Wednesday, 15 March 2017

What has your loved one taught you?

My dear friends,

I have been thinking a lot about my mother.  Her knee is causing her tremendous pain, and she is due for surgery soon.  It worries me that I am not with her, helping her, cleaning for her, fetching things for her.

I think of how much she means to me; I think of all the times I'd taken her for granted.

I've been going through, in my mind, the things she's taught me, the skills that have helped me.  I'd simply never thought about them in detail. They'd just felt like air...always there.

I've made a list.

Here are just a few of the things she's taught me:

Be early, be on time
Call people to see how they're doing
Clean my home
Do acts of kindness not for favours but to help others
Do the taxes
Keep a notebook of daily doings for reference, especially business stuff
Keep files of documents and keep copies
Fold the laundry
Like African music
Look after business
Love books
Make a poultice
Make a To-Do list
Make coconut oil
Make my bed
People-watch for fun
Read & count
Remember to say, "Thank you, God"
Respect the people I work with even if I don't like them
Take a small gift when I visit someone
Take care of plants
Visit the old and sick

Making coconut oil

Though this is just a small list, it's made me realise how much we take for granted the skills our loved ones have given to us.

Unfortunately, going through this list has made me miss my mother even more.

In Guyana, it is okay to say this...that you miss your parents. I don't know what it is like in other places, but no-one here laughs at me. They agree and say, "You ain't must?" [meaning yes, they understand, it's a given that I should miss her.]

Two weeks ago, I telephoned a wheelchair-bound mother in village to ask her how she was doing.  She told me that her son, married with children, visits her three or four times a week.  She says he kisses her face, her hands, sometimes her feet even.

What a lucky chap!

In my culture, we say, heaven lies at the feet of your mother.


  1. That's a wonderful creed to have been taught but then I always knew your mother was special. Love and best wishes to you both and for a happy knee outcome.

    1. Pat, you remind me of her in many ways. She likes to hear about you too.

      I will send her your wishes for her happy knee outcome xx

  2. What a truly lovely post.
    That respect and honour isn't often seen in our culture. And we are all the losers.
    I too learned a lot from my mama - some of it positive some of it things NOT to do. All valuable.

    1. Child, in between the teen angst and the mouthy-ness and arguments, we learn respect.


      It seems to be a very Caribbean thing, I don't know.

      Hahaha, I've learnt what NOT to do too :-D

  3. In my case heaven lay at the feet of my Grandparents. My mother and father made it obvious that they didn't want me and neglected me. When my Grandmother found out (I was 7 yrs old at the time) she came and took me away. My life changed dramatically after that, I knew what it was to loved and cared for. My grandparents were farmers and taught me such a lot about caring for other people and animals, the social graces and real life! Even when I was grown up, I never went back to my parents or had anything to do with them. It broke my heart when my Grandparents died, within a week of each other!

    1. Keith, this broke my heart. I can't imagine a parent [or parents] not wanting a child. I thought it was the war that caused you to move away to your grandparents. How lucky you are to have had them. I hope they showered you with tons of love. How old were you when they died?

  4. I think the main things my mother taught me when I was young were:
    - Never trust people in authority to have your interests at heart
    - Always throw a spanner in the works
    The main thing she taught me with her death at the age of 65 was:
    Stop putting off your life until some time in the future

  5. Your mum died so young, Kim. Like my father at 67.

    She was right about people in authority, always push them to do the right thing.

    That's good reminder to stop putting off life.

  6. I like your posts! And your list. I need more sleep! yesterday I left work at 12 noon, got home by 130, and went to sleep. I work up at 9 am , feeling refreshed. I have to get up for work at 5 am, so I made something to eat, watched a couple hours of tv and went right back to bed. I slept like a baby

  7. George, I can vouch for the power of good, solid sleep to make me feel whole and happy.

    If I don't have my full quota of 7 hours sleep, I feel ragged, lost, out of sorts. And cross.