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
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.