You might know her as 3frenchens, contributor and editor on this site.
I know her as Namrata, a close friend who over and over has shown me what it means to be kind, and for whom I will do anything, make any sacrifice.
Today is her birthday.
This is for her.
I do not often feel a sense of loss, but I do now. My memory card crashed some time ago, and I can no longer find your pictures. I had only one of us together, taken at Capto’s wedding, and now it’s gone there’s a hole in my chest. But a lack of pictures does not diminish you in my heart. Those memories are clear, stark, embossed on my heart, impressed in my mind.
My memories of you are warm, cheery, glowing with my happiness and your tinkling, sincere laughter. I remember you dancing to Jasi in the back of my car. I remember the long discussions on love and Christianity and prayer, and how your Bible rested at the head of your bed. I remember you on ShopRite queues, and your absolutely delicious jollof. I remember you with Ms Karen, and the frissons I felt as you told your story. I remember you in Barcelos, and holding my brother as he cried and I ran around. You are kind and wonderful and a special, remarkable lady, Namrata, and I am blessed to know you and be your friend.
The memories almost make up for how much I miss you. Almost, but not quite. I miss you something powerful. It’s almost a physical ache. You would think the passage of time will soothe, but it doesn’t. I speak 5 languages, and I cannot fully express how much I miss you in any one of them. Absence might indeed make the heart grow fonder, but the void it leaves is cavernous.
I wished I had started to be your friend much earlier. If I knew then what I know now, on that day with the red teddy bear in Foodco, I would have seized the chance. We had but a short time to be in the same physical space, but what a time it was! It’s true what they say: quality beats quantity everyday.
I want to say thank you. For being my friend. For Enugu. For stopping me from losing my faith. For Sunday lunches in your room. For showing me a better way. For UCH A&E, wherein, for the umpteenth time, you showed me what love is. For praying for me. For Ranchosblog. For Abu Dhabi. For everything.
I have prayed for you, Namrata, and God knows I meant every word. He sees my heart, and he knows I have nothing but the very best wishes for you. When He begins to manifest and show Himself in and for you, receive it with thanksgiving. Because He will bless you. He is a just and fair God, and He will do far more for you than you’ve done for me, far more for you than you expect or imagine. So be ready, be prepared, for His awesomeness.
May God’s light shine upon you and light your way. May men go out of their way to favour you. May the works of your hand, the fruits of your lips, everything you do be blessed. May God be happy with you. May the blessings of Abraham be yours, world without end. May Jesus come through for you. May God keep us till we meet again.
Happy birthday, dear Namrata. I love you.