Mother’s day; little did I know…

Just over a year ago, I posted https://bitalks.wordpress.com/2018/03/11/mothers-day/?preview=true to acknowledge my mother and the blessing of three generations.

Little did I know, it would be the last time my mum would be alive on a day for celebrating all mums.

In spite of my mum no longer being with us, I celebrate her and continue to be grateful for having had her as my mum.

Life goes on without you mum, but you are greatly missed.

Your legacy lives on in us, your kids; and is being passed on to your grand children; & through them, to your great – grand children.

Love you loads, mum.

Miss you so much mum; sun re o.

Happy mothers day to all mums; may you all live to enjoy the fruits of your labour.

An extra hug, for those whose mums are in heaven, like mine; stay strong & continue to make them proud – they are looking down on us. 😘

My mum… 40 days on…

Today marks 40 days since I received that call …

The call which is inevitable for us all (as death is a certainity for us all)…

In those forty days, I have gone through various phases …

Guilt: about whether I had done all the best I could to tend to your needs when you became frai; whether I should have travelled to see you sooner than I had planned, …

Gratitude: that you are no longer in pain/dependent on anyone for your most basic care (which I know, as an indepent woman, you detested)…

Pride & Gratitude: to have had you as my mama- you went all out for us, hustled, putting your ego aside, as was necessary (going from the child who accompanied her aunty to her clothes stall in isale eko, to becoming (& working as) a registered nurse in the UK, to teaching in Lagos, to child-minding in Ilorin & then major distributor of some top listed companies; and to owning your own stall in Ilorin…) and all for your children – we all in our own ways are carrying on the same thing in our own lives, as you witnessed before your passing.

Questioning: Did you know how much I loved and appreciated you… Yesterday; it was who else would ever love me like my mum did (I guess the answer is none; as the love of a mother is fierce, all consuming and totally unconditional, as I have realised since having my own kids); & then I read a poem by #Frank Solanki “Your love is but a distant Star” and I have to believe you are still out there looking down on us; perhaps a star twinkling down on us.

Legacies are built daily; by being a good role model for your kids, being there for your friends & family, being kind, giving, providing a home for kids who need it – you did it all and impacted many lives.

You lived a good life (though difgicult at times) blessed with grandkids & great-grand kids; we were fortunate to have had you for so long (as I was recently reminded by a friend; some lose their mums’ when they are young children); but your passing has left a big hole in our lives…

Thank you mummy, for giving us your all. I hope you knew that despite the grumpy me who never wanted to chat when you did (oh by the way, since returning from your burial, I have told your grandson, who is very much like me in that regard, to take advantage of those moments to chat as I will one day not be here; as I now wish I could have found it in myself to have those chats you wanted to have); I did love you deeply and had your back all through – even though I may not have been able to demonstrate it.

On this day, I pray that your kindness, your faith, your good intentions, (including when you worried so much as you became frail, about not being able to observe your salats), and all salats (you were oportuned to have been able to perform), would intercede for you; & your sins would be forgiven.

Al- jannah firdaus my darling mama; miss you so much.

Seen and heard no more, but loved deeply still.

Forever in our hearts

It turns out, it was goodbye 😭

In August 2018, on my way back to base, I posted this https://bitalks.wordpress.com/2018/08/27/au-revoir-or-goodbye/?preview=true

It turns out; that was the last time I woud speak to my mum/be showered with her prayers.

I got the call on 4th Feb. that she had stopped breathing, so I dropped everything & boarded a flight to be able to bid her a final farewell; but only this time on my arrival, she was no longer talking or excited to see me as she usually was.

As I head back to base again, seated at the gate to board my flight; I am once again in tears, as I know she is no longer there to come back to or even speak to over the phone.

I miss my mum already; despite the short time since her demise. The last couple of weeks have been an emotional roller coaster… but I guess I am thankful that she is no longer in a state where she requires medical attention, is dependent on carers for her most basic needs, etc. Yet, it still hurts…

On my way to the airport, I called my dad; the usually stoic man was in tears as he bid me farewell, with prayers and words of advice! I guess, having lost his companion of more than 50 years, & we kids all returning to our different bases (me being the first to leave) his new reality is beginning to dawn on him.

Such a loss; my darling mum was always like a lion with her cubs; seen & heard no more, but deeply loved & greatly missed.

Al Jannah firdaus Kibitiyu, iya’beji

Au revoir (or goodbye….)

Last couple of weeks have been great; seeing friends & #Family; #lazydays & doing things the Nigerian way (people waiting on me, despite my resistance etc.), and a lot of interesting & baffling sightings & observations of the way of life.

But seeing and being with my mum always tops the list.

Even though there was lots to do this trip; & I didn’t hang out with her as much as I would have liked to; going & coming home to her, has been great; & I guess comforting for her.

But of course, return I must; to making a living, to my young adults (who even though act like I am no longer needed; always end up returning to mum for one thing or another)…

That therefore means saying goodbye/au revoir …; this being hard enough with young ones/those in my age group …, but saying goodbye to my mum each time I come home is always harder; as I am always conscious (because of her age) it could be the last.

This morning’s goodbye was really tough; you see, my mum even though only 74; is in comparison to a lot of people her age, very frail. Mum insisted on walking to the car with me, but she couldn’t make it that far & had to stop in the living room – in tears she prayed for me & bid me goodbye; and the tears began to run down my face as well (as they are now that I am typing this)…

My brother also heads back tomorrow; & that’s going to be another tough goodbye…

I do hope it is au revoir and not goodbye …

Love you mum ❤

Celebrating my very first babies; 40 years on…

Barely 10 years old, I had my first babies (not baby dolls by the way) … that was 40 years ago …

They were my baby brothers (two of them)..

My mum was unwell after the birth; so I became a mum for the first time – don’t get me wrong (this is not a sad story of there being no one else and me having to step up, as I had all the suport in the world and my mum got better after a few months), but I guess I had to do a lot more than perhaps, I would have had to, if mum had been well… but that set the tone of my relationship with those babies…

Over the years as well, as the only girl of 6 children; mum used to say to me “remember you are their mum…”

40 years on; the babies I used to mummy (who sometimes now remind me of the side pinches I gave them when teaching them maths/their times table/helping with homework 😊) are now men …

40 years on; those babies have become my friends,

40 years on; they stand taller than me,

40 years on; they have become my go-to-guys when I need to get things done,

40 years on; they are great Uncles to my children,

40 years on; the list goes on about who my very first live babies have become …

Today, 40 years on from first holding my very first babies in my arms, I celebrate the men they have become…

I am so proud to call them my baby brothers. (Ejire ar’sokun. Omo onitire)

Happy 40th birthday darlings; love you loads. 😘❤

Mothers’ day…

Putting this collage together it dawned on me how blessed I am …

My first teacher; my mum, and I …

My daughter and I …

My daughter & her boys (my grand children)…

3 generations…

I am so blessed …

I get to enjoy the love, pleasure and mischief of my grandchildren; while still having my mum to lean on when I need to…

Gratitude unlimited …

Happy mothers day to all mums out there; may all our joys always be full over our children

Ina lillah wa ina ilayhi raji’un

We belong to Allah & to Him we shall return.

I am seated on the train on my way back from my aunt’s (her mum was my maternal grandpa’s twin) burial… When I returned to London (1st time since my parents took me to Nigeria at about 5 years old) so many years ago, my aunty insisted my siblings & I cometo her house at weekends so she could keep up with our well being; in the process I got to know her children (my cousins) … 

Of course, over the years we all grew up & life got in the way of maintaining regular contact … 

The last time I saw my aunty was more than 4 years ago (I visited her in an an old people’s home) while here on my annual summer holiday to London (I had taken up employment outside UK at the time) …

Yesterday, I told my daughter I would attending my aunt’s burial & my daughter asked if  she knew my aunt; I told my daughter that when I gave birth to her (more than 25 years ago); aunty & her husband (Uncle Issa – may his soul rest in peace) came to our temporary accomodation on the day I was discharged from hospital & uncle called the athan in her ears.
I stood at my aunty’s graveside today & watched her coffin lowered into the ground & gosh; once again it struck me (as it always does, when I witness a body being buried) that our main purpose in life is to prepare for that day when we finally leave this world; all her children were by her graveside, friends & other family members as well, but she was buried alone & with none of the worldly things she had acquired in her lifetime.  Attendance of this burial (as with others) has once again put things into perspective for me; & reminds me of Allah’s awesomeness – reflection mode as I type this up!

After aunty’s body was laid to rest; we then went to uncle’s grave (in the same cemetary) and reminiscenced about them both.

I hadnt seen or spoken to any of aunty’s children (my cousins) in more than 10 years!  Some of them didn’t even recognise me.  One of them asked after my mum & said the last time she saw my mum was when she (my cousin) gave birth to her  baby boy (who by the way will be 20 this year – same age as my son) & my mum had given her baby the traditional African bath & thrown her baby up.  Her son & all my other cousins’ children, were at the graveside; all taller than their parents and I; my daughter & son would of course not remember my cousins whom they probably last saw when they were under 10 years old nor would they know any of their children!

I told my cousins as I was leaving; that we had to do better; aunty was the last chain holding us together & with her now gone we shouldn’t let go the kinship our parents tried so hard to maintain – our children should know one another for instance ….

Hopefully we would work on it …

Rest in peace Salima Adeniji (omo Mogaji)..