Mother’s day recently passed and was well celebrated. I saw and read posts from friends with pictures of theirthe mothers together. I also saw posts of my friends with their daughters or sons celebrating this day.
I never once thought I’d be able to write this. But my mother went through hell to raise me and my siblings up. Even though I did and still do admire my father, for all the other reasons, he was still abusive towards my mother.
From emotional to physical abuse. All this time, he had plenty of other hot looking girlfriends working in high offices with heels while my mother tilled the land, worked her ass off and paid for every tiny thing in the house with her meagre salary. She even took a loan to build our house. t that time, my dear father was flying high, wasting money and leaving us in debts. From hospital bills to unpaid debts.
I remember my mum’s hair was always short. She had pretty long hair and super beautiful when they were dating and even when they had me. But somehow after the third child, my father changed his attutude towards my mum and my siblings. He had another woman. He made my mama cut her hair, made me cut my hair too. He became much more angry and aggressive.
This was not the guy who at many occasions had saved our neighbours from domestic battering, had threatened to destroy another man for beating his wife or even rushed another woman suffering from celebral malaria to the hospital. Countless things he did for other people, countless offerings he poured to the church and countless children he welcomed home to watch our television – which was the village’s only TV at that time.
Back to my mom, her job was to look awful and work hard. Shaggy with baggy clothes. Because that was how wives of people like my dad should look like in that tiny village. Moreso, if you happen to be a woman who the church says you should be a model to other women.
I remember my mother miscarrying after my dad beat the hell out of her. I saw her bleed, ran to the neighbour to ask for help to drive her to hospital. I did not know it was what it was until later in life when I asked my mother for details of that fateful night.
Or the other time when my mother would watch and cryI helplessly when my father beat the hell out of me for breaking a plate while washing it. She came in between us and he slapped the hell out of her as she fell on the hard floor.
Or when she came home late from too much work in school and found my father angrily waiting for her to make him his dinner.
Ouch. These memories have a way of getting to me.
Yet my mother stayed. She stayed for the sake of us. Also she was ashamed and embarassed that she could not leave and stay a single mother with four kids to take care of. She thought it was necessary to have a father figure for us. If she knew that he’d die later on and leave her agonizing, maybe she would have left.
My mother, she was thrown out of her fathers will for marrying my father. Her parents never agreed with her choice. She was already pregnant with me. She was cut out completely. Her parents refused to take her to college, telling her to go to her poor boyfriend and never contact them again.
My mother, she survived the stigma and society cultural traditions which sometimes would tear her apart. She protected us from those horrible things they would say to her. She told me they were outdated.
My mother, one of the first women in my village to wear a trouser and walk down the city center, while being shouted at by village boys to leave her trouser and home for her male kids.
My mother, who loves me to death and always believed in me, even when she knew I was making a wrong turn. She never scolded me nor lack faith in me.
My mother, my dear mother, whom now is so hard to reach because I am in another country studying to have a better life and her connection is so poor that we cannot speak even for two minutes.
My mother who gives all of herself to every kid she teaches and to their parents and to her teachers.
If ever I feel low for some reason, I remember all the strong women, like my mother who show that life is what you make out of it. Noone is responsible for your happiness. Sometimes we choose to stay in broken lives, broken families, broken relationships or marriages and we have all the reason to. One day, the pain will go away and we will be happy again.
Mom, you made me who I am today. I am proud to be your daughter. And one day, if ever I have them kids, I hope to pass the grace, charisma, love and the strength to them.
With love and affection.