This was the take home message from a Zoom home-going celebration I attended yesterday. Papa Ajibade as we all fondly called him was well-loved. He was a funny man, always the life of the party, generous to a fault and a gem to his six children. End of year parties at his house were a delight growing up and some of my best childhood memories of happiness, laughter, love and dancing occurred at his home. So when we heard he passed away, our hearts sank.

Obviously the ongoing pandemic meant we won’t get to grieve in person with his family so they came up with the idea of celebrating his life via Zoom. I attended. I listened as family members and friends shared one funny story or another, like the time he signed his daughter up for the army without her consent. She was at her apartment, her junior year of college when army officers came knocking at her door, stating that her father had signed her up for the army. Suffice to say, he meant well, but the Army was not for his daughter. We all laughed as she shared this funny story.

But the sermon, particularly from Bishop Atuwanse was sterling. We all say life is too short, but really, according the Bishop, what’s really short is time. We don’t have enough time in the world to do all we want to and when the time is up, it’s up. Papa’s time maybe up but his legacy lives on. Bishop also shared how people for example, may crash weddings, but no one crashes funerals. Those that attend funerals attend because the dead in one shape or the other made an impact in their life. He reminded us all to spend whatever time we have, with those who will attend our funeral. That’s all.

I felt this sermon. I have wasted time with a lot of people. Time that should have been meant for silence rather than talking, time that should have focused on building rather than tearing down, time for joy rather than sorrow, time for love rather than hate. These days I plan to do what the Bishop says and I urge you all to do the same. I choose time. Spend time now with people that will attend your funeral. They are the only ones that really matter. You have done your best Papa. Rest In Peace.