My Mother

It’s Mothers’ Day in many Countries around the world today and I’m taking this time to talk about my mother. She has been a constant all through my life and I think this is a good opportunity to celebrate her.

She’s fondly called Dee, Aunty D, Sister D, Mma Deaconess, Eka-Imo, Mma Umoffia, Grandma Dorcas, and so on. I used to call her Mummy, then one day I decided to switch to Mama; now I use both.

She exemplified the term ‘mother’ in so many ways, and this, not to her children alone but to many others who came to regard our home as theirs. Our doors were open to many.

She was a hard worker and committed herself to whatever she set her mind to do. Back in the day, they did their long hours too and I remember her coming home late especially at month end and year end when they had to balance the books. But somehow, she found time to get me to join the children’s choir in Church, teach me mathematics, visit us in our various secondary schools on visiting day and buy our ready made Christmas clothes.

She raised poultry, grew cabbage and lettuce, sewed some of our clothes, and baked our birthday cakes. She had a cassava farm behind the house and got us all involved in making garri that would last the family for months. We learnt so many important life skills from her. She managed money well and did all she could to support her husband, our father, in meeting the family’s needs.

She was also a disciplinarian. I hardly got into trouble but I remember one hot slap. I was trying to cook up a story to cover for my siblings and I. We had violated her instructions to finish our chores before settling down to watch TV. I was so hurt by the fact that my darling mother slapped me… and that marked the end of my very brief relationship with lies.

With six of their seven children still in school after my dad’s demise, she developed a strategy to ensure our fees were paid and that we had all our school supplies. Her accounting and negotiation skills paid off and she gained from her loyalty to her long standing books & provisions suppliers who knew her as a woman of integrity and rested assured that she would pay at the time promised.

I saw all her effort to keep her family together and well cared for. If she didn’t do all that, we may have ended up being distributed to relatives to serve as househelps in the hope that they would sponsor our education. My mother worked hard and God blessed her effort. I decided I would put a smile on her face by bringing her an outstanding result at the end of each term. I thought I was doing her a favor but I have gain tremendously as a result of that resolve.

Time won’t let me tell you of the extra special postpartum care she gives to her daughters and daughters-in-law. She’s one big reason I was able to resume work six weeks after each child’s birth and have no reason to worry. She is an exceptional mother and grandmother.

So, my dear Mama, on behalf of your now even larger family, I celebrate you. You are ‘oh so special‘. God bless you exceedingly for all the love and care you’ve shown and given us over the years. We love you forever. Happy Mothers’ Day!

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