Gone but treasured forever

MAMA is mostly the first word for many babies. Mama is a word that is synonymous to unconditional love and it is a word that brings comfort and care and that is home.
June 26, 2012 is a date that I still cannot forget to this day. It was the date of the passing of my late mama Wilma Kahata Biruak Jerewai.
If I may share with you all, it was the morning that I was getting ready to go to work that I saw her all happy and energised even though she was really sick.
She got her last stock of Sepik mustard out and was sharing with my siblings and me. We chewed betel nut that morning, cracked some jokes and then she sent my big sister and I off to work. I was working with EMTV that time. After settling into the office to check on my schedule for the day, I saw 11 miss calls from my small sister. Instantly I knew something bad has happened so I did not quickly call her but handling that moment so calmly by advising my superiors that I will be heading back home.
The reason being that something bad must have happened to my late mama. When I called my small sister, the only thing she said was come quickly, mum has collapsed. Not a single word from me, I just got on a taxi all confused, thoughts were everywhere till we drove into the compound. At around the same time my big sister also drove in on another taxi. There was no one around to assist us carry our mama out onto the taxi to be rushed over to St John’s Hospital at Gerehu.
I can clearly remember rushing into the hospital all confused trying to get urgent assistance for my late mama. The next thing I could remember is walking beside the trolly that my mama was transferred to and was pushed towards the emergency room.
While my big sister and I was in that small room with a doctor trying to bring her back, I was praying so hard that she could come back for just one more time but I heard the doctor said that mama was gone.
That moment I felt my world collapsed and I was in a total shock, however managed to tell my big sister that all is ok as she is resting from all the pains, she was experiencing all these years leading up to her passing.
Since her passing I have never celebrated any Mother’s Day and I have programmed my mind not to remember this day every year. It was so difficult for me and my siblings as the day comes closer to celebrating Mothers’ Day, we are all kept away in our rooms sleeping or occupying ourselves by watching and or doing other stuff.
Since 2013 to 2020 was eight years of not celebrating any Mothers’ Day but we were learning through those years to remember her life and to remember her soul in our prayers and that is what we do.
Along the way many family members and friends and colleagues have also lost their mamas and the pain they experienced is the one that is felt by all of us who don’t have our mamas alive today.
Many a times we take our mamas for granted. We don’t have time for them. We argue with them, few get into fights with them but you will come to realized the missing spot when she’s gone for good and the home is not there anymore.
There will come a time when you will really need your mama beside you, but you can only remember her voice with tears coming down your eyes.
Times will be difficult but remember all your mamas’ strength and be that strength.
You may think your home is gone but Build yours and allow that legacy to live on.
May we all remember all our mamas who have passed on and we wish you all the mamas out there a Happy Mother’s Day. Be blessed today and forever.

  • Michelle Jerewai is a freelance writer

Nimambo’s story kept in car locker

John Nimambo’s story in Weekender of June 21, 2019

THE original story was first published by this paper more than two years ago.
But the reactions by several readers soon after the story came caught man in the story quite by surprise.
Amongst the readers was a couple who approached the John Nimambo after more than two years with the copy of the story. It seemed amazing because for a long while the couple had decided to keep the story in their family car locker.
This may be an indication that the story had moved many readers in one way or another, including this particular couple in Port Moresby.
Nimambo, the subject of the story who is now in his late 70s, still lives at his 5 Mile Ridge home in the national capital.
The story was about this man who in his youth had traveled to the city for the first time from his village in Jimi district of today’s Jiwaka province. He had left behind his place of birth in a most disadvantaged part of a highlands and migrated to the city.
His move was in the hope for an exciting city life and to experience and explore a civilised lifestyle just as any other highlanders. It was his first time to ride on two different moving machines – a truck and a plane!
When the story first appeared on Friday, June 21, 2019 the central character reported to me reactions by a number of readers. Here is what some of them have done to him after reading his story.
That’s because the character himself was more or less as a public figure in the city as a long time city resident. Besides he was a regular sight to many in the city because he loves taking walk around the city, even on a terribly hot day – catching attention of motorists and passengers in PMVs.
His usual walk starts up at his 5 Mile Ridge Unagi base home and down to Erima bridge. Precisely at the end of Kanage Street and the roadside Kongo market. From there he would walk on and cross Erima bridge to the lawn area where the Bird of Paradise sculpture is and would turn left, heading the Gordon way along the track on one side of the freeway.
That is his usual walking route on a daily basis. At times I accompanied him along this track as l lived with him at the same place as him.
Nimambo has been walking to and fro along that track in the city for more than four decades. He is as a regular sight to many city motorists and traveling public. So when his story came out people in the city reacted to it in various ways as he was more or less as a public figure. He said out of about five PMV drivers, two congratulated him while the other three appreciated him of his wonderful story with an offer of a few kina.
He also told me that many other people including the city cab drivers stopped by to congratulate and offer him a few kina in a show of appreciation for his wonderful story. I also heard from him that his relatives from around the country, especially in Kimbe and Jiwaka has also read his story.
Some of them who had never bought newspapers bought that Friday’s paper for the first time just to read about him. It was rather funny that many of his wantoks who had never bought a newspaper rush to get a copy of The National, even after a few days later.
However, what really caught my interest was the account of a couple who had kept the article in their car locker for more over two years.
This happened in January this year. The character told me that he was on one of his usual runs to pick up a K2 firewood bundle at near the Erima flyover. When he got what he was after and was about to return home the driver of a car parked about 10 meters away honked several times and he looked in the direction of the honking vehicle.
When he looked up the driver and the passenger both signaled him to go over. “l thought it was some of my wantoks and walked over to see who was interested in me.
“But to my amazement it wasn’t my wantoks but two complete strangers who were grinning and shook hands with me. Then the husband said, ‘We have something in here; whether it belongs to you or for somebody else – you have a look at it.
“So he opened the car locker and took out a folder and went through the papers. He then pulled out a folded newspaper and page and showed it to me. It was my story that was published about two years ago. I laughed upon seeing my story and did so did the couple.
“After a few seconds the husband gave me a K20.”
The couple told him that they had not much money to give him that day but were pleased meeting him.
“But before we parted ways they promised to meet me again at the same place the following Friday.
Anyway, what the couple had done to the man may be because they liked his story or simply felt sorry about him. That is why they had kept the story and kindly approaching him as if he was a relative or friend and even went to the extent in offering him money.
But what is as something unusual about the two couple. They must have valued this particular story and so had kept the story for more than two years in their car locker. It is unbelievable because not many people do that.

  • Paul Minga is a freelance writer.

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