Counting My Blessings – Ma’ami

ImageI totally agree with the Yoruba saying that ‘iya ni wura iyebiye ti a ko le fo’wo ra’. Mother, you are precious. I know a lot of people write and say things about their mother (most of them wait till her funeral anyway), and since I can’t read minds, I don’t know why they do so but I’m writing this because you’re too precious to wait till your funeral to say all I have to say – if I do, we’ll probably have to arrange for a special service we’ll call ‘A Daughter’s Tribute To Her Mother’, because there’ll be a ‘MASSIVE WHOLE LOT’ to say by then.

Mom, you’re precious. I’m sure many girls my age are envious of me because I don’t just have the woman who birthed me to call ‘mummy’ but also friend, big sis and buddy. I sit back now and I realize that you’re one of my greatest critiques ever and a ‘great drive in my wheel’. You’re the one that will look at me when I finish dressing up (apart from E) and say stuff like “skirt yin yii maa gun gaan, ee ge die kuro n’be” (this your skirt is too long, why don’t you cut a little away from it), when you think my skirt is too short or “the neckline of that dress is low. Be careful with it”. You’re the one that, when I brought my results home from school, would say something like “You can do better than this. I know you, you are more than this”, or when you thought I was slicing off too much of the yam with the skin, “Ah, OyinOluwa, k’are o! Aduru isu yii lo n be danu, nkan t’a yo odidi eyan kan” (ah, OyinOluwa, well done! You’re slicing away this much yam, something that’ll be enough to fill one whole person)…

Your sense of humour and sarcasm, I’ve not fully comprehended, mom. You crack jokes that are way off the ‘border’ and then I’ll wonder where you ‘got that from’. You use your sarcastic words to chide and correct me and sometimes to make light things that I ‘carry on my head’. Like the day when we were looking at my first birthday pictures and I discovered that you had worn a pair of socks and shoes for me  along with my iro and buba; and then when I was attacking you for ‘combining’ such, you said “bi won se n wo o ni’lu yin niyen” and then we laughed and laughed.

Laughter; I can’t begin to count how much we’ve shared. You seem to be the one that never worries and when something bothers me, you are just the best person to ease me of such worries. How do you do it mom? Is it that nothing ever bothers you or that’s the level your faith and trust in God has attained? I think it’s the later. That reminds me of how God-centered you are. You can’t say two words, especially when we are talking about serious issues like marriage, children, relationships, career, and not bring God into it. You are so full of God, the little part of you that is ‘you’ is ruled by that God-filled part. You often tell me to make God the basis of my life and encourage me to spend more time with Him, faithfully building an intimate relationship with Him.

Mom, you can rest assured of being well taken care of when you grow old because you have laid such great example in taking care of my grandparents (on both sides). Your relationship with your siblings is amazing. You’ve shown that great love, peace and care can exist amongst siblings and respect will not be an issue. Even in relating with pop’s siblings and family members, you’ve taught this little girl of yours how to be a virtuous woman. Mom, I’m eternally grateful.

The least I pray for in my marriage is what you and pop have. You’ve made him a happy man and been a great contributor, next to God, to the making of the great father that he is today and I know he wakes up every morning to thank God for giving you to him. The standard you have set with the humility, wisdom, love and patience with which you relate with him are such great standards that all I can ever pray for is ‘beating you’. When I read about the proverbs 31 woman, I don’t find it hard to relate because I have one right in our home – you’ve made that building not just a shelter but a home we always want to come back to. You’re indeed a mother, not only for those you birthed biologically but even to those God has added to you.

M’aami, you’re a homemaker, a peacemaker, an industrious and wise woman, an embodiment of godliness, a vessel of love and kindness, so strong and zealous. Thinking about it now, I think I’ve only seen you cry once my whole life. Not because you don’t have emotions but because you’ve been fashioned so strong you know just where to draw your strength from.

Your ‘caucus’ of friends make me pray for my friends. You relate with one another with such respect and love one would think you all were birthed by the same mother. You’re a great woman mom.

M’aami, you’re beautiful inside out. You exude grace and confidence. Wisdom and faith are second nature to you.

Thank you so much mom. Thank you for teaching me. Thank you for showing me that only God pays. Thank you for showing me firsthand wisdom, humility, hope and strength. Thank you for laying a legacy of faith and truth… If there were a second life, I’ll definitely choose you again.      

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