Prof. Samuel Otu Gyandoh

A Tribute to My Phenomenal Uncle S.O.

Lorenda E. Parker

I know the fact. I know the truth. You’re gone forever. But every time I put this off, my warped mind tells me that I’ll wake up in due time. But I don’t. And I haven’t. 


Uncle S.O., you left too soon. I thought we had at least a decade more with you. Though I tried to call as often as possible, I wish we’d had more lunch dates or that I’d spent enough quality time with you whenever I was in town. The things I took for granted with your contiguity make me miss you painfully; perhaps, for a desperate chance to reclaim some of those missed moments. You were always eager to speak to me, to find out what I’d been up to, and how I was doing. I’ll forever remember how you made me feel when I called you last summer to discuss my vision for my consulting firm. Your pride was so palpable, as was your delight in that news. You inquired about each service, probed, asked questions I’d abandoned to explore, my target market, partners, and on and on. You make good news from others seem like yours to relish. That’s the best way to describe how absolutely wonderful it invariably was for me to share updates of my life with you.  


You’d call to discuss editorial pieces that mutual connections within the academia had written. ‘Tell so-and-so that I enjoyed their piece about ABC and that their sentiments are mutually shared’. As soon as the call ends, I’d scramble to go online to find that piece, inform myself, and then proceed to relay your message. Uncle S.O., you made it our joy to share our milestones with you, your genuine interest in those endeavours, your willingness to share wisdom, and your natural phrase, ”it will end well” are among the reasons why you can’t be forgotten. You’ve left a vacuum tough to fill. 


Even though you chose to make some of us rich (hint: Fiifi Parker), your gift to me was the best of all: In your departure, you united us. You unlocked and renewed relationships that drew us closer. I love my cousins and I’m so glad for the gift of oneness you left us. Indeed, as we mourn you, the laughter we share at the table is genuine. So thank you, for still being the peace-broker, and in your own way, comforting us.


I will miss you, I will miss your tight hugs and kisses, your voice, the sound of your hearty laughter, your one-liner burns, strolls in your garden at Ofankor, and our phone/video calls. 


For everything you were to me and I to you, dearest uncle, I thank you. Rest ever so soundly, until we meet again. 

Forever and always,