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Judith was part Mother Theresa part Machiavelli

Popularity 11Viewed 2196 times 2014-5-10 08:49 |Personal category:Lifestyle|System category:Life| Day

This is part of the story of my mother. The real story is too long to write or tell.


She had a child every two years until there were 8. More children meant wealth and prestige, and dad badly wanted a daughter and kept on having males and therefore kept on siring until he got his girl who he named ‘Wiza’ which translates as ‘she has come.’


Never under her roof did we go naked or without food – the lowest we could go was have a meal with just vegetables. Her favourite meal was tea; she always had tea even after a heavy meal.


She tried in vain to make us stop bed-wetting. I mean the whole of the 8 kids were born bed-wetters, bad bed-wetters. True legend has it that some aunts of ours went into marriage age still wetting their beds. Well, it was genetic.


But she never accepted it. She could wake up at 2am to wake us up to go empty our bladders, but by 4am our beds were wet again and all she had to do was remind us to dry our beddings.


She tried getting tough too, like telling the whole of my class where she also taught, that I wet the bed asking the class to boo me - this never worked, it only made me popular.


She also tried to make me a maths genius; Forcing me and my brothers internalize multiplication tables and all – herself being a maths teacher and dad a chemist made her think her kids should follow the same path.


I never got the sense of it, never thought I would come to find a situation in life where I would need a long division or a fraction to get by, I liked stories, telling and reading – so I shut down to maths and put up with beatings from her.


And he could beat; she liked pinching the inner thighs or lashing your butt with flip flops that was if she could not find a thin green stick. Her favourite tactic was denying you a meal. You would sin and you would just hear that orders had been issued that you were not to eat that evening and anyone trying to pass you food was as guilty.


She never admitted that I was intelligent. I heard from others that she told them that she admired how I could pass exams without taking notes during lessons – but when I got position two or five she never showed emotion. Actually, I heard, one of these days I got the top position and she conspired with the teachers to shift me to position three. She wanted to tame my ego.


But secretly she saw the good in me, she could go to the city and bring us fancy winter jackets, or shoes  or bake that sweet brown cake and we would know we did something right.


She wanted discipline in us. When she had visitors the embroidery in the sofas was not to be tampered with, no one was supposed to loiter or stare at guests or they would be beaten later. Everyone had to do his job, one to collect milk from the mission farm, two to chop firewood, three to water the vegetables, four to clean the plates, five to go to the maize mill, six to mind the beans on the stove...if you mess your niche, you must face the music.


She used to call be Diabolos, which is the Greek word for Satan – I was too violent and too playful – not that am proud but my sister still shows me a scar I inflicted on her and people still speak of scandals I pulled back in the late 90s, broken glasses and general vermin behaviour.


In our exuberance of youth, me and my two other brothers stole her change and went to watch a movie and behold the police were called on us! It was just to threaten us.


But she only called in the police because she was getting weak, some disease that claimed papa two years earlier was after her and was doing major damage to her.


She was one bubbly woman that could wrestle any grown man, but she got so thin and grey hair invaded her – but in all this she never quit worrying of me.


In the month she died, my brothers were sent to the lakeshore village for a holiday, only I was told to stay behind – I think it was because the last time I was sent on holiday I caused a scene by wanting to swim in a dangerous river.


But I ran away from home and hitchhiked to join my brothers - and we swam and had fun in the village where we were seen as heroes from town.


And then it happened.


She died alone and away from all her children for whom she worked all her life. And it was especially heavy on me because I had ran away from her to go enjoy the white sandy beaches.


After she was buried, my aunt called me aside and told me something that changed my life – she said the night she died she kept crying and when they asked her she said she was worried about me, that no one would want to live with me after she dies.


And that was it. Just a few years later I quit wetting my bed, I quit being wantonly playful and became a very silent and quiet boy, people still cannot believe who I turned out to be, went on to college and tried to learn maths and every day for me is me trying to live like she wanted me to, to achieve dreams and hurt no one.



Every day I feel guilty of the trouble I gave mama, I look at scars she left me with trying to beat me into a man, I try to remember any quotes or sayings she told me but I cannot, she is too distant in the past all I know is that she was cruel as Machiavelli and as darling as Mother Theresa and all was for the good of me and my 7 siblings.


I can still see her coffin being lowered into the rocky ground those grave diggers shoveling her in as if they hated her and the preacher booming false messages of how God loved her more than us, the truth is God might have created her, but she belonged to us and nobody will even matter to me than Judith.

(Opinions of the writer in this blog don't represent those of China Daily.)


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Comment Comment (20 comments)

Reply Report voice_cd 2014-5-10 12:05
Thanks for sharing your story here, we have highlighted your blog.
Reply Report claudeckenni 2014-5-10 14:17
Death ends a life, not a relationship.
Death leaves a heartache no one can heal, love leaves a memory no one can steal.
Reply Report ColinSpeakman 2014-5-10 15:15
You were blessed with a wonderful mother!  Thanks for sharing this story!
Reply Report mutafire 2014-5-10 16:04
voice_cd: Thanks for sharing your story here, we have highlighted your blog.
Thanks, glad to share
Reply Report mutafire 2014-5-10 16:05
claudeckenni: Death ends a life, not a relationship.
Death leaves a heartache no one can heal, love leaves a memory no one can steal.
hahaha, this is too deep to be yours...Who said these words?
Reply Report mutafire 2014-5-10 16:06
ColinSpeakman: You were blessed with a wonderful mother!  Thanks for sharing this story!
Yessir...dont usually dabble in the mothers day business but this one i had to share...
Reply Report ColinSpeakman 2014-5-10 16:14
It is timely in most countries, but not Mothers' Day in my home country. If relevant next year, I have to remind  CD about the other day for Mothers' Day and get some input then!  
Reply Report mutafire 2014-5-10 16:41
ColinSpeakman: It is timely in most countries, but not Mothers' Day in my home country. If relevant next year, I have to remind  CD about the other day for Mothers'  ...
For us too, i think it is in the first week of October, i think
Reply Report mutafire 2014-5-10 16:42
ColinSpeakman: It is timely in most countries, but not Mothers' Day in my home country. If relevant next year, I have to remind  CD about the other day for Mothers'  ...
And you know the saying that there is no fathers day because every Friday is!
Reply Report ColinSpeakman 2014-5-10 16:56
mutafire: And you know the saying that there is no fathers day because every Friday is!
    
Reply Report objchina 2014-5-10 20:47
R.I.P. to your mom.
Reply Report TK~Amy 2014-5-10 22:34
sometimes,we tend to ingore the most cherished person around us,when we lost ,we felt gulity,then,to do something to make up.Your mother was deserved to be respected.She was a great mother.
Reply Report claudeckenni 2014-5-11 01:15
mutafire: hahaha, this is too deep to be yours...Who said these words?
I forgot, heard it somewhere but I will always remembered it because it touches my heart.
Reply Report jiewei798 2014-5-11 12:49
Cute story, happy mother's day!
Reply Report mutafire 2014-5-12 09:08
claudeckenni: I forgot, heard it somewhere but I will always remembered it because it touches my heart.
It touched me too...
Reply Report mutafire 2014-5-12 09:09
TK~Amy: sometimes,we tend to ingore the most cherished person around us,when we lost ,we felt gulity,then,to do something to make up.Your mother was deserved  ...
Right on, right on and some losses, like mine, are good lessons for those who still have mothers, its best we love them, make them proud, when they depart we can celebrate not feel guilty.
Reply Report mutafire 2014-5-12 09:10
jiewei798: Cute story, happy mother's day!
Thanks, hope you called your mum and made her smile...
Reply Report mutafire 2014-5-12 09:11
objchina: R.I.P. to your mom.
Thanks, but i know she is not resting, nor is she anywhere, she is dead and gone...
Reply Report objchina 2014-5-12 12:57
mutafire: Thanks, but i know she is not resting, nor is she anywhere, she is dead and gone...
  
Reply Report Azindoo 2014-5-12 20:10
My mother had 9 kids .having many kids is regarded as blessings in Africa as the guy mentioned .In Africa ,having many kids part of African culture .Africans  believe In having big families .
With a big family, African men feel proud and happy ..
With 9kids in my home , my parents were able to Look after all of us .we all had education up to the university level .some are teachers and others are nurses .

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