TO OUR DEAREST AUNTIE T
BISHOP DICK, EDWIN, NIECES & NEPHEWS: FRANK, CATHERINE KATSINA, RUTH NYAMEKE, JONES, VERA EKUBA AND WINKY
Auntie T, you left us too soon. Thank you for all you did and wanted for us.
In the words of Bishop Dick Essandoh: “Two weeks before your passing, together with Geta, Merene and Yasmin, we had dinner at my house, your first visit since I moved in. How could I possibly have known it would be the last time I would see you? How I kick myself that for some strange reason, I didn’t take pictures. I remember telling Merene after that visit, that finally having you all at mine, had transformed my house into a home.”
There is so much to be thankful to Aunty T for, but one thing Bishop Dick will never forget, was her subtle role in his transformation. During one of his trips to visit her in Paris, Mama T asked Dick to escort her to a child naming ceremony of one of her embassy staff. During the ceremony, as he listened to the worship songs, the unuttered seed of Godly devotion, planted by the example and prayers of Auntie Ruth, was stirred in him. Mama T arranged for Dick to have a copy of the worship tape, and the more he listened to the lyrics, the deeper his hunger and quest to seek God. On his return to London, he started attending church, first at St. Jude’s on the Hill in Hampstead Garden Suburbs, and subsequently at Action Church. Auntie T, became among so many roles in Dick’s life, God’s chosen conduit to an unexpected destiny.
Per Edwin Essandoh, “Auntie T was the younger of our mother’s two older and only siblings. She was the middle daughter in a trio that were the “Three Mothers” to me, and my brothers and sisters. As significant as anyone else to my foundation, and to my earliest insight into the larger world beyond my childhood experiences, losing Auntie T, the last-surviving of my mothers, has left me with a void in my heart, and a lingering sense of displacement”.
On a trip to Ghana in early 2020, Edwin had dinner with an Achimota Primary boarding school classmate of his, whom he had not seen in almost 40 years. The classmate mentioned that one of the things he always recalled about Edwin was that he had a “white” mother, which he found remarkable as Edwin is dark-skinned. By “white mother” he was referring to Auntie T! It was no coincidence. Auntie T regularly visited Edwin and his younger brother, Frank, at Achimota School. She would show up with delicious meals and treats and their friends looked forward to those visits almost as much as they did. Edwin told his former classmate that not only was Auntie T his aunt, Mrs. Scott, but she was in fact very Fanti. As it turned out, Edwin’s friend was currently sitting on a Board with Auntie T, but had not recognized her as Edwin’s “white mother” from their days in school! That dinner encounter with Edwin’s former classmate is just another indicator of Aunty T’s outsized role in the lives of her nieces and nephews.
A little over 20 years ago, Edwin was in Ghana to pursue a project with a team from his U.S employer, none of whom had ever been to Africa. Mama T hosted the team for lunch and an afternoon of wonderful conversation. To this day, Edwin’s colleagues ask about Mama T, whenever Edwin meets or speaks with them. They still remember her kindness, warmth, grace and brilliance.
In the words of Frank, “You were always a woman of tremendous beauty within and without, a mother to me and my siblings. You had the perfect blend of aunt and friend, and showed us how important we were to you at all times''. He recollects that during his Achimota primary days, Auntie T enabled his well being beyond measure. He cannot forget the “homemade” she sent on weekend visits, the smell lingering in the dormitory air for hours on end and thanks to her his chop box stayed in “heavy rotation”. He recollected that there would be extreme anticipation and excitement whenever they were visiting Auntie T. Auntie T never forgot birthdays or Christmases, even when her busy and full life found her abroad; she always returned bearing belated gifts.
Catherine Aldred says, “Auntie T, you left a legacy that will be read through the generations, current and to come. You left a mark in our hearts, that nothing will ever erase. With gratitude and praise, I thank you for all you have done for me and my siblings… It is comforting to know that Auntie T is reunited with Uncle Winky, Nanaa, Aunty Ruth and Mummy.”
For Ruth Nyameke, Mama T was more than a mother and touched her life in so many ways. She taught Ruth how to live life to the fullest, and taught her how to face the world with her selfless acts of kindness, intuitive advice, and love for family that can never be forgotten. Mama T was a precious gift from God – beauty, grace, love, and patience are all attributes that she possessed. Ruth adds, “I will forever love and adore you mom, for everything that you taught me in life. Your death took away joy from my life, but I will always hold on to the beautiful memories of times spent with you in those years past”.
Jones adds that: “The wonderful memories I have of you will continue to remain with me forever. One of the highlights of my teen years was when you sent me a pair of Reebok air pump sneakers in boarding school. The numerous letters we used to exchange, of course mine, were mostly requests and petitions, which were for the most part fulfilled and more. You never ceased to encourage, advise, motivate and inspire me to be a better version of myself”.
“ People would usually walk up to me, and ask if I was related to Judge Ambassador Striggner-Scott, (probably because we share the same last name ‘somewhat’). I would proudly answer in the affirmative; “Yes, she is my aunt,” and would go further by adding; “She is my mom’s older sister”, for emphasis.
Winky and Aunty T shared many memories, and he is thankful for the grace to have loved her, and to have been loved by her. Auntie T stayed involved in Winky’s life and was there at his university graduation, at his wedding and was one of the first people to visit when his son was born. Winky knew he could always count on her.
In the words of Winky Scott Arthur, as it is always important to give God thanks in all things, he is therefore, thankful that Aunty T:
Was loved & surrounded by her family and friends
Was full of life and laughter
Was an epitome of beauty, inside and out. Her smile could even make the sun jealous
Had a refreshing sense of humor
Her elegance and kindness echoed
She ran her race with integrity, grace, kindness, humility and love.
And finally, God was gracious to have been with her until the end.
Aunty T, all our lives, we have felt specially loved by you. We regret not telling you how much you meant to us, and the depth of the respect we have for you. We thank you from the bottom of our hearts for the unconditional love you had for all of us. You are forever cherished and never to be forgotten. You left us too soon.
May God rest your beautiful soul in His peace, until we meet again.