By Omenihu Alfred fibmn

The body of late Lolo Ezinne Celine Nwamadighionyeugwumma Abalonu has been finally laid to rest after a funeral mass held at St Peter’s Catholic Church isiala Oparanadim, Ekwerazu Ahiazu Mbaise, LGA Imo State on the 21st April 2023.

In his words of tribute to the mother, the first son, Lasserian Chinweike Ugwuakposim said “I have come to bury my mother and not to praise her. Men and women on earth are like the ‘incandescent meteor’ that dashes out of the zenith, gashes for a time and disappears into the unknown. It is a tale told by an idiot full of furies signifying nothing. Your death was not sudden to me. You spoke to me. You prepared for your home going, and on that faithful day at about 4am you visited me live to bid me farewell. Mama, go well; remain at the bosom of God and intercede for your children”

Furthermore, another of her son Rev Fr Christogonus Ugwuakposim SDV in his tribute to the mother said, “Nne m Oma, I can write pages of how good a mother you were and how much I know you loved me as one of your children, but I can’t forget those times you advised and encouraged me to remain true to my priestly calling. I can’t forget those times during my Seminary days when you called me into your room and gave me your “widows might” to support whatever amount my father had given to me to go back to the Seminary with. For these among many others I remain ever grateful to you. I wished death had given you more years to enjoy more the fruit of your labour but who are we to question out creator whom everyone would surely return to at one time or the other. I love you, dear mother. Do rest on in the Lord’s bosom till we meet again.”
In the same vain, one of her daughters, Rev. Sr. Chinedum Ugwuakposim said “Mama, it pains me whenever I think back and reflect on the pains of sickness you passed through. It is on this note that I console myself that it is better for you to go and rest in peace than continue to suffer, yet, my heart bleeds and my eyes are heavy with tears whenever I remember you my mother, friend and counsellor is no more. At times, I start begging God if he can take days and years back for me to see you again and discuss with you my beloved friend. Mama, sleep in thpeace of Christ. Amen. We will meet to path no more”

Lolo Ezinne Celine Abalonu hails from Umukaoma Umuokoroukwu in Ihitteafor-Ukwu autonomous community in Ekwerazu Ahiazu Mbaise LGA, Imo State. She was born in the year 1947 to late Mr and Mrs Raphael Nwoke of the blessed memories but unfortunately a polygamous home. Her mother Late Mrs Janet Nwoke was the first wife of the family and was blessed with ten children but death left her with only three children in the end. Hence, Celine came to be assumed the first daughter of the family: “Onwu nyere Ada”

Like any other children in her time and age, Celine began her primary school but was impeded from completing it due to financial constraints. Even at that, it would be very hard for anyone to know that she did not attain the apex of academic endeavour because she could speak good English, read and write and would do better than most graduates of today.

Mama Celine got married very early to Chief Flavian Ugwuakposim Abalonu. They got wedded in the Church in December 31 1966, after which she took to petty trading and farming to assist her husband who at the time was just a school teacher in catering for the home. This union was blessed with eleven children (seven females and four males) though she lost one of the female children several years ago. God being faithful, two of her children became religious; Rev Sister and Rev Father, which merited her new name of “Mama Sister and Mama Father”. She was a great disciplinarian that she brought up all her children in love and wellbeing, teaching them the ways of God and inculcating in them a high level of morality. She got the title of Lolo since her husband became a titled man, “Chief”.

Lolo Celine was born into a Catholic home, though polygamous. She continued to uphold her Christian and Catholic faith and dogmas. She received baptism, first Holy Communion, and the Sacrament of Confirmation all in 1960. She served tirelessly in St Peter’s Catholic Church Isiala Oparanadim as President of Christian mothers, Secretary, etc. She became a Medallist (Golden Jubilee) in 2017. Then, in 2019 she was honoured again with the local Church title of “Ezinne” (Worthy mother). She never joked with the things of God. If she did not go to Church then the cause must have been very serious. She did inculcate virtues into her children and all who came around her. This is reflected in God calling two of her children to serve in His Vineyard. Nnee Celine as called by many, was a very generous person to the point that she could give away the little she had than to see anyone suffer or go hungry.

Lolo Ezinne Celine Abalonu was a very friendly person. She was well respected both in the community and in the Church. A lot of people did benefit from her wealth of wisdom and counsel and leadership. She served both in St Peter’s Catholic Church and village community in different capacities as secretary, President, financial secretary, etc. She is survived by ten children and many grand children.

Talking to our correspondent on behalf of the family, the first son Mr Chinweike said, “Mum, your death was not sudden to us; you prepared yourself and prepared us your children before answering the inevitable heavenly call. May the soul of Lolo Celine rest in peace.”

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