When is the last time you spoke to your mother? The graceful lady that brought you forth, and brought you up? Does she know what’s happening in your life, you know, as she knew every time you got a thorn in your feet as you grew up in the village. Do you know about the thorns in her heart and mind? Do YOU know how she is?
Below is a heartbreaking letter I received from sister:
Mother called me yesterday night. She was worried. You haven’t called her in three days. She is wondering if you are doing well. I could only promise her that I would call you and let her know. You see you are the apple of her eye. Her first born. Her only son. She has sacrificed the world for you. She had you at only sixteen and she worked her butt off to give you the best she could.
However, since you got your wings, you seem to have forgotten about her. She constantly worries about you it makes me jealous. I know she loves me. But you know I came two decades later. By that time both of you had a bond that only an only child can understand. I know I am loved but she loves you more. You also believe mum loves me more than she does you. We are both right.
I always thought you were my uncle. My mother made it clear from a very young age that you were my brother. I never looked at you as my brother though. You were more of an uncle to me. You visited once every fortnight without fail. When your car stopped at our gate, I would jump on you like a puppy whose owner forgot to feed. Teenage hood came and suddenly it hit me that you were my brother. I stopped jumping on you and instead started hugging you like a mature girl which gradually downgraded to a handshake and a pat on my back. I did not share my secrets with you like normal siblings would. You always thought I told you everything going on in my life but a girl must keep her secrets.
I remember the advice you gave me after high school. “Kendi, don’t get pregnant until you are able to take care of that baby.” I was in no position to question you. Though you were two decades older than me, I knew you didn’t believe in your own advice. Unless it’s only meant for girls. To me, it looked like your sole purpose in life was to multiply and fill the earth. You thought I did not know about your mistresses. You said, “Kendi don’t make mother a mother in old age.” Well, she is still a mother though she yearns to be a grandmother. You also said, “no matter what it takes or how long, make your star shine.” I am giving my best every day. Mother loves being grandmother, let her be grandmother not a mother all over again. As she is doing all that, you are nowhere to be found.
Show up. Visit home more often. Let her build a relationship with your current wife. She adores her by the way. Did I tell you the day she went to shop and almost visited her office only she could not go past the stairs? She did not know what kind of reception she would receive. With a heavy heart she turned back. She does not go where she is just tolerated. Why? You wonder. You have been married for three years now and your wife has never been home. She does not want you back because you are a mature man. She wants a relationship with your new family. She wants to hold your baby in her arms. Kiss him and tell him old people stories. She loves narrating about “mathabu ja carifrancis” and how they went to preschool during the precolonial era and Mzee Kenyatta’s regime.
I visit home more than you do. Yet I live in Nairobi and you are much nearer to home. Big houses are lovely, but they are as cold as hell. They need life to exude the warm and allure they majestically show from the outside. One day I will get married, when I do I won’t be around as often. I would love to take my mother with me. But I cannot. Not because I will have a new mother. No, my husband’s mother will be my mother in law and not my mother. I will love her as much as I love my mother, so help me God. But I can’t live in my mother’s cloak anymore. Not that I do, but I am always at her beck and call. What will happen when I can no longer drop shit and rush to her rescue? I will of course be rushing to her rescue but it might be a few minutes late. What will happen to her then?
We don’t share our struggles until it’s too late but can you talk to mother? She worries if you have not shaved your hair and beard for two weeks. Remember the time she gave me Ksh 200 to give you to go shave? Little did she know you were trying to convert to Islam and you were so jaded you forgot the faith doesn’t forbid shaving. Remember the day you came home so drunk just because you missed her and you came to bring shopping and pay her electricity bill. You were so drunk but totally adorable. Where did all that love go? Does growing older take it away?
Please come back. If only because Mother misses you.
Sister here is my friend, Kendi Gikunda. No, it is not addressed to me, but I imagined receiving a similar letter from my sister. I am now calling my mother every few hours. Truth.
It is so heartbreaking it makes my heart sag. Kendi is a writer that plays with all your emotions. She makes you laugh, makes you cry, makes you jump, makes you sleep. I am proud to host her guest post in my blog this International Women’s Day | Read her blog
Kendi, Happy International Women’s Day…to you and my mother. The point got home.