On this Blog, I transferred entries from the original website. I want to remember every aspect of my TeeJayKay. Bear with me!
Koinonia Without My Tonbara:
All Church Koinonia came and Tonbara was not there for me to take pictures of him and his friends. I looked at the people at the soccer field, the baseball field, the basketball field, and the volleyball field but one face was conspiciously missing. Tonbara. I saw his friends walking and playing around but Tonbara was not among them. My eyes searched the whole picnic area but it was only a silly wishful thinking – Tonbara should be here. Ofcourse Tonbara could not be there because he is now with BIG DADDY and His Savior Jesus Christ.
I miss this child so much. I miss his comedy acts. There was hardly a meal time that Tonbara did not release some new jokes and had us all laughing. I miss his kisses on my cheek and his regular “I Love you Mum”. I miss his idiosyncracies. You needed to spend only one day in our house and you would go away with a ton of impressions about Tonbara and his sweet nature. Is it a wonder that little babies were attracted to him – babies who would refuse everyone else except their immediate families would stretch their hands for Tonbara to carry them.
I always knew that Tonbara was special. There was something about him that, on retrospect, was like someone hurrying to cram in as much living into a short period of time. I used to tease him to slow down; that he had a whole life ahead of him. However, in other aspects, he never was in a hurry. His policy for most things that would be of future benefits was “easy”. He was very selective – absolutely loving some, being indifferent about some others, and half-heartedly doing others. He played video games with same urgency he reserved for the things he loved to do.
Well, I guess I now have a clearer perspective on his personality. He caught me many times just looking at him and insisted on knowing why. I would tell him that I was trying to imagine how he would be as a grown man, a husband, a father, etc. He would smile one of his shy smiles and say I was a “wierd” mom. It was our thing – mom and her son. Oh the memory of those times!
It’s been only three months and 10 days since that bleak day. It still feels like yesterday. I still refer to the week before Tonbara’s exit as “last week”. To me it is a landmark – before Tonbara’s exit and after Tonbara’s exit. I cannot yet return to what life was like before all of these events. I love all my children. Each of them covers a part of the circle and I wonder what would now cover Tonbara’s portion. The vacuum he created leaves a gaping hole.
I remember what I said to Timi “last week” when she asked me why I loved children so much. She said that one would think that with five children of my own I would not love other children so much. I told her that I had enough love for 10 more children. Tonbara was there too as I told them again how grateful I was for each and every one of them. They had come after years of praying and longing for the fruit of the womb. I still have enough love for 10 or more children plus ONE.
Adieu, my son. If the Lord doesn’t tarry, we’d see you soon. If He tarries, it is going to be awhile for us but for you, only a few seconds. I love you.
Written on 03/31/2003
Another year had come and gone. Another visit to the grave site. I hate for this visit and the journaling to become routine. I miss my son every day. I write about him occasionally but I speak to him and to God about him on a daily basis.
After 9 years you’d think it would be less painful. When I think how Tonbara would have graduated from college by now, I go into another phase of mourning. How do you get over the loss of a child? Do you get fixated on the age he was when he died? That may be the only way to avoid speculating how he would have been today. This seems to hurt more, especially when, as a christian, you had come to the realization that he is better off in Heaven, anyway. All you are left with is speculations of what his life would have been so many years later. Going down that lane is hard to get off because you are surrounded with memories of him with his peers. As you watch his peers advance in age, you can’t help but project those ages onto your child. This leaves you with the worst, nothing-can-fix-this kind of feeling and takes you back to that day when all of this started. It is a vicious cycle.
I now understand why people remain in the active grieving stage for decades after their loved ones’ death. I am praying that this is not my portion. In Jesus’ name. AMEN!
As we go through another year without our precious Tonbara, TJ, Teejatkay, Tonye, etc, may the Lord use this experience to make our lives on earth better. May the tribulations we go through make us stronger children of God.
It’s been almost a year since I wrote on your website: http://www.tonbaraslegacy.org. TeejayKay, that does not reflect the state of my mind. I started a blog “This life sef” but even that is too depressing. I miss you so much. Your baby siblings have grown up and in college. Now, the comfort of having young ones to cater to, is also removed from me, leaving me with the stark reality of life without my boy, my first born son. I find myself saying “if Teejay had been here, he would have …” more and more. You would have graduated from college and working or back to school.
Do I still feel cheated? Of course. Is it getting easier? I am learning to give in to God’s sovereignty. Only eternity would complete this healing.
I wonder if you even remember the woman called Mina Komonibo, your earthly mother. It is that thought – of you no longer remembering me, that is almost unbearably depressing. This is one reason I get on the case of children who leave for college and no longer kept in touch with their parents. You are not able to communicate with me and tell me you love me but they have every opportunity to tell their loved ones that they are loved. I know you would have been calling to see how I am doing.
Well, that is spilled milk – no need crying over what cannot be retrieved.
I still love you and still remember how you smelled – my macho guy! Keep enjoying heaven. We shall see what you now see in God’s time. I pray it be awhile cos I’d hate others to feel the way I do about your passing.
It is exactly six years today since you were snatched away from my tight grip. I held you children so tight that I never imagined any harm could come to you as long as I have my breath. It still feels strange not to have you around. We still mistakenly call “Tonbara” when we meant to call someone else. Someone, who most recently lost a loved one, asked me if it ever gets better. I told her that it never gets easier. We only learn to adjust to a new normal, a normal of one-way communication with our loved one. We can never hear your voice, your laughter or your funny stories again on this side of earth. I think the world missed out on a great guy right there!
I love you so much sometimes it feels tangible.
I trust the Lord knew exactly what He was doing when He allowed to be taken away from me. I also trust that He knows how to get me through this. It still hurts to think of you not being around but I’m depending on God to get me through each day. Some days are easier than others. What hurts most is seeing other young men and wondering how my TJ would have been at their age. I would never know that, would I? I want to scream “Not fair, Not fair!” At whom? God is not unjust. He had His reason which would sound perfect. IN ETERNITY!. Meanwhile I am only required to trust His Sovereignty.
Today, we go to place flowers at your graveside. This seems to be the only thing we could do for you now. Even that is not for your benefit, for you are not there. It is for our benefit. This was where we last saw the body you lived in when you were with us and we want to keep that link as long as we can.
You are blessed to be seeing the Lord’s face. I’m not sure you get sad when you think of us but the Bible says that you “eagerly await.” We shall meet again, son. Adieu, my son, my first-born son, Tonbara Joshua Tonye Komonibo.
Today is the last day of 2006, a little over four years since you left me for our home yonder. For the first time, I enter your website, saw your picture and smiled at you. It is a good feeling that I am finally accepting your new status. This is not to saw I have stopped hurting but it is now more out of missing you than feeling cheated. I love you. I have the feeling that you are in the best place to be. This is the desire of most saints of God. If you are happy, then I will be happy for you!
Strange talk coming from me but I have surrendered you to my Father. You were His, He gave you to me to raise for Him, and now you are back to Him. Simple? Yes but to the woman who carried you nine months, love you and raised you until you were 15 years old, that reality is not palatable to swallow. However, I just want to tell you that I will survive your graduation into eternity!
If you guys see us, rejoice with me for this victory. I have put on the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness. I am praying that God will turn my mourning completely into dancing eventually.
It’s been awhile, Son. I’m trying to keep really busy with life so that the weight of your absence would be shared. So far, I have only succeeded in thinking about you in more places, at home, at work, at church, while driving, at lunch. Child, almost 5 years and it still hurts!
We went to Houston Gardens to lay a sister to rest. She was 64 years old. During the internment, many people were pointing out that their loved ones, including a 92 year old Christian woman, were buried there too. Someone said, “Wow, they got big mama looking after them” and we all smiled. I do not know how it works but suddenly, I did not feel alone any longer. Although you were about the youngest of them, I realized that what happened to me was not the strangest thing in the whole world. A friend’s daughter, 21 y/o, just killed herself. A colleague’s daughter, 17 y/o was found dead last week. I just wonder about this planet and wonder what you guys in heaven are thinking. Glad to be away from here? I would be if I were on the other side. There are wars and rumours of war everyday. There are abuses, brutal torturings and killings of innocent children everyday. Sometimes I turn off the tv cos out of 5 stories, there may be 3 crime stories.
My beloved son, Tonbara, inspite of all these happenings, I still wish that my baby was here with me. You would have been 20 years and I know that by this time, you would have been the best behaved and best looking 20 y/o student on campus and I would have proudly showed you off. Could this be why the Lord took you? I had often wondered if pride had anything to do with it! Now you know everything and I wish you could divulge something to me, even the slightest hint of the reason for your death. Ofcourse, there is no way this could happen except the Lord makes an exception and opens the veil just a tiny bit for me. Wishful thinking!
Well, son, I love you. I have accepted the fact that even if I lived to be a hundred and ten years old in this planet, you’d continue to occupy my thoughts. How is it possible to ever forget Tonbara? You were larger than life! I love you. I miss you! Mention your grieving Mom to Jesus, okay!