I lost my mum about a decade ago.
I don’t like thinking about the last days of her life. I would rather remember Mama from the early days.
I have noticed that since I started this challenge I have often made reference to my dad, maybe that’s my brain’s way of shutting down memories of her last days. But today, I shall talk about Mama and I promise not to cry.
My earliest memories are of a very active woman. She was weight concious and so she was constantly working on how to remain fit. She used to love playing table tennis and would always beat anyone that came against her. First time I heard words like ‘deuce’ and ‘cantap'(?) were from her. My mum was a sport…literally. There is no game she got exposed to that she couldn’t play and she always ended up a master at it. She could play monopoly ,whott ,draught, snakes and ladders, ludo….all you had to do was name it.
Mama was everyone’s first interaction with reading. She knew the importance of reading things for yourself. As one of Jehovah’s Witnesses, she believed that reading played an important role in ones accepting the truths found in God’s word and she was determined to show each of her children this path. Yet, she never forced anyone to accept it. Read and decide for yourself she used to say.
Mama was not an educated woman in the academic sense but she was a brilliant woman. I remember a game she taught us as kids: everyone got a sheet of paper and created columns. Each column was labelled- names of people , places, animals, things, bible names, insects, birds and so on. Each player would choose a letter and every word in each column would begin with that letter! I must say that Mama planted in me the love for words. It was fun studying the atlas so that one could learn names of new places or reading the bible book of Chonicles to find names that others did not know. The rule of the game was that your score would be reduced by half if you wrote the same word with someone else 🙂
Mama was fiercely loyal and supportive of her husband. She was a great manager. She took up a job to support the family when she could. She also engaged in petty trading. At a time she had a small store where she sold stuff. She fried groundnut and supplied to people who sold in bottles. We would help her peel and bottle (I think that’s where my love for groundnut came from 😐 ) Mama was no complainant. She remained a pillar of strength for my dad through all the tough economic times. I never heard my mum quarrel with my father because he couldn’t afford to buy her a dress or jewelries. She was an understanding woman.
Mama was a very stubborn woman. Oh yes, she was. My dad used to complain about that a lot. She had a way of insisting that things happen a particular way. You could hardly get her to change her mind when she made a decision. Mama’s no was no.
Mama loved her children, but I think she had a special love for me. We were almost inseparable and I wasn’t even the last born. She liked me because I was a hard-worker. I never offered excuses when something needed to be done. I was always with her, helping out in the kitchen.
Sadly, Mama suffered a stroke and lost her vitality in her early 50s. She became a shadow of her former self and at some points she couldn’t even recognise us any-more. Okay, I know I promised not to cry but I can’t do this. I have to stop here.
I look forward to seeing Mama again because the bible says: The hour is coming in which all those in the memorial tombs will hear his voice and come out (John 5:28,29) . Mama believed in this scripture and I believe it too. She will return at a time when no resident shall say “I am sick” (Isaiah 33:24).
And the One seated on the throne said: “Look! I am making all things new.” Also, he says: “Write, because these words are faithful and true.- Rev 21:5 NWT