Andile Tshuma, Gender
If you still have your mother around, consider yourself blessed. We often remember them on Mother’s Day, pamper them with gifts and all.
But the other 51 weeks of the year they are tucked away in their lonely lives. Sometimes we even forget their birthdays.
We post their pictures on Mother’s Day and tell the world how blessed we are, only to go back to our lives until we remember them again on the next Mother’s Day.
Those that get birthday gifts and calls are blessed, those who are guaranteed of a Christmas lunch are living the dream. Many are having to deal with the empty nest syndrome.
Their sons and daughters are all grown up and do not need them anymore.
That is the life of some mothers. This year Mother’s Day falls on May 9.
Mother’s Day is supposed to be a day when you celebrate a mother’s contributions, love and million other things she does for her kids.
While we all are geared up to celebrate Mother’s Day with a bang, we must also give a thought as to why celebrate Mother’s Day only once a year?
Is one single day enough to give back all the love and care that we got from our mums? No. I think each and every day must be Mother’s Day. Each and every minute must be dedicated to our beloved mothers.
Each and every second, we must strive to make our mums smile from ear to ear.
After all, what on this earth is more precious than a mother’s happiness? Mothers are special people, they raised us. They made life perfect, with the little that was available.
If you grew up on my end of the railway line, mothers were heroes, the two slices of bread or buns in your lunch tin, the weak Mazoe orange crush dilution in my juice bottle as she was trying to stretch it to last a few more school days, the occasional apple and orange in our satchels. Those biscuits you could not touch as they were only for school.
The beanie woollen hats and gloves that she knitted every winter which I hated at the time as they were different from the fashionable ones from South Africa with the iconic double white lines.
The extra efforts for sports day. The special bakes on my birthday. How will I forget her smile on my graduation day and her question — when are you opening for your Masters?
I couldn’t back out, I had to register for the Masters and there were no two ways about it. Even when we never had much, we had enough. I remember my asthma attacks and her sleepless nights, tonsillitis too.
The proud smile for primary school consultation days, her smile on seeing school reports.
I will not get into her scolding for laziness and mixing with the wrong crowds. I am here because she made sure she provided for me. Bless MaMdluli.
That’s Clara, my mother. I wonder how she always found enough time to attend to all of us, six daughters and a son.
It is unfortunate that Mother’s Day has been so commercialised such that we no longer see the day for what it is and what it stands for.
Now the messages bombarding us are about buying gifts, eating out, to sum it all up, the message all over is about spending.
From retail outlets to our hustlers, this week social media applications are buzzing and everyone is offering Mother’s Day specials.
From cakes to spas, to makeup to dinners and outfits. While all the above can be done for the people we love, let Mother’s Day be about love, and appreciation.
It is not about the material things. Some people are sending mothers gift cards or paying for special services and lunches yet they are in the same city, because they just won’t find the time.
True, people can be really busy, and we can always make up for that day, but it would mean much more if you could go with your mother for that special massage in Kumalo, Ascot or Bradfield or wherever.
A shared moment will be more special, if you can, be there. This is not to guilt-trip anyone, but some people assume that giving parents money and material things is enough.
It is good to take care of our parents, it is the sensible thing to do and many religions agree on that. But most of all, we must be emotionally available for our parents, particularly mothers.
For those with older parents, with no more children at home, the empty nest is kicking in and they are spending more of their time alone, it is particularly important to remember them often and not only on these days of the calendar.
Remember the biological clock is ticking, the genes are wearing out, you never know how long you still have them with you. The last thing you want to do is regret and wish you could have done more while they were still alive.
You know, many of us are familiar with that kind of regret, the regret and guilt that makes them spend outrageous monies for their mothers, to give them a perfect send-off, with the best casket and the sweetest smelling roses. Yet, they never got a daisy or a daffodil from you. Not even a call or a loaf of bread.
Let them smell their roses while they are still alive. It will not help to pile a lifetime’s supply of fresh flowers on their coffins when they are gone. It will be a blessing to them and to you, if you could do that while they are still around and can thank the Lord for you.
Each one of us has stories about their mothers. Special wonderful stories of happy times and sad times together. Let these mbokodos know they are special while we still have them.
Bless them and happy Mother’s Day. Have a beautiful day with them.