Ok Mummy, love you too, bye. This is pretty much how all my conversations with my mum ends. We talk at least five times a week, every time I go a day without speaking to her or my sister, I feel slightly lost. My brothers will probably read this part and roll their eyes LOL I love you guys but you’re too busy for me. My mum means the entire world to me. It’s not always sunshine and roses with her, especially when we’re in the same house! Sometimes she forgets that I’m a thirty year old and she treats me like an infant, sometimes I’m really mad at her and I vent to my sister but then sometimes I vent to my mum about my sister. Family truly is everything.
I’ve been feeling very nostalgic lately, maybe because Christmas is around the corner or because I’m home sick but the feeling amplified when I walked into an African store last week. I was waiting on the queue to check out and a tub of cream caught my attention. Clear Essence. As far back as I can remember, Clear Essence was my mum’s cream. There was always a tub of it on her vanity. I remember vividly sitting in her room on the weekends when she was home and watching her painstakingly apply it to her heels and her feet. I haven’t met anyone who applies lotion quite like my mum. She takes her sweet time and I remember always wondering why she spent so much time applying lotion, I think I finally get it because over the years, her skin has stayed beautiful. On some days when my mum was at work or away on her trips to Aba to buy her materials for sale, I would sneak into her room and apply a little amount of that cream on my hands and it made me feel closer to her. The day I went to write my common entrance exams, my mum bathed me and dressed me up even though I could have done it myself. She bought me new singlets and frilly white stockings specially for my exams and I will never forget when she lathered my entire body with her cream! I sweated all day but I never felt so loved.
Hey mum, I just want to let you know what an amazing mother you are to my siblings and I. A thousand blog posts won’t be enough to explain how grateful we truly are, how grateful I truly am. Thank you for an amazing childhood, we didn’t have much but you gave us the very best that you could afford. Thank you for all the special breakfasts with Satis beef burgers and jelly and for all the delicious soups, and even for the yelling! You made your five children amazing humans. To know my mum is to love her, she’s constantly stealing all my friends from me. I know she probably wouldn’t want me to share this but hey! In 2014 my mum told me she wanted me to get my masters degree. I had always wanted to but the cost was high so I left that dream on the back burner. Although my sister and I had our first degrees, we also had three brothers still in school and one of them was already schooling abroad. So when I told her about the fees and the costs she told me not to worry about that. All she said was: Just get your student visa and your admission first. When I did and I told her she said she would get back to me. Now my mum had this emerald ring that she wore every day. She’s had it since I was born I think. One day she came home and told me that she had made a good chunk of the initial payment for my fees and since my school had agreed on a payment plan, I was good to go. I kept asking her how she did it but she didn’t say a word. Then I noticed that she had stopped wearing her ring. I noticed because she’s light skinned and there was a tan line where her ring was supposed to be. I raced to her drawer where she kept her jewelry and it was all gone. There was none left. She sold it all so I could go to America for my masters. I was numb as I walked back to my room. When I couldn’t bear it anymore I just knelt in front of her and laid my head in her lap. And then she knew that I knew. All she said was: go to America and make me proud. I hope I did mum. I studied like a maniac. I had no life outside of school and work and church. Thankfully, I did well.
She didn’t make it to my graduation but when I sent her the picture of my graduation program with my name on it, she told me she was proud of me and all was right in my world. How she juggled her career, five Children, school, running her business, life…I’ll never know. Her strength is awe inspiring. Our mum is our biggest cheerleader. She celebrates all our victories no matter how small. She’ll celebrate my perfectly winged eyeliner as loudly as she would my brothers’ good grades or even my sister’s pepper stew.
I could go on and on but I just wanted to celebrate my mum today. I love you so much mum, you truly are a phenomenal human being. Thank you for teaching me how to forgive, how to smell nice, how to love, how to cook, how to be content, how to run a home, how to make a little go a long way, how to carry myself with dignity, how to wear eyeshadow and red lipstick, how to be happy even in the midst of life’s challenges. Thank you for teaching us early how to manage our mental health. When my mother still worked at the bank, she went away for three weeks every year without fail. Apart from calling to say she landed safely, we knew not to bother her. That was her time to rest and to gather herself because she had to be mentally fit to take care of all of us. I thank God every day that He made you my mother. I beseech Him every day to keep you for us in good health and sound mind so that we can take care of you. Thank you for everything..
“All that I am or hope to be, I owe to my mother.” –Anonymous