Our first 4040 baby

21

Dear Penda,
When your mama first told me she was expecting you, I laughed. She always has a joke up her sleeves so I didn’t think she was serious.
The drive home from Bugolobi got a little quiet and I started to wonder if she’d actually meant what she said.

Before long, she started to glow. Pregnancy certainly looked good on her. I am sure by now you have figured out where you got your good looks, and free spirit..and and…
The journey was exciting and it was also a learning experience for me. Being a last born myself, I didn’t really get to watch all these beautiful steps to motherhood.
Your mama was incredibly active, even when we begged her to slow down.
You attended meetings, ‘worked’ at events, paka-chinied, eh, your womb experience must have been an adventure! No wonder you can play for hours on and and it is incredibly difficult to put to bed.

Your mama also loved bread! When they say bun in the oven, they don’t mean her because she had a bakery in there😁
I like to tell the story of how she would carry her loaf of bread to 4040 meetings and some members of the team would tease her. That is before they would punch a slice or 3😒 (Names withheld)
I anticipated your arrival like my life depended on it.

March 22nd
I had been under the weather that week and feared that you’d make an appearance in my absence. Thankfully, that didn’t happen. As fate would have it, your mama was admitted to a hospital next door to home. *You can see why we are neighbours😉*
That was one loooonnngg day.
Your mama paced, paced and paced some more.
Then they took her to the theatre and it was my turn😧
Pace. Sit. Stand. Pace. Repeat. Text a friend. Call mum. Stalk the medical personnel.Pace. Sit. Stand.
Finally, the nurse came out and handed you to me. My heart, oh my heart!
It burst like that ribena berry (I will need to show you video evidence of what I mean)
When your mommy saw you, everything fell in place. You are her life.

You have grown at a scary rate.This morning, I was looking at your baby pictures in awe. I now kind of understand what parents go through watching their children grow too fast.
You’re such a joy to be around,the only therapy that I need.
Your smile, infectious laughter, killer dance moves, ever-growing vocabulary, crazy energy and everything in between.

For many of us, your aunties, the 4040 team, you’re our baby too. When we dot over you, relish it, it’s from the deepest corners of our loving hearts. We promise to be here, for you, for mummy, for always.

It’s an absolute pleasure to watch you grow. As you find yourself, I pray that you continue to know. I hope that your bright light will continue to shine because it allows others to shine too😊

We thank your mama for giving us the opportunity to raise you, to spoil you, to be there every step of the way. We can’t wait to see what the future has in store!

As you watch frozen for the 4,519th time, we celebrate you. Because of you, we have an extra reason to be happy today.
Happy 3rd birthday our Penda, you’re a blessing to us.

 

With so much love,
Your lovestruck God mommy.
Xoxo

Note: Originally posted on 22nd March.

Falling in love

6

It was love at first sight that hot afternoon when I used my lunch break to visit the children’s home in Kyebando for the first time.

I had started a Facebook group, shared a plan and invited friends to spend their 40 days giving but I didn’t even know the recipients.
That afternoon, within seconds of arrival. I knew.
I received more hugs than I could count. I was surrounded by smiles. I felt love.
I encountered God.

Before long, I was back to visit and graduated from a stranger to aunt, to mummy. I was in love.
Imagine my utter joy when I got to share this love with my friends and realising that many felt it too.
These children soon became family.
I can just see them as I type this; Bashir, the most beautiful boy you ever did see, who needed surgery at some point and the Doctor agreed to do it an no cost except for anesthesia and paying the nurses-this 200,000 was collected in one ‘facebook group chat’ session long before we had whatsapp ;Daisy the diva who knew how to use her adorable face to get what she wanted, oh Esther who became my BFF when she found out we were namesakes. Once I found her wearing a tee and realised it was one that I owned before it found a new home. When I told her it used to be mine, she registered this fact in her little brain. Four out of five times we visited, she was wearing it. I asked her to change into other clothes but she would not budge.
And how can I forget Ronald who loved to drum. When it was dance time, his heart smiled. He gave the caretakers some trouble, as he sought to be understood, like we all do. Eventually he found a loving home and I couldn’t be happier.
We met so many more beautiful souls and slowly they found family within the team and vice versa.
This relationship had its tough times, like any other and while many were out of my control, I feel eternally blessed because of the miracles that came alive from these bonds.
I received some practice for motherhood too😉
There is so much that I cannot put to words (and believe me, I have often tried) and yet everything learnt, what I felt, what I feel, it will always stay with me.

Soaring on angel wings

 

I have always considered motherhood to be an unparalleled gift, whether through adoption or biologically. No offence dads, you do a good job of raising children and can make or break them, but there’s something about a mother’s love which is surely significant and can somehow be felt whether or not you have yours with you.  My deep regard for motherhood was the reason I was over the moon when Jackie told me she was expecting her first child. I conveniently skipped the part about the complications she was facing so that I could first ululate and then return to that point at length.

I hadn’t seen Jackie in months and our communication was mainly over the phone. I constantly checked for updates, especially when I found out that she had a few issues with her pregnancy and she always calmed me down. My pleas to visit were not addressed and I figured she wanted to be alone. I could, after all relate to that feeling. I decided I would pray for her and wait for such a time when she was ready to receive visitors.

On a chilly Friday morning, I made the decision to check on her physically and hoped she would agree. I noticed that her messages that morning were vibrant, and filled with emoticons, something that had been absent in the past weeks. I took this as a good sign. We agreed that I would visit in the afternoon so I spent the rest of the day working on school assignments in preparation. Once I had finished, I flagged down a boda boda and told her I was on my way. She informed me that she was planning to go to hospital and I figured I’d tag along.

When I reached her home, I was welcomed by her smiling mommy who has aged so gracefully, it is scary. I told her as much. I suspect she is one of those people who downplays compliments because as I was gushing, I told her “You look very nice.” Her : You too. But can’t you just allow and leave me out, I thought 😛 I got to Jackie’s room and waited as she’d stepped into the bathroom. When she returned, she was wincing in pain and clutching her stomach stretching out for the bed. She lay down and we struggled to make conversation. I could see the agony in her eyes, it broke my heart. Her mum asked if I’d stay long as she needed to go to church and I responded in the affirmative. I had so many questions but could tell Jackie was in too much pain so I had to stop myself at intervals. Her pain was increasing and she was bleeding.  She kept asking me to leave so that I wouldn’t see her in that state. I mentally saved her slaps for when she would get better. We prayed and sat in silence occasionally. I really wanted to distract her but I was mostly helpless in the end. The plan was to go to the hospital but because she had been there the day before and received the diagnosis and medication from two different specialists, we hesitated in the hope that there would be a change. Paracetamol was the only accepted painkiller and it did not seem to bring any relief so we eventually decided to head to the hospital.

Her brother, Joseph, drove slowly, careful to avoid potholes and letting impatient drivers overtake as Jackie’s pain intensified with every bump. In the meantime, her Doctor was called and he confirmed he was at the hospital. Upon arrival, forms were filled and we waited as Jackie was the second patient the Doc would see. She felt the bleeding increase and we quickly ran to the bathroom. Now, this silly patient of mine started to dictate what I was allowed to do/not do and see/ not see. She would ask me to turn around or close my eyes *smh* “ I don’t want you to see things unless you promise to forget.”  It turned out, the bleeding was intense and the clots bigger than she’d experienced before.

Jackie finally saw the doctor as her sister, Daphne, Joseph and I waited. When she got out, she told us we were going to the ward. We were glad she was spending the night because at least then, she could be observed. As we reached the parking lot, I dared to ask what the doctor had said “My baby is…” She broke down into tears. I did not want to ask again for fear of the response but Daphne asked, and that dreaded thought was confirmed. Daphne and I both broke down immediately only for Jackie to ask “Why are the rest of you crying.” Sigh

“I never knew until that moment, how bad it would hurt to lose something you never really had.”

It was a quiet walk to the ward. What do you tell someone who has just lost her baby? I could not even begin to conceive the millions of thoughts in her head. Jackie needed to prep for the theatre and only one person was allowed to go with her. Daphne quickly declined saying she’d just cry throughout so I went in with her. I wasn’t any stronger but it had to be done. At this point, it was time to call close family and just ask them to come without specifics so that they wouldn’t receive the news over the phone. I kept trying not to think about Jackie’s heartache. The sheer shock of an ‘ordinary day’ ending like this was haunting my mind. Her heart was probably in a million little pieces as we sat and talked about the situation and everything else. Before long, her hubby, Jacob showed up and he said a prayer just as I walked out to give them privacy.

 

By the time Jackie got out of the theatre, there were no less than 10 members of either family gathered outside the hospital room, anxious to check on her. Her anaesthesia had worn off and she was smiling. Sigh. We all got into the room and this is the question I remember, “How are you?” Jackie responded “We are fine, it’s just Jacob and I now.” Ooh the heartbreak!

The rest of the evening was spent discussing food, politics, roads and other totally unrelated topics. There was even a debate over which crisps are better; whirlwind or happy crisps (These are made in Uganda, please support these guys if you haven’t..oh  and give me your reviews) Joseph and Daphne insisted happy crisps were better and we agreed to disagree. I digress.

As I left that night, I told Jackie I hoped she’d get some sleep but she said she wanted to stay up for as long as she could so that she could mourn. I totally understood that. I knew deep down the mourning would take a long while but believed she’d find joy and comfort along the way.

angel wings

What stood out for me through it all was the amount of support and love I could see and feel, just being in that room. Everyone in the family who called to check in or who was called, whether they had reached home or were stuck in traffic in the opposite direction- dropped what they were doing and showed up. I was humbled and deeply touched by their warmth. The day’s events had been shocking and miserable but I was glad to see this silver lining and know that Jackie would be taken care of and pull through, somehow.

 

I knew I loved you before I met you

The song ‘I knew I loved you before I met you’ by Savage garden has some of the cheesiest lyrics of the past century. As a teenager, I always thought ‘really, would I believe these words in real life?’

As I started to write this piece though, I realised that I did indeed love this being before I met her, in fact, from the very first moment I knew she was coming into the world- our love story began 🙂

For nine months, this precious jewel was ‘carried’ around by her mommy. I have a ‘few’ things to say this little one.

Dear star,

I have a not so short tale with details about the journey thus far. You better learn to read by the time you are three. We plan on having you speak at least two other International languages so perhaps your reply to this shall be in French. Oui?

No pressure.

Your mommy is the life of the party you know, and even when she was rocking her bump, she made sure to rock the parties too. She was always the one suggesting where we should go and what to do while everyone was thinking “Shouldn’t you be resting.” We even went to one of her favourite places, Bule island and took part in some pretty daring activities. Of course my heart was somewhere in my foot but I had to force smiles and scream ‘yaay.’ Nonetheless it was a lot of fun.

When you grow older, we shall surely visit so you can enjoy the breeze and later take part.

When we went for the scans, I longed for the part when your heartbeat was on ‘loud speaker’ then grinned like a kid at Disney World. I even got my very own autographed picture of you at about 5 months, to say I had fomo would be an understatement.

As for the day I found out you were a girl, hehe, let’s just the hospital almost called security- sheer excitement!

Random Side note: Mommy has OCD and I can’t help with that because it is contagious so oba we accept early enough and deal with it? Deal?

Fast forward to your baby shower at the beginning on this month. See your mummy looking radiant, special food plus cake  and excited aunts 🙂 It was a good day, and it was all in your honour. Stars are born or made or… I don’t even know where I am going with this but, you will understand the randomness with time.

glo 1

 

Your arrival was slated for Sunday March 16th, it was for sleeping with phone volume on 100 and practicing calm responses each time I got a call from your mom, but alas, you were nowhere to be seen. It was so bad that I even visited her twice during that week and she was just ‘chilling.’ I guess you were also chilling 😛

We accepted that you were planning a grand entrance and pretended to go on with our lives. Meanwhile your poor mother was getting messages of ‘anything yet’ constantly. The pressure was killing her. The ‘sharp ones’ decided to stalk other ‘sources’ for the info. Hihi, it was hilarious.

My system decided to slowly crash and I carried around a migraine for 96 hours prior to your birth. I made a mistake and told your mom so even when the labour pains began, she said nothing. We would text and talk like everything was ‘normal.’

Sadly for her, I am an afande (story for another day) and was soon in on it.

Friday 21st March is when she was finally admitted at the hospital and I had to stalk your aunt Damalie for updates. Poor girl was also far from the hospital but she knew a guy who knew a guy who was the doctor 🙂 (another story we shall happily expound on)

When I finally sent your mummy a text I asked only one thing, that you wait till Saturday when I can be present. After planning to hold her hand through labour, how could I miss it? No please.

She barely slept that night, I was also there in between prayer, anxiety and excitement and before dawn arrived, I was up and ready to start my walk to hospital. Yes, you were born five minutes away from my home 🙂 These are destiny things 😉

Your mummy was in pain but I mastered the art of calmness. What my heart was going through, only God knows.

We had long awkward silences. At about 10 a.m the nurses said she was going to the theatre, asked me to get your clothes together. They later returned them ‘mbu we gave them a whole shop.’ smh

We said a prayer and then waited and waited and waited. The doctor finally came at 12.00 p.m and took your mommy in. That moment was pretty emotional for me but never to break (I practiced for this day)

I kept getting up each time a nurse came out carrying a baby, including a set of twins. The doctors told me to sit still. “How can you stand up after seeing a nurse in pink yet the one who went for your baby is wearing white?”  I had to be fine.

The way your birth was being anticipated meanwhile, I was getting messages of ‘uh huh, any news?’ even from the diaspora.

Eventually the nurse came back to get your first clothes, socks and gloves and I knew it would only be a matter of minutes before I saw you. She obviously took forever but you were worth the wait!

It felt like hours but a little after 12.30 you were brought…to me!!! *shriek*When I held your not so little body (3.4kg) in my arms, the world became still for a moment. You were(are) so beautiful and peaceful and and…..sigh.

I asked about your mommy and the nurse said she would come out.

I handed you to one of your many grannies and she too was amazed. So we just sat and stared at you while complaining about your mum’s delay.

Eventually she came but was still drugged so we had to wait a little longer before unveiling her miracle.

When she awoke, the first thing she said was “Is she hot?” We burst into laughter and I knew in that instant, a wonderful story had began.

The first time she held you brought tears to my eyes, it was simply magical!

The bond between mother and daughter is surely the most amazing of them all.

Here we are, 8 days after your birth and I still think about you everyday. As for your mommy, you are without a doubt the best gift she has ever had.

Now let as talk about your names (coughs)

Estella Athena Karungi- Spanish origin, then Greek, then Ugandan 😉

Do we have to spell out that Estella is a version of Esther? No? Okay moving on…

Together, your names mean “A beautiful goddess – a star.” What more can we say?

Here is to years of watching you become the star that you were born to be.

We shall keep your photo for when Times or Forbes asks. People should visit and see the ‘live copy’ 😉

Much love from mommy, the endless queue of potential God parents, aunts and uncles.

Also, welcome to the 40-40 family 😉

Xoxo

 

MAMA-Phenomenal

Sunday was mother’s day. I have this day engraved in my memory and I ‘suffer’ every year because mother’s day and mum’s birthday are a week apart. She does not ask for much, I know but even if she did, nothing shall ever be enough to reward her. Such is the dilemma of a daughter.

Mum is elegant while remaining conservative.  Saying she is the most difficult person to buy a present for would be putting it mildly.  Lucky for me, I had ordered her gift months ago so I didn’t need to worry. I left it at the breakfast table on Saturday night as I was planning to sleep in the next day.

When I woke up, I sent messages to other mums I thought deserved to be appreciated. I shall add that over the years I have made ‘enemies’ out of my friends. I often sent their mothers texts before they did. Sometimes, the daughters did not even know it was D-day. This time, however, I was amazed when I got out of bed and  mum told me my friends had sent texts ‘first,’ I did not have to be evil any more 🙂

I planned to go to church in the evening so I could thank the Lord for this gem that he blessed us with but somehow, the afternoon nap took longer than it should have 😦 I chose to complete a work assignment and then say a special prayer for her and all mommies just before getting into bed.

A few minutes after 11pm as I wrapped up the email, I got this message from a friend ;

“I vote your mum second best mum in the world obviously after mine for the good job done in bringing such a wonderful person like you to this world and nurturing you to be the kind of person you are. It looks like she did that solely for me to get the most amazing friend ever. May God richly bless her for every pain and tear she shared and grant her a long healthy life and prosperity, wish her a happy mother’s day for me.”

I was extremely humbled. It was at this moment that I shut down the computer and got back to that matter I was procrastinating about. I needed to give God the glory he deserves.

It isn’t easy for me to write about my mother, not for lack of words or deeds, but simply because the vocabulary I have accumulated over the years is insignificant when it comes to describing such an extra ordinary person.

Below is an excerpt of a few qualities I shall highlight.

“But behind all your stories is always your mother’s story, because hers is where yours begins.”

Like my friend said, I am who I am because of the way I was raised. Of course,as an adult I have choices to make on my own but years of grooming and yelling come to play. For most of the qualities I possess that are deemed exemplary,I applaud her..for the flaws,well, that is entirely my doing.

See, I never always listened to my mother. I was not a typical rebellious child who broke things to seek attention or jumped over the school fence because of that stupid thing called adolescence..but I was not a very good listener.  I was big headed, always wanting to do things at my own pace. Also I could never lose an argument. how?!  Every situation,however, simple was a ‘crime’ in my mind. I defended myself for hours on end, never knowing when to just keep quiet and say sorry. I defended other people too though even when I didn’t know half the story.She kept saying I should be a lawyer and put my noise to use. As I grew up, I realised, all she wanted was to teach me to apologise. I simply wasn’t ready to apologise for other people’s responsibilities. That’s the thing though, just because it was someone else’ turn to do the dishes didn’t mean I should ignore them while the person is away.

So yes, my story begins with lessons that I began to learn as a little girl and will continue to learn years after mum is gone (which I hope shall be in like 5 more decades)

Faith that literally moves mountains

My mother has more faith than anyone I know and you know what? It is infectious too. She prays and prays then prays some more. When we pray together, I list the people who I am ‘grieving’ with, asking for God to heal them but when her part comes, she practically prays for the entire world, Syria, Somalia,Iraq, Uganda, name it. If you tell her what you are going through, best believe she will take it upon herself as a ‘personal prayer.’

A year or so ago someone we know got an accident and got into coma. We prayed every night until he got out of it several months later. This might sound a tad far fetched but I know mum’s prayers had a link to this recovery.
In fact, most of the blessings that have come our family’s way have been thanks to her relationship with God.

Funny how the Christians who believe they are ‘more christian’ than her and try to convert her have barely enough faith to fill a glass but hey I am not here to judge.

Let me just share a not-so-short tale of faith amidst adversity.

On the eve of my graduation, I was in a lot of pain that could not be explained. I remember that cold rainy night so vividly because I hoped the rain would wipe away my tears and pain. It didn’t.

I lay in my bed, wincing, tossing and turning. Mum came into my room and left whenever it was too much for her. At about 6a.m on D-day, an ambulance picked me up from home. I was semi-conscious. My tummy felt like it was about to explode and no amount of pain relieving injections or sedatives worked on the way to the hospital. The others I was given later didn’t work either when we got there. I just accepted my fate. I would feel every inch of this pain with my eyes wide open.

Doctors worked round the clock but mum kept repeating “We have a graduation to attend.” “She is graduating today, hurry up.” over and over again. * I can still hear her.* She asked the doctors if an ambulance could take me to UCU(my Uni), and then immediately return after I was awarded my degree. They declined. She told them in that case she would just take me herself. They seemed hesitant but mum was determined. *Sigh* She made calls for our clothes and shoes to be brought to the hospital. She called my friend Sharon at ten minute intervals to keep updated so we wouldn’t get late..It was graduation day, remember?

My stomach was on fire, the injections and drip were useless, I could hardly breathe but that is NOT why I kept weeping.

I mourned for a mother whose faith was greater than she knew, for a parent who wasn’t going to attend my graduation after not being able to attend those of her sons before. I cried because I wanted to heal miraculously and walk on the red carpet for her to see but deep down I knew it wasn’t happening that day. No, 29th October 2010 would not be the day she witnessed a graduation, it would be the day God saved me so I could live to give this testimony:)

We had to keep this situation hush hush because we had invited friends and family for a graduation party the next day. I had to pick myself up no matter what. A few close ones visited but others were told it was ‘nothing serious.’ I had to believe this would be over.

That night God sent an angel to the hospital in form of my friend David who gave my mum company till after 12 a.m. The meds started to kick in. My only prayer was that if God gave me sleep, he would have to ensure I wake up the next day.

Wake up I did and shocked the doctors when I  asked to be discharged. They thought I was mad. I thought I was mad. The party happened and on Sunday morning at about 7.30 am as my friends and I got into the house after a night of dancing like we were being paid, some relatives who had travelled for the party seemed like they had seen a ghost. Just the night before it seemed like a hopeless situation but you know faith; the reality of what we hope for, the proof of what we don’t see.

“When your mother asks, “Do you want a piece of advice?” it’s a mere formality. It doesn’t matter if you answer yes or no. You’re going to get it anyway.” 

One of the things I love the most about my mother is that she is a mother to many. From the students at her place of work to my friends who come over, relatives and pretty much everyone who crosses her path. When she retires, it will be nice if she can start her own counselling service. She’s a natural that one. Mum is the kind of person whom  you can tell your secrets when your initial plan was to ask for a bowl of sugar. Many a time my friends have visited when I am away or asleep and upon there departures, she is asking questions about them that even I have no clue about! They find it easy to talk to her.

Her advice on parenting, etiquette, friendship and life is impeccable. The only problem is that if a situation is too sad, she will be giving it with a handkerchief and tears running down her face. Over the years I have learnt to ‘sieve’ some of these stories, for the sake of her heart of course.

Did I mention she reads minds too? You might want to lay off on the lies if you had any such plans 😉

When you share your problem, she is listening and coming up with several solutions in her mind before you even complete the entire script. I must warn you though, she shall interrupt you at least 20 times so that she can get the facts straight. Stay calm, sip some water. It helps.

An example that easily comes to mind is a conversation I had with her some months ago. I told her about a friend who wanted to go back to school but didn’t quite have the means. She began to work behind my back  soon after that and even started communicating with the said friend.

Her explanation later  was that she didn’t want to get me excited and then fail hence the secrets. My reaction was that I would probably not meet a kinder soul along my life’s path.

P.s: The education plan did work out. Duh. She is super mom 🙂

“…she rejoiced as only mothers can in the good fortunes of their children.”

If you have been successful at anything, no matter how small, best believe mum shall whip out a bag full of praises until you want to disappear for months. She makes you feel like a hero even for the tiniest things!! If she had the means, she would probably throw a party for your first day at day care,Primary, high school and Uni. Yes, it is that bad!

Almost seven years ago, my first by line appeared in the Sunday Vision. Best believe mum told everyone she knows and carried the article every where she went. Half the people did not care and  I was constantly getting embarassed thinking “sssshhh, it isn’t a big deal.” She never stopped her antics to this day.

Yesterday I got dressed for work and she started raving about my outfit(which is about a year old) and I smiled to myself.  I usually tell her she loves me so she has to like what I wear. Whether it is for our esteem or motherly sentiments, it works.

She tells her friends when her ‘kids’ are ill like they are 5 years old and have caught a terrible cold. When  I am within earshot, I am always in disbelief but I know she loves us and is proud. More often than not, children fail to either hear this or see it in their parent’s actions.

I could go on and on.

These praises are not limited to family. She recently told a friend of mine whom she had hitherto never seen in a ‘tight’ outfit how smashing she looked. “Hope I do not see you in those baggy things again, she added” I hope this friend listened because it was all true. She just had the courage to air it.

“I wondered if my smile was as big as hers. Maybe as big. But not as beautiful.”

Mum’s smile is great, pretty big too.. her laugh even more awesome! I shall probably get a recording of it soon so I  can share it with the world. Her laughter comes from within her soul. It can’t be replicated. In fact, when you laugh with her you seem like you are acting or didn’t quite get the joke. eh! The pressure!

“I always wondered why God was supposed to be a father,” she whispers. Fathers always want you to measure up to something. Mothers are the ones who love you unconditionally, don’t you think? Jodi Picoult.

Wow! Couldn’t have said it better myself. Dad was(is) all about the grades, the ambition and all those other ‘serious’ things, with good reason. Mom on the other hand wants you to excel but be happy while at it.

I took some days off work some time back and told her my mind and soul where at peace for the first time in a while. She replied “Why don’t you just do the things you love, dance,sing,write..?”  Me, doing these things for money? Heh! *To be continued…

I strongly believe that even if I was a video vixen(dressed in long outfits perhaps) and that is what I truly wanted to do with my life, she would support me any way.

The lessons

  • She has taught us to be hardworking and I have watched her wake up at 5.30 am and work from Monday to Sunday so really what excuse do I have?
  • She has encouraged us to be responsible and as  a mother and first born of her family I have seen her take care of everyone but herself for more years than I can count
  • Mum treats everyone as an equal and probably got some etiquette training from “Mrs. Bucket (Read Bouquet of Keeping up appearances)I can’t walk into a room and not say hello to the person/people I have found there. In fact, when I am with her and someone finds us seated somewhere but just sneers and looks away, we save them for gossip later. Each time I want to sip my drink as I eat, I just have to think of mum and put the glass down. Gosh there are so many! Mum makes sure you serve every plumber, electrician, night guard(etc) the same meal you are having (unlike many Ugandans)  when you are having it.

Speaking of meals, any time is meal time at home. As a matter of fact, my guests have had to sit through evening tea and supper within the same hour on certain occasions because mum insists. If you leave the food on the plate, that is another story. Sadly, none of her children are ‘eaters’ so forgive her if she feeds you too much, she means well;)

  • And the greatest of all is love. I realised I would probably go on for ages so let me summarise with this last lesson  LOVE. It encompasses everything for if you love one another then there is no reason to cause harm. She has taught us to love everyone, to forgive and actually give back to those that hurt you the most. These Christ-like lessons have not come in only words but they have been executed from our early years.  If we forget everything else, I hope this stays with us till death do us part.

“God could not be everywhere, and therefore he made mothers.”

Really, what more can I say?

A friend, doctor, confidant, mentor, sister, rock, comforter,chef,guardian,clown,  teacher …(insert roles that apply) and so much more!!

She smiles when she wants to cry, tells you it will be okay because she believes and loves you unconditionally no matter how many times you mess up.. what is she if not an angel?

I would like to say that turning out into half or three quarters of what my mother is shall essentially make up for the blessings she has brought to my life and many others but it probably won’t be enough. Instead, I want to make the next years of her life the best years of her life, to support her as she brings joy to all those around her. What I really want to hear is her laughter more and more and…..yes more!

She is phenomenal and the best part is that she isn’t just mine and my siblings’…she has spread out her arms to lots of other lives and that is enough for me 🙂

“All that I am or ever hope to be, I owe to my angel mother.”  Abraham Lincoln

With love undefined, inexplicable, bursting within me,

Esther,

Mon Cherie :)

Mon Cherie 🙂

XOXO