On This Mother’s Day, I Celebrate My Widowed Mother, My Rock And My Shero!
Today, I’m a first-class graduate of Business Management from Nigeria’s premier university, and I have God and my mother to thank for it.
On this occasion of Mother’s day, I celebrate my mother, my rock, and my shero.
Everything Changed In One Day!
December 17th every year always leaves me flustered with loads of emotions.
It was on this day in 2007 that my father’s friends and colleagues came to our house to break the unfortunate news of his passing.
At that moment, I literally felt a part of me die. Beyond being the person he was, my father was like the custodian of every dream I had as a child.
Like most children, I was an avid dreamer, from wanting to become a doctor to an engineer and everything other kids dreamed of.
He promised that he was going to be there every step of the way. I rested assured that with him around, my future was secured.
I knew we weren’t rich, and the likelihood of returning to Lagos after the burial was somewhat impossible, seeing that the sole provider of our family was gone.
That’s why when we were prepared for the bus park early one morning in January without prior notice, I was very much surprised.
What happened was that my mom had resolved nights before that we weren’t going to stay back in the village.
For some reason, she felt we were not meant to be there, and that singular decision turned out to be the game-changer for us.
The Struggle Was Real
We got back to Lagos to our one-room “face me I face you” apartment in Ajegunle, where we were over six months behind on the rent (yeah, my dad owed the landlord before he left for the village and eventually died).
That was when the actual struggle began.
In less than three months, my mother lost her father. She had already lost her brother three months before my father’s demise.
Due to sadness, worry, anxiety, and overthinking, her immune system became susceptible to different kinds of illnesses.
Her blood pressure rose tremendously, and on one of those days, we nearly lost her.
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My Mother Never Gave Up!
My mother had no tertiary level qualification whatsoever to get a standard job anywhere.
She had to settle as the cleaner for the primary school I attended growing up.
I found it rather shameful and embarrassing, but I understood that we didn’t have the luxury of many choices.
Mother had to continue to work there until she got another job as a nanny and house-help to a young Lebanese family in Apapa.
When the working conditions became too unbearable for her there, she had to stop.
But then, she had to get another job as a nanny and caregiver for another family, a job she still does till now.
She has been able to support me in more ways than I can ever fathom.
My Dreams Actualised
I come from a family where I’m the first and currently the only person that has gone to a university.
I remember telling her that I wanted to attend school, the University of Nigeria,(UNN) Nsukka (at that!), and how she reacted.
Her initial reaction was fear. She was pretty much scared because she felt it would be tough to secure admission into such a competitive school program and more difficult to see me through my time there financially.
In the end, I secured admission into UNN to study the course of my dreams, and she decided to support me single-handedly.
From the meagre savings she had gathered from her job and some financial breakthroughs here and there, I was able to start my program at UNN.
There were weeks and months I would go without food and money. I didn’t bother telling her most of the time because I felt she had enough to handle back home.
In the days when her paycheck eventually came, she didn’t hesitate to help me with some financial assistance.
I remember vividly a particular time I was still at home when the school had already resumed because I hadn’t gotten my school fees.
Some family members advised me to drop out for that academic year and continue after I had saved up some money from doing some menial jobs.
My mom would have none of that! She boldly walked to the treasurer of the family meeting and begged for a loan to make sure I continued my education.
I was moved to tears at the extent to which she would go, to see my dreams come to pass.
She Gave Her All!
I’d run out of time and space if I decide to mention every instance and how she has supported my siblings and me sacrificially.
How she has gone without food, proper clothing, good healthcare, and other things she is deserving of.
She spent many nights working as a house-help to this day without a partner or close friend by her side.
She is deserving of every good thing that life has to give.
That’s why I pray that God blesses my siblings and me and keep her alive to wipe the tears that have incessantly been flowing from her eyes all these years.
Did you have any experience to share? Kindly leave your comment below.