“Honour your father and your mother, that your days may be long in the land that the Lord your God is giving you.” – Exodus 20:12. As I look at today’s society and I wonder; where did our parents go wrong? Moreover, where did our mothers go wrong?
Your mother, carried you in her womb for nine months, with all the pregnancy problems that came along with it; your mother, ensured the safety of her unborn child. It is hard to believe that now, when all grown up, some people treat their own mothers as if they are their worst enemy. Some mothers are not appreciated or respected, and some mothers even end up being killed by their own children.
One of my most vivid memories of my mother was when I was very young. I cannot recall everything but I know that she would make sure that I went to school with everything I needed. This was not easy for her; with her being a domestic worker, we did not have much, but she always found a way. No matter what, my lunch box was always ready, shoes always polished and school uniform always clean. At times, she would even have to bathe me at her work place. Memories such as this form my short-lived experience of what having a mother around was like.
For someone like me, who lost both parents 18 years ago, the pain of losing a parent is still fresh in my heart, its with me every day of my life. Though I was young, I knew that I had lost something irreplaceable. No words can ever describe how empty that hole will make a person feel. People need to think about the crimes they commit against their parents, however small they may seem. No matter how you were raised, think about how you were brought into this world and all the selfless things your parents have done for you.
I think of all the wonderful things I would have done with my parents if they were alive today. There is no pain worse than not having both your parents in your life to guide you in this world; to hug you and tell you that everything will be OK; to be there with you at your Matric farewell; at your 21st party; to see their grandchildren or even to be there with you on your wedding day.
Do not underestimate how left out a person can feel when other people talk about their parents, what they did for the weekend or what they are planning to give to their parents for Fathers’/Mothers’ Day, or any other special occasion.
The pain of not having both parents is unbearable but, with God’s love, I realised that the same pain also makes you stronger. As a human being, in order to survive in this world, where no one will care for you like your parents, the pain teaches you to be strong; to go out there and make the best of what you can with your life. It teaches you to stand up for yourself, make decisions for yourself because your parents are no longer there to help you make decisions; it teaches you that there is no time in this world to be a baby who waits for someone to feed them. You learn to do things by yourself.
Parents raise us, teach us right from wrong, and give us our education. Just imagine how challenging raising a child can be, especially as a single parent. They might not earn much of a salary, but that single parent takes care of you anyway. Why? Because it is a parent’s duty to give their children the tools to also become responsible parents and take care of them (parents) one day. It is a child’s duty to return that parental love with honour.
I remember the day of my mother’s funeral. We were standing on one side of the church, waiting for the coffin. I remember someone telling my aunt not to cry or it would make me cry. But when they carried the coffin into the church, my aunt could not help but weep, so I heard her and I cried. I was too young to know what was happening, too young to process that my mother was no longer alive, so after she gave me a sweet, I stopped crying. But the reality of not having a mother today, can no longer be calmed by candy.
My point is, respect your parents while you have them. It does not matter what background they come from; appreciate them, and show them love and support while you have them. Be there for them in every way you can because when you lose them, you lose them forever. You can have all the people in the world that might claim to love you, but a mother’s love can never be replaced.