DO YOU REALLY VALUE THE RELATIONSHIPS IN YOUR LIFE?

If I called you my friend, there must be something about you that led me to accept you into my inner circle.

I am not one given to the art of making friends. I am a very private person and my husband remains my best friend. I do have a few friends though, and something about their character and values brought us together.

Someone stepped into my life about 15 years ago. She was smart, bubbly and very gifted. She loved life and she lived it with her whole heart. Funnily enough, she was from the eastern region of the country, but came and shattered the perceptions I had about people from that region, which came as a result of experiences I had with them.

She was different and a great encourager. We had our good times and not-so-good times. We also had moments of laughter and tears. She was a believer and always hoped for the best irrespective of the challenges that came her way.

There are many things about her that I will never forget, but some will always stand out. She believed in her dreams and she pursued those dreams with great tenacity. She always kept her word. If she said it, then she would do it. She was a selfless being who cared deeply about her friends. She was a passionate mother. You could literally feel her love and desire for her son.

I remember how she showed me around Umuahia, a day before her wedding. She said she would and she did. From taking me to her village stream and how easily she shared stories along the way.

And our journey to the war museum in Umuahia and how she shared in her people’s pain and triumphs. And finally to the peppersoup joint, where we laughed out loud at her fiance’s jokes, as we took spoonfuls of hot goat meat peppersoup, while cooling our burning throats with chilled malt drinks.

Some years after this incident, she visited me one last time, alongside her 7-month old son. I remember opening my gate to see her happy face. She always had a smile on even when she had many reasons not to smile. I will also never forget that about her.

She shared her pains and struggles with me that day. I listened and encouraged, but little did I know that it was the last time I would be seeing her on this earth. We had our laughs too and ate some rice and stew together. I got a painful call three months after that visit saying she had passed away.

As I walked behind her coffin at Atan cemetry, tears streamed down my eyes while another friend tried to console me. I taught about all the dreams she shared with me. I taught about her then barely 1-year old son and how he may never know how special and caring his mother was. I taught about how she always overcame her challenges and why death had to take her in her prime. I had no answers.

This was about 8 years ago and she was in her early 30’s. Her death changed my perception about life in some ways. I had about 7 years of deep friendship with her.

I can still hear her voice and words. Those words always give me a lot of hope and support.
It was a great relationship filled with deep lessons and pleasant memories. And this led me to this, something I hold close as I journey through life.

” Always value the relationships you have in your life and learn to make every moment count.”

I have since then learned to value the relationships I have in my life. I try to add value in whatever way I can. I have also learned to always check up on those in my relationship circle.

I try to make sure that those that come in contact with me always leave inspired, encouraged, loved and supported. Perhaps a word that I speak, a gift that I give or a hug that I share will be that memory he/she will always remember.

My friend’s death taught me that life is short. We only have this time and space, so let us use it to make every moment count and also create great memories.

If you have a husband or wife, value the gift of them in your life. Let their words, touch, deeds and love never be taken for granted.

If you have children, cherish this season together. Live, laugh and play. Grow deep bonds, sing love songs, teach life lessons and make memories that will live forever.

If you have a mother or father, or both, remember them, call them and share a joke, encourage them, support them and always be there for them. They are here for a little while, celebrate them before they fade into the memories of yesterday.

If you have a friend, a real friend like I did, value their presence in your life. Choose to be a blessing, give always and never forget to learn lessons from your relationship. Share, laugh, cry sometimes and always support each other.

Just after the passing of her husband, world renowned fashion model/entrepreneur, Iman Abdulmajid tweeted, ‘ You never know the value of a moment until it becomes a memory.’

It is your call now.

Will you place greater value on your relationships today?

Will you make every moment count in your life?

Many Hugs,

Ufuoma

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