Writing a post about my dad made me feel terribly guilty about my mum. Mother's day had gone past and I didnt even remember to spare a thought for her or put a few words down on paper. This I hope will make up for it.
I remember you mum - always smiling and cheerful. I remember growing taller than you gleefully and hoping to reach my daddy's height but somehow never achieving that goal. I remember sitting in the front seat of ur car as you drove us to school and on several occassions driving about your business in the town.
I remember the very first time you asked me to help you wash your car. In my mind I was like "Girls dont wash cars" but it came out OK and was a chore I grew to love. I remember attempting to drive your car when I was 10 and the car jerked forward when I turned the ignition and hit the garage wall. Your bumper was damaged but you took it in good faith.
I remember you being such a wonderful cook that my dad and his friends would shout it from the roof tops. I remember you cooking a new soup everyday cos Daddy only eats fresh soup and me having to prepare the condiments everyday after my SSCE when everyone including the househelps had all gone off to school and work and I was the only one at home left to do the housework. I relish that time cos I learnt a lot of what I know now during that time.
I remember the very first time you made soup on a sunday for sunday lunch instead of the usual Jollof Rice & Chicken dish or Yam Pottage or White Soup and Pounded Yam and me being horrified that visitors would come and see us eating Eba and Soup on a sunday. (Yes - I thought eba and soup was meant strictly for weekdays only) You told Dad and you both laughed at me and he said "If the visitor didnt like it, then he could leave as this was his own house and he'd eat whatever pleases him on a sunday"
I remember how homely you were and how obedient you were too towards daddy. I remember the lovely dishes you used to make every festive period - Easter, Christmas, New Year etc. They were plentiful but extremely delicious too.
I remember you were quite industrious too. I remember we never used to lack plantain at home cos you had planted them all over the compound and they reproduced extremely well too and at a point we must have had at least 50 plantain stalks growing in our compound. I remember you taking care of the palm fruits planted at our country home too and we never lacked palm oil at home too. Due to this industriousness, I remember dodo and plaintain chips was never lacking at home and always handy whenever we kids needed a snack at home.
I remember you being ever ready to try out a new project or experiment. I remember you rearing all sorts of domestic animals - ducks, chickens, goats, rabbits, dogs and cats. Even non domestic animals like hawks, parrots and monkeys - you tried your hand at rearing them and keeping them about the house too.
I rememeber you were the one we always ran too if we need more pocket money and were too scared to ask Dad for some and you gave gladly. I remember you sheltered and protected us from the ilks of the world and society.
I remember calling you to come and check out the 'hot' mini skirt that MY SISTER tried to wear and sneak out of the house through the back gate cos she had 'hot legs'. She had succeeded in getting as far as the back gate but you got to her before she could sneak out and you pulled her back into the house to change her skirt and 'seized' the skirt. I'm sure she suspected I was the one who alerted you but I had snuck upstairs so she really couldnt tell who reported her.
I remember voluntarily tidying up ur room everyday for you. You were always very appreciative of my efforts but never seeming to make an effort to keep it in the tidy state I left it and this got me quite exasperated sometimes. Now I understand cos I'm in the same dilemma myself.
I remember you coming to visit me and my sisters in boarding house almost weekly with goodies for us and we always looked forward to your 'Under G' visits on non visiting days. Somehow, you made friends with the junior staff and they were always willing to come and call us for you and we would sit in your car with you in some quiet corner of the school away from the prying eyes of the house mistresses. According to you, the house was too quiet without us.
I remember somehow focusing my attention on Daddy during my growing years and you saying playfully that I am a bad daughter that hates her mommy and loves her daddy.
I remember you coming to university almost daily too to leave cooked food for me and looking back now I do appreciate it all so much.
I remember you standing up for us when Daddy disciplined us. We knew we could always run to you when we were out of favour with him.
I remember you collecting money given to us as presents from guests or relatives and you telling us you were going to put it in the bank for us or use it to cook for us. We never got it back no matter how much we pestered you but then, I guess indirectly we did get it back with the loads of money we got from you.
I remember ganging up with you against my daddy and his several admirers (female empowement) but then it didnt last long - I went back to my first love - Daddy.
I remember Daddy sending the driver to come and get me and my sis from the university one day that you were ill and admitted in hospital. You had just had a masectomy and you were still smiling from your hospital bed. I remember you coming home and having to go for chemotherapy thereafter.
I remember the time you had a reaction to the chemotherapy drugs and your arm and face swelled up terribly. I remember the pain and anguish you suffered and you hid it from us and we never realised how much you were sufferring cos the smiles and positivity were never far from your face and mien.
I remember your last xmas and new year spent with us. Even though you were terribly ill, you still rose and made delicious meals as usual for everyone in the entire house but in a much lesser quantity. I remember the gatemen at the government parastatal opposite our house who had gotten used to receiving huge portions of meals from you every festive period coming to and fro our own gate to enquire when theirs (xmas meal) would land.
I remember the shock of your death. I remember you saying that morning that you were waiting for the angels to come and get you or that angels were waiting to take you away. Being so naive at that time, I didnt understand what you meant. I never expected that you would die and leave us all alone. We always expected you to recover and live to old age with your husband and children. I remember refusing to even think about life without you and hoping you would recover but alas that wasnt to be. You were plucked in your prime. You were meant to be there to vet our boyfriends, see us get married and carry our children in your loving arms.
I love you mommy and wish death hadnt snatched you away so young. I wish I had told you many times over how much I loved you but its too late now. Its the 12th anniversary of your death and you would have been 53 this year. We have all grown through the years and maybe would have turned out even better with your guidance and wisdom which we were deprived of by the cold hands of death. Rest in Peace Mommy, Rest in Peace.