I have to be honest. I’m one of the people that think mums go a certain school to learn the art of slapping.
Or maybe it’s a woman thing.
But it seems as though mothers have it on lock the most. I mean, they so understand the art – they know what effect to create by hitting you with a particular part of their hand. They know how to shock you, hurt you, jerk tears from your eyes and so on.
The Art Of Slapping.
The first time; (as far as I remember) I ever got intimate with the flat of a woman’s hand was via my mum. It was also the day I learnt that the human mind also receives static – just like the TV used to; back in the day before the multicolored lines appeared; before the National Anthem was sung.
Anyways, that fateful night she’d sent me to go get something for her from a neighbor’s store. I hurried out of the house because the store belonged to one of my friend’s mum and there was always some gist to catch. On arriving the store, I met my friend and a couple of girls.
Now, it’s important you understand; I was still in my teens and something was really worrying me back then. I think it was around the time a senior in school had pointed out to me that the thing on females’ heads was not fire or flames; it was just hair – just like I had. So I was raring to practice my newfound confidence on every available female.
You can imagine my delight when I spotted the two ‘victims’.
Without much ado I began to flow and postulate and…I was sha yarning a lot of what I realize now must have been dust; but neither I nor the girls noticed.
Something else I forgot to notice?
I was so carried away with what I was saying and the looks on the girls’ faces that – I had entirely forgotten someone was waiting for me at home.
The first inclination of trouble I had was an eerie feeling that someone was standing behind me – and I guess that was what made the whole thing worse.
I turned – and therefore what should have been a slap; something designed for just my ear ended up hitting my ear AND eye.
I think I tuned in to the satellite that gave NTA feeds that night. NOTE: It was night, and there was no power.
But all that made no difference. I was receiving static loud and clear.
Somehow, I staggered from that store and made it home without bumping into anyone or anything. How I did that, till now I haven’t figured out.
But this is my point. That slap set me straight.
And that; the ability to slap the sh*t out of any living thing, was the least of my mum’s talents. She definitely slapped a lot of nonsense out of me – not to talk of the other things; the caning, flogging…
She saved my life.
She died two years ago (August 27th) – a day to her birthday. And in spite of the pain that hasn’t diminished even the slightest – it’s as though she jumps out from behind the shadows of every naughty kid being chastised by a loving mother – I still have so many reasons to be thankful she was my mum. The above was just one of many.
I just wanted to wish her a Happy Birthday; and maybe take her out to Chicken Republic like I did, on her last birthday alive – and feed her ice cream while the other customers looked offended; thinking I was there with my sugar mummy…
Happy Birthday Momma!
It has been somehow living without you. I know I say it ALL the time; and I probably sound like a broken record by now…but that does not change anything. It does not make it easier.
I can’t lie, every time someone says something about their mother my heart breaks a little.
You were my best friend for a while – and I don’t think I milked the relationship for what it was worth.
But at least we made up before you left. I’m thankful for that. Else, guilt would have killed me.
I can’t stand to listen to Tupac’s Dear Mama anymore. I just start tearing up.
I was standing in front of a bus line this evening, wondering as I always do, whether to go home or just sit and think. And then this boy came running, bumped into me hard.
I caught him in time before he careened into the street, and his mother came running up. She grabbed him from me, and screamed ‘Lekan! Why did you do that? Do you want to kill me?”
Mother and son started crying.
But you know what got to me, mum? The boy, amidst his tears said, “I’m sorry mommy. Stop crying. I didn’t mean to hurt you – I’m sorry mommy.”
Mother says, “You know I love you.”
Boy answers, “I know mommy. You love me more than anything else.”
And grown man that I am, I just started crying.
I quietly walked away – and I am walking home as I write this.
You would probably tear your hair in frustration concerning those long walks of mine. Yes, I haven’t stopped.
But I have stopped most of everything else.
Yeah. I miss you, mama. Miss you so much.
But I’m not bitter anymore. You see, God is filling the hole you left; slowly, patiently and with attention. With love and care.
And with time, I’ll go back to enjoying music and smile instead of crying. I’ll be able to watch other people play with their mothers and not feel jealous.
Tell God I finally got it, mum.
It took a while, but I got it. And I’m grateful.
Love always from your baby.
The last time I heard my mum’s voice was over the phone. The last words she said were ‘pray for me’.
I didn’t. Not really.
The one thing that keeps haunting me – tormenting me; so to speak, is the thought that I said I was going to take her to see a movie at the cinemas. I said I would make time out of my busy schedule – and I would take her to see a movie of her choice.
I never did. There wasn’t ‘time’.
Maybe taking her there would have helped her stay around longer. Maybe not. Maybe it would have made NO difference whatsoever to her living or lack of it, but I would have had at least one more memory to cherish – one more smile to think about and be happy when I think about her not being here. I wish, with all of me, with all of my heart that she stayed a bit more so I could enjoy having a mother for a while longer.
No such luck. She left without warning.
It’s been a while – a year actually, and it feels like I never had a mother. It feels like it’s been forever.
To be honest, I have had to do a lot of growing in the past year – learn stuff I’ve always taken for granted just because I someone who covered my behind for the most of it. And as I go through the lessons and motions, I learn more about myself and the bigger picture called life, I’ve had a better understanding of where I fit in and what I owe. And I realize – while I might have lost my best friend – while death might have taken something from me, God replaced it with life.
I’m at peace with it. I’m grateful for the opportunity, to be born of the woman who birthed me. I learnt so much from her, and even now I’m still learning. I see a lot of things clearer now, I understand that life is too short to bear grudges, I understand to make memories with people I care about because ‘bleak’ as this sounds I WON’T always have them with me.
They say ‘life is hard’. I ask, ‘how did you know? With what standard did you measure it? Who told you’?
Let the people you love know you love them. Don’t say ‘I don’t have time’. Make the time. We all have 24 hours, yet The Wright Brothers built a plane.
Spend time with special people, smile while you can. No matter how that relationship plays out, make sure you have more to smile about than to cry about.
And most of all, thank God for those special people. You won’t always have them with you. Not physically anyways.
Rest In Peace, Momma. I am making you proud.