to see each other though. There were ninety nine people clothed in black, and she was the hundredth person clothed in ammonic fluid.
The choir chanted hymns, the priest preached and prayed, while the rest of the people listened and cried. No interment followed so many people went home after the funeral. A few close family friends escorted my Parents home to console them, while I stayed back in my new box. The box smelt of fresh paint and lavender. It was hot and stuffy inside when it was closed, but I stayed inside it anyway. They dressed my cold lifeless body in a beautiful suit and laid me in the box to rest.
That year was tough for my family, but I had hope that they would pull through it in one piece. Chiwetara was going to be born to the finest parents who would give her the best of all they have. I knew I could trust them with that.
As for me, my flesh and life were gone but I hoped that the memories of me that people had would live on. I have lived while I could and will be dead for as long as I am.