MUM STORIES: My mother is my rock

Tuesday May 15 2018

Maureen Mwangi poses for a selfie with her mum Josephine Wanjiku Mwangi. PHOTO| COURTESY

Maureen Mwangi poses for a selfie with her mum Josephine Wanjiku Mwangi. PHOTO| COURTESY 

By MAUREEN MWANGI

“Maureen, I am off to work,” is the first sentence I hear every morning. It’s the voice that inspires me and it’s my motivation for writing this story today.

51 years ago, the most amazing human being was born. Everyone has their fauvorite human, mine just happens to be my mom. She’s called Josephine Wanjiku Mwangi.

Despite her age, she still carries on her responsibilities with pride. She gets up bright and early every day to prepare breakfast for the whole family, whether her children are there to help or not.

This may be the only meal she prepares as she is at work the rest of the day, but she does it whole-heartedly. You’ll never miss tea, porridge, bread or maybe sweet potatoes on the breakfast table, typical Kikuyu traditional breakfast.

Meals are very important to her as she wants her family healthy and showing, “mwana mwega no da,” she says, loosely translated to “a good child is his or her stomach.”

“Are you okay? Is something the matter? Why aren’t you eating? Did you feel better?” That’s mom. She is always hands on family’s problems as she can’t stand seeing her siblings or anyone else suffer.

As my dad is the “first born” in his family, she gets to be the first sister or mother to everyone. Being the only nurse in the family, she takes care of everyone.

Whenever anyone is pregnant in the family, she is the first call as she can advise them on what and what not to do.  She is always at the expectant mother’s beck and call especially when it is just a few weeks to delivery.

You would think she would complain as the extended family comprises of 12 children, most of whom are married and have kids, but she never does.

She will get up late into the night if she has to. She runs her own clinic near our home and she will treat anyone who comes knocking even after she has closed for the day at whatever time they need her services.

My dad obviously complains but she just smiles and nods.

MY ROLE MODEL

My mom is my role model, she is always jovial and ready to tackle anything, be it be good or bad. Despite her happy times, there are times she is faced with challenges that dims her glow.

A few years ago, she lost her father to diabetes and as fate would have it months later she was diagnosed with the same.

It was a moment of sadness and fear as she was diagnosed with the same ailment to which she lost her father.

She may have been the one going through the problem first hand but she did not forget to console and tell us everything was going to be alright as if the situation was reversed. That’s my mom, strong. She is under medication and okay.

My mom’s religious character is a trait I can't fail to mention. She has been a church leader for as long as I can remember. Even the church is unable to let go.

 Josephine Wanjiku Mwangi. PHOTO| COURTESY

Josephine Wanjiku Mwangi. PHOTO| COURTESY

She reminds us to always turn to God at any given time, whether in happy or difficult times, we should always put God first.

Every night before we go to bed and after our family prayers, she never forgets to give her blessings to her young ones (nieces, nephews  and her own children).

Being the nursing officer in charge, Kimbimbi hospital, Mwea may be just a job description but she goes above and beyond to ensure that everything they require is given to them, something most leaders forget to do.

She is kind and caring not only to her family but also to those she leads. She ensures that the subordinate staff are paid and well taken care of.

Over the years she has created a strong bond with her colleagues to the extent that some even swore to leave work if she quit her job or transferred. This was revealed some time back, when a few of her subordinate staff came visiting our home after my mom missed work for only a week.

As they had no idea of where she was, they decided to come looking for her as they had heard rumours that she was sick. I had no idea of the impact she had at her work place until I heard them talking praises about her.

Last but not least, she is supportive of her children’s career choices. Personally I am a journalism student and an upcoming model.

Despite my mom not having the slightest idea on what modelling really helps with, she pays for my expenses on the field and encourages me to do my best and not to neglect my studies. That is just one of the many choices she supports of us.

My mom may have ups and downs of her own but she never abandons or closes her door to anyone in need, family or not. She may have disciplined us a lot in the past, but I thank her for were it not for that, I would not be the person I am today.

I celebrate my mom each and every day, not only on Mother’s Day as she deserves it. She is my family’s rock. I will always love and adore her.

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