A letter to my Friend, my Confidant, my Counselor, my biggest Cheerleader…to my loving mummy!
Mummy, a world without you often feels impossible to bear, but your presence is evident in the legacy that we will always carry with us. You have a special bond with each of your children, relatives and friends and an uncanny ability to make each of us feel like we are the most special to you. Your boundless generosity and hospitality is commendable, as you willingly welcome all who approach you for help. Our home was always alive with long and short term guests, as we watched people flow through while you and daddy assisted in ushering them into the next phase of their lives. By your example, I have learned every good thing I know, especially my love for God, cooking, baking, sewing, giving and creating. I often hear your voice saying “Chukwu goziri aka gi” (God blessed your hands) as you encouraged me to pursue my passion. Mummy, every fiber of my being is somehow intertwined with you. You are so easy to talk to, confide in and take advice from. Even in my youthful exuberance, when I shunned your advice, your words would ring in my ears and in my "quiet time" I would often come to appreciate the wisdom of your words.
Your words often function as a guide to how I approach many aspects of my life. You often sing the rhyme “Make new friends and keep the old, one with silver and the other gold" to teach me the value friendship, and the bond of sisterhood. You caution me to "Always play hard to get, and make sure the man you choose as a partner expresses his love for you just a little more than you do," as an expression of your desire for me to have fulfilling relationships, and self-value. When you ask, "Would it kill you to say you're sorry?” you teach me about contrition and humility. To encourage tenacity, you advise, “Fight for what you believe in." You show me the value of personal sacrifice when you advise that “Love and Marriage are a sacrament for which our reward is in Heaven.” Your spirituality is paramount to you, and in an attempt to demystify God, you teach me that "Prayer is just a conversation with your Daddy in Heaven. You don’t need a special occasion or formalities to talk to your Daddy." Your favorite verse from the bible Ecclesiastes 3- “There is a time for everything and a season for every activity under the heavens...” teaches Patience, Virtue and Fortitude. At every phase of my life, your words have been a guiding light and have brought me through the worst of times. You make every opportunity a learning opportunity.
You have a heart of gold. You have adopted and cared for many sons and daughters… even animals and birds of prey… a true Florence Nightingale. You would bring home a canary with a broken leg and nurse it back to health, you cared for a young falcon that lost its way, as Xander and I watched in awe as it landed on your arm as you spoke lovingly spoke with it. It stayed close to you for several minutes until you seemingly convinced it to fly off to freedom. Your pure heart is a gravitational force! You understand the plight of women, and unbeknownst to us you began a micro-loan scheme which helped support the women entrepreneurs of the village, hence helping them maintain their livelihood.
For you, the phrase green thumb is an understatement! You gardened with a passion… hybrid roses, mango trees, plantains, oha, ugwu, tomatoes, bell peppers, and your deliciously sweet pineapples! You joke (seriously) that “even plants will do what you ask, if you ask nicely.” Your flourishing garden was proof of that. We really lived off the work of your hands, and you bore good fruit!
You carry yourself with grace… you light up a room when you walk in, you command attention when you speak. Your grace is one made for history books! Growing up, there was no mother cooler than you. You sang with us (all the hip new songs), danced with us, knew all the relevant artists, watched movies with us, swam the back stroke while carrying us on your chest, you introduced us to new experiences. As cool as you are, you never relent to keep God as your center and HIS love radiates through in your interactions. Your greatest desire is to teach us, and the world, of God’s love.
You give of yourself generously, love ceaselessly and laugh endlessly. You will forever live on as I carry you with me through the works on my hands, the life that I live and your legacy that we keep alive. I address you in the present tense because you are ever present. Your words live on, your light still guides, your stories are still being told, and your legacy will transcend time. You will forever be celebrated!
Ugoeze, biri kwo!