My Mother My Hero 2.0
I have been looking for inspiration to write an article on mother’s day, but whenever I start I end up feeling like my write up is not good enough or if I am being honest not up to par with a post I wrote sometime last year for my mum.
After what seemed like a lot of going back and forth in my head, I decided I am just going to share the article I posted on StyleVitae last year because it pretty much captures all I want to say in my mother’s day letter.
I woke this morning to the rave about Obama’s impassioned speech at the Democratic National convention, I decided I was going to settle in at work before watching the full video. After watching the over 45 mins video I could not help but feel a myriad of emotions; sad, that such an amazing person who started a journey where all the odds were against him is about to end it. Empowered, because the speech is one of those that will always go down in history. Motivated, because I followed his journey from the campaign trips made and I know it takes a lot to wither all the storms and make it in out in one piece, and I could not help but hope we had just an iota of that here in Nigeria.
Immediately I realised I might not have such inspiration from the President of Nigeria but I certainly have one at home, I call her my mother.
It took me back to all the struggles my mother went through to make sure I have the comfortable life I have right now. Working three times harder than her counterparts just to make sure I eat three square meals, dessert in the middle of every meal and end up with a sophisticated palate and a full belly.
Just like every human being, she certainly takes the piss sometimes, there are so many times she upsets me with decisions she takes which her defense usually is ‘she is doing it for us’. There are also countless times she disrespects and disregards my personal time because if she needs something, she needs it right now. There are times we would have conversations and she would think it okay to use that information against me when we are arguing. Let us not go into times she pounded my head, scarred my entire body and disciplined me to the D.
But as I watched Obama go on and on about his love for the country and how towards the end of the speech he said
MY TIME IN THIS OFFICE, IT HASN’T FIXED EVERYTHING. AS MUCH AS WE’VE DONE, THERE’S STILL SO MUCH I WANT TO DO. BUT FOR ALL THE TOUGH LESSONS I’VE HAD TO LEARN, FOR ALL THE PLACES I’VE FALLEN SHORT, I’VE TOLD HILLARY, AND I’LL TELL YOU WHAT’S PICKED ME BACK UP, EVERY SINGLE TIME: IT’S BEEN YOU, THE AMERICAN PEOPLE.
IT’S THE LETTER I KEEP ON MY WALL FROM A SURVIVOR IN OHIO WHO TWICE ALMOST LOST EVERYTHING TO CANCER, BUT URGED ME TO KEEP FIGHTING FOR HEALTH CARE REFORM, EVEN WHEN THE BATTLE SEEMED LOST. DO NOT QUIT.
IT’S THE PAINTING I KEEP IN MY PRIVATE OFFICE, A BIG-EYED, GREEN OWL WITH BLUE WINGS, MADE BY A 7-YEAR-OLD GIRL WHO WAS TAKEN FROM US IN NEWTOWN, GIVEN TO ME BY HER PARENTS SO I WOULDN’T FORGET, A REMINDER OF ALL THE PARENTS WHO HAVE TURNED THEIR GRIEF INTO ACTION.
IT’S THE CONSERVATIVE IN TEXAS WHO SAID HE DISAGREED WITH ME ON EVERYTHING, BUT APPRECIATED THAT, LIKE HIM, I TRY TO BE A GOOD DAD.
AND TONIGHT, I ASK YOU TO DO FOR HILLARY CLINTON WHAT YOU DID FOR ME.
I ASK YOU TO CARRY HER THE SAME WAY YOU CARRIED ME. BECAUSE YOU’RE WHO I WAS TALKING ABOUT 12 YEARS AGO, WHEN I TALKED ABOUT HOPE. IT’S BEEN YOU WHO’VE FUELED MY DOGGED FAITH IN OUR FUTURE, EVEN WHEN THE ODDS WERE GREAT, EVEN WHEN THE ROAD IS LONG. HOPE IN THE FACE OF DIFFICULTY, HOPE IN THE FACE OF UNCERTAINTY, THE AUDACITY OF HOPE!
His words took me back to the many times my mother inconvenienced herself to make me comfortable, the one time she had to walk bare feet home because my slippers had ripped on our way back from new year’s eve vigil and it was too late to buy from any store. Or when she was made a huge fuss with my principal for wrongfully implying that I had not paid my school fees when in fact it was untrue and I was kept waiting outside while my mates were writing their first paper for W.A.E.C In her words, ‘He caused me emotional and physical trauma hours before I wrote my exam because he was incompetent and did not do his homework well’.
The many times she had sleepless night because I was restless or the fact that she jumps up every time I open my room door and she shouts ‘Vanessa what is wrong, are you hungry? why are you restless, why are you not asleep’, and I have to reassure her I just want to get a coke or pick up my dinner from the microwave.
Let us not talk about the time she picked a fight with my Dad because he beat me mercilessly for scribbling notes on the calendar, or she almost locked up my cousin for beating me till I passed out because I defended my siblings when he was maltreating the. Or the times she went out of her way to find a particular pair of shoes I wanted, she refused to purchase a lookalike just because I told her I wanted those particular ones. These are just the few I can remember off the top of my head.
Obama’s speech had me searching for someone who will inspire a whole lot of us collectively just the way he inspires the good people of the United States of America but in our small circles we all have that one person who does just the same thing to us, giving us goose pimples when they talk and making us cry when they act. Mine happens to be my mother.
I take a look at her and I see how she looks like she needs a vacation but she cannot because she is busy working so hard so her four children can live as comfortable as she never lived. It is why sometimes when she upsets me, I cannot afford to cave into anger because I know she does not do it intentionally, I know she always has my best interest at heart, I know she literally thrives on the existence of my siblings and I, I know she will take a bullet for all of us and more if she ever got a chance and I know I do not even tell her how much she means to me enough because I assume she knows.
So even when she annoys me and I cannot stand being around her, I know I will take a bullet for her and not give it a second thought because she is my hero.