Wednesday, 13 May 2015

A Tribute To My Mother


 
You’d think the pain will ease with time, it hasn’t; I’ve just learnt to manage it better. In my mind you remain oh so fresh. No one who encountered you would forget. You were awesome like that. And boy, the stories you told…
‘Look at the moon. Can you see the shadow in the middle?
I strain my eyes for a bit and whisper ‘Yes’
‘Can you see it looks like a man with his arms raised holding an object?’
Again I whisper ‘Yes’
‘You know what he’s holding?’
‘No’ 
‘It’s an axe’
‘Ok…’
‘You know why?’
I shake my head.

So you told me the story...
This man was told by God not to chop firewood on Sundays. He didn’t listen. He woke up on Sunday and instead of going to church like a good Christian would, he picked his axe and decided to chop some firewood. As he raised his arms to strike the first blow, God froze him and placed him in the moon as a lesson to those of us on earth.

I went to bed feeling so sad for the man. I thought about his family, his wife and children and all the things he would never get to do because of his disobedience. I never questioned the story. Why would I? To me your wisdom was infinite and your knowledge had no boundaries. As you said it so it was; infallible truths spoken by my all-knowing mother. And then I grew up and found out…Kai.
 (For those of you, who ask why I carry church put for head, blame it on this story: D)

You were such a disciplinarian I remember wondering if other people had my type of mother. In retrospect maybe you knew you weren’t going to be around for long. A particular incident stands out in my mind. Daddy always had a stack of coins in his room. It was okay to buy whatever we wanted with it without asking. It wasn’t okay with you however, because we would use the money and buy all sorts, fill our tummies with junk and have no space for dinner; especially me. So you told us to ask before taking from the stash. I didn’t think you’d notice if I did so I helped myself as usual and lied when you asked who touched the coins, never mind that I still had palm oil lining my mouth from the moi-moi I went to eat at a primary school nearby. The spanking I received that day made me revere coins so much I’m now a coin collector. Seriously.

We ran to welcome daddy when he returned from work, with you we ran in the opposite direction - to check if all the things you asked us to do had been done, and well too.

I remember that night like I’m watching a movie. I wasn’t even seven when you passed away. It didn’t occur to me then that you had. Yes I cried but I did because everyone else was crying. Yes I was at the lying in state but the woman in the coffin didn’t look like you, so I wasn’t overtly bothered. Besides, daddy told me you went to the market…

It’s been over two decades. Growing up without a mother is one of the toughest challenges a young girl can face. It’s an ordeal I don’t wish for anyone, boy or girl. Every May the 13th I’m broody. I find myself wondering what life would have been like if you were still around. Funny though, I keep seeing you in a colour-blocked outfit :D

Today is my own Mothers Day.  I stand in respect of the woman that you were and what you have meant to me all these years. Thank you for those years of discipline and the no-nonsense upbringing that has kept me on the straight and narrow ever since.

There are times when I think life can be much easier if I would just, you know, lower my standards a little. And then I hear a voice in my heart whisper ‘Naomi, Remember Whose Daughter You Are’

©Naomi Lucas

6 comments:

Midas said...

I'm sure she's looking down smiling proudly at the nice, confident young lady you've become. Do keep resisting the urge to compromise your standards. And btw hbd, wishing you many more fulfilling & glorious yrs ahead. Cheers!

Ayo Adene said...

May 13 must be a special day. The day when good parents go to rest, as my mum told me. I researched what to do with grief, and one of the better suggestions I found was to blog about it. Am sure mother's proud of you.

Naomi Lucas said...

Thanks Midas. Amen and amen :)

Naomi Lucas said...

@Ayo, you bet :) Writing sure is therapeutic :)

Anonymous said...

So touching. I had to wipe the tears like three times or more! Great art...

Naomi Lucas said...

Thanks Anon...