“If you have a mum, there is nowhere you are likely to go where a prayer has not already been.”
Demography studies say that with many men and just one woman, a population would become extinct but with just one man and many women, there is an increased probability for a population and there is hope for a nation. That is the power of mothers. In the analogy of a seed and growth, the woman is the ground. Without the ground and its ability to conceive, there would be no food. Women therefore carry a unique ability of conception.
Lately, I have been thinking a lot about the first and last memories I have of people. You may call it nostalgia but the feeling is some sort of rebirth of a moment; a moment that will never happen again; one you would want to live in over and over, no matter how painful it was.
The last memory I have of my mum is of pain and surrender. I remember how she had called me to her bedroom the previous week and told me that she would not make it to see us grow up. I remember the things she told me that day and I hold on to them, almost pleading with my brain never to allow them to fade and I tell myself that if I should forget anything, I can forget basic integration, Taylor’s formula and the Markov process but let me not forget her words. I remember how she could not support herself that morning when she left for hospital. I remember asking God why mum had to get so sick on the same day I was reporting to high school. I remember so many things about the sickness and how it quickly announced itself and took her away. Then, I remember that the thing about death that makes it so real, is that it leaves a vacuum that nothing or no one else can ever fill; and that, time does not actually heal pain, it only makes the reality more acceptable and the memories more beautiful.
I have many memories of my mother; Beautiful memories. I remember that night when she heard thugs trying to break into the house (it was the first time I ever heard someone screaming for help) and how my dad bravely told us that there was nothing wrong yet the window pane was out when we woke up. I remember how she used to wake up early each morning to pack lunch for us; and how my friends would ask if my mother was a chef as we shared lunch at school. I remember how she related well with her customers and how I still cannot match her business skills. I remember how thoroughly she cleaned the house and how she wiped the floor after I had already wiped it just because it was smeared. I remember how loud she was and I do not have to think twice about where I got most of my traits from. Sometimes when I look in the mirror, I see her in myself. I see her eyes in the eyes of my siblings. I remember how we sang at night in the kitchen using her high school hymn book till 9:00pm. I still remember that story she told us when there was no electricity: the one about a goat which bore four kids from its knee then they all got swallowed up by a fox. I even remember the song in the story. I remember how my mum made an effort to save, to attend theology classes and to stand out in whatever she did.
My mother was the spine that held our family and part of the community around us. She was kind. So many children would come home to have meals when she was around. It is said that one time, my mum had only five shillings left to feed her and her two children. That time my dad was working in Kisumu and there was no M-Pesa. She gave out the five shillings as offering in church and well, we all lived to tell the story. I probably will never forget the last time she disciplined me with a slipper. I had written a letter to a boy who liked me. Well, my mum got it before the boy. Later that evening, she told my dad that I wanted to get married. Mothers and exaggeration!
Well, I share these stories about my mother because she left an indelible mark in our lives and without her; we still turned out well, because her prayers have kept us all the way.
Motherhood is not easy and despite the fact that the ability to bear children is not a choice, motherhood is a choice. The day you were born is not just your birthday, it is also the day the relationship between you and your mother began. For some, the relationship has been going on ever since, for others like me, it was cut in between by various factors and for others, it ended at birth; but what is common for us all is that we were brought forth by mothers.
So, today, I celebrate all women who have made immense sacrifices for their children. I celebrate mothers who also play the role of wives; I celebrate women who have carried children in their wombs and lost them before birth; I celebrate women who have gone through the pain of losing children; I celebrate young mothers who chose life when abortion seemed like an option; I celebrate surrogate mothers who carried children in their wombs for the joy of another mother; I celebrate foster mothers and step mothers who took up the task of bringing up other children as their own; ; I celebrate single and widowed women who have raised children in the absence of their fathers; I also celebrate fathers who have taken up the role of a mother in a child’s life. Lastly I celebrate everyone who hopes to be a mother- In all of you is the ability and power to bring forth and change generations! Happy Mothers’ Day!