Long before mobile phones came to this part of the world, some of our parents depended on land lines. I remember my late mother dreading to pick any calls that came in very early in the morning, way before the sun rose or just as it peeped over the horizon. She always insisted that calls which came in at such hours bore bad news. True to her words, a huge percentage of the calls she received during those hours ended up in wails and curses. I therefore grew up with the fear of phones calls competing with the crowing of cocks.
For that reason, anytime my phone rings at dawn, I get a mini heart attack. However, this generation doesn’t cease to amaze me! The number of people calling to ‘say hi’ at dawn is on the rise. If my mother were alive right now, I am sure she could have already blocked a number of them. I miss how she always dashed from her room like a squirrel anytime the phone rung at dawn then just stand next to the phone clapping and singing in Soprano as if she were at a musical audition.
I sure miss how she would pick an attire for each of the eight of us every morning whether we loved them or not. There was actually no room for negotiations anytime she settled on an attire for any of us. We could decide to trap air in our mouths and swell our cheeks as we shrugged our shoulders but she cared less. If she had settled on an attire, we had to love the attire, have it on and market it to neighbours considering she personally did most of them. I remember one time she made us tiny skirts and embroidered the words ‘NO ENTRY’ on them. We all thought we looked spectacular in them until some ‘not so innocent’ neighbours decided to make us a laughing stock. To this day, I have never understood how she came up with those words. Guess what, I still miss all that anyway.
The number of times she assembled us in the living room to sing her songs or recite poems is out of this world. She especially loved doing this anytime we had visitors around just to let them know how happy she was to have brought forth a complete choir to this world. She would make us stand according to our heights then like a choir master, she would lead us in a song then sit down and watch us sing along. Those were the days when round songs were the order of the day, Ooooh Lord, you should have heard the eight of us every evening screaming “London bridge is falling down”.
Above all, I have surely missed her laughter and sneezing! You could hear her sneezing from miles away and she loved it that way. I must admit she gave a number of people a near death experience with her sneezes in public places. One time while shopping in a supermarket, she let out one sneeze and before she knew it, there was commotion as people stumbled upon each other trying to figure out what was bringing the house down! Her laugher! My mother’s laughter was merciless! You would not want to be caught on her ‘laughing side’. She would laugh at anything and everything, even the ‘unlaughables’. One time my late Dad slid and fell while going up the staircase and immediately my mother burst out laughing as she rapidly jogged. Her laughter was always accompanied with rapid jogging and clapping thus ensuring she infected everyone else around with the laughter. She did not just care as long as she was happy. In a nutshell, I miss Sori my mother!