She wasn’t the biggest fan of my interest in baking and cooking (she didn’t like me messing around and hiding flour, sugar or butter…or the thought that I might burn down the house) but when I moved off campus and started cooking…shared some of her secrets with me (and swore me to secrecy to a couple of things)…the moi-moi lessons were classic…tying that ‘etere’ leaf- interesting.
She taught me hospitality…she was a hostess like no other and always happy to do it. I recall how I would be my father’s son and bring friends over without notice and we would have this amazing lunch. I recall one of them in particular…one with Uko, Chief and Osy…meal so good Chief stained his new beautiful white shirt. To her, hosting was an honor. When she was kidnapped, one of the things that hurt her was that one of the boys behind it, were people she had entertained. Regardless, she didn’t stop being the awesome hostess she always was…up until the day before she died.
I remember a story she told me of the 2 days she was held for ransom. She asked one of her kidnappers if his mother knew what he was doing…and how she would feel if she found out. She prayed with him and told him that the day he turns his life around, that he should come visit her. No one else would know but two of them who he was…and that she was looking forward to it. To always look for the good in my fellow man…to not the let the evil men may do to me stick on me…deep lessons.
She taught me family was everything. It was so important to her. Her siblings meant the world to her…and each time they came together, it was laughs and laughs and barrels of laughs. Walks down memory lanes, eviscerating people they didn’t like and teasing themselves…it was a sight to behold. One of the few regrets I have is not being able to talk to her before she passed but I know without a single doubt that two of the main instructions would have been…” visit Chima and take care of Udo”. That’s how deeply she believed in family.
To love…she taught me that when you love…you hold nothing back…and you don’t stop. You may have to modify your behavior or learn some hard lessons…but you keep loving,
Happy Mother’s day to all the amazing women out there today!
PS: What did your mother teach you?