“I realized when you look at your mother, you are looking at the purest love you will ever know.” Mitch Albom.
Mums are so important to us. They mean the world to us. They give birth to us, feed us, train us, teach us and encourage us and do so much for us. I have been thinking about writing about my relationship with my mother and what a journey that has been. But I have also thought about my nephew and my relationship with him. He has had three mothers, his birth mum – my sister, my mum and I. I thought I would talk about my relationship with my nephew.
At around the time my sister got pregnant it was a dark time in our family. My grandmother was really sick and we were not sure what would happen. My grandmother was a second mother to me and it was really sad to see her suffering with cancer. A month before my sister had Sean my nephew, my grandmother died. That was such a big blow. There was a vacuum, a deep painful hole that kept bleeding and bleeding.
When my sister had Sean it was like a chance for happiness was recreated. There was a chance to smile again. When you have a baby in the house all the attention is given to the baby and there was no time for grief. In fact I said that God took one angel and gave us another. At the time he was born I was in my last year of University and I was a boarder. A few weeks before he was born I moved back home to help out around the house and also because my Cucu had died and it was easier to be around loved ones.
The first time I saw Sean at the hospital I fell in love. He was such a gorgeous baby. He didn’t cry much and he was so sweet. When we brought him home I used to spend hours just watching him. By this time I was commuting to Daystar Athi River by bus and when I would get home and find him sleeping I would tickle him to wake him. There was something so gripping about him opening his eyes. I would fall in love with him all over again.
Fast forward 8 ½ years later and he is still amazing. I wouldn’t give up the memories I have created with him for anything. Some of the things he has done did not require me but happened when I was there. Like seeing his first steps walking on his own, seeing him smile, hearing his first word, remembering how he would yawn when I would tickle him to wake up. But there are memories we have built together like teaching him to ride his first bike, playing with him, sharing food – he has a sweet tooth like me, watching cartoons with him, helping him with his homework, reading with him and teaching him how to pray.
Some of these things I take for granted as his auntie are precious things many mothers would like to share with their children. I am not my nephew’s birth mother but I have been a mother to him and him a son to me. Thinking about the strong bond I have with him and trying to imagine how much more my sister feels about my nephew knowing the 9 months she spent carrying him and then giving birth to him. That bond is stronger then anything.
That is the reason I support the #saveamum walk with the Chase Foundation. There are so many mother to be’s out there looking forward to having a child but their life may be cut short just because there is no midwives to make sure that the mothers delivery safely. In Nairobi we take it for granted that mothers giving birth can go to many hospitals and medical clinics scattered around the city. There are private hospitals and public hospitals that one can go to including Pumwani which is supposed to be free. But outside of Nairobi and major towns very many women rely on midwives to deliver their babies. If these midwives are not enough or are not trained properly these women can lose their babies or even lose their lives.
Some of these women have other children. So a young family is left without a mum. If you have grown up with your mum you know that no one can take her place and love you like she can. Mums will sacrifice everything for their children to be happy; I have seen it with my mum and with my sister as well. They say that a mum’s love is the one unconditional love and it’s true. Let us make sure some little kids out there don’t miss out on a chance to have that special bond with their mother.
So let us support this walk by the chase Foundation and run to #saveamum. You can make a difference in that mother’s life. I wrote a poem once about a Kenyan mum who went into a coma and then later died. When I wrote the poem she was in hospital. She gave birth and had never seen her child. For Henry Jude this was a poem to her child. Unfortunately she did not make it but the poem talks about her hopes and prayers.
Looking forward to seeing you on March 28th at the Save a mum run. You can register here for the walk.