Mother’s Day is always an interesting time of year for me.
Keep reading and I will tell you why this is the case. Here’s a picture of my mummy (yes, that is not a typo – that’s how we spell it where I grew up in the UK).
The picture was captured back in the 1960s when my parents decided to flee the Nigerian Civil war (also known as the Biafran war) and emigrate from Lagos, Nigeria to the UK. As immigrants they decided to settle in London – young, eager and full of life they made a new home for themselves almost 5,000 miles away from where they grew up.
I can see the joy in my mum’s eyes – a world full of dreams ahead of her – as she was ready to embrace the adventure of a lifetime.
Over the years she worked with my dad to build a comfortable family home for my sister, my two younger brothers and myself.
Although much of my youth is a blur, I do remember being eleven standing dockside at Southampton passenger and cargo port located on the south coast of England, waving goodbye to my mum as she boarded a ship to take her back to Nigeria. Her mother had become gravely ill and as she was an only child it was her responsibility to return home and be her mother’s caregiver. As an 11- year-old I couldn’t comprehend what was really happening – but I do remember tears falling down my face as I waved goodbye to my mum while the song “When will I see you again?” by the Three-Degrees played over and over in my young little head.
Little did I know it would be almost 20 years later before I saw my mother again – I’m not really sure why it took that long and there was never any blame or judgment from me or any of my siblings – we simply accepted the situation that mummy was not around. (BTW, my father did a great job bringing up four kids and for the most part we all turned out okay, LOL).
My mother and I never had a super close relationship – but she was my mother – and although she passed away in 2017 in her seventies, there was so much I didn’t ask about how difficult it must have been to be torn away from her family.
Sometimes I wonder how differently things may have turned out if mummy was around…but what I know for sure is – however she came to her decision to leave four kids behind and give up on her dreams – I know it was a difficult and self-less act.
Often, we are standing on the shoulders of other strong, powerful women and we don’t even know it.
And for those Sisters who think they define themselves through fashion today I believe our moms and their mothers proceeded us, so explore your mind for who you really are, lean in and stand tall and proud.
Although my mother and I did not have the typical close-knit mother-daughter relationship that many of my friends have, she set me on my path to the woman I have become today and for that I am grateful.Rest in peace mummy. 1943-2017.
So, take a second to reflect – how are you celebrating your mother and how has she impacted your life and the woman you have become?
Kafi is the founder of the global brand, Smart Women on Fire offering workshops and retreats to help female leaders think clearly, feel great and be more (than they believe is possible).
Connect with Kafi:
• Website: https://smartwomenonfire.com
• LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/kafilondon/
• Podcast: Smart Women on Fire Podcast