Today is December 10. I remembered yesterday that today was December 10, but when I woke up late this morning, I was running late to my first class (as usual) so I ran out of my room and to class. (I showered and made my bed lol). So I forgot that it was December 10 today. During my second class today my friend Amber asked if I was sad because Aderike (a fellow Loyola girl) was. I wasn’t. I believed that after ten years, I wouldn’t be sad. And I wasn’t.
Then this afternoon after work at 5pm, I went on Facebook. I saw several tributes to the 60 Angels, and my heart was broken. Does time really heal the wounds of grief, or do we learn to deal with the pain differently? That’s a question for another day.
Anyway, that wasn’t what hurt me the most. I am most pained because I am losing some of my memories of the sixty angels, and it’s freaking me out.
I remember that there was this SS1 boy who always watered plants with Fr. Marc on Sunday evenings. I remember his physique, but I don’t remember his name and his face. Once upon a time, I could describe him vividly.
I remember there was this SS3 girl in Connelly house who introduced me to Legion of Mary in my JS1. I don’t remember her name. All I know is that one day, as I cried my perpetually homesick self to class, she stopped me and asked me why I had a rosary around my neck, and if I prayed my rosary. I told her I did. She invited me to Legion of Mary meetings and that was how I became a member. At some point, we were only 3/ 4 members. lol. May the Lord never forget my labor for Him though haha
I remember Chisom Awaji because she was in Xavier house and close friends with Chinwe Mpieri (was she?) Now my memory is failing me again. Sigh.
I remember my friend, Stephanie Nwoko and how after catechism on Saturdays, we would stand by the balcony in senior block in front of SS3A, and Stephanie will daydream about when we were seniors and about to graduate.
I remember Obioma Nkanginieme and her love for Harry Potter books, and I remember Chioma Nwigwe and how one day she told me I was black as coal and everyone around us burst out laughing. I didn’t.
I remember one day when I was crying because I was homesick (as usual), Immanuel Loolo told me (and these were his exact words, according to my memory) “Don’t worry, Alheri, times flies and very soon you’ll be home”.
Sigh. I remember many things but there’s a lot more I don’t remember and that’s scaring me.
What if I one day forget my sixty angels? What if one day I forget the devastation that their deaths caused? What if I forget how hard I cried that December 10, 2005, when I saw Stephanie Nwoko’s name on the screen as part of the manifesto (or was her name even there?)
Even if we forget, may no one ever go through the grief that Loyola has endured over the years.
Finally, may we never forget that Nigeria is in dire need of change. It’s not a joke. Lives have been lost because of neglect, corruption, and misconduct. We are done lamenting. But may we never forget that there’s a great call on each of our lives to ensure that we must fight so that December 10, 2005 never happens again.