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Ajumobi wife pays tribute to late husband on posthumous birthday

I’m glad to be able to write again. I recently reclined into my shell (guess I’m allowed to sometimes, as a human being) but I just cannot let this season pass without saying how special it is, especially because it is your birthday season. Even death cannot stop me from celebrating you.

December 16 has always been one of my favourite days in the year because it is your day and on this day, the children and I get to show you how much we appreciate you for being the best husband and dad in the world. I promise to continue to celebrate this special day as long as there is breath in me.

I look back at your landmark birthdays and I smile at all the beautiful memories.

Your 40th birthday in 1989 was a very special one. It was the first big party we ever hosted. We also used that opportunity to have the house warming ceremony of our Oluyole house. You never liked to be the centre of attraction and kept complaining about having a party and spending so much money after moving into a new house. I didn’t listen to you and went ahead to celebrate you in my own way. I remember vividly, the blue and white lace dress I made for both of us. You came to me during the party and said “Florie this fabric will be very nice as a bedspread so, after the party, you can make my agbada into a bedspread”. I asked you why and you said you wouldn’t wear it again as it was too heavy. I just laughed and walked away. But you did enjoy yourself and that was enough for me.

Your 50th birthday in 1999 was also held in Ibadan. We lived in Lagos at that time but every special day of our lives were celebrated in Ibadan. As usual, I went all out to have a party for you and invited all your friends from Lagos and other parts of the country. You danced so well at the party and you were sprayed a lot of money which I gladly kept for myself. After all, I was the assistant celebrant and planner. You had so much fun and told me after the party “Florie I am now beginning to enjoy your parties”. That actually made me happy.

Your 60th birthday was on another level. That was one party you never complained about. You were a politician and we had to accommodate the politicians as well. We had a big party at the Recreation Centre, Ibadan in 2009. Our children, already grown also invited their friends.  I saw a different Abiola and I kept wondering how you accepted the entire party plan without complaining. I remember how your mum (of blessed memory) graced the party with her friends from Gbagi. Her gele was ‘Onile Gogoro’. It was enormous and beautiful. No one needed to be told that Mama was very proud of you. You both even had a mother and son dance (at a birthday party). You were happy and kept saying, “Thank you Florie” even days after the party.

On your 69th birthday, we decided to have a roundtable, as opposed to the usual birthday party and during the roundtable, you said, “Florie, this is how I want to celebrate my birthday every year – I don’t want a party, I want something intellectual.” I remember murmuring to myself, ‘here he goes again, Efiko’ but I knew that I would do everything within my power to make it happen again.

The next roundtable on your 70th was organized by the children without any input from us. Initially, you were paranoid about them doing this but at the end of it all, you were thrilled at the fact that our children proved that they could handle such an important event on their own. You said, “Florie, now you know my children are not spoilt – they organized this event without us and it is the BEST PARTY ever.” I was elated to see you beaming with joy and most importantly, pride.

I am thankful to God that even without you here, I have the grace and strength to do what I enjoy doing – telling the world how special you are to me and how you will live in my heart forever.  Shame on you, Death! You can never kill my LOVE for Abiola Adeyemi  Ajimobi.

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