The end of 2020 to mid-2021 was the hardest season of my life. In a span of less than five months, I lost two father figures who were like the lighthouse of life to me. They were my biological father, “Abi”, and my ideological father that I usually call “Abuya.”

Abi and Abuya have successfully provided a school of life for me. From Abi, I have learned about independence and integrity. From Abuya, I have learned patience, humility, and ways to guard the heart when I had to be away from home and study at the Islamic boarding school. 

The date 16 December 2020 is the day I will never forget. Without saying goodbye, Abuya left for good. He left the boarding school and his students. I still remember, at 2 AM, thousands of mourners came and wept. They said their goodbyes to Abuya for the last time before sending him off to his last resting ground.

Before getting over the grief, another sad news came. Abi had passed away after Abuya. Two months before his passing, I remember his weak voice requesting me to come home, but I ignored it. I then had to come home full of regrets, because Abi was no longer around.

The loss of two role models in a short period of time really shook me. I kept thinking, could I get on with life? I remembered the times when I confided in them when experiencing problems. 

But as time passes, I have come to realize that they have not gone in vain. The teachings they left are still here to guide my steps.