Source: Unsplash by Liv Bruce
I recently heard that if a writer falls in love with you, you can never die. Why did I never think of that?
I am a writer through and through, I love to read but more so I love to write. I wanted a piece of someone I had lost to keep and hold on to. Something personal. Her voice perhaps – a recent picture or a video. I wanted the memory of her to remain for a very long time, so I chose to write about her. I have finally gained the courage to do so. It makes enough sense. I love her.
‘I loved that film’
I recently went to the cinema with a friend, and during the course of the show, we watched Fast and Furious. I entirely loved the movie; I have never felt disappointed watching the franchise throughout all these years.
As a matter of fact, I am a huge fan of Fast and Furious.
Whilst watching the movie, I realised that on multiple occasions -they had mentioned a fellow cast member who had died years ago. I then told my friend that this dude was lucky. He had a song and a list of movies made in his honour. Each Fast and Furious movie made since the year of his death would allow people to remember him; every time people watch Fast and Furious, it would be in his memory.
Can you imagine this?
We are talking about millions of people across the world who either knew him personally or who had never met him. This would happen every year. And then I realised that they were making an effort to keep him alive in our minds and in our hearts.
Creating a lifetime memory of my Mother
Since my mother’s death, I have frequently thought about how unfair her life was before she died. Then it hit me: I am not a songwriter, nor am I a screenwriter, but I am a writer. The things I write would transcend time and live on even after I die, so why don’t I keep a memory of her in what I write? Not just in a silly secret diary but one that people could read across the world and think:
Woah, such a wonderful woman lived.
She was beautiful. She was smart. She was kind. She did not have to go through what happened. Well that aside, she was incredible. She is my mother. I love her. I was not there during her youthful days, but I could tell from her pictures that she loved to dress really well.
There are people who dress well because they have a good fashion sense and there are others who dress well because it made them look good. I think she was both. But she never got the chance to do so in the latter twelve years of her life. She loved to watch Nigerian movies, and I am pretty sure her favourite actress was Patience Ozokwor. You see, that was the only name she mentioned frequently. She could not see the screen, but she used the rest of her senses.
She also loved telenovelas. She would watch them when they aired each weekday and then watch the omnibus on Sunday. She loved them that much. She almost gave me the formal name Meg from a television show, that she used to watch when she was pregnant with me.
My observations growing up
She eventually started to watch American television shows with me – well, more like she listened to it with me. Back then I was not as obsessed with Korean dramas as I am now. I used to binge-watch television shows like Friends and Big Bang Theory on DGN. I did not realise she was paying attention till she reminded me one day that I had to watch a television show at a particular time and she proceeded to hum a part of their opening theme song I enjoyed singing.
My mother had a weird laugh just like I do. It was weird, but kind of cute as well. I would say that I am also cute when I laugh.
She was closer to her mother, my grandmother. They would converse about anything. Another observation was that when my Mother was walking, she used to stop along the way, walking on paths in order to not be idle. She used to do this whilst feeling around with her hands till her body and other senses got used to it. Walking around the house was not a problem from that point on.
Every time I had to go out, she would run her hands along the length of my dress to check if what I wore was too long or too short. Back then I really liked intensely short dresses – I still do – but not as much. Now I prefer elegant lengthy dresses. When she got mad at me, which she often did since I was very rebellious and stubborn, she would not talk to me for days.
My Mother gave my brother and me nicknames, or what we call house names. I guess I no longer hear anyone call me by that name anymore.
She used to call me: “mommee” and called my brother “Danny or Papa” instead of our formal names. She said she liked it when mothers called their daughters “mommee”, so she gave me that house name to call me that. Sometimes she just called me “meee”.
At times when I miss her, I hear her voice call me by my house name.
I don’t think she ever called me by formal name. She frequently called my brother to cut her toenails for her, but I think she did that because she missed him.
My Mother prayed every day at dawn, and sometimes she felt around to touch my forehead to pray for my brother and me. I thought it was a nuisance then because it was so loud it interfered with my sleep. When my father joined in, a few months down the line, I gave up complaining.
In the years that passed, the means she used to make money began to die but she still kept giving the little she had to me every time I pressured her for money. She would yell at me in our local language, Ga, and that was why would I harass her for money, which was not even mine, and she would proceed to give me the money. I would use it for vain things , like my hair, an outing, or a data bundle. My brother did not do the same, he was a miser; he would save for long periods of time and then buy something really expensive.
My Mother also loved old-school music.
She loved whenever my father played these tunes on Saturdays whilst cleaning. Though she loved them, I only heard her sing them a few times because she mostly sang gospel music. She would get up and dance when her favourite gospel music was playing. She liked a Gospel group called Daughters of Glorious Jesus. She remembered every significant date, including every single person’s birthday, and reminded us when it was time to do so.
Food and Health
My Mother mostly ate brown rice, and food with no sugar, because of her illness; so her favorite food would be news to me.
She liked Banku and Kenkey but don’t most Gas?
She had a special way of cooking oil rice, which would make it smell really nice a mile away. She liked church and went regardless of her illness. She paid her tithes with the money she got and made me pay for her when she could not go to church. She barely went out and only went out to church or the hospital. She wanted to hide the fact that she was blind- but now that I think about it, there was no point, since the nosy talkative types probably would have already spread the news.
There were a number of health attacks throughout the years that caused panic among us.
I remember once, that she confused the names of my uncles when I rushed outside to find help. She went to a lot of miracle services, but I hated them. Most of their services were long and at night.
It was hoped that she would get better since the hospitals were a dead end. I also hated them because I saw no difference, and it meant giving her another dash of hope despite the waste of money. She turned to herbal medicine, which I also hated.
The week before she died, she was severely ill.
The day she died, it was unexpected, as I was only thinking about her getting better so that we could go home. I hate hospitals too. It was terrifying and painful to watch. She went from screaming in pain to not screaming at all.
This was when my fears began!
I am a dreadful daughter and a coward. Fast forward to when my Mother died, right in front of me and quietly. Everything was too unfair for someone who put God before anything. God probably forgot us since we were so insignificant. We are just humans after all, and with time we would leave this earth so why bother helping us? I still think like this.
God never loved us.
I had a difficult time accepting that but I have since come to terms with it, and I am now OK. She was on her own, and now I am on my own. I have accepted it. Life is short, and there are tons of people out there with really unfair and sad lives.
At first, I cried because it was her, and then I cried because it was not just her that was neglected and forgotten. This made me feel worse. But life goes on. She had a hard life. People talk about the dead looking down on us and watching us, and they feel thrilled about it, but I do not want her to watch me- because her life was hard enough. There is no point in continuing to watch others live a hard life after death. I wish that the news of heaven was real. Then at least she would be happy, and she might be in an environment where illness, pain, war, struggle, or hunger would not exist.
I feel content knowing that other people are able to read about the amazing person she was. She is my mother. We love her whether dead or alive. She was amazing! She can never be replaced. And right now all we can hope for is that she Rests In Peace.