At the mention of the word “Unpredictable,” my imagination runs into a state of uncertainty. Unpredictable is the opposite of Predictable which means to say that (something) will or might happen in the future.
I reminisce with nostalgia during my primary school days my mum would sometimes tell me to carry an umbrella or raincoat because it would rain. Impervious and disobedient as I was, I usually didn’t pay heed to her advice only for the rains to set in later when I’ve reached school. I sometimes wonder whether my mum was a prophet because anything she warns me against comes to pass.
My interest for football developed when I reached teenagehood which made me predict the outcome of some league matches and the outcomes miraculously came to pass. During international tournaments such as the African Nations Cup and the World Cup I’m able to predict whether a player would miss a penalty kick or not during penalty shoot-outs and as usual, the outcome goes in my favor.
Human as I am, some experiences I’ve encountered made me realize that life is really unpredictable. There were times when I’d go to school healthy in the morning only to end up sick by the time school closed. Sometimes I’d be top of my class in examinations only for me to plummet in the next terms examinations.
One moment I’m in the good books of my parents and the next moment I find myself being scolded by them due to my actions or inactions.
In as much as “Life” is unpredictable so is “Death” This reality dawned on me when my Grandpa passed away. Even though I’ve known people who died before my Grandpa, this realization dawned on me because he was so dear to me and the last time I saw him, I remember telling him I’d see him soon only for him to die shortly afterwards. I never imagined he’d die so soon considering the plans he had for me.
One particular death brought me to my knees, made me quiver and grieved my soul in 2015. It was the death of a good friend of mine. Her death accentuated my earlier assertion but this time around it exposed me to a new dimension. Death is savagely, ruthlessly and agonizingly unpredictable.
On my first day in Achimota School, the menu that was served for Supper was kenkey and we were required to use a fork and knife to eat it. I scoffed at this directive because this local food is best eaten with the hand and everybody knew that. I found it difficult eating the food with a cutlery so I just gazed in the air waiting impatiently for dinning to come to a close. I raised my head above my shoulder to my left and there was this girl who was adeptly using the fork and knife to eat the food to my admiration. She flashed a smile when she caught me staring at her and continued eating. After the dining session, we introduced ourselves and recounted some Junior High School memories and from then onwards we became friends.
She was very down to earth and had this charming smile that could melt the heart of even king Pharaoh or Torgbui Agorkorli of Ewe descent. I never brought tissue which every student was obliged to bring to the dining hall and I remember telling her she’d be my tissue provider till the academic term ended which she gladly obliged to.
Her affability knew no boundaries. She was always full of smiles, had an open heart and was receptive to almost anybody that came her way. I was known for notoriously breaking bounds in school back then so anytime I came back to school after a long absence, she’d jovially say that I broke bounds again which I’d end up admitting after a long argument of trying to defend myself that I didn’t.She was very principled and her love for God was unparalleled. You’d always see her at almost every Christian gathering.
I got to know her principled nature when we joined the school cadet. She always reported for training on the scheduled time and was very punctual unlike some of us. She was willing to go through the rigorous cadet training even though we thought she couldn’t endure some of the drills. Not forgetting how she always took her studies seriously.
As a result of her impeccable persona I always had high hopes for her that she’d end up being a living water to a thirsty land in the near future just as my school Mantra posits. She was undoubtedly a Margaret Thatcher or a Condoleezza Rice or a Joyce Aryee or even a Maya Angelou in the making. She could have been anything positive under this sun but the unpredictability of death proved itself once again and blew her prospects into thin air. Her death ripped our hearts into pieces like shards of glass.
I personally couldn’t come to terms with the fact that she was gone. Nobody could have imagined that she’d be gone so soon. I even questioned God. Why should someone like her with such great potential die so soon? This was someone I could boldly say without any shred of doubt that, she was truly after God’s heart. After studying hard to chalk academic successes and gain admission to the University, why should she die without enjoying the fruit of her labor? Didn’t God look at all these factors? But just like 2pac said “That’s Just the way it is “Death is simply unpredictable”.
You just don’t know when you’d leave the surface of this earth. If there was an Isaiah who could predict her demise, we’d have turned our faces towards a wall just like Hezekiah did and prayed “Remember now, O Lord, how your servant have walked before You in truth and with a loyal heart and have done what was good in Your sight” and after that, we’d weep bitterly to God for Him to prolong her lifespan. Even though she’s gone, I find solace in the fact that She lived and She loved. She has undoubtedly left her footprint on the sands of time. The hearts that she has touched are living proofs that she truly lived. She has made a difference in this world. She has touched our lives in diverse ways and I’m pretty sure my other colleagues would attest to this fact.
It’s been a year on but she has reminded me of the fact that this world is just a temporary place. There’s a permanent place I belong. Her life has taught me to give God my all. Just as the Psalmist said “Lord teach us to number our days”. Her death has re-echoed in me the fact that, I was created to make a difference in this World and that one day I’d give an account of my life to my creator. Her death reminds me of the fact that, one day I’ll just be a memory for some people and It behooves on me to do my best to be a good one.
The fact still remains, “Death is Unpredictable”. What stands between life and death is just a second. It’s Just a heartbeat that makes the difference between life and death. When the unpredictable happens, what would you be remembered for? When the unpredictable happens, what memories would you leave people with? Everyone dies alone, but if you mean something to someone, if you help someone or loved someone, if even a single person remembers you then maybe you never really died. You’d forever live in their hearts.
Just as Sean Paul says in his song “Life”; “We only got one life, believe it-live it, careful how you lead it”. What account will you give of your life, if your maker calls you?