It’s nearly three years since I last saw my mother. In-person, that is. Thanks to the pandemic, flying home is like going through the seven stages of hell that it’s much better not to test the waters. Every once in a while, we turn to technology to bridge the distance.
The last time we had a decent conversation was nearly three months ago. She was located on an island, on top of a mountain, that even to this day the mobile signal remains terrible. While a lot of us have the first world problem of wondering what phone to buy, my mother still has to walk about 10 minutes to my uncle’s house located on another hill where the signal is much better so we can talk.
In our last call, I remembered how frail she looked compared to the last when we saw her. Her white hairs had become more visible and the years had become readable on her face. She was a round face on a square mobile box but it was easy enough to see that the years are not being kind to her.
It’s hard to imagine my mum growing old. I think a lot of us had this trouble of recognising that every year we earn our age, so does our mothers.
While I’m penning this, I had trouble getting in touch with my mum. I’m sure she’s out in the field chasing after chickens or our neighbour’s ducks. That brings a touch of nostalgia for me, remembering her in her elements, so dominant and so sure even the dogs and the goats tremble at her voice when she shouts.
Just like many kids, I’ve always looked at my mum as a superwoman. There was nothing she cannot do. She raised three kids on her own while my father was away. She juggled being a housewife and a church officer on top of bringing food to the table. She was an exemplary woman and she was the reason why early on, I believe that women can do anything.
We all love our mums for many reasons. We love them for always supporting us as we navigate the world trying to create a better version of ourselves. In case you haven’t realised it yet as well, our mums are our homes. It’s not the house we grew up in or the place where the house is built that is home. The one who gives it meaning and the reason we call it home is that she was there — a presence we know so well that even if the world crash and burn, with her around, it is a safe space.
I’m happy for everyone who celebrated Mother’s Day with their mothers. I am envious of the opportunity that you can take them out, buy them flowers or gifts, and treat them out to a nice restaurant — something that they don’t ask but we all know they deserve.
While it will be a while before I’ll be able to hug my mother, I urge you to hug yours real tight. This Mother’s Day, remember how lucky you are that you have a woman that celebrates your achievements and cheers you on when you fall. Some of us don’t deserve such adoration but we get it anyway. So thank them because it’s the only thing you can do and even it will not suffice.
To all the mothers, a happy mother’s day. I hope your children treat you well. I hope they buy you flowers. I hope they lavish you with gifts. I hope they make you laugh — that priceless sound we know so well and we will miss terribly if it’s gone. I hope your children make you proud everyday and even if they don’t, thank you for the best love no one else can give.