My mother was diagnosed with kidney disease nearly 3 years ago, since then she’s become weaker and weaker due to several operations she’s had. Now before her diagnosis I remember her as strong , hardworking and industrious woman. She took care of 6 children not on her own but you know as parents the woman seems to do it all anyways sometimes. She was an entrepreneur and worked for herself.
She was a fighter and encouraged me to pursue my dreams and helped look after my first two children from college until graduation from uni 3 years ago. She played an active role in my life until today and never judged or left my side. I remember, even through her earlier stages of illness she followed me to labour and stood by me until I gave birth and always stayed with me after giving birth to ensure I was well before she left my side back to her own affairs.
Today she is not the woman she used to be and has become weaker over the years. She is nearly 71 years and very weak. She’s on dialysis and can not do what she used to do. After seeing her today and looking at how far she has come I suddenly felt a peace come over me. Now my mum had me when she was 40 years old so I’ve been growing with her. Even though I used to pray that I grow older before she died, I was always afraid that she would leave me when I was younger because all my friends had young moms and my mother was already 53 when I was 13 years old. Deep down I had the natural fear that she would leave me before I could fully look after myself. I saw many young moms or even young people dying, I guess this was the source of my fear. Each year that went by I was grateful she made it and I soaked in all her experiences and stories about life and hardships. I learned everything I needed to learn because I didn’t know when it will all end.
Fast forward nearly 15 years later, my mother is still here and she has witnessed her grand children and many more. Even though she is frail, looking at her bring me peace, she has lived a long fulfilled life and is nearly 71 years. Each time I see her I am reminded of how far she has come, how blessed she is to reach 70 years. Even though she is not well she has done well, compared to many young people dying presently.
She’s like a child once again and needs help to do basic chores but still full of life. Looking at her helped me remember a statement I heard a long time ago ” you are an adult once and child twice”. As a baby she was cared for by her parents, after that she became an adult who was independent and did everything herself. Today she’s old and needs support to do the basics like when she was a child. This helped me to think deeply about my life and if I would make it to 70 years old. Many people do not make it and somehow this has helped me today to see the reality of death and old age. Somehow we all know we will get old but to what extent has that motivated us right now to think about our health, friendships, spirituality and our mental health? Death is not to be feared but acknowledged, we will all be old one day. This reminder has helped me to stop caring for what is no longer serving me and be free. Life is too short to be stressing and unhappy, at the end of life nothing will matter but your relationship with God and the good memories you have accumulated. All the stresses and the grudges mean nothing, the more time I spend with her the more I let go off my ego and the identity am trying to hold on to and protect. It all means nothing at the end of the day. We are all one because death is what brings us together. No matter what colour you are, we can all relate to death and separation, the illusion of separateness. I am happy for my mum for living a long life, I know some have lived longer than 70 years but each to their own. Not going to compare her unique journey with anyone else’s. Comparison saps the joy that should be felt in one’s journey, she has lived long fulfilling life and this I celebrate. We are not sure how long she is going to be with us for, maybe another 10 years who knows? Either way she’s blessed beyond words. I do not intend to wish my years away but I sure hope I make it to 70 years one day.
Thanks so much for reading my post this far and long life to you all, may your lives be enriched with peace and fulfilment as you grow to see your grandchildren and great grand children.
Image from Wordswag
© 2017 Shereena Badu