I came first, I will go first and you all will celebrate me in song – Ikhide Ikheloa

For February 18, 2018

The garage door grumbles open. They come in, in lock step, the dog trotting behind our daughter Ominira. With swag. My Lover and I stare at them and do not bother to ask the question: Why are you here? Because we know the answer: We live here.

Ominira doesn’t live here. Not anymore. She has her apartment in downtown Baltimore. But we love to see her. Because she’s still here. She’s still here.

February 18, 2018, a year ago, my enemies were waiting for her at that junction that harvests youngsters for heaven’s gate.

A young soldier and her friends were not paying attention and they plowed into her – and reduced her car and her life to a pile of rubble. But Ogun, father of all male children, Ogun of the bloody cutlass was not hungry for blood.

Ominira is still here but every day is a struggle. It’s not that bad. Ominira is a warrior, does not like to be pitied. All through her ordeal she stayed in law school even though we begged her to drop out, she is not the same soul that walked out of the house on February 18, 2018. She has clawed her way back.

With swag. Everything can be replaced, except life. She has a new car now. Teddy her dog is an emotional support animal. He is always by her side. Always. You open her bedroom door and Teddy is at the foot of her bed daring you to try any nonsense. This life is a mystery.

Well, young ones, I came first, I will go first and y’all will celebrate me in song.

To my dying day, I will always remember my daughter’s words: “I was not scared. I understood then I was going to die.”

Ominira is still here. Life is good. Life is short. Make the best of it.

Grateful for the gift of you, Omoaluse Kate Ikheloa!

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