Alagi Yorro Jallow
Yai Marieme Leigh, from whom the story of my life begins. You, who carried me for nine months, offering life, protection, and love to a cluster of cells forming into a baby in your belly, for that is all I was.
Dear Yai Marieme, I thought I knew you, but now that you have left us, I realized that I did not. I did not know the beautiful young woman who captured my father’s heart. This strong, intelligent man had no time to waste with people who were not serious about life and development.
Yai Marieme. I did not know the woman who dedicated her life to God with such faith, zeal, and humility that we now have three (3) Mosques pleading for the opportunity to host the funeral service of one of their own who lived her life like an earthly angel.
Yai Marieme. I did not know the diligent mother who worked her entire life in the service of family and humanity, who, in her spirit of service, had wanted to become a nurse but ended up serving nurses because of your hunger for love and thirst for kindness.
Yai Marieme: I did not know the eldest child of a big extended family who became more than just a sister to her siblings but more of a matriarch to the whole family as soon as she became an adult.
Yai Marieme. I did not know about your strength and charisma that left every doctor and nurse who came in touch with you during your seasonal battle with illness and old age, inspired by your joy and encouragement despite being the ailing one. Now that you are physically gone, and we can no longer know you or judge you by the acts of your mortal body, I begin to see the true angel that you have always been.
Yai Marieme. I now know for sure that heaven is within you and is in the hearts of all those you touch during your lives and in the works you do that outlive us.
Ya, Marieme, I am now beginning to see you more clearly. I see your heart-warming smile in all those whose lives were touched by your sacrifice, generosity, and kindness. I feel the love that you had for the world in all those who speak fondly about you. I am moved by your passion and commitment to God that will now and forever echo through your family, friends, colleagues, and in the many in the Tariqa Tijanniyya that you were a member. I grieve the loss of a mother, but I celebrate the life of a woman with a great heart whose love for the world through God was just as great as her love for her family.
I now miss everything you were, but I did not know because all I saw was a loving mother to my siblings, a wife to my father, and an over-loving grandmother to my nephews and nieces. As we prepare to lay your body to rest, I also realize one more thing; this day, Ramadan’s holy month was just as unique to you as every Muslim. That is giving me life, you almost lost yours, and on this day, your life also began anew. May your Soul in Alijanna Jannatul Firdausi, Rest in Love, mum!
Alagi Yorro Jallow