Today is my mum’s birthday. She would have been 76 years.
I know. I sing it like you play a newly discovered song; over and over. But I miss her, and things like this makes managing the pain better.
But I digress.
There’s a particular story I want to share – and maybe you’ll understand a bit more.
When I was in primary school, my mum usually came to get me. She had a shop not too far from the school, so we would go there first before heading home much later. And because she would drive through the neighbouring area to get there, she would take some of my friends who lived around and drop them off. As we went, she would ask questions about their parents and siblings and stuff. My friends back then loved my mum; they thought she was the coolest thing. I was like meh – she was mum after all. But she was doing something in my head; I didn’t know what till later.
Fast forward a few years. I’m hustling to get into LASU; my mum and I were cool – I was starting to love her. I was tiring of staying at home, she kept encouraging me.
One day, I met a guy and we clicked. Spent the day talking about cartoons, comics and so on. It was so cool, I had no qualms about inviting him over the next day.
And he came.
Mum was in the living room reading a book when he showed up and she welcomed him well. She asked him some questions, he answered and she told me to entertain him. Gave me money to buy drinks and biscuits, and then she retired to her room and left us alone. A grand time is had by all.
When my guy was ready to leave, i went and told her. She came out, told him goodbye and I walked him to the bus stop to get a bus. I came back home and my mum summoned me. To next year I remember her exact words;
‘I don’t like that boy. Don’t bring him to my house again.’
What would you have done?
I know what I did. Looked for dude the next day and told him; ‘My mum doesn’t like you. Don’t come to my house again.’
And that was that.
The point is – I had gone through Primary/Secondary school, got into a lot of trouble along the way. But never had my mum complained about my friends. She always encouraged me to bring them around; she was friendly with them. A lot of my friends adore her to this day.
So when she said that about a friend, I didn’t hesitate. If she had been complaining about them before that day, I probably would have ignored her. But that one time? I strongly believed something was off about dude.
Believe me when I say I have stories for days about my mum, how she saw the world and how she shaped a lot of what I am. I miss her; every day the pain doesn’t diminish – even though I can laugh a bit more when I remember stories like this one. She died yesterday seven years ago; a day to her sixty-ninth birthday. Sometimes I think about Stephen King’s Pet Semetary and wonder; if I knew of a place like that…
Kids don’t come with manuals like, say a fridge. But I feel like my mum had one for me. She’s not the ‘world’s best mum’, but she was the mother I needed.
And that’s enough. Love always, momma.