“Daba, You Left This World but Not My Heart”
A Memorial Tribute to the Woman of my Life (My best friend) Maima Cianna Daba Richards

By George Max Jarboe, II (Widower)

January 31, 2021, began like dreadful and fateful day for my family, brethren, colleagues, friends, and well-wishers.

It was Daba’s day to soundlessly, and surprisingly depart from our evil world to her Heavenly Father’s many mansions where we believe her soul has found a resting place, a better place where sickness and pain do not exist.

Though she had a short stunt of 37years on earth, she left a living legacy in the hearts of her beloved family, brethren, colleagues, friends, and well-wishers.

Daba, as I affectionately call you, I did not see you leaving us. We never planned that you will make me a Widower. You never said good night because you were under oxygen; in semi-coma for 26hrs- 45minutes. You were gone before I arrived at the hospital. I never had the simplest thought that you were going to leave us so soon. Daba, your death makes me realize the brevity of life. It brought clarity to the fore the thin line between life and death. It has made me put things in perspective. I am still in a state of shock.

18 years ago, Daba was my sister, my friend, my best companion and my wife. 9 years ago, we stood at the very altar where her remains lie on that fateful February 19, 2021, and exchanged our marital vows to each other.

God knows how we kept our marriage covenant in the purity of spirit, as well as actual words and deeds; making it an example for many other marriages and others who admired our family.

Daba and I lived as husband and wife for 9 years and 2 months. All through this period, she was my pillar of support. Our relationship started in 2004 from our teenage years on Christian virtues; growing up in the church under the guidance of Rev. Seedee Williams as Senior Pastor, other Spiritual fathers, and our both beloved parents.

Following our wedding, the Lord blessed our family with two kids, a girl and a boy which was our wish for bearing children.

Daba named the girl Jillian Sarwee-were Jarboe and the boy George Max Jarboe, III.

We made a decision not to have kids as long as we lived in Liberia. That promise only lasted for 5yrs before this time. Daba, gave up her professional career (even though she was more intelligent than I) to support our children’s grow up and create a happy home for me to make a success of my professional career and she accepted it with levelheadedness.

I always figure that we still have plenty of time ahead of us to catch up after the children are on their own. I wish I could go back in time.

Daba was the one keeping our family’s alter.

She would get up every 3:00 am to pray for the family, while  some nights, I am struggling with sleep and fatigue to join her, as a result of staying up late; preparing reports, sermons, and doing other research works. Daba gave her life to Christ completely.

Daba, I miss a million things, every detail of who you are. I miss your mind, body, and soul. I still say I am one lucky young man on Earth to have been given the gift of you, Daba. There are many things I think I should have done for you. Please forgive me for procrastinating. You thought me so much by your actions in the time we spent together. You thought me how to manage for tomorrow.  Daba, you thought me the value of a family. You thought me the value of the truest of love.

I know that I should not question God obviously , because He knows and has His reasons but I can’t help constantly asking myself as a human “Why did you have to die”?

We have several dreams we hoped we will realize. You served God fervently. He knows best. Daba, you know we did not see lifetime tragedy coming; but God saw it.
I remember, a year back, I preached a two-part sermon on the theme “Realities of Christian’s Thorn in the Flesh”. That sermon was abstracted from II Cor. 12:7-10. In the scripture, Paul shares his personal experience with his audience about what took place between him and God.

Daba, I remember; you said to me, “Sweetheart, that’s one of my best sermons I have heard you preach” . And I  said to you,  what  you said to me not many Christians understand the other side of serving God. In our studies on the Christian’s Thorn in the Flesh, I outlined three realities. We studied that a Christian’s thorn may be an Unsolicited Thorn, an Overwhelming Thorn, and our Thorn may be Upheld.

Daba, like Paul, we did not ask God for this Thorn. Daba, like Paul, this Thorn overwhelms our family. Like Paul, Daba, the Lord we served has made a conscious decision to upheld this thorn in our family’s fresh. Daba, the Lord knows how many times we prayed and fasted together; organized a tarry with the WEA of our Church and other brethren; asking God to pass this “cup” over our young family and heal you.
Daba, you know how many times we shared tears at midnight asking God to heal you from the excruciating pain you were experiencing in your right leg.

Many sleepless nights, even on your sickbed, we had to put God in remembrance of His word; referencing Psalms 118:17. “I shall not die, but live to proclaim what the Lord has done” and other scriptures.

We know how many times the Church went on her knees to ask God for His divine intervention to heal you and keep you alive. We know how many family members, colleagues, and friends from over the world prayed for God’s healing power upon you. But the Lord has made a conscious decision, Daba. He has answered all those prayers, by saying NO, “my grace is sufficient for you”. Just how He said to Paul. Daba, today, one of the best sermons you have heard me preach has become a reality in the life of our young family. Job says, “Behold, I go forward, but He is not there; and backward, but I cannot perceive him; on the left hand I seek Him, but I cannot behold Him; I turn to the right hand, but I cannot see him.”-Job 23:8-9.
I have learned on January 31, 2021, that I have not yet known and understood God as I thought I have. His thoughts and actions are incomprehensible. Job says, But He is unchangeable and who can turn Him? What He desires, that He does”-Job 23:13.  Yet, He has loved us and taken care of us in ways that we know He is and loves us.

Having you in my life, was the best dream come true. Since you have left this world, words cannot describe the emptiness inside me. I get so lost without you but I am sure you are with your Heavenly Father. You are with angels singing and praising the Almighty God whom you served while on earth with all your heart, mind, and soul.
Daba I miss the wonderful plans we made. The memories we shared will never fade. You were a blessing to humanity and a pillar of strength for our family. I thank God for the time He allows us to become Best Friends. Your death leaves hallows on our hearts and longings in our souls. While we sit in our tears, pain, and stress to memorialize your loss in Christ Jesus, we take solace in our knowledge that you lived a life serving God and humanity.

Though our hearts are shattered in many pieces, on this First Anniversary of your sad death, we give all Glory and Praise to God Almighty for the gift given to us as Daba. I pray that God will give me the grace and strength to take better care of our young children, Jillian and George.

And somehow get me through this lifetime tragic; as I struggle with the headache that came when you departed this evil world, Daba. Abraham says good night! Sarwee says good night! Jillian says good night! George says good night
Good night from me! Daba. Till we meet again in the Bosom of Abraham.

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