When It’s all Gone

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There wasn't a day that passed by in Emelia’s life that she didn’t see her mama's face.

“She was all I'd come to know since my parents passed away,” the teen stated.

Emelia says she was nine years old when she lost her biological mother to AIDS/HIV, and her father a year later.

Emelia claims a woman volunteering at the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare where she was dropped off months after she lost her father, saved her life.

“She said when she met me for the very first time she fell in love with me. Years after she had decided to adopt me, she revealed the reason why she took me in,” Emelia shared.

According to Emelia, who loves sitting under her favorite tree near where her adopted mother once lived in Khebbeh, Bend and Stop, her emotions towards losing both parents is what took her social worker by heart.

“She says I had a look of fear in my eyes and she thought to herself that I needed protection, so she helped me," Emelia said.

Emelia and neighbors who have lived near the teen for the past couple of years say Emelia has had nothing but a good life since then. It has been four years.

“For the past years, I've been a God fearing person who focuses on wanting to become someone. I need my parents in Heaven to know that I was able to remember the morals of life that was taught to me before their death. I want to be all I can be,” she shared.

Meanwhile, Emelia says her adopted mother, Jusu, helped teach her very important things in life, “How to love, be compassionate and placing God above all things,” Emelia recalled.

She says that her mother also instilled in her that it was okay to cry whenever something hurt her feelings. But at the end of every sadness and tear, Emelia should be able to ask God to console and sooth her pain so that she could move on.

“My mama taught me how to live. She was preparing me for my future, something she and I never talked about,” she added.

According to Patricia Bailey, a friend of Jusu who now takes care of Emelia, on May 7, 2014, a very rainy day when their entire community had flooded from days of rain, Jusu began coughing.

“Emelia’s adopted father, Mr. Tom, had been leaving the family for months on end. One day he left and never came back but left Jusu the taxi he had managed to buy before dishing them and 32,000LD,” Patricia shared.

It is said that the departure of Mr. Tom left Jusu with a heavy heart.

“I was worried for Jusu because during those days she cried so much and had a serious allergy problem. She was always sneezing and coughing. She began looking weak,” Patricia added.

Emelia says she can’t recall how Jusu became ill because her mother hid her real health condition from the child.

“My mama never liked to see me upset, so each time I worried, she and I would go to the nearest pharmacy to buy her drugs.

On May 17, mama coughed up specks of blood. I began to panic and decided to run and call the RN at the nearest pharmacy for help. By the time we reached back to Mama, she was gone. She was peacefully lying in a fetus position that she probably laid in when the coughs became life threatening for her,” Emelia slowly recalled.

As of now, Emelia says she’s not happy with life anymore but finds refuge in reading the bible, something she has come to love doing.

‘I want to be a pastor because I want my parents and mama to hear my cries of praise. I want them to hear that I miss them and that I am still alive even though I died with them. Now that it is all gone, I remember what mama told me to do, cry and then ask God to take the pain away. So I am,” she smiled.

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