LETTER TO MY MOTHER: DAMILOLA ONABOWALE

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This is written partly for the biological mothers out there . However it wishes to extend to those who have effectively adopted others under their wing as their very own. You too are celebrated.

“Who sat and watched my infant head when sleeping on my cradle bed, when tears affection led me cry”

-My Mother

I’ve come to believe that there are  differences between the mother- daughter and mother- son relationship (as I’m sure many mothers will agree!) Writing as a woman therefore might reflect more upon this.

As a mother, you represent two opposites that have shaped me into the person I am today. By virtue of the nature of childbirth and post natal care, you were the first person to illustrate, to personify, to model the term ‘love’. Yet as I grew older you showed me a separate kind of  love. A tough love ranging from the ‘Spare the rod and spoil the child’ model to your meticulous nature constantly hounding me: “Have you done your housework?!” ” I’m not going to raise a lazy child in this household!”

They say time is money. If so, the hours, days, months- years even, that you have devoted purely to me renders me a pot of gold .I grew up with an increasing sense of self worth with you instilling beliefs of such incredibly high standards in me . The confidence I have today is indeed a result of your never-ending positive words of encouragement. I marvel at how quickly you reject my negative words of confession – “Ah you are not stupid/ depressed/ lazy (etc) in Jesus name!” with my naive self incapable of even realizing their  implications . As I sit here as a young adult and write this, it is only now that I have come to appreciate the implications of the power of the tongue . It dawns upon me that you, Mother, did not interject just for the sake of it, but to actually protect me and prevent me from uttering statements into the universe that would hinder my progress in life. I am eternally grateful- For this – and your continuous prayers over my life, from the embryonic stage to matters concerning my future that have yet to come to pass. The prayers of a mother are indeed priceless.

People talk about choosing between a career and family life. However the definition of a mother that I have personally adopted cannot abandon the latter. My gratitude towards you is of such magnitude due to my realization that motherhood in itself is a lifelong duty. The obligations might diminish over time, but  the emotional connection to each and every family member makes you an incredible Superwoman. In a self-centred, egocentric society,  you insert that healthy dose of compassion into the worldly formula that makes it all the more tolerable to live in. Indeed I ask myself- what would the world be without mothers? A chaotic place perhaps . Yet a deeper fact lies in that there would be no me today without you. For that reason, I remain indebted to you.

Happy Mothers’ Day!

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