May 14, 2017 was my last Mother’s Day as a daughter.
Today is my second motherless Mother’s Day.
Mother’s Day is celebrated on various days in many parts of the world but the most widely fêted one occurs every second Sunday in May. So once a year, for God knows how long, there will always be a Monday that cannot come fast enough for me.
I do not remember my first motherless Mother’s Day as last year it fell on the 13th, which marked the five month anniversary of my mum’s death. Most likely I spent the day doing what I usually do on Sundays, which is drink wine and catch up on all the TV shows I watch, except I probably drank all! of! the! wine!! But as I said I am not sure. For all I know I may have gotten blackout drunk and was passed out for most of the day.
Today is motherless-Mother’s-Day two of the rest of my life and I cannot fucking wait for the day to be over. My maternal grandpa passed away this week so I will be traveling upcountry on Friday 10th to attend the burial on Saturday and we travel back to Nairobi on Sunday. Meaning this post will be scheduled for uploading latest Friday evening as I will be unable to edit it over the weekend. So as I write this it is not yet Mother’s Day but I am already tired of all the “Happy Mother’s Day” posts I will see on Instagram on Sunday. As it is I am already over all the Mother’s Day promotions happening this week.
I am not a jealous person per se but I am desperately jealous of anyone whose mum is still alive. Especially on a day like this designated to show your mum just how much you love her.
But what gives me comfort is that my last Mother’s Day with my mum could not have gone better even if it were a scripted reality TV show. Our usual formula for Mother’s Day and my mum’s birthday was to get her a card, flowers, cake and a bottle of Baileys/Amarula. When my sister and I were feeling moneyed we would throw in dinner and/or a gift.
For Mother’s Day 2017 I decided to up the ante as I was not sure how many more we had left. When my mum was diagnosed with stage four breast cancer in 2012 she was given five years to live and I was always cognisant that 2017 might be my last year with the love of my life.
As I would be moving out of home later that year I decided to buy my mum her own laptop. We used to share mine as she needed one to work on her Mpesa business among other accounting manenos. I will be the first to admit that I am a giving person but sharing does not come easily to me. So sharing my laptop with my mum caused us major friction at times. I laugh now whenever I remember our little fights but it was no laughing matter then. There were days I wanted to watch my TV shows on my laptop but my mum needed it for one thing or the other. Being a tech idiot (that is in no way an insult as I am one too, I get it from her) what would take someone 15 minutes on Excel would take her at least an hour. So a lot of the time I would just end up doing her stuff for her so that I could have the laptop to myself.
My mum was thrilled that I would be moving out of home as it was important for her peace of mind to see me stand on my own before she passed away. But she was worried about what she would do once I moved out. Being wheelchair bound meant she could not go to her Mpesa office to use the desktop there without proper planning. And if she was in pain she could barely leave her bed, let alone the house.
So on the evening of Mother’s Day my siblings and I made a big fuss of presenting her gifts. Someone (I cannot remember who but it was a great idea so I reckon it was me, lol) came up with the idea to give her the laptop bag without anything in it and see if she will guess what it belongs to. So after we gave her the card, flowers, cake and bottle of Baileys I handed over the laptop bag.
My mum: Wooow!! Look at this! It’s so nice! Kwanza it’s purple! Thaaank you!! I will use this to keep my documents.
All of us: Lol!
Me: Are you ready to see what it comes with?
My mum: Errrm … yah …
I stepped out to get the laptop which was still in the box it came in.
My mum: … is there really something in there or it’s just a box??
Me: Lol. But why would we make such a big deal out of a box.
My mum: Ebu remove it from the box so I can see if it’s for real.
Me: Lol. Sawa.
*removes laptop from the packaging box*
My mum: Wah wah wah wah wah wah wah!!!
It is important to note that the number of wahs my mum would say were directly proportional to how shook she was. In this case she was the most shook. She kept going “wah wah wah wah wah wah wah” anytime she looked at/held her laptop all evening. Lol.
She had a group chat with her sisters and she shared with them what she got from her children for Mother’s Day. One of my aunties replied “we ndio ulizaa kuzaa.”
I miss my mum sooo much. I miss her laugh, her voice, her wicked sense of humour, her hugs, her wisdom, her cooking, the way she would say “duuuhh!” when I asked a dumb question, the ‘tea’ she would serve me piping hot. Hell I even miss the way we would fight. But if there is something I am missing more and more as the days go by is my mum’s energy.
That quote is the closest I can get to describing how effervescent and luminous my mum’s personality was. I take after her in some ways, and when Biko signed my name card on the last day of the Creative Writing Masterclass in September 2017 he wrote that I am “full of vim and vigour”. Fun fact, the phrase is a synonym for effervescent, a fact I have literally just discovered while fact checking effervescent’s meaning. So I am geeking out that after choosing the word effervescent to describe my mum I find out that Biko more or less called me the same thing two years ago.
But, I digress. Also, I am sure this is some ‘nobody cares news’, but I always take these coincidences as a sign. And it is my blog and I can write what I want. Lol.
A paternal cousin sent me that photo of my mum. The story behind it is that they were at a certain bride’s house the morning of her wedding and all the women were kinda just hanging around. So my mum took the initiative (as you can clearly see) and started singing and dancing so that the bride is released. Which is/was exactly the kind of person she was. She lit up any room she was in just by being her irrepressible self. I miss her sooo much but I honour her by trying every day to be the best version of myself and a lot of the time that is by striving to be more like her. She was not perfect, and the older I got the more aware I was of her flaws, but she was pretty damn close.