I’ve been Missing in action for a couple of days… One of those weeks you know. Anyway I’m back, more energized than ever!
My identity rests solely and firmly on this; I am my mother’s daughter. I dedicate this post to my loving mama… Rose Akeyo Odhiambo. I love you with all my heart.
These are the lessons mama taught me:
- Religion. My mama taught me how to pray. She always prayed in good and bad times and she said God always listens to prayers. She still calls and reminds me to pray and she prays for her family. Going to church every Sunday was never debatable in her house.
- Generosity. Mama said, “share it with your friend when you get back to the city”. She never had it all but she didn’t hesitate to share the little she had. One time my mama fed a homeless man who had soiled his pants. He was passing by the roadside and it was scorching hot. He looked hungry and weak and mama called him and offered him a seat, food plus water… such a golden heart my mama has! Imagine our shock when we saw what she was doing. when we asked her why she did it, her response was so calm… “Do good and good will come to you”
- Foresight. Mama said… “Always carry ten shillings in case you step on someones tomatoes in the market and wear clean panties in case you fall down!
- Love. If anything, I want to love like my mama. Her love for her children, her mother and her husband is just out of this world. Everyday she reminds us that family is family and you do anything for family.
- Honesty. Be true to yourself… That’s the only way you can be true to others. She taught me that the truth will always set me free and she reminded us to always do everything with honest intentions if we expected the same from others. “Own up and bear responsibility for your actions,” she always said.
- Unleash your Talents. She never made it past high school but she did a lot to survive. From being a tailor to running a hotel and other small businesses. She has always been a great cook and has used this talent to start yet a new business in the catering industry. Thanks to my mama, I’m striving daily to Unleash my talents.
- Speak up. The one person who can read you like a book is your mother. Mine realized I kept so much to myself and she taught me that it was okay to speak up. She helped me find my voice and she still urges me never to stop speaking up and standing up for myself.
- Make new friends. New friends mean new connections and experiences… This I learnt from my mama. She made it clear that it was totally okay to make new friends as this way we got to learn new things and experience new cultures. She was always very interested in hearing all about our friends whenever we visited her.
- Everyday is a brand new day, just be happy. I’ve never seen my mama sad. Deep in thought, yes but not sad. No matter how bad the nights were sometimes, she always woke up singing and all brand new like everything was just perfect!
Be very brave no matter your size. Probably the best lesson I learnt from her. She always reminds me that I am a fireball and I stand out in the crowd because I exude an aura of invincibility.
- Learn new tricks no matter your age. Age is just a number and with it comes new experiences for instance career development, marriage etc. Mama said you had to learn to cope and survive in any kind of environment and all it took was learning new tricks for coping mechanisms.
- When loved ones come home, always run to greet them. This is one lesson I practiced daily with so much excitement. I was the popular kid who ran into her fathers arms daily when he got back from work. Believe me, it strengthened the bond between me and my dad and it made both of us very happy. He would pick me up from the ground and embrace me and I lived for those moments.
- Make your own fun. Dancing and music have always been my favorites and my mama taught me that it was okay to dance alone if no one wanted to join me… and I did it so well the rest ended up joining. haha
- Never stop trying… Never quit. She could have quit so much but she chose to hold on and hold tight. Even when one business failed, she never stopped trying and everyday I’m trying my best to be just like her.
- Forgiveness. She said it was okay to hurt and to cry but after all the hurt, it’s better to forgive. She practiced what she preached. She’s forgiven relatives who mistreated her just because they could and I respect her very much for that.
Gratitude. Always be grateful because a grateful heart is a magnet for miracles… This, my mama taught me.
- How to cook. Yes… I learnt from the best! that’s why I’m such an awesome cook. Tried and tested!
- Grooming. “Keep your heels, head and standards high.”- Coco Chanel. I’m sure my mama said something similar. haha
- How to budget. She taught me to accept that I can’t have every material thing I desire no matter how much I adore it or love it because it’s very important to save for that rainy day.
- Trust is earned. Everyone has to earn my trust in one way or the other and the same applies to me. She said both trust and respect are earned and not given. She also stated that easy things rarely last.
- A lady should always have her own money. “Nyako ber gi pesane.” Meaning a lady should always have her own income…no matter how little… at least you shall have earned it and it will earn you respect wherever you go.
My mama believes in the saying; Educate a Girl, Educate a Nation. She never got to complete her education and for that reason she ensured we all did. Though I might sway away from these lessons, I always try as humanly possible to live by them in my day to day life.
Above all, I hope to be half the woman my mama is.