Stacy: A Story About a Mother (A Tribute)

It was our absolute first time to use public transport without the supervision of our parents. Our friend Kate had a friend who had lost her father, and she requested our company to visit her friend so she could offer her sympathies. Knowing Mum would be back much later we gladly obliged. The trip to Kate’s friend’s house was uneventful and after visiting her friend, my sister and I were confident we had done our good deed for the day.

On our way back we hopped on to the latest matatuโ€”the kind that Mum would never agree to boarding because such matatus had the tendency to play loud music and had rowdy youths inside. But today it was different, WE were the shot-callers. As we were searching for a spot to sit, I felt someone tag at my hand. It was my Uncleโ€”my mother’s brother. He didn’t live around, which meant he was on this matatu heading homeโ€”our home. Somebody say busted? I quickly composed myself and rumbled on about how we were responsible children who knew how to visit other children who had lost their parents, only coming short of expressly requesting him not to tell Mum about this very awkward encounter.

We got home and as fate would have it, Mum was home. The universe had aligned itself to sell us out and we resigned ourselves to our fate. Mum looked calm even after her rather long discourse with my Uncle and we figured our Uncle had not snitched. Time flew and before we knew, it was dinner time. After dinner we exchanged our usual “sleep well pleasantries” and off to bed we went. That is when Mum came to our bedroom in her full (insert finger snap for effect) I’mma-kick-your-lil-behinds-mode. I mean that night my sister and I experienced World War III. My mother sure instilled the fear of God in us. Suffice it to say, we never visited other friends even those that were on their death beds. I kid.

Despite my mother scooping the disciplinarian award in our estate, she was a true gem. Looking back I see why I grew up to be the fine well-mannered lass that I am. C’mon! I know myself ๐Ÿ™‚ She taught me the ways of God. Made sure I went to church every single Sunday. My mother was always there. She was the one constant thing in my life. When I was sick, she held me through the night. She trained my siblings and I to be a team. I see a lot of families that have kids who live like strangers. Not ours. My mother trained us to look out for each other. She was word for word the woman described in Proverbs 31. I am yet to see anyone that prays the way my mother prayed. When she wasn’t making heartfelt pleas for us before God, my Mum could whip up a mean meal. If you doubt me, try making njahi with french fries and tell me that meal is not culinary genius. Go ahead, try and tell me!

Every time I watch The Bodyguard I remember my Mum. We watched this movie close to 84 times. I often wondered why, until the day she subtly came out of the closet about her crush on Kevin Costner. The look on my Dad’s face was priceless! Hehehe. All this said in good jest. The reason why our home had all Whitney Houston movies actually was because my mother admired Whitney Houston deeply. My mother was a nyarariโ€”a word in the Gikuyu dialect that means a woman of extraordinary beauty. I got it from my mama! My mother LOVED my father. The kind of love that I hope to love the man I will marry one day. She taught us marriage was an institution to withhold with utmost respect. My mum had this really light side to her. I will never forget her denim rule. Thou shall not wear denim if you don’t have booty. Her words, not mine. My mother was many things that wouldn’t fit in one blog post.

One cold evening of July 1998, my mother returned home from a visit to Nakuru. We all agreed on what to make for dinner, and by 7pm that night we were eated (it is a word I insist). We huddled together at the fire place catching up because she had been away for a week. My brother Dandara was sitting on her lapโ€”he had always been her baby. Hehehe. My sister and I were competing on the updating thing. It was an evening filled with laughter. Dad was away on a business trip. Dandara excused himself, he was going to spend the night at our neighbor’s place. He and his friends were going to watch the Africa Cup of Nations. The rest of us girls went to Mum’s room and we continued with our stories. My sister excused herself because she had exams the following day and she went to sleep. We stayed up late chatting with Mum that night. Then we both went to sleep.

It was in the middle of the night that I heard mother calling out for us. I woke my sister up and we hurried to her bedroom. She was weak. She had gotten another attack. My Mum had ailed from a heart condition known as the Mitral Valve Disease for several years. We started giving her first-aid but after a few minutes realized that we needed to get help. I offered to get help, but she stopped me and asked that we pray first before I leave. We held our hands together and my Mum led us in prayer. The prayer she prayed that night still very fresh in my memory. She then allowed me to go get help. My sister remained behind with her.

It took me very long to get someone who had a car that night. But a very kind neighbor led me to the house of another neighbor who had a car who happened to be a relative. Allow me to digress. Our home is in the bunduz. So houses are like a kilometer away from each other and we were pretty new in this neighbourhood seeing as we had only moved there one year ago. Back to the storyโ€”we quickly got into the car and drove home. When we got home “my relative” checked my Mum’s pulse. My mother had passed away. Estimated time of death was 02.30am on 16th July 1998.

Today is 13 years since my Mum went to be with the Lord. I miss you Mum just as much as I missed you that morning 13 years ago.

Now pick up your phone and call your mother, tell her that you love her.

Yeah, I just said that!

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  1. Beautiful!i cried and i called my mum.

    • Thanks for reading Santina and more so for calling your mum ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. I love the way you write.

    • Why thank you. Coming from you, I’m extremely flattered. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    • hbarasa
    • July 16th, 2011

    Speechless! you have quite a way with words and I felt that childish delight we felt, when as kids we did expressly what our parents told us not to do and thought we’d gotten away with it only to be reminded that we were so wrong. Then there was the love that came across, the joy in spending time with your mum that last day and the healing and peace you have 13yrs down the line! Beautifully written

  3. The way you piece togeyher your words makes gor a very powerful delivery.
    ou are a strong young lafy and ai admire your strength despite all you have been through.
    God bless you. *jdials mum’s number*

    • Jean
    • July 16th, 2011

    This is a very nice post. Hold on tightly to the memories that you shared together. Continue upholding the lessons taught by her

  4. Hey Shuhi, this just drew out a piece of me I always thought never existed. I refuse to say more lest I wash away the power of this post.

  5. To our mummies. Watching over us in close proximity or from a distance ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. A very heartfelt post, you life is one long adventure, you write a book sometime but before that I will have heard everything… what say you? ๐Ÿ˜‰

  7. Chic, you gone and did it. *wipes tears* Very touching post. I’m sure she’s looking down and smiling.

  8. no words can describe how this post has touched me* wiping off tears*. mom and me were not the best of friends but with time we are working things out and am glad they are heading the right direction. thanks and God bless

  9. Absolutely brilliant..this post just got me all teary*goes to give my mama a hug*i love it hon!

  10. Sad but sweet..

  11. moving!

  12. *sigh* Sad ๐Ÿ˜ฆ but very sweet indeed. I bet she looks down and smiles. I hope they do read blogs when up there. xo!

    • Oh yes she does Kawi. I bet they see us and read us even :p Thanks for reading xoxo!

  13. This is a wonderful tribute. It was difficult to say goodbye but the cherished memories of your mother will remain in your heart forever. You write very well.

    • Thanks Woolie! You are a mean writer yourself-I’m a stealth reader of your blog ๐Ÿ™‚ Thanks for stopping by.

      • Hi shekyn – a rather shy admission here- I haven’t quite got the hang of twitter so I don’t actually follow or have followers. Thanks for the mention:-)

  14. I was just holding my breath hoping the story wouldn’t end the way it did, but that’s life for you. I’m still all teary. Glad you moved on and you still remember her fondlyife for you. I’m still all teary. Glad you moved on and you still remember her fondly

    • Francina
    • July 16th, 2012

    I Love the blog! I love my mum ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Wambui
    • October 17th, 2012

    This is a beautiful blog Chuhi!! thanks for challenging me to make that call!!..

    • David
    • December 4th, 2015

    I googled the meaning of the word Nyarari only to bump onto this auspicious blog.

    thanks Stacy

    • David
    • December 4th, 2015

    Awesome blog

  1. February 21st, 2012

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