A year ago this month. It’s two minutes past 2pm as I type this pseudo reflective pseudo honorary piece.
Am in a clinic ward. My 61- year-old grandma is sick, in medically induced sleep, has a drip in her vain. The hallway moves from busy to sparse. Mostly filled with women and their sick children. It’s mother’s day. A Sunday. I look up. The drip isn’t over. She purrs as a child. Sick. Asleep.
Women like her have overcome a lot. They’ve raised children during a less tolerant time. Schooled them on ways of the world. Taught them to do good. To stand on a righteous ground. To stretch and grasp better living. They’ve been disappointed by existence. By their children. Their relations. By men who lay with them and skipped responsibility when the child came. They’ve lost their husbands and fathers.
They’ve denied themselves the packs of employment to save for the education of their children. They are our mothers. Our grandmothers.
To them, what mattered most wasn’t their husbands, though they loved them. What was of essence wasn’t their welfare, though a woman ought to take care of herself. What brought them joy and worry, tears and laughter were their children. If their sons and daughters did well, they too did well.
They might not be utilitarians like Wangari Maathai or Mother Teresa of Calcutta, they might not have been there every day, they might not have provided the most of needs for their own because all in all, they tried, to their best in creating a nurturing environment for their progeny.
They raised us knowing that though they couldn’t help everyone around them, we whom they bred, nurtured and brought up, would help others. Our mothers. Our grandmothers. Were visionary women. Most of them needed not classroom lessons in having us develop rationality.
That’s why, when other women clamour for equitable leadership positions in National Assembly, I’m tempted to dismiss them. Our mothers have worked hard enough. Cried tears enough. Grieved more. Slept less. Worry a lot.
They’ve been neglected. Abused. And mistreated. A single day in a year isn’t enough. Happy Mother’s Day grandma!