Alagi Yorro Jallow
In paying tribute to Absa Marong -Jawara, I sincerely feel that words are insufficient. There are not enough superlatives in spoken language to define the essence of the woman Absa Marong -Jawara was. However, somehow, I do not think Absa Marong would want anyone to exalt her in any way, but rather to exemplify her faith and the grace of God she so revered.
The news of Absa’s passing is unfortunate: Those of us who knew her or knew of her shall feel her absence, with her warmth of spirit, her unwavering faith, and her exceptional personality. However, at the same time, we give thanks to Allah for the beautiful memories Absa Marong Jawara leaves us with: her dedication to her faith, her nurture of every one of her children.
Writing about the loss of Absa Marong-Jawara, I am moved to remember the impact of the time I spent with her and the words of wisdom she imparted on me, and how her advice will forever resound in my heart. She has excellent culinary skills that make her food extraordinary and inspired me to be a connoisseur in delicious food and discriminate against them. She had a unique recipe to show off her culinary prowess. During my high school days, she accepted me with the same guardian brother and father, Mr.Ebrima Loppy and Tanta Mariama Jallow, at Churchill’s Town in Serekunda. During my college days in the United States, when I needed acceptance, she scolded me. When I earned reprimand, she forgave me when I showed defiance, comforted me in my sorrow, and advised me when life forced me on a new course in my journey.
I want to tell you the story of a lady named Absa Marong Jawara. I want to tell you about the message she had for the World. Absa was an extraordinary woman who was an example of persistence, courage, loyalty, integrity, kindness, and the ongoing quest for love. She was dependable, bubbly, chatty, sociable, and was the life and soul of her family. Never in my life had I met a person who made friends as quickly as Absa Marong did. For more than 56 years, she brought joy and sweetness to those around her. Aba’s impact will always be remembered, as will the love that shone from her heart. She will long remain an inspiration, and I give thanks to Allah for having shared the gift of Aba’s life with me.
This great lady marked the history of her life with courage, strength, and wisdom. She served all who had the fortune of coming across her with her legacy by promoting dignity, honor, and respect. Her characteristics were wisdom, patience, honor, amongst so many others. Her greatest vice was possibly her generosity and the ability to ‘call it as it was.’ Moreover, despite the tremendous worldly fortune that The Almighty bestowed on her, she had little interest in earthly or material possessions. Her death has touched the fabric of many people. Some so many people were under her care. She worked tirelessly for people, without the expectation of gaining anything in return. All the life of this great woman was the brilliant personification of service to the high humanitarian ideals of goodness, virtue, honor, selflessness, and faith.
She personified what a Muslim woman, a woman, a mother, an in-law, a Gambian, a humanitarian should be. She could make anything ordinary into something extraordinary. She has left shoes and footprints impossible to fill and was a heroine in every sense of the word. Aba Marong Jawara was simply an incredible person!
Her life and number of years marked her as the carrier of dignity, friendship, and unity. She was born on May 28, in 1960;s, too late Ousman Marong, a civil service administrator and a seasoned administrator also a former Divisional Commissioner, and Lady Ida Joh, a former school teacher and a businesswoman. Absa was a Taurus. The day she was born was a Thursday. It was an excellent day for multiple reasons. The gift of Absa was also given to the World on that day. She was a former police officer in the Gambia and self-employed. A lady of the house was exceptionally financially independent. Her strive to be a goal setter hugely contributed to making her the self-made successful woman that she indeed was. Absa was content. She loved to cook, dance, travel, listen to music, read, and was a huge foodie. Her hobbies only stood to enhance her relationship with people, commitment to the community.
At this sad juncture of her passing, I am moved to remember the impact of the time she spent with us and how her example resounds in the hearts of those who knew her. As I use pen and paper to speak about our devastation at the passing of Absa, I will take the opportunity to say the word about the message she left and the great lessons she taught… just by being herself!
She was the epitome of loyalty, commitment, and virtue. She was fearless and was always ready to offer a solution when it was needed. Absa always had the strength to go the extra mile when required, and often she did go that extra mile. She was everybody’s best friend: the one people turned to in their time of need. She was understanding, wise, objective, and a ray of shining bright light. She was the type of person who always fitted in and adapted herself to any and every situation.
The day that Absa died was a day that saw less love, less compassion, less light. A great light has not just grown dim; it has been put out. We lost a treasure with her passing. Her death marks a time of sadness and emptiness for those who loved and appreciated her. Absa Marong Jawara was the truest, dearest, and most dedicated colleague, neighbor, friend, daughter, and mother to so many. She was a precious gift that came with so much beauty, grace, love, and patience. She touched the hearts of all those she came across in so many ways. Her strength on dark days empowered and comforted all those who were with her.
Since she was a girl, Absa was absolutely hilarious, and her humor was infectious. However, even though she was funny and mischievous, she balanced that with a responsible seriousness at times she needed to be. The witness of her life was a model of kindness, simplicity, humility, and kindness. She lived her life with courage and served people. She wanted to do things and to learn. She wanted to be someone who knew stuff and went places. And so she traveled. In her lifetime, Barbara traveled extensively. However moreover, everywhere she went, she strived to learn and become one with the people.
The passing of Absa is devastating. I cannot articulate how devastating it is in this one piece. She will be missed: for her warmth of spirit, her ability to adapt to any situation and relate with everyone. Her distinctive witness of care will be missed. However, at the same time, we give thanks to the Almighty for the beautiful memories Absa leaves us.
Her network of community and family was unparalleled. Absa’s good works will always be remembered. However, more deeply, we will not forget the love that shone from within her heart: love that was fueled by her absolute dedication to her family, faith, and son. She will long remain an inspiration to those who cherish the value of family, and we are blessed to have shared the gift of her life with us all. She will not soon be forgotten.
Of all the roles that Absa played during her short life, none could compare with that as a mother to her beloved husband and children. The bond that she shared with, now, her husband Saikouna Jawara, was incomparable and unbreakable. She was an outstanding, incredible mother and a wife: dedicated, loving, kind, strict, protective, and nurturing. No matter what, anybody who saw her with Saikouna Jawara fell in love with her and their wife-husband relationship. They had the strongest of bonds, and it was palpable. She adored that Saikouna and her children, and Saikouna just revered her.
My elder brother Pa Amady Jallow eloquently espoused the relationship between Absa and Saikuna Jawara when he said, “…More than anything, Absa was a phenomenal mother and a wife. This is how I choose to ignore the pain of her loss by understanding that it was God’s will that she had this beautiful family and a husband and was able to show Saikouna unquestioning, unwavering love and dedication so that he could be the best to be someone great, wonderful and special. A husband she would have been so proud of.”
Absa leaves a legacy of unity, love, and concern to all who knew her and those who came in contact with her. She never ceased to remind us that the greatest poverty of all is to live and die unloved during her life. She demonstrated that love through her commitment to family, relationships but especially her husband, Saikouna Jawara.
Through her dedication to her family and especially her love and devotion to her husband Saikouna, Absa tried to show people the importance of being loyal, understanding, truthful, dependable, kind, and sound. She wanted the World to operate from the position of true and pure love.
Pure and unadulterated love! That is her legacy. It is a legacy of pure love!
There is nothing minor about the legacy Absa leaves behind or the impact she had on others. It is a solid and vivacious legacy. In life, she was in a constant state of motion. In death, she leaves us in a continuous state of emotions. However, she leaves a solid message of helping, listening, solidarity. She was a whirlwind, never stopping or slowing down. She was always there for everyone in her life… Always.
An aunt, a mentor, a friend, a sister, a neighbor but especially a mother, she took her relationship with people and her role very seriously and never wavered… No matter what. Absa Marong- Jawara will remain unforgotten!
My family and the Absa’s are incredibly close, and we literally grew up together under one roof. We have always looked out for each other and loved each other. For myself, I have to say that Absa has always been there for me through good and challenging times. She was always a good friend to me. However, unfortunately, I have not always reciprocated her gesture in the way she deserved… in her time of need. Even though the reason for that is entirely innocent and pure, I will never be able to explain that to her now that she is gone. Likewise, I will never be able to explain to My Absa, to apologize to My Absa, and to tell My Absa just how much I love and adore her. I hope that I will do that through the love and support of her children and husband, Saikouna Jawara.
“Absa Filly Marong Jawara!”
… lived a happy and worthy life! She had been alive in this World!
Absa came with a message, and in her short time, she tried to spread it the World over through her life and her actions: just by being her. I want to tell you the story of a lady named Absa. I want to tell you about the message she had for the World… Absa wanted peace, unity, understanding, kindness, and pure, pure love for the World in all its ramifications.
May her message be spread and received all over the World. Furthermore, may her beautiful family imbibe the spirit of their mother and grow to be the worthy citizen she molded and would be proud of.
May her family continue to spread the message of their mother.
May Allah keep her safe and sound, protect the place where she has rested and make her entrance wide; bless her for her good deeds and surround her with a garden filled with beauty.
May she receive the gentle blow of a cool breeze, be washed with snowflakes, ice, sleet, water, and everything pure and cleansed of sin as a white cloth is purified perfectly.May Allah grant her Aljannah Firdausi.
Alagi Yorro Jallow