They say it takes a mother to truly understand a mother’s heart. And I cannot agree more.
I have always been a daddy’s girl and never quite did have as close a relationship with my mother as I did with my father. My mother is a housewife, and a hardworking one at that. Her days started as early as 5am and ended no earlier than 9pm. She handled the household chores and cared for my elderly grandmother, in addition to us 3 children. Seeing that I was her youngest and only daughter, she was also responsible for shuttling me to and from school and all my additional classes.
But that’s not all I remember of her as a mother.
When I was a lot younger, I remember her hiding new toys around the house so that I could look for them after I came home from school. I remember her bringing me to various McDonald’s in search for limited edition Sesame Street plush toys that I so desperately wanted. Now that I’m a mother, I understand why it was so important for you to make me happy and see me smile.
I remember her sitting outside my tuition classes with her head almost reaching her lap because she had dozed off while waiting for me to finish class. I remember her frantically calling relatives and friends for advice on how she could help me improve when I came home with a 39 on my Math test. Now that I’m a mother, I understand how my journey to reach my potential was important, even if it meant worrying and losing sleep yourself.
I remember her coming to every one of my Netball tournaments, cheering me on as she sat under the blazing hot sun for hours. I remember her crying at every one of my life’s milestones – graduations, my wedding, and the birth of my son. Now that I’m a mother, I understand why it was important for you to show me that I would always have your support and how your heart ached as you saw me grow up, knowing that we would one day live apart.
I remember how I almost lost her to 3 operations to the head when a doctor told her she had cysts in her brain that needed to be removed. She spent months in the hospital but all she ever asked about was whether I was done with homework and if I was eating properly at school. And when she returned home, she would somehow find the strength to walk out of her room to inspect the house and into the kitchen to ask if dinner was prepared for the family. Now that I’m a mother, I understand how your own pain meant nothing when all you worried about was your children.
And now that she’s a grandmother, I remember how she fell and tumbled down 4 steps while on the way to the market and twisted her ankle. Yet, she managed to limp her way to the market to buy groceries for my confinement before heading back home with heavy bags. I remember on nights when I felt like a wreck, she calmly asked me to go back to sleep while she fed and changed Noah’s diaper on my behalf. Now that I’m a mother, I understand that you would never want your role as a mother to stop even though mine has begun.
Dear Mommy, I don’t say this enough but everything that I am, I owe to you. I’m ashamed that it needed me to be in your shoes before I could finally understand your heart. But one thing’s for sure, these shoes are too big for me to fill and I can never be half the woman and mother you are. But to honour you and the sacrifices you have made for me, I will try. Thank you, Mommy, for everything. I love you! Happy Mother’s Day!