Mum. Mak. Mother.
When I first thought of bringing a few bloggers together to celebrate mothers, the idea was to reminisce and share. An extra special memory. Or heirloom, shared between generations. And/or your basic everyday thoughts about that woman in your life. Which makes it ironic that as I sit here before my laptop, fingers to the ready, words are simply not pouring forth.
The relationship I have with my mother has been fraught with ups and downs. That isn’t to say she was unkind or abusive. Quite the contrary. My mother is the loveliest, living saint of a person I know. And therein lies the problem. She was/is amazing. I was/am difficult.
See, it’s hard growing up with zero resemblance to your mother particularly when people look at her and say, “So pretty!!” then turn to look at you saying, “What happened to you?”
I KID YOU NOT
I fully realised, even then, that it wasn’t her fault at all. In fact, whenever she heard any comment of that nature, hell hath no fury like my enraged mother. Not that it made things any easier. I was rude and, I’m profoundly ashamed to confess, downright mean to her most of the time. Hardly a day passed without me snapping at her. Being flippant. Patronising. Condescending. You’ve no idea how difficult it is for me to write all this down now, for the world to read and judge but that’s how things were between us for the longest time. I was so horrid.
And she didn’t deserve any of it.
Throughout it all, my mother remained my champion.
Even when I ran away. When I kept
whining demanding new clothes to keep up with the cool kids, despite the fact that my dad had been retrenched and hers was the sole family income. When I eschewed family birthdays and events to hang out with my then boyfriend. There are many more incidents I could recite but because Eve often mouses over here, I’ll refrain.
DEAR LORD, HOW I MUST HAVE BROKEN HER HEART. OVER AND OVER AND OVER.
It was only in the last year or so that the dynamics changed. When I changed. When I made the effort to listen. To bite my tongue and remember to shut up unless I was able to verbalise my thoughts (no matter positive or negative) in the respectful, loving manner she deserved. And yes, my story has a happy ending.
This is the woman who gave me life. This is the woman from whom I inherited my writing genes. The one who was supermum even before the phrase became cool. She’d get up really early in the morning to prepare our breakfast and lunches. Finish work (she was Managing Editor at the Borneo Literature Bureau until retiring several years back) and dash to aerobics. Then dash home to heat up dinner which she’d cooked the night before. Help us with homework. Do the laundry (manually, mind you, no washing machines in the house at the time). And then read us a story before tucking my brother and I into bed. That was my mum #kickass
Thank God for second chances because I really need all the time I can get to make up for being such a bitch in the past. I can’t imagine how I would be if Eve treated me the way I used to treat my own mother. Thank God too for Whatsapp because through it, she (and my Dad) and I talk every single morning, without fail. I don’t think I’ve ever been this present from 3 continents away than when I was living under the same roof with my parents.
So yes, I am thankful and grateful. And I love my mother. Very much.
As do these ladies. Love their mothers, I mean. Not mine. Although I’m certain they would if they met/knew her. But that really isn’t the point. I’ll shut up now.
Rachel (garay treasures)
Ann (kremb de la kremb)
Val (val around town)
I couldn’t be prouder to work with this absolutely amazing group of women for Mother’s Day. Not only are they strong and beautiful, they are, to me, the epitome of today’s supermum. Combining all the roles they undertake, not effortlessly (nothing worthwhile is ever effortless and if anyone tells you otherwise, beat down their Pinocchio noses), but with determination, commitment, grit and love.
DO VISIT THEIR BLOGS TOO
Special mention must also go out to other fabulous mothers I know who count blogging as one of their fave gigs on the side, including Debbie, Ada, Sam, Cara, Marlene, Vanessa, Sam, Jennie, and Anna. And all those whose names I may not have mentioned but who are superwomen in their own right.
And there’s me. A work-in-progress in every possible way.
I’ll end with this – if you can, please hug your mother now. If you can’t, tell her you love her using whatever means available on hand. Don’t be an idiot like me and waste over 40 years before seeing the treasure I had in my mother, only to realise it when we’re 30,000km apart.
You know I’m right.
p/s photos by Sofia Touassa
I link up here.