By Tomi Akinyanmi
Publisher : Outskirts Pr (Oct. 15 2008)
Language : English
Paperback : 112 pages
ISBN-10 : 061521116X
ISBN-13 : 978-0615211169
The quiet last words
The Harmattan wind scorches across Nigeria, and an old man lies dying. His community gathers to pay its respects; their haunting songs echoing in the warm twilight. Tomi Akinyanmi, his eldest granddaughter, is present along with the rest of the family, and as she listens to Grandpa’s last words, she feels a resonance deep within her heart. For Grandpa doesn’t talk of regrets, or petty grievances, instead he talks softly about life; how to survive, how to be happy, how to achieve self-respect.
A year on from her Grandpa’s death, Tomi returns to his village. The family bonds have crumbled, no longer held strong by their patriarch. Searching for some link to her Grandpa, in the hope of understanding more, Tomi looks for the journal she once wrote and in which Grandpa would set thought-provoking essays. She finds the journal, but instead of one last essay, she finds Grandpa has left her his thoughts, a continuation of those spoken on his deathbed.
He explains to Tomi that life is a gift, and that it should be treated as such. He also writes of love, and the importance of giving love to others to allow them to love in return. His final words speak of happiness and how it can be achieved through four different disciplines, each balanced and working together.
“Hard work does not mean wealth; Neither does wealth mean class. Age does not mean wisdom, And Love does not mean bliss. Hard work drives vision. Class comes with confidence. Wisdom is found in experience, And love is but a shelter for him who finds it. Amid all the life storms, A man would wade through; Confidence and vision, wisdom and love, Together pull him through.”
Reads like gentle prose. There’s beauty within the writings and imagery. Limited in word and description use, but nothing distracts from the emotion and depth of family and relationships.
Almost simplistic and I hesitate using that phrasing because it is no way simple. Ease might be a better word and expression.
Recommend? That’s not an easy question to answer because we’re talking about a granddaughter travelling to say goodbye to her dying grandfather and that might be uncomfortable for some. However, I found myself revisiting my memories of my grandfather and all I learned from him. Perhaps even a touch of what I felt when I was in hospital with my cancer…in the end regrets and grievances do not matter.
I’m content after reading A Worthy Legacy and if sighful was a word, I think it would fit how I feel.
Thank you for sharing your grandfather and family with us.