In honour of MUM
When I was born over ½ of a century ago my mum and gran were the 2 most dominant females in my life as I was blessed with only brothers, so I was always surrounded by males. This continued to be the norm as I was blessed with 2 younger siblings who turned out to be boys, and not the longed for sister I had wanted all my life. However I was later compensated for my lack of female siblings by the kind of long lasting relationships I forged along life’s journeys. These relationships have led to my having so many role models, some older, my age and even younger in a support network that span the different communities in which I am privileged to have lived. Because of growing up in a household of mostly males it is no surprise that I grew up to be a typical Tom Boy until I hit puberty when mum tried to put a stop to my Tom foolery ways without an explanation. However after much reflections I can understand mum’s rationale for trying to rope in the stubborn child whom I had become? I must confess that over the years I have morphed so much into my mum and granny that it is very much uncanny. I keep reminding myself at times…, but that’s exactly what mum and gran would do in the same circumstances. Reminds me of some of the sayings like chip doan fly fur from block, kettle a cuss pot black, pig did ask sow wat mek your mouth long suh and sow sey bambye you will see…
As today is celebrated as MOTHER’s Day (except in UK) and Dementia Awareness Week (in UK) I must confessed that I am glad to say I still have a Mother who is 89 years and counting. However I am here harking and wishing I could turn the clock back to the time before I discovered that MUM was developing Dementia and tried to break the news to my family. Even now it is hard to get some of my siblings to understand where I am coming from about the slow deteiorations in mum’s mental health. Of late her condition has exacerbated to the point where she hardly recognises her children at times. I share moments with my big breda Balis where I am overcome with laughter or shed tears about some of the antics she gets up to. I am a very sentimental person who knows more about Mum than she even knows about herself and she has covered her vulnerability with a cloak to hide the pains and grief’s she suffered throughout her life. Like Mum I too have been covering myself with that cloak to get away from the hurts, but I guess not as successful as her as I am always overcome by emotions?
So today I am writing this little ditty as a reminder of the wonderful person MUM is and was, and I thank my lucky stars that dad chose her to be OUR Mother. Mama has had her ups and down throughout life coping with all kinds of adversities that would cause a lesser person to hand in the towel, but she never complained about her lot in life and picking the short straw. She was a stern Mother who never puts up with any foolishness from any one; she did her duties by her family, friends and community; lived an exemplary life serving her God and most of all was there to provide care and support for those who needed her services. She was a tower of strength when dad and later her mum took sick and she eventually had to go out and worked like a man to make sure her family had bread on the table.
I was in my early teens when dad took sick and over the years I watched as the burdens of life took their tools on MUM, but she never once shirked her responsibilities to her family. It breaks my heart each time I called to speak to her and sometimes she has retreated to a world of her own where even I her only daughter cannot intrude. And then when she has some clarity and says things like you are so far away and don’t have money to come and look for me…? It makes matters even worse. But I have to deal with the realities of life and know that I have to continue working hard in the UK despite whatever may befall me in order to afford to give MUM a better quality of life. So it is with a heavy heart I sit here and write this tribute to my MOTHER for the years of dedicated services she has provided. I know I have inherited all Mama’s traits and there is no escaping, but I hope I’ll be able to conduct myself with as much Dignity dealing with what life throws at me.
In honour of MUM