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MUM STORIES: Extraordinary love from an ordinary mother

Tuesday May 14 2019

Collins Kariuki's mother Pauline Mahungu Wanjugu. PHOTO| COURTESY

Collins Kariuki's mother Pauline Mahungu Wanjugu. PHOTO| COURTESY 

COLLINS KARIUKI
By COLLINS KARIUKI
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Some people’s stories about their mothers shock you and some move you to tears. This is not one of them.

It’s an ordinary story of ordinary people who’ve been lucky to have experienced the extraordinary love of a mother.

My family of four is both Kenyan and African in every sense. My father watches news almost all the time.

My mom always calls me to pass her something that is within arm’s reach. And just like most Kenyan families, Mexican soap operas are sacred and it is a taboo to sleep past 8am in the morning.

Amidst all this, my Mom has stood out as both the glue that has held our family together and the foundation that has supported the family through raging storms.

NO ‘I LOVE YOU’ FROM MOM

Growing up, I never heard my mom tell me or my sister that she loved us. I think it would be awkward to hear that. But from the sacrifices she’s made for us, I am not in doubt of her love for us.

I have seen her wake up very early in the morning, make us breakfast, get us ready for school and still prepare to go to work. I’ve seen her sacrifice her own needs to take care of ours.

When we hit rock bottom as a family, she was the source of inspiration that marshalled us to keep going.

We never had perfect results in school, but still our school fees was paid.

We caused her so much trouble, but she never disowned us. Such has been her love for us.

AMAZING MOTHERS

I acknowledge that there are lots of amazing mothers who’ve moved mountains to provide for their families, but allow me to appreciate the woman who has been extraordinary in our ordinary family.

This is to the woman who at one point had my life solely in her hands and she preserved it.

This is to my mother.

I won’t call you an angel for I’d be lying. First the bible hasn’t mentioned any female angels and at one point you slapped me so badly I thought I’d die.

I won’t pretend that I now understand the reasons for everything you did like asking me to pack and leave when I was just 10-even though it was a ruse-or admit that the beatings I received were justified.

You were never perfect and through your imperfections you gave us the best mom we’d ever ask for.

From you, I have learnt how to be hardworking and independent.

From your invaluable advice, I now can approach life from an informed perspective.

In you, I’ve seen the manifestation of the strength of a woman. I know you might not believe this but I do go to church and my room is always neat.

I have enjoyed learning from you and I’m still far from figuring you out for the enigma that you are.

On International Women’s Day, I texted you and wished you a happy one. You immediately called me and asked if I needed money and yes, I was running broke. I needed money.

But this Mother's Day is different. I’m not playing tricks so that you can send me money. I only want you to know one thing. I never chose you as my mother.

But if I was to live my life in reverse and start my life as an old man, I’d still spend the last nine months of my life with you. Thank you for being an amazing mother to us.

 


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