Tribute by Isaac CHUMFONG to his sister and daughter, Jane

Hi Jane, this is Isaac CHUMFONG, your brother and father,

 By virtue of my age, you should have been the one, under normal circumstances, writing this note to memorialize me, not the other way round.

Well, destiny decided otherwise and here I am prematurely bidding you farewell.

For a number of years we were cut off from each other by distance following your departure from Cameroon to the United States to pursue your education and later becoming a US resident and citizen.

Luckily, I had the pleasure of our phone conversations and staying at your home during some of my sundry visits to the United States.

After primary and secondary school in Cameroon, the small, discreet but very brave little girl you were, fought hard to go to the United States. You worked hard to obtain your Pharmacy Diploma in New York before settling down in Silver Spring, Maryland and being blessed with a son through your marriage to Mr. Wolfgang Angeh. You devoted your life to raising your kids, both born and adopted, doing your job as pharmacist well and altruistically looking after your family and many others. You set a shining example of the kind of unconditional love required to see relationships through good times and bad. 

To keep body and soul together, you also took to going to church and fast became a strong and devoted church member.

You truly believed that you could “pass through raging waters in the sea and not drown” because God was with you the entire time. I know that is how you felt about your battle with disease. You knew that even if it won, God would be there with you to carry you safely to Heaven

You kept all family members, relatives and friends constantly fed with biblical passages, citations and quotations. Your belief in the Lord was unfaltering and you wanted all those close to you too to be that way.

You were not a mere churchgoer. You were a genuine Christian. You demonstrated your love for God by loving others more than yourself. You took time to help the less fortunate. You freely gave the people you met the respect they deserved, whether or not they looked like you, thought like you or were or not of your social level.

You were never pretentious, was soft-spoken and patiently listened to others.

Your relations and love for others were never based on their social standing or material wealth. You indiscriminately dished out financial or material assistance or support to all and sundry, without making much ado about it. When people came thanking you for your kind gestures, you would simply thank God for affording you the opportunity and means to be helpful to the less privileged.

Despite your social standing, sound educational background and high position in society as Pharmacist in Chief in prominent pharmacies in this country, you never grew wings. You remained the quiet, warm and polite Jeanette I knew from childhood.

We will continue asking why you had to go so soon .The truth is we may never be able to know for sure why. But we do know that there is no single “should have done” or “could have done” or “did or didn’t do” that could have changed that why. All that medicine and love could do was done.

We will never forget you Jane.  You will forever remain a star and a model for us all.

Now Jane, as we are about to part and to see no more, let me end this souvenir of you by quoting one Shanon Le Mosley, because, I am positive, you like her, where you are, are saying:

Don’t grieve for me, for now I’m free.
I’m following the path God has chosen for me.
I took His hand when I heard Him call;
I turned my back and left it all.

I could not stay another day,
to laugh, to love, to work or play.
Tasks left undone must stay that way;
I’ve found now peace at the end of the day.

If my parting has left a void,
then fill it with remembered joys.
A friendship shared, a laugh, a kiss;
Oh yes, these things, I too will l miss.

Be not burdened with times of sorrow,
look for the sunshine of tomorrow.
My life’s been full, I savored much;
good friends, good times, a loved ones touch.

Perhaps my time seems all too brief;
don’t lengthen your time with undue grief.
Lift up your heart and peace to thee,
God wanted me now – He set me free.