Mrs Oluyemisi Adenike Ajayi is the first wife of the late Managing Director of First Foundation Medical Centre, Lagos, Dr Tosin Ajayi.
Though there was a mild drama during his funeral last Thursday where the children scuffled with their father’s second wife, former beauty queen, Helen Prest-Ajayi, over a dust-to-dust rites, Oluyemisi has taken time to narrate her marital journey with the late physician.
She wrote in her tribute:
“Dr. Joseph Ademola Olutosin Ajayi, you were so many things and different things to so many people. But to me, you were my first love, my only love, my friend, my only husband and the father to all my 5 children.
I still can’t believe you are gone and keep wondering why you did not say goodbye to the children and I.
The children called several times to check up on you during the lockdown, but quite unusually, you neither picked up nor returned their calls. They informed me and I also called you and you did not pick up as well not knowing that you had been hospitalized. If I had known, I could have prayed and called on the Great Physician to step in. I would have used my nursing experience to look after you.
But I did not know until the sad news of your passing came to me on 27th April 2020, the day after you left this sinful world.
I still remember vividly and with nostalgia how we met at Island Maternity Lagos, during your Housemanship and my midwifery course. It was on my birthday, 1st March in the year 1973. You heard that a nurse in the hospital was celebrating her birthday and you were curious to find out who shared the same birthday with you. I remember how you jumped into the ward where I was being celebrated by my colleagues and you shouted: “Happy Birthday to us”. And we have been friends since then. We fell in love, went everywhere together and were seen everywhere together. You were very jovial, very smart, very intelligent and very caring.
You were my first love, my only love and the only man I ever knew.
I still hold dear our humble beginnings.
There are so many sweet memories to hold on to: our wedding day in July 1974, our trips together to Kano for your National Youth Service Program, the birth of our five children (Oluwatomi, Olumide, Omolade, Oluwamayowa and Abisola), how you fondly played with them and gave them pet names, memories of our romantic vacations abroad and celebrations of your successes as your career progressed remain fresh. Our excitement when we started the First Foundation Hospital and later, its medical equipment arm, is indelible. How can I ever forget all the times we wined and dined and just had plain fun as a family and the great friendship we had. How much you loved to hear me fondly call you “My T.” I cherished our partnership as husband and wife. I remember how we were able to build our house; how I took up the financial expenses for the home and the children’s school which freed your income for the building project.
We were living together with our five children happily until one day when you informed me you needed to stay away from home for “security reasons”. Your explanation sounded reasonable to me and I consented, and you were still visiting home almost on a daily basis. I usually try to go along with your wishes to avoid what could affect the children adversely.
Thank you for all your hard work for the family. You worked so hard to provide for the children. Our welfare was always your priority.
You were particularly focused in ensuring the children have the best, always saying that the children must be more successful and have greater achievements than us.
You were such a dedicated Doctor. You had your whole heart in it. You took the calling and responsibility very seriously. I remember how you would continue, late into the night, talking about your day at the hospital and the improvements you wanted to make. My sleepiness, notwithstanding, you would persist in your reflections on the hospital, your patients and your vision for the future. You were totally consumed by your love for medicine and your patients. And I couldn’t help but love you more for it even though it meant you spent very long hours outside the home.
Despite your double royal roots (Ajantari Ruling House of Odo Ilaye Igangan & Osungbohun Gbaadu Ruling House of Iroko Omo Igangan), you always demonstrated immense humility in all your ways, and always made yourself accessible to all and sundry.
Thank you for your decades of love and friendship. I am grateful for all the years we worked together and how you continued to check up .on me. I appreciate all your financial and other gifts over the years. I am thankful for your presence as well as your financial contributions towards the funeral ceremonies of my late father in 1999 and my late mother in 2015. I am grateful that you were always thanking me for looking after the children and seeing to their welfare even when you were not around. Thank you for always being proud of me and the children.
Despite everything, I never lost faith in our love. I consistently prayed for you. I also prayed and waited for your return and hoped that you would return home someday. But God knows best. I continued living in the first house we built since 1980 and you never asked me to leave the house.
I am profoundly grateful to God for all He enabled you to achieve, the wonderful children and the beautiful grandchildren He blessed us with and for being my first love.
Sun re o, Tosin mi, My T, till we meet again on the Resurrection Day. Amen.
Your wife, your love,