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A memorial to our beloved Chief - love and tears


PORT MORESBY - It seems like just like a matter of days ago that the Chief told us he would retire from the Army at the end of the 2018 after 35 years of an illustrious service to government and people.

The Army was a career that, even through the harshest times, he served with distinction, transparency and honesty.

It would be the year Papua New Guinea hosted APEC, something the Chief believed would change the lives of ordinary Papua New Guineans if it was done right. He did not know how, but had every faith in God that it would be delivered.

It is just a month away from the second anniversary of the Chief leaving us and what I have never written on was the undying love he had for his wife and family.

Whenever I see my mum, I always think of how happy she was when dad was at home, because it was laughter, fun, loving and a family complete. I find it heart-warming that mum is humble and quiet and someone who gives us the strength.

We know deep in her heart she misses him; she misses his voice, the voice of the young Sepik soldier who faked his age as 20 when he was just 17 so he could join the military.

The young soldier who later went to a small village on Rambutsyo Island and met a 21 year old girl from a clan of the Crocodile, one of the most powerful bloodlines on the island, and married her.

From the first moment he saw her under the Bismarck moon it was a love of red roses and beautiful Sepik chants. Instant love. They were married on 13 April 1988, four years after they met.

It has been nearly 100 weeks, or 699 days, since this soldier, tears in his eyes and surrounded by kin and friends looked to the heavens and closed his eyes on Mercy Sunday, and did not wake up.

It is a very long time since he stopped talking, stopped walking the surface of the earth, ended a journey from being a carver’s son to a well-respected soldier, will never be forgotten - aiyo daddy mipla misim yu. Your sacrifices.

Seeing my mum walk alone to church breaks my heart. Her partner for life is not with her. She walks and portraying strength but I know her heart is mourning every day, every minute, every second…. But she has to act strong. I love my mother, we love our mother.

It is always when she prays that she mentions daddy's name. Like she did when he went to Bougainville 25 years ago during the civil war. She prays he is somewhere working, somewhere over the galaxies, working and yet to return home.

This is when we always have a feeling that he did not pass away, but is on another military operation. But we know God took one of his very best back to build the house and prepare the rooms before he calls our time too.

So in our wishes and dreams, he is still with us. How could someone who had so much love for his family, so much love for everyone, have to leave so early in his prime and as he was beginning to see the fruits of his labour.

As Easter approached, our family tradition of walking to the Stations of the Cross on Good Friday was broken when God decided to take him home. Lewa buruk ya, heartbreaks and tears. When Jesus died, God took a Son who had accomplished his purpose. This is also the same for Chief.

We all miss him, we are missing him, we will remember him, always will, always have, always and always, hoping to take continue his legacy, to make his legacy great, make his memory, a living one.

A year and 11 months, or 699 days, or 16,778 hours since you last spoke, since you last smiled, since you took your last breath, we miss you every day of our lives.



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