Mothers’ Day- Standing On The Shoulders Of Giants

Today being mothers’ day, I have chosen to celebrate and pay homage to some outstanding ladies who have made me the phenomenal mother I am today.

When my husband and I started having children, our mothers were in the active labour force. So we decided to have support and help from external sources. 

Getting closer to my return to work after maternity leave, I  was yet to find a caregiver for my little one as there was a last-minute disappointment.

I was devastated. Confused. I cried. 

To my joy, my mother waved a magic wand. For 3 months, I had my Aunt Florence come in to help my young family as I navigated life as a new mother and full-time worker. She did this for all my three children hence, giving me 9 months of her life with so much love, patience and immeasurable commitment.

This story can not be complete without mentioning my dear Asor. She saw me through my days as a graduate student with my 6-month-old baby saddled at my back on a university campus. She held me through that period with grace and care for my little one. Allowing me to complete my Masters’ program as we shared the responsibilities of babysitting. I made it through my program. And I made it big! In the next 6 years that followed ( including welcoming my second and third child)  she also pursued her academic goals and just like me, continued to support the children whenever she could. Her organised nature helped establish the routines my children have. She showed so much love and care to my little ones and for all she’s done, we are eternally grateful.

There is also my dear Nana Ama, who came in when I was pregnant with my third child and through to her birth.  She cared for me so I could in turn nurse my new baby with a sound mind. A fantastic lady she was. So gentle, so patient and simply a sweet soul.  Her unique ways with the children are worth noting ( the special powder games and walks). She attended to my little ones and also pursued her educational dreams ( in the field of pharmacy) in between. Her warmth remains always with us.

Lizzie came in the middle of chaos….without any preparations, but she did it! She exuded so much joy, fun and wittiness! An intelligent girl who just loved to play “school’ with my three children. The laughter and structure she brought are commendable. The short walks and the songs are all cherished. She too continues her education at the university.

And there is Grace, the chief gardener herself! She thought me the rudiments of gardening and shared so many stories with the children She loved to play school as well and also made the children help with the chores. She was with the family at the start of the Covid-pandemic, amidst my new adventure with online learning. Together, we carved out a system that best worked for the family. She is a fashion designer in the making!

The story cannot be complete without, Judith- my very own Ms Speedy Gonzales. You came at a very difficult time-online learning, the strong structure was needed and you rocked it! Thank you, Judith!

Ewura-you are remembered too! Thank you for all the treats you shared with my babies.

To Mavis, my dearest caterer, football player, choreographer and all the beauty that comes with it, we are so glad you were a part of this family. Congratulations on your academic journey!

This adulation will never be made complete without appreciating the one who has held the chord and connected the lines through the transitions and the confusion. My one and only cousin, Mary. Words fail me in finding the right words to say thank you for always being there when I needed you most. You’re irreplaceable!

May God bless you ladies for making me the remarkable mother I am today. May you receive this same support and love a thousandfold whenever you need help too.

Happy mothers’ day !!!!!! May God remember all mothers with giants on whose shoulders they will stand to raise their children.

And his mother treasured up all these things in her heart.” – Luke 2:51

New

New beginnings

New adventures…

New learning…

New strength

New hope…

New song…

New joy…

New challenges…

New milestones…

New celebrations…

New mindset…

A new month and day to start afresh.

Maame

“This is my sister and I will take care of her”.

These were your words when I was introduced to you many years ago as your new sister. 

Thank you for fulfilling your promise to me -your little sister. As I prayed for you in the wee hours of this morning, my heart is filled with utmost gratitude to God for giving you me.

My faith in God is renewed daily as you are my perfect answered prayer to “All I hath needed thy hand hath provided”. He knew in His infinite wisdom that you are what I would need to make it through this life myself.

You have been there for me in all significant milestones in my life. Providing my numerous firsts-my first bra, my first sanitary pad, my first suitcase, my first sim card, my first apartment.

You continued the journey with me on my first day at boarding school, my first salon visit for my permed hair after secondary school, my first trip abroad, my first childbirth. The list is endless.

We have had so many adventures together, from our local mango hunting escapades with Adwoa after discarding garbage, to our refreshing and witty evenings of storytelling, rich “ab3 bu” (proverbs) competitions, to our Saturday trips to the Sunyani library. 

Our new home provided its occurrences. Our long and beautiful walk from Takoradi to Sekondi with our cousin Naana (who was visiting from Accra) because we had squandered our bus fare. I can still hear our hearty laughter as we walked along the “Mpoano” (Beach) road enjoying our coconuts in the heat of the sun. The strong briny stench from the sea tickling our nostrils. We continued our loud giggles as the “Trotros” (public bus) drove past us. We were content!

As a model student, it was a joy to be associated with you as your sibling. You protected me. Gently corrected my mischievous ways.

Sorry for all the “wahala” I gave you when we were children.

In boarding school, you visited me when you could with mouth-watering delicacies and having sweet conversations with my friends. You constantly teased my friend Janet for dipping her lips in Frytol vegetable oil.

Thank you for the fights. Yes, we fought about crabs in Mama Julie’s finger-licking okro stews!

Thank you for being my role model. 

Thank you for the prayer sessions, retreats and vigils.

Thank you for the sacrifices-too numerous to pen down. 

Thank you for supporting me in every phase of my life.

Thank you for loving my children.  

Thank you for accepting my friends and making the effort to know them for my sake.

Thank you for teaching me respect, and love for humanity.

Thank you for believing in me and my talents.

Thank you for your beauty within and without, kindness and generosity.

Thank you for teaching Esi and me the true meaning of love and sisterhood.

We have prayed together. We will stay together.

Happy birthday my first love, joy and inspiration! The 4th floor welcomes your breathtaking presence! Climb on to greater heights!!

Mothers’ Day

This post was originally written to celebrate the women in my life on International Women’s Day…I have revised it to acknowledge some more strong women forces in life.

Seven years of nurturing new lives, raising resilient and tenacious children who understand and appreciate who they are and where they come from. Having a great value for their culture and what this might mean to them. A deep reflection about this on this important day makes me want to sing the praises of the women in my life who are holding my hand in this quest.

First, there is my mother.

An industrious entrepreneur who knows the price of hard work so the mouths of her children and countless others will be fed. There is zero tolerance for laziness in her world. She inspires me to wake up every morning to get to work to do what ought to be done not only for myself but out of responsibility for my children and society. This woman epitomises the word forgiveness and has the kindest heart I could ever dream or wish for. In the business of her own life, her deepest joy bursts from her ability to give back to society and serve others in need. 

My big sister O. Who is my greatest teacher of giving. Sacrificial and a dependable rock.A first-time mother who is giving out her heart and soul to be the best! 

Little sister K…optimist. My inspiration to never give up in my quest to take action in society. A true change-maker!

My amazing mother-in-law (G) and auntie in-law (P). Always available to support me on days I need a helping hand with my children (their grandchildren)  with such love, kindness, compassion and joy. Like this very moment as I write.

To my aunties..Mama, F( who has blessed me with 9 months of her life taking care of my little ones) and G( helping me find work that puts food on the table and providing me shelter in her home). 

To my amazing neighbours who bring me nothing countless blessings. 

To my cousins, girlfriends, colleagues, Sunday school teachers who are exuding love from within and without. Doing your own magic with your children both far and near-you are precious!

To all the women I see daily on the streets of Ghana, with babies strapped lovingly and solidly behind- carrying goods so they can make ends meet and yet pause in the business of their rough day to sing their children songs of comfort to ease their pain.

 I salute you!

To the single mothers out there. Thank you for your sacrifices.

You are the reason I am gliding!

Silence

Those moments when words fail you

Or when you refuse to speak  ;

When the emptiness is a million words stringed together.

The thoughts clouding your mind can’t be expressed with conversation ,

And in your eyes are wonderings and wanderings ;

Interpreted  and perhaps misinterpreted best

By the people who might care to devour  .

Sometimes a safe abode to live ,

Only when you know the journey that ushered you to that sanctuary

Makes it golden indeed.

Celebrating Women

Seven years of nurturing new lives, raising resilient and tenacious children who understand and appreciate who they are and where they come from. Having a great value for their culture and what this might mean to them. A deep reflection about this on this important day makes me want to sing the praises of the women in my life who are holding my hand in this quest.

First, there is my mother.

An industrious entrepreneur who knows the price of hard work so the mouths of her children and countless others will be fed. There is zero tolerance for laziness in her world. She inspires me to wake up every morning to get to work to do what ought to be done not only for myself but out of responsibility for my children and society. This woman epitomises the word forgiveness and has the kindest heart I could ever dream or wish for. In the business of her own life, her deepest joy bursts from her ability to give back to society and serve others in need. 

My big sister O. Who is my greatest teacher of giving. Sacrificial and a dependable rock.

Little sister K…optimist. My inspiration to never give up in my quest to take action in society.

My amazing mother-in-law (G) and auntie in-law (P). Always available to support me on days I need a helping hand with my children (their grandchildren)  with such love and joy.

To my aunties..Mama, F( who has blessed me with 9 months of her life taking care of my little ones) and G( helping me find work that puts food on the table). 

The list is infinite.

This would make another story for another day.

To all these amazing women on the occasion of International Women’s Day , I salute you !

You are the reason I am gliding!

Graceful

In a few hours, a good friend  (E) celebrates her birthday and these few words come to mind. 

Grateful for years gone by, days filled;

That brought me joy;

For care and kindness;

Gracefully shared.

Grateful for the listening ears;

That lifted my spirits;

For sharing in the adversities;

Gracefully praying.

Grateful for steadfast companionship;

That brought laughter;

For bringing new light;

Gracefully shining.

Grateful for seeing beyond my frailties;

That built me up;

For candid conversations;

Gracefully growing.

Today

Another year has arrived and blessed us with the gift of the month of March. Another opportunity to share the big and small events in my life through the power of purposeful writing.

As I take this challenge I look forward to the many motivating stories that this writing community brings. Ready? Maybe, not! One thing I know for sure is that I am motivated enough to join.

Today, my Sunday fufu ( Ghanaian food made from pounded cassava and plantain)  supper ritual was disrupted today due to a “kitchen” hitch. The palm nut soup which was to serve as the accompanying dish was unfortunately left on the stove the night before. It never made its way inside the fridge. 

Long story short, my well planned, highly nutritious palm soup got spoilt. My frustration was from the energy and time-consuming preparation gone waste A lot went into getting it all set and done.

The “mama” in me managed to make supper special with a substitute dish. It definitely wasn’t our Sunday special fufu, but it did bring satisfaction and joy to hungry stomachs.

 I have made a mental note to myself for next week…

No Ga or Twi ?

After the choir recessed, I waited a while in the pew farthest away from the main congregational pews.The pew purposefully reserved for nursing mothers. This pew has been my comfort zone at church for the past six years as I welcomed babies number one, two and three.

With service over, I slipped out of the church room to say my “hello’s” to friends I meet only on Sundays.This custom as important as the church service itself.

Pleasantries are exchanged as we catch up on happenings from the previous week or weeks depending on when last one saw a family. For the mothers on the nursing mother’s pew, a special bond has been formed over the years as we encourage and support each other.

I  headed towards the newly built children service block which sits beneath the brick manse.There, I met M ( a good friend of my daughter) and her father.

“M etse sen?”,  I asked with a smile as I embraced her.

Then came a long pause, as she tried to find the appropriate Twi response to my question.

“I don’t think she knows the response in Twi”, explained M’s daddy.

“Ooh, I’m sure she does, let’s give her some thinking time and she ’ll remember”.

This started our brief conversation on the state of our Ghanaian languages. Are we abandoning them as a country? Will the next two generations have anyone passing the diverse indigenous languages to them. My heart bled as we realised that almost all the parents spoke English with their little ones. No Ga, Twi or Ewe was communicated between the parents who picked their little ones from Sunday school.

Will our indigenous languages become extinct in the next 50 years? As we continued to ponder over this delicate issue I asked him what our role as parents are in maintaining this distinct part of our culture. We owe posterity this much.

“Auntie TK, meho ye! “, exclaimed an excited M.

Maybe all is not lost, I thought to myself as I journeyed on to pick up my little ones with renewed energy.

“All is not lost”, I repeated to myself.

My angst dissipating.Much work still to be done.

Red Shoes

I have never been very adventurous with regards to my footwear. On a typical “TK-day,”, I would be found wearing a wedge, a flat or a block shoe.

Today, I decided to give myself a little nudge by wearing a red high-top lace-up canvas sneakers with my African print dress. In as much as I wanted to be daring, I still lacked some inner confidence to look a little different from my regular appearance.

I, therefore, settled on wearing my everyday shoes with the hope of changing into my red lace-up sneakers once I got to work.

I must say that my little ones asked that I wear it for the day and I had every good intention to heed their advice.

Once at work, I managed to convince myself to put them on and just wait….

My confirmation came through my dearest friend and colleague, Akua, who with her “ooh’s’’ and “aah’s” gave me the nerves I needed for the day.

The rest is history now, as I’m considering getting myself two more bold colours of sneakers.