Have you ever heard of the saying “Absence makes the heart grow fonder”? I used to roll my eyes whenever people said that till I experienced it this year.
Having to relocate from my home country after getting married, I was miles apart from my mom and this proved tough initially as my mom and I are like sisters, laughing and gossiping one day and at loggerheads the next. I share virtually everything with her.
As human nature would have it, my love for her was belittled by the distractions each day presented and hence appreciation was sometimes postponed till further notice.
As a newly married woman, I begun to be acutely aware of the little things I previously took for granted and my love for her grew each day.
Waking up extra early to clean up the house and do laundry, I was reminded of the numerous times she would sweep my room, lay my bed and throw my clothes in the machine because she knew I would be exhausted from work and we didn’t have a steward at that point in time.
Preparing the days meal, I would think of those special occasions she would drag her tired self out of bed to put together a nourishing pot of goat meat jollof rice with coleslaw and fried plantain on the side for the family.
I always ensure that dishes are done immediately after meals and the kitchen cleaned each night just because my mom taught me so and I saw the effect of that many years later (a well maintained kitchen).
Washing the car a few times my husband was away, I would remember her carrying a bucket of water and duster down to clean her own car saying “I just can’t drive a dirty car aaaaah”.
Lying sick in bed, I imagined her loving fingers on my forehead prophesying healing into my life with me squirming out of reach and her look of worry when I wasn’t getting better.
Rushing my husband to the hospital one dawn, I thought of all the times she did same, praying fervently along the way and I immediately applied this to my own situation.
Her greeting each morning on whatsapp throws me back to the days when she would peep through my window each morning to ask “Are you asleep? Won’t you wake up?”
Viewing episodes of Big Brother Africa, I am reminded of all our analysis of the housemates from previous episodes and how we would sack my dad from the television room during each eviction show.
On days I feel like dressing shabbily, I hear her voice chiding me “What are you wearing? You need to look good for your husband”.
And on those days that I am ticked off and want to show my husband ‘who is who’ I see her look of disapproval which normally accompanies the words “be patient my daughter, control your feelings.” Sigh!
After each night bath, I am transported back to those evenings when her sweet fragrance would fill the bedroom corridor and you would hear her singing to herself.
Looking into my wardrobe filled with clothes that need alteration, I miss her dearly knowing she wouldn’t hesitate to whip out her machine and do the needful.
Reflecting on past experiences, I remember the nights we would spend cuddled together in bed with her sharing escapades of her youthful days (though she has fewer adventures compared to me lol).
There are also those days where I feel so lost and demoralized and as much as I try to hang on to Gods words, it is through her sweet soothing voice I am sometimes able to embrace them.
Sitting at my desk pouring over my students’ worksheets, I remember tales of my grandma’s teaching days she has shared with me and it’s inspiring to know this passion runs in the blood.
On the subject of grandmother, I can’t help but think of the attention and care my mom gave her during her final days- bathing her, cleaning her wounds, changing her nappies, feeding her and reading to her at times. What greater love could there be?
And those glorious Sunday afternoons we would spend baking made me yearn for the day I would have daughters to cook with. I however do not miss the cleaning up aspect which I always tried to run away from.
Her constant “I miss you despite your stubbornness”, “I am proud of you” and “I love you” is like music to my soul and I dance to its tune daily.
There are some things that I don’t miss though, such as her constant questions on your whereabouts and what you are doing and who you are doing it with, what you have eaten, plan to eat etc. I used to get so irritated when she bombarded me with such questions but I must say that now I take it with a pinch of salt. After all, she does it out of love.
Absence really does make the heart grow fonder and I could go on and on but I would love to hear from you regarding your own love experience with your mom. God bless them.