27, August 2019
Last weekend was memorable not just because one of my heroes was sent to rest, but the nature to which my best and childhood friend ( Stanley Tabi), demonstrated his utmost respect, humility, dedication, and character since the passing of his Dad(Pa Tabi). Family members, friends , and well-wishers swung through the streets of Boston to celebrate the life of Pa Tabi . To his memory, I wrote this tribute :
**My Tribute to Pa Willy George Tabi-Etchu**
Pa Tabi, today we mourn you as we pay tribute to you. On a personal level, he called me “ALILI,” He was always willing to help and offer advice where necessary. Pa Tabi always considered me one of his sons because of the close nature in which we interacted amongst ourselves. Our families shared a common desire to be there for each other at any time in every way. I remember the last ‘heart-on-heart’ conversation I had with him a few years ago here in Boston. He told me his biggest concern was his health. I said, “Pa do not worry that much, it will be okay.” He replied, “I hope so too.”
I still wake up every morning, hoping this is a dream, and it hurts knowing you are gone forever. It hurts because, within a year, I have lost two close members in our family. Sesseku, Engineer- John Njang Ayuk and our English Literature Tutor – Mr. Tabi Willy George. The coincidence is that they both passed just four days after I visited them in hospice. The difficult part for me to bear is that, before his passing, I seem to be the last person he could slowly call by name or recognize. As if it was not touching enough, Pa Tabi died on my birthday. Indeed, we all have a final destination, and Pa Tabi happened to get to his destination a little sooner. In this light, the old cliché resurfaces; what exactly is life?
As a family, we are at the acceptance stage, and as we mourn Pa Tabi’s passing, my heart goes all out, especially to the wife and children. However, what we, as a family must remember is this, he is in a better place, and although we have lost an inspirational member of the family, God works in mysterious ways. Togetherness is absolutely needed, and through that, we should revere the priceless moments we all enjoyed with Pa Tabi. His perseverance, integrity, and people-loving nature are just a few qualities that continue to inspire us. Pa Tabi, even as you take your final rest in Besongabang, I will not hesitate to state that a gap has been left; you left a dear friend, student, and Son in whom your teachings endeared you into his heart.
Nevertheless, be assured I am in safe hands. Your call for me not to forget our family values still lingers in my mind. While we mourn today, we also take comfort in the fact that your mission on earth has been fulfilled. We thank the Lord for your life and bid you farewell until we meet again.
Rest in peace, Pa Tabi; we will definitely miss you…
Eyong Ebot –