From my journals: AN ACCOUNT OF MY MOTHER.
Written on the 13th of February 2011 and re-edited on 11th of February 2013
When I was at primary level, mum was at Moi Chepkoilel University. Four years seemed so long a time and I always complained to my grandma that mum had run away because I was a bad kid. The fact that dad had died from a political conflict did not help neither did the MAA traditions and dad’s amassed wealth which made dad’s family to kick her out of her marital home. The fact that mum had not fought back to make us stay at our HOME, the fact that that I was separated from my twin brother and the fact that I was studying in a government school and my brother at a private school not so far away, the issue that I often had to go without lunch and breakfast and the fact that I had to go through the ordeals of two serial rapes without having anyone to protect or care for me did not make it easy for me, and in turn, my grandma had a hard time dealing with quiet, disoriented and unresponsive me.
They never told me that mum was sacrificing so much for me, that she wanted the best for me, she wanted to be able to afford and to give me the world. With the encouragement of grandpa, she took the only avenue that seemed to have had the bridge then; education…she opted to go back to school…but Chepkoilel was too far for her to afford to come back home. So, for four years, she stayed at that far world, reachable only by mail.
After the four years, she came back home, a mile so far ahead of the mum I knew. Now, she was the only educated woman in our area with a BSC in aquaculture. She had her pride and had earned her place in the society alright, but she was so beat up by life to match her name. My grandma cried on days without end and blamed my grandpa for sending her child to trouble and emancipation.
All along, I was the forgotten child, depressed from past ordeals and my own thinking of having a mother who did not care a dime about me. They never told me how much my mum loved me; they never told me that she was emancipated due to the stress of having to study away from her children. They did not tell me what one goes through due to cultural discrimination, the loss of the love of your life and the separation from your kids by this cruel world, more so in a cruel disheartening manner by the family of my dad and they never told me how an unshown mothers love can become a disease without cure; much worse than cancer or AIDs…if he, my twin brother, would have been dead, maybe then she would have taken to it abit too lightly than she did the separation…
Later she got a job and assumed full parental responsibilities. Later on, she joined the army. She became overprotective of me and we became inseparable. She was patient enough to let me grow out of my shell. The fact that I was in my adolescence did not help, but she had the patience of an angel and the counsel of the old…however she tried, the past made me feel empty and void: I had been declothed a lot when I was a kid; death had taken away my dad, dads family had taken away my twin brother- my only brother-,and forbid us to ever see each other and education had taken away my mother- the only pillar that had been left standing for me. As if that was not nakedness enough, life took away my dignity, confidence and self-esteem and tagged me with a branding I will never be able to erase: A RAPE VICTIM.
Mum did not know about the rape: I doubt she ever will unless she reads my journal or this blog. I doubt I will ever tell her what I went through just like she will never tell me what she went through.
Today, mum is the best mother I know of: funny entertaining to be around, daring, risk-taker, patient and wise.
When I told her of my first boyfriend she asked me to bring him home and gave us parental advice. When I got pregnant, she welcomed me home, embraced me and my unborn child and provided us with all the support that we needed: love, care, moral and material support. When I gave birth to a beautiful baby girl, I named her after mum and dad and she did not object rather, she respected my decision. When I asked to go back to school when my kid was six months old, she encouraged, supported and financed both me and my kid. When I asked for a simple phone, she gave me a Smartphone. When I asked to go away to compose myself, she gave me a credit card and a car to get me to wherever I wanted to go and when I said I was tired of staying at home, she got me a job and a house and still continued to finance me. At the end, she fulfilled her vow…she gave me the world; maybe just maybe, everything I never would have got if dad was alive.
If dad had lived, maybe he would have become an MP or eventually a president if he would have followed through with his ambitions. But that would not mean happiness, love and safety for us, it would mean that mom would never have gone to school, that I would still have a twin brother in a house full of nannies and bodyguards and a bullet proof car. It would mean expensive schools where experience is not a teacher, it means that I would be the first born in a village like home full of kids and cousins. It means that I would have followed the MAA traditions and that I got circumcised at the age of twelve. Assuming that I survived circumcision, I would have been married off at the age of sixteen, probably to a man older than my mum. It means that I would never have got to the university and probably had ugly kids as I would never have met Morris to sire a beautiful bloomfilled baby Vera and I would still be strung by the strings of traditions and most probably I would have aids due to having obligational sex with my husband’s peers!
So as I look back, I have a lot to thank my mum for, to cherish and to love forever and a reason to hate my dad’s family for mistreating her and taking away the only brother I have…or had (whichever applies) but I DO NOT HATE THEM: I only pray that one day they will see what they did and apologize to my mum and probably give her back her son. I also pray that he, if he still is, prays for her and yearns to meet her one day: even if after death.
But above all, I want to be the happiest mom in the world: to give her back what she gave to me…I want to name every kid I have all the nicknames she gave me, I want the world to know that the only iron lady with an ice-cube heart and character I know of is my mom… I want to do so much for her, if only this once, life will be fair to me and give mum all the time the world has to offer and give me enough strength, wisdom, knowledge and resources to give her back what she gave to me, albeit in a small proportion; then I wouldn’t need the world: just her…my dearest mother.