Tribute To The Late Emma Francis
Sister Emma, May Your Soul Rest in Peace. Frantically, it breaks my heart as I conclude the introduction to this eulogy because your untimely passing nervously wrecks my soul. It affects my ability to believe that indeed a loving mother of your caliber and a true family woman is gone. Hence, as I twist and turn from my sick bed, I have been thinking, and trying not to think, about this dreadful event. After all, just a fortnight prior to your passing, you basically possessed all the attributes of the healthy person! So, I keep asking: what authority diddeath use to snatch you so prematurely from us? More than anyone may realize, my heart twinges and I will forever miss you!
Up to the time of your demise, I called you ‘Sister Emma’ simply because my experiences and encounters with you came a long way. It all began (years back) no sooner than I had initiated dating your niece several months earlier. Given your unconditional approval of that relation, you became to me the true equivalence of a big biological sister.In the moments and months that followed, you purposely continued to treat me with love, respect and profound admiration. Occasionally, you offered me moral advice and lend economic support to my family; the family you helped to nurture. In short, though you were my lawful Sister-in-law, you played the real time role of my blood sister. What more could one ask?
Therefore, as I pen these words on paper, my head aches and my eyes double flicker because I brilliantly recall your recent visit to see me the sooner you learned of ailment. By my hospital bed you sat, gave me a kiss and wished me well and invoked the healing power of Christ. During the visit, you remained lively and hilarious (as always) which, in a big way, enlightened my spirit and gave me some additional optimism for a speedy recovery. Moreover, throughout your short stay, your friendly interaction with my attending physician and the affection you showed me caught the attention of hospital personnel, one of whom later told me: ‘you really have a loving mother’,just moments after your visit ended. What was even more touching was that your concern for my health lingered on even after my departure from hospital because in addition to visiting me at home, your phone calls kept checking on me repeatedly. So in more ways than one, you helped to keep my recovery spirit alive. What more could I desire?
Sis Emma, to say I miss you would be a gross understatement here, because I really do. Regrettably, since your untimely passing, I continue to dip back into those moments whenever you and I had the opportunity to discuss a subject of interest from a wide range of real life phenomena including those in culture, traditional history or politics. But I am proud to recall that over those years, I learned a lot more from you because I became exceedingly impressed by your intellect and the positive manner in which you viewed and analyzed life itself and the many critical issues that life invokes. In a number of ways, I always thought you were an expert in your own right in a variety of disciplines including (particularly) American presidential history because whenever we discussed U S election politics, you came out in flying colors. From the era of George Washington and other founding fathers of the American nation state to the Obama Presidency, you occasionally referenced some relevant events. Disappointingly, your early demise has taken from me the opportunity to have and share such scholarly moments. Yes, I miss you sister, but if your loss to the world is a gain to Christ, what more should one ask?
Reverting to your generosity and acts of
kindness, I recall that you remain unequivocal and relentless in your drive to lend helping hands (whenever possible) to those in need. Without regards to blood relation, you manifested that belief many times over and in countless ways. One classic case in point here was your firm decision to continue to host or give initial refuge to an untold number of newly arriving Liberians in the U.S. (immigrants & nonimmigrants) into your Philadelphia home. Proudly, I say my family and I, just like tens of such fortunate Liberians, are surviving beneficiaries of that generosity. Rarely, you discussed your motivation for doing good but when you did, you often concluded that whatever good you did was inspired by the love and teachings of Jesus Christ and that in Christ, there was no east or west.
To Teneh, EJ, Paulina, Lawrence, Regina, Sister Martha and the rest of the family: Be that as it may and even in the face of death occasioned by the untimely passing of someone so dear to us, take solace in knowing that not only did Sister Emma choose the Lord and live for Christ, but she also concluded her earthly sojourn fully aware that she will be resting in the blossom of Abraham. I also urge to take heart because Grandma Emma is peacefully resting with her Creator. I know this because while yet she was with us, she lived her life for Christ. In concluding this eulogy and based on Ma Emma’s abiding faith in her Maker, I make this passionate plead to the heirs of this great woman that although we have physically lost a loving mother and the vacuum created by her unfortunate passing may never be filled, we can truly take solace and rest assured that the Soul of Ma Emma will rest in perpetual peace. After all, as believers, we will all meet again on that final Rising-up Morning and when we do so, we will together triumphantly confirm the demise of death itself for once and the Glory of God will prevail. There and then, the soul of Sister Emma and all the faithful-departed, with those of our own souls, will live on eternally. Truly, when death becomes powerless & deceased, with no more ability to strike, what a rejoicing that will be!
JB Amah, Nephew-In Law