cornelia connelly college//afaha oku, uyo

sincerely grateful to mrs. felicia usanga--and the girls at cornelia connelly college--for all their hospitality. it was mrs. usanga whom i met randomly last week while retracing my mother's footsteps at her old secondary school. when she got to hear my name and see my face, she began shouting weeping shouting about how my mom was her school mother in those days. how they exchanged letters until 1975, after my mom left for the u.s., but lost touch after that. of course she heard about my mom's death years ago, and the black hole of grief never quite filled up.

so yesterday we sat over 40-year-old photos of my mom as a girl and toured the campus, remembering her. visited the room where my mother slept, the assembly hall where she performed in julius caesar with the drama group. and i tried to keep from crying. how i wish i could've known her then. known her better as my mother. and i can't imagine the number of celestial miracles responsible for my meeting mrs. usanga. that this woman should have known my mother as her own mother, become a teacher, posted to ccc some forty years later, and sitting in the arts department on the very day i stumbled by.

imagine. --AL.


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