I was born a premature baby, every mother loves holding her baby immediately after birth, but my mum was deprived of that, because I was thrown into the incubator immediately. There I was for the next 2-3 weeks of my life. That woman stayed there every day crying and praying if I will make it or not. She prayed so hard to God and I made it. Who will every cry and pray for you day and night if not a mother?
Challenges of being a premature baby meant I couldn’t feed like every normal kid at an early stage of my life, had to be fed through a special means. And who was there to do that? My ever loving mother.
A mother is someone who cares about your welfare and your happiness while foregoing her own happiness or comfort. She makes sure you are comfortable at all times. She prays to God on your behalf even if you don’t believe in God. She corrects you whenever you do something wrong, either through harsh criticism or advice. She thinks about you day and night and about your wellbeing. When you are ill, she is ill by default, when you are sad, she knows because of the bond between you two. When you are happy she is, when you need any help she is there. When you having a fight with your father, she is the mediator, when you need help/favor, she is the messenger/ coordinator. We only ask our father’s questions like; “where is mother?” but you ask your mother a thousand more questions involving favors and life experiences.
I started talking late, with that I used to face difficulty pronouncing certain words, I used to have difficulty passing a message across, my siblings and friends will laugh at me, I will cry, but she alone will put me on her laps and comfort me, she will be like: “forget them, you will be a king or a president someday”, I miss those days.
Growing up, she was the disciplinarian, sometimes the slaps I receive from her makes me think I was adopted, or if she actually gave birth to me, but that shaped my life, and thanks to that am where I am today. And I got to admit I kind of miss the slaps and the punches. The way she walks is something else, she hits the floor/ground with heels very hard to command respect, when you do something wrong and you hear those footsteps, man you know to look for where to hide, I called her iron lady.
Growing up my dad wasn’t around that much, because he was a very busy man, due to nature of his job we had to keep a distance from him, so mum was left to do everything, who woke me up in the morning to go to school? My mother, who gets me ready for school? My mother, who wept when I was leaving for boarding school? My mother, who thought me how to brush my teeth? My mother, who thought me how to wear clothes? My mother, who thought me how to look clean and smart? My mother, who thought how to lace my shoes? My mother, who thought me how to cook? My mother, all the basic things in my life, she thought me. And yet I could not save her on her death bed when the angel of death came, what a bad son I was at that moment.
Let’s accept it, the way we live our lives today is based on what our mothers ned us growing up, the advice, the experiences and all. I can remember the advice she gave me such as; “be careful when dealing with women, they can ruin you”, live a model life, people will help you out whenever you need help”, always be declined, it will take you places”, “I have a feeling you will be someone great, work towards becoming someone great”. Oh dear mother, where are you?
At my age I still weep when I think of my ‘Dear mama’, the most beautiful woman ever liveth, her beauty was on its own level, a very beautiful Fulani princess, her smile alone will make you feel that everything is going to be okay even if it’s during a war or a natural disaster. Yes I miss my mother, and am still angry at myself for doing nothing to stop the angel of death from taking her away.
She thought me about Islam, respect for other faith and the relationship between Islam and other religion. She Islam-home schooled me till I could talk well because my friends will laugh at the way I talk. She thought me how to be a man by telling me stories about Fulani warriors and my ancestors; Shehu Usman Dan Fodio and his kids.
I miss the advice, the Hausa and Fulani fairytales she tells me in the night before bed, I miss eating from the same plate with her and the way she lets me feed her, I miss going to the market with her, I miss discussing about politics with her, I miss travelling with her, I miss her sweet comforting voice, I miss the way she talks, I miss her deep Fulfulde vocabulary, I miss her footsteps, I miss the way she commands respect from men, I miss, I miss, I miss a lot, cant mention all.
On many occasions I find myself in a difficult position, I have no one to turn to, cos the love of my life isn’t here, I miss listening to her whenever she is trying to answer my questions about life, such as; “how babies were conceived, about how babies are born, and about death in general.
Oh my mother when will I get to see you again? Am sure you will be there at heaven’s gate smiling at me. Am sorry, Am sorry I didn’t stop the angel from taking y I didn’t stop the angel from taking you away. Am sure he took you away. Am sure he took you to a peaceful place, we shall meet again, and your son misses you a lot.