Flowerly Maua

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I smile recklessly and I love excessively. I live today knowing I have no other day until tomorrow. Now is my moment. Yesterday is gone, tomorrow is a mystery, but today, today is my gift (present).

Thursday, 7 May 2009


Last month was Mother's day in UK, and this Sunday, many countries, Kenya included, millions of people will honour their mothers. Please do so, if you have a mother.

I loved my mother very much, but the concept of Mothers’ day is something I picked up when I became a mother myself. I remember sending Mother’s day cards to my mum whenever I found them regardless of the season. I didn’t know about this special day until 12 yrs ago, but I always reminded my mum that I loved and honoured her.

People remember their mothers in various ways. I remember phoning my mum an hour after my son was born just to thank her for giving birth to me. Not that I didn’t appreciate her before, but after almost 10 hours of labour, I understood what she had gone through to have me and my 2 brothers. My baby was so special, and it wasn’t until then that I appreciated mum telling me how special I was.

My brother had walked into the labour ward 10 minutes after my son was born, and seeing how tiny and delicate my baby looked, and maybe how much love and care he’d need, he thought of his own mum, how she had looked after him. He phoned her. We all have different reasons of honouring mothers.

I celebrated mother’s day with my mum present only once. Ever. I made her a special meal, bought her favourite drink and I got her flowers. In the morning I had remembered to make her a full English breakfast. I had bought a MUM ring which I presented to her after the meal. In the evening, we both drove to her mum’s where she honoured her mother in the same way for the first time. It was a special day for the two of them.

She passed away a month later.

I thank God all the time for that one Mother’s day, and for that one month plus that I spent with her. I guess those few days were the best time she had had in a long time as a mother with her daughter.

Immediately after ‘A’ levels, before the results were out, I left home to study abroad, initially for 3 yrs. After 3 yrs, I’d not even finished my first year in Uni, and when I went home to renew my student’s visa, the country had changed so much. During this short stay (10 weeks), it dawned on me that I felt more in-touch with myself in Europe than Kenya. At first it was the freedom of doing whatever I wanted, then came the fact that after 3 yrs away, my former classmates were in their last year in Uni, and I was just beginning. I knew it’d be a struggle coz of language barriers(I was in a non English speaking country), but I had started, and I wasn’t about to quit. There was also the pride of being in Europe. Irrelevant as it may seem, I lost the valuable opportunity of spending time with my mother.

I went back after 12 yrs when I learnt my mother was seriously ill. She had visited us once. In short, for 12 yrs, I’d spent only 3 weeks with her.

I miss her dearly. Everyone’s mother is the best thing close to love that one can ever know. Mine was/is the best thing I've ever known. There is no single day that passes by that I don’t think of her. I think of so many things, her wisdom, her jokes, and above all, I think of her unconditional unselfish love. She gave her best in her own way, not expecting anything in return, and she never complained. As children, we fell and hurt ourselves but she always had enough bandages to nurse, not only the physical wounds, but the heart aches as well. When she visited us in UK, in the middle of the night when she woke up to use the bathroom, she’d come to my room to tuck me, just like she did when I was little. To her, I was her baby, not a 20 something going on 30 yr old grown woman. I can still hear her calling me ‘Mummy, Baby, Kairitu or Mahua witu’.

My son wonders how on earth she let me leave home to study abroad before I even turned 20. To be honest, if I was to do it to my son today, I’d really feel guilty, very guilty. But this is 2009. In the 80s, the best education was in Europe, and that is what she wanted for her children.

When I was a very small girl, my brother and I used to fight constantly, and if my brother was on the wrong, she’d say ‘We tigana na kairitu gakwa. Onakangigakorwo England, kaigwe ndina thina, gakahaica ndege goke ihenya’. ( Leave my babygirl alone, she’s like my insurance. Wherever she’ll be, England or where, if I ever need her she’ll take the first flight and come to me). And this was like a prophecy, coz when she got very ill, I left my son behind and flew home to look after her until her last breath in my arms.

The first 10 yrs of my stay in Europe were tough. Life in Kenya was tough too. In as much as I’d have loved to help out, send her money every week or every month, I couldn’t. I probably visited my local Forex Bureau once every 3-6months. I know she understood. But today, when I walk past the same Forex Bureau and see people queuing to see those Somalis, to send money home, I think of how I’d have loved to send her more money. I think of how I’d have done without that night out where I’d spent £20-30, or how I’d postpone my calls to her coz I was ‘busy’. I think of that £100 I saved last month, but can’t send it to her coz she’s no more.

I can’t express how much I miss her. I regret not having spent enough time with her in the name of education and ££££££££££. My son never got to meet her, and that makes me so angry coz I kept postponing our visit home. Today, there’s no one to visit, except distant relatives.

I always wonder if I’d go home more often if she was alive, if I’d make those phone calls more often if she was on the other end? Had she been alive, would my son go to her during the school holidays like I always did to my grandmother’s?

If your mum is alive, stop wondering and pick up the phone and tell her how much you love her, get into that car, buy your travel ticket, and go see her now, coz there will be a day when she’ll be no more, and like me, you’ll look up to other women of her age to honour them in a season like this.

This Mother’s day, I’ll remember and miss my mum so much, but I’ll remember to give honour where it’s due, and honour the 2 women that I go to often, the 2 women who never tire in giving me advice, the two women who I cry out to when I need a mother. The two women who my son has learnt to call Gogo and Cucu for a long time, Mary S(Gugu)and Lucy W(Cucu).

I love you both. And I'm proud to call you 'Mathe'.


Shiko-Msa said...

Maualicious! Karibu sana. I missed that smile too much. I was looking for you for the Honest Scrap nikakukosa.

I'm so sorry about your mum.

Mo said...

Wonderful tribute to your mum. Really sweet, Maua. :D

KK said...

Thank you Maua... I forgot to tell you that I tagged you. I identify with this post in so many ways its not even funny. Good to see you back and thanks again.

joyunspeakable said...

Maua, my relationship with my mother seesaws and it leaves me wondering...your message here left me in tears cos i just had abad argument with her....she always has tis domineering attitude that makes me wanna tell her...look mum...am grown man now...any way she is my mum and i truly love her very much.....so i'll purpose to just si with her to break this ice and several memories from the past holding me down

PKW said...

This is deep.

Cee said...

Good stuff

Ngare said...

Good Stuff maua, good stuff as always.
Oh! Just so you know, you just been tagged.

extravagantgrace said...

Maua, nice to see you back gal. Sorry for you loss lakini. My mum, drives me up walls then makes me laugh like none other, she is my rock n I dont wait for mother's day to tell her how much she is appreciated. I am sure master maua is well proud to have u as his mummy.

Nice tribute gal

Farmgal said...

hey Maua..this is a lovely post. Good thing you spent time with here especially in her last days on earth. Be blessed!

tnk said...

excellent article and a powerful reminder. everyday should be a happy mothers day.

BP 1 said...

A heart felt Tribute, very touching indeed. Pole sana about your mum.

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