Possibly the longest post I’ve written… breathe
I shake my head in awe when I see how my mother has changed over the years; well let me clarify that statement, I shake my head in awe seeing how my mother has become “soft” over the years, especially concerning grandchildren; All the stories of ass whooping I used to get sound like Big foot stories to my nieces/nephews.
Get your coffee/tea/wine/whiskey or whatever hits your fancy, for a couple of minutes I want to take you on a journey, focusing on my mother as both the protagonist/villain…
For most of us, our mothers have been our heroes without capes for a long time, the unsung heroes if I may say, my own mother makes that list too; Although before delving deep I to this writing with honestly I can acknowledge that she has had her flaws most which is quite unforgivable really; my mom once whooped my ass when I had a broken arm ‘asking me why I broke it’ good times, but she is human after all.
In the stories I have written my mother has been a hidden figure in most personalities that drive my character either as their weakness or strength, today, in this writing, I thought I’d openly write about my mother, if not about mothers in general.
If there was ever a woman who exhibited male traits in her it was my mother, if I can use strong language “That bitch was cold, Ice cold” in her younger days. I once saw my mom beat up a guy twice her size in town for stealing a pack of her cigarettes. She took a phone battery, chased him down and did him bad… never steal a wo/man’s mean to get a meal, in this sense a woman’s means. (Chappelle)
In years I’ve seen her fight off a lot of a men, that is both literal and figurative, she of course didn’t win all the battles but she fought none the less.
The other day I threw her by asking her if she has ever been in love with the men she has been with, like really in love? She told me it’s complicated, she gave my own biological father as an example on how she had loved him so much as her first love but how she was young and he never felt the same way in a sense. She laid a detailed rollercoaster of how most of her relationships were, and before I even had a chance to do it, she admitted her guilts as well, that she did cheat one/two times, which I clearly remember cause I was covering for her ass, and ‘I was a child’
Anyway, the change my mom has gone through as a person is absolutely astonishing if not surprising; well listen I am not in anyway saying she doesn’t have her old traits but the amount is some compared to the past.
Her tone of voice has changed in how she speaks, I clearly understand that I am now a grow that we should respect each other as adults, her tone for my siblings has dired down as well… her fire still burns when talking to my nephews and niece but it’s always apologetic and kind.
I remember when my mom would chase my little brother on her morning gown, come back dragging him like a sack of potatoes because he challenged her. It was the worst mistake her made… I watched this idiot challenge mom early in the morning, I should my head. I don’t remember what the deal was, but I remember my brother standing up hill to our house saying he won’t do what mom asked? and confidently saying she can’t catch him either. I had a little prayer for my little brother that day and I don’t pray!
Couple minutes later after mom gave him a head start, she came back dragging him and he was crying like a pig.
Although I have honestly shaped myself to be what I am and who I am today, I can confidently state that mother, my mother has had an impact in how I crafted that design of myself.
Some most of my life decision were influenced by my mother or rather seeing her reaction and me reacting to the situation we were in.
I made a decision I don’t want to be a bad dad or bad partner because I saw how mom’s partners were like, not all were bad really, just circumstances made things bad, as mentioned mom too wasn’t an angel
I made a decision not to smoke because my mom really beat the shit out of me when she found out we were stealing her teabags to make cigarettes, I thought if I got such a beating for teabags, what beating would I get for the real thing, and of course I really didn’t like cigarettes.
With drinking, the day our uncle made us drink on Christmas Eve and the look in my mothers eyes when she saw me naked in the street drunk, and then crying, I knew that moment alcohol wasn’t for me, but of course many other events would drill it in my head that alcohol in my family was never going to work, I don’t think my family handles alcohol very well, it’s in our blood.
Ultimately however it’s the events that happened earlier in my childhood that made me determined; When Drake sings started from bottom now we’re here, it resonates with me, I mean really, as an individual/family we really started from the bottom, not gutter, but bottom and mother never faulted to work through it all.
I remember being woken up in the early morning to lock the door after she goes out to work, to sell her fruits and vegetables in town. I remember how cold it was, I remember how angry she would be when she missed the first taxi that hooted far way, that she’d have to wait another half hour for the next one… all that lost time was money to her. In all that, I remember being dragged into it too, were I had to wake up with her to town. I hated it, I fucking hated it.
I was a kid, had to wake up early morning, that cold would hit so hard, I was crying inside. The most happiest I’d be in those mornings was when we’d buy coffee and amagwinya/baked cakes, ahhh that was the sweet thrill.
Then I’d watch the weekend go by, Sat and Sundays, then it would be school holidays while most kids played sports I was counting change. In times I’d “escape” I had a special trolley mom would give me, so I could sell fruits d vegetables mobile.
Yeah, horrible decision, I found an arcade store, and my word did I spend my time there, one day, one day though, I didn’t realize the time, there were no phones back then, my mom just walked in the arcade, I knew I was dead, I walked out being dragged, no one helped me, actually people tried to stop her, but she’d just say it’s my baby or some nonsense like that and people understood.
I was a naughty kid, you’d think after such an ass whooping I’d stop going to the arcade, but I didn’t, it was my only escape from the world I was trapped in, world of working, studying and working.
When I grew up a little bit, which happened quite quickly, I made another realization which ultimately impacted on the person I am today; most the realization happened while the day has ended when my mom and I would be headed home. I’d look at her sleeping in the taxi, she’d really doze off, the day’s work had taken a toll on her. I realized in those moments that I don’t like this site, the site of defeat, I don’t want me or her doing this for the rest of her life and as a black person you put the idea that education is the key, so I did that too, in that time.
I tucked my head in books, if books weren’t my friend, it was TV or magazines. I didn’t know if I was smart or not but I was going to do something about that; tell you the truth, I wasn’t the smartest person in schools, but I sure damn worked hard, I don’t know what problems others had, perhaps worse than mine but I wanted to be my own hero.
So there it is, my mother directly and indirectly has had an influence in my life more than I could ever imagined, but like I said not all is great even the ones that look great, in a sense my whole childhood was stolen from me, but in exchange I learned valuable lessons and was able to become an individual, I discovered myself. I tell you after everyone realized that I knew who I am, people stopped bothering me, my mom stopped waking me up in the morning to sell fruits and vegetables, it was my little brothers turn…. sucker… but I was determined to do something.
However not everything works out as planned
What Mother stories do you have that you can share?