I don’t know much about my birth or what I was like as a toddler. Mom was never around long enough to tell me nor have I ever asked. Looking at my three little tods now, I gather I wasn’t one of the quieter ones out there. What I do remember clearly however, is growing up with mamma. No not mamma as in the movie Mamma. My mamma would kick movie Mamma’s behind in a heartbeat. Although known as the scariest woman on our street, she loved me dearly. Maybe a little too much. So much that I was forbidden from staying out too long at the neighbour’s house, where my best friend lived. So much, that the two us had to break through the wired fence that separated our yards to ensure we saw each other more often than was allowed. Friendship ruled back then and could get you out of almost anything. When I was eight years old, mamma’s health had deteriorated so much that by the time she took her last breath, no one was happier or more relieved to see her drift off to a more peaceful place in the beyond, than I was. Back then I thought my happiness for her death was because of how strict she was, but I missed that as soon as she was gone, and as I got older, I realised that I simply couldn’t bear to see her suffer so much and that I loved her more than I will ever be able to comprehend in this lifetime.
I know I said mummy wasn’t around much while growing up and that’s true. She wasn’t around nearly as much as I longed for her to be. But when she was, even just for a few hours, my whole world would light up instantly. Oh was she beautiful! She was so beautiful as soon as I saw her come walking down the street, I would immediately stop running, skipping, jumping or whatever I was busy doing, and just stare at her. Then quickly I’d be all over her demanding all the attention I didn’t get while she was away the past few weeks. Everything she did was just amazing, flawless, and perfect while she was visiting me at gran’s. Every second spent with mummy was heaven. She could do no wrong and I was the happiest little girl when she was around. My complete obsession for reading stems from a Disney book collection she got me for my birthday one year. I never stopped reading after that. If there was ever any doubt, this proves that moms most assuredly have a tremendous influence on their kids’ evolvement.
After mamma went, I was left in the care of my older sister who was then only sixteen, had a little baby of her own and was working full time. By then my grades had plummeted dramatically. I went from an A-student to a complete failure in just one year. So one day while playing in a rundown van with some friends I hardly knew, my sister called me home and told me that I will be staying with my aunt and uncle from then on. I loved my aunt and uncle dearly so of cause I was overjoyed at the prospect. I left Athlone and my mamma’s house a few days later. Although we didn’t speak about it for a long time after, sis later told me that she simply couldn’t stand by and watch my life fall apart. One will never fully grasp the potency of a sister’s love…until the going gets tough and shit hits the fan. I haven’t thanked her nearly enough for always looking out for me.
New family, new beginnings:
Suddenly, I was two brothers, a sister, a mom, a dad and a dog richer. I would spend the next thirteen years in my new family’s home before I’d move out on my own. At first it felt like I was hit by a bus and was now recovering and learning to walk, talk, think and be all over again. With the support from my new family, I soon learned how to walk with my head up high, talk positively, think and dream about the endless possibilities that’s opened up for me and most importantly I learned to ‘be’ part of a family. It was a slow recovery, but in the end it all made me the person I am today. We often think sibling rivalry and getting a good lashing from parents are bad things. And though I agree that these are not nice, they are indeed little bolts and nuts in the machine that makes up a loving family. Needless to say I got a good dose of both. I was also inundated with love and soon it was pretty bizarre to think that there was ever a time I was not a part of this family. Where mamma, bless her soul, wouldn’t allow me next door to play with my own best friend, mommy Gladys allowed us so much freedom and so little social boundaries that we felt guilty even thinking about letting her down, so we never did. My second mom was and still is the most beautiful soul and God fearing human being I know. Her husband, and my first and only dad, has never shown me anything but the love any daughter desires. I didn’t think of this before, but I now realise that he played an enormous part in me choosing the life partner I did.
Finding my prince charming and my happily ever after:
My life was full. I had just finished school, just started my new job and I was another sister richer (My younger biological sister from my biological dad) whom I was going to visit once I got home from work on this particular day. It happened to be a very hot summer’s day and I was walking toward the station when this guy stopped me and offered me a ride. Ofcause I refused and continued the excruciatingly long walk to the station, but not before he handed me his business card which I reluctantly accepted. Completely out of character and not entirely sure why, I called him later that night. It’s been almost eleven years and three children later and we haven’t stopped talking since. Although my life was full, before that fateful day I took a stranger’s business card, it was now complete. I wasn’t looking for love. Perhaps because I was so grateful for all the things life had already given me and maybe love was just a little much to ask for too. But love found me none the less.
I now have an amazing husband and family of my own, with whom to create the life I never had. I haven’t been given a second chance. I have been given yet another chance. I’ve been given plenty more chances after that. I am not simply a mom, I am a fabmom.
To happy endings and new beginnings…