We just celebrated Mothers’ Day, so this piece is dedicated to all mothers. It is hard to celebrate Mother’s day without remembering Mama. We had many great memories, days full of laughter, others full of sadness, and of course most were full of misery because she was a strict disciplinarian, which meant she made good use of her pinching hands, teeth, Dad’s belt and pine stitches, to correct the erring foolish hearts of the many young children she had. I was most blessed that she was my mom, and I now know that the stitches, bites, pinches and whips came from a well of deep and tough love in her heart. I never liked it then, but now I truly appreciate that she was not afraid to keep me straight.
My most nostalgic moments were when she sat under the castor tree, her folded sweater on her head, to protect her from the strong sun rays, as she supervised us tilling the land or tending to plants in the field. When she was later bedridden of cancer, she still put up a very spirited fight. Ignoring her plight and from that bed of misery, she still managed the affairs of our large family. She directed where to plant what on the farm, and since she knew whose hand had the best productivity, she allocated duties accordingly. She knew when it would rain on the farm just by looking out to the skies through her hospital window. Mama knew that this season would be her last, so she ensured she did all she could, for it to be as fruitful as it could ever be. She wanted to make it easier one more time for all of us, once she was gone. That was her other way of showing her love.
She was so spirited, that her great pain dwindled. She never once complained, but her eyes told it all; the disease afflicted her so much, it was hard to watch her slowly go. I remember once going down in the massive hospital lift alone, and I said a quiet prayer: “Lord, please let Mama rest”. I never fully understood the import of those words because I was just a very young girl, but I understood that she had endured enough in one lifetime, and that she needed a break. The good Lord heard my quiet prayer, when about a month later I went to see her in hospital one Saturday morning, and she was gone. The devastation was so overwhelming, and many were the evil thoughts that came rushing to mind at that moment, but the same good Lord, upheld my sanity. Today, and every day, I celebrate and dearly miss a great Woman of Faith, courage and resilience.
I never understood Mama’s resilience, until I got my own kids, then it all made sense. A mother’s love: It defies all odds, plies through any obstacles, overcomes all hardships, endures all pain, melts the hardest ice, climbs the highest mountains, endures the coldest nights or the hottest of days, withstands all foes, foregoes all pleasures and never gives up.
As we continue to celebrate mothers, for I believe every day is Mothers’ day, I also wanted to acknowledge all those mothers who, like Mama, helplessly watched as they slowly departed from this world, yet held on to their very last breathe, to ensure they gave their very best to, and for their families. To all those Mothers who carried their babies to term and endured the pain of bringing new life into this world; All those Mothers who kept vigil as they prayed their sick children through the night; All those Mothers who gave up all they had to ensure their children had the best; All those mothers against all odds protected their children from the hardships of this world; All those Mothers who pretended not to be hungry so that their children could eat, because there wasn’t enough for everyone; All those mothers who endured horrible marriages because they knew outside of them their children would starve; All those mothers who did what society deemed evil or wrong, so as to provide for their children; All those mothers who were bold enough to stand up for their children when evil arose against them, and Yes, to all those Mothers who never gave up on their children when everyone else did. And to all those mothers not included in this list because this list is endless: Not enough honors can be given to all those mothers.
To all the mothers-in-law who agree to share their sons with strangers who become their daughters-in-law, this is a bold move: Hail to these mothers.
To all the mothers-in-love who unconditionally shower love on the strangers who become their daughters-in-love, this is a blessed thing: Hail to these mothers.
To all the grandmothers who become mothers a second time because for one reason or the other nature deemed it fit they take care of their grandchildren, this is a step of self-denial: Hail to these mothers.
To all the aunties, big sisters, friends and strangers who have been forced by circumstances to take on the role of a mother: Hail to these motherly hearts.
To all the men who courageously take on the responsibility of mothers so as to save and protect an innocent, deserving child: Hail to these motherly hearts.
To all the people who have taken other people’s children as their own: Hail to these motherly hearts.
And to all the men who stood up for and protected mothers anywhere: Hail to these men, they made it possible for mothers to be what they are.
The world should have a special place for mothers because they direct, shape and equip the child to go out and face the world.
It is impossible to imagine the times I went through hardships and really longed that Mama was there to help out but she wasn’t, and she isn’t coming back. So, if you have a Mom, please treasure, love, dote on and spoil her. We never realize the value of something/anyone, until they have gone on. My friend cried bitterly when her mom died without having reconciled with her over some small matter. Now is the time to make right, for tomorrow might be too late, and what might have looked like an impossible mountain, dwindles at the immense loss of valuable time and valued relationships.
Let’s take care of our aging parents, for that is where we are all headed. The story of a lady I once took care of always left me very sad. She was to be taken to a nursing home but she didn’t want to go, because she was not ready and wanted to stay home, but arrangements had already been made and she had to leave. She stood by the door post, hugged it close to her and pleaded with me to please tell her daughter, who was pulling at her, that she didn’t want to go to the nursing home, because this was her home. Her daughter couldn’t hear any of it, so the lady went to the nursing home the following day. I would hate that anything like that happens to anyone. It was too painful to watch the old lady cry and plead. Imagine the agony of that mother, thinking that she gave birth to her daughter, brought her up, and now this. She died shortly thereafter, and the daughter sold the house, just as she had intended. Sad.
In matters of parents especially, what we plant comes back to bless or haunt us. Let us continue taking care of one another, because when we do so we take care of the universe, because we are all one.
It is Still a Beautiful World, Strive to be Happy
Kenyan Parents in USA