Mother

These days I’ve been brooding a lot on various issues cutting across various themes and subjects that just pop into my mind. There have been issues triggered by social events, discussions on social media, things I see whilst I walk the streets of Tamale observing the social norms of the north and comparing it to the south, sometimes triggered even by bodily functions like a fart or a running tummy and even the act of shitting itself is worth brooding on. 

Especially when you know for a fact that World Health Organization and environmentalists say that over 60% of the world’s population of 7 billion do not have access to toilet facilities.

Did I set you mulling over that too?

So I’m sitting in the dark, it’s moonless cloudy night and luckily the cool breeze waltzs through the open windows and I can’t sleep and guess what I’m mulling about – my mother.

What first triggers this is the conversation I had with her earlier in the day and about her with a new nurse I met online. This is because I don’t know about you but as I lie in bed every night, whether I sleep or not, the whole day’s activities flash before my eyes including conversations I’ve had even on social media.

It’s a time for reflection to Thank God for his blessings and also look forward to another beautiful day.

So I think of an old poem which just like the Nigerian song Sweet Mother has become cliche for mothers:

My mother
Who sat and watched my infant head
When sitting on my cradle bed
My mother!

God couldn’t have given me a better mom for me and my two other brothers. A strict disciplinarian both at home and in her nursing profession. The young nurse I met online confirmed that she didn’t know my mother personally but had heard of her as a legend in the nursing profession in Ghana.

Why won’t people wonder how you grew up under such a person. In a documentary series made on professionals who stayed to serve their nation when they could’ve gone abroad, my brother during an interview said that our mother’s passion was nursing but I know for a fact that her other passion lay in the joy of bringing up 3 six footer sons to be the best they could be in society.

One time whilst in high school a friend of mine asked me to accompany him to the local nursing training school to see his cousin who was attending school there. At the visitors lounge we filled in a log book and when the attendant read my name she asked me if I was related to one Matron Larbi of Allied Surgery in Korle Bu. I replied “Yes! She’s my mother” and that began my ordeal as a tourist attraction for the day.

Whilst waiting in the lounge, young nurses kept trooping in and out, some will pop their heads in to see and point fingers and my friend and I both kept wondering what was going on.

It was when his sister came into the room that she explained what all the fuss was about. Their class had just come back to Cape Coast from rotational duties in Accra and the one woman who had given them a tough time was Matron Larbi, my mother. Seeing her son in their school they were wondering what it was like to live everyday of my Life under such a mother. She however confessedly that at the end of the training they had learnt a lot from her and realized she was quite a lovely person to relate to.

When I told my mother this later, she just laughed and shrugged it off. It’s her everyday routine.

Growing up under my mother was a tough call full of love. Business people can learn from the partnership she has with my dad in raising their children. They were such a close knit unit that when you deserved a beating there was no appeal cos you knew you flouted a rule and that was the punishment. One time we were walking together as a family on our way home from a walk and a colleague nurse described their relationship as more of a brother and sister than husband and wife.

Truthfully that is what I’m aspiring with my wife too.

Our parents form an integral part of our formation and perceptions of this world and they are our first role models. How many celebrities do not have their parents as their role models. I’m sure there is a whole psychology discourse on this but I’m not straying there.

My mother has got me out of a few scrapes, she still does, and also landed me in a few especially with my friends.

As a young teenager growing up it is very difficult to break away from the over protective watch of mothers.  I vividly remember the first time after I had come back from a term in high school and my mother took to caning me over some ‘trivial’ issue. I just held the cane and took it from her and just walked out cos I didn’t want to be disrespectful. What an irony! I had just refused a caning.

I waited outside for my dad to come back home from work and reported to him. He only laughed.

All he said was that he had been waiting for that day to come and that since I thought I was a grown up now, I was responsible for my every action from henceforth and nobody will point out right and wrong to me but myself since they had done their part in directing me down the path of Christianity and it’s tenets.

I was in high school and 14years old. My independent streak had began.

There were to be several fights and arguments with mom over various topics from living in Accra their time in the 60s compared to living in Accra in our time in the 80s and 90s, my constant nightlife, the kinda friends I associated with, usually smokers and womanizers, my Christian Life, and when I got to the university, the arguments on religion (I was a student of religions in my first year)and the use of her car indiscriminately without permission.

Who would’ve thought this was all a phase to pass through. The love of parent and child has still existed till date. She’s still as overbearing and as protective as ever.

One time after graduation from the university, I wanted to start a biz of a car wash because I recognized that in the flats that we lived in people didn’t have time to wash their cars so will pay somebody as little as 2 Ghana to wash their cars every morning. I designed a form to get people to sign on and put posters all around the flats. Target market was set and I had almost 50people ready to sign up. With that assurance went ahead to buy cleaning materials from Melcom and got 2 other boys to help me with the venture.

My mother went around and took down all the posters I had put up in the community and locked up all the equipment I had bought. Let’s just say that the business didn’t take off but I gave out the equipment, which she released later, to the boys so they could start it but alas the boys lacked direction and focus. They wanted easier ways to make money.

One other time I came home from school to visit and there was nobody at home so I Let myself in. There is a pear tree in our courtyard that was flowering and apparently the yard hadn’t been swept. Having nothing better to do I decided to pick up a broom and sweep. The old lady was furious when she got home and banged a saucepan and a ladle together to draw everyone’s attention for an announcement. She announced that the surrounding area was so filthy and it had taken her son to come from the university to come and clean it up. I was so embarrassed. 

It was just a sweeping statement. Lol

Out of that saucepan and ladle incident a clean up exercise with everybody involved was instituted every fortnight and that still exists till this day even though we relocated from the flat almost a decade ago.

We call her international woman because She’s not only our mother but a mother to several other people all over the world.  Generous at heart and very firm you’d find her a good storyteller who laughs easily. But don’t Let that fool you. She’d morph into parent mode and straighten you up and then laugh with you later after her points have been made.

This is the woman who will take a paddle to yo bottom and then rub it with balm and tell you She’s Sorry but you deserved it.

My mother has always been  proud of her boys and her greatest joy is to walk tall with her husband flanked by her three  tall guards. Even though we live in different parts of Ghana, going home on holidays together are a family joy or when we meet up at events.

Well, I tell her every chance I get how much I love her and how much she’s made an impact in our lives.

As I sit in the darkness writing this, don’t read this thinking I won’t Let her know I wrote a piece like this for her. Someway somehow she always knows and sometimes I feel like she put cameras on us wherever we are.

As Africans we have several mothers and she might not be a biological mother but she made an impact in your Life. If you’re reading this hug a mother and spread the love.

Love is such a beautiful feeling and with love in our hearts we are assured of better lifestyles and living. Hug a mother now.

Like I always say it begins with YOU!!

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2 Responses to “Mother”

  1. Kola, i can relate very well to my mother, sorry i meant your mom. I remember my mom fondly from your apt and genuine descriptions. Thanks so much. Give your mom a kiss and hug on my behalf.
    God bless all mothers.

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