As I am thinking about humanity in general, I look at the beginning of a human being. I say: I am here right now, I am alive. It did not hurt to have me alive. Even thought my progenitors must have gone thru a lot, I thank them both and especially my mother to have carried the pregnancy that brought me into life for the period of 9 months, to have accepted to bringing me into life and have taken care of me despite the rough moments between her and her husband, Thank you maman for not listening to what people said such as: if you cannot have peace with him, just get rid of the pregnancy, that man does not deserve you, more why don’t to you just leave. I understand the days, maman, you cried day and night secretly, wiping your tears and putting a smile back onto your face to simulate joy in pain, sufferance and misery, I see that night without sleep and your pillow s wet of your overflowing and nonstop tears. Not knowing whom to talk to at least your own mother would’ve helped, but she was sick in the village. I see that night when you felt like killing yourself because you taught you did so wrong to the world that you did not think that you deserved to live and neither did you child; me. I can see the day you went to the farm and may be wished you could be hurt, just disappear or something so that nobody will have to worry about you and your multitudes troubles and problems.
Now, I curse the day that anybody or any evil spirit encouraged you to think evil. I curse the day you run away, off your husband’s roof because you wanted to be free to have me in peace but at the same time you were also thinking of both of us’ death. Maman, you went to the river, and fountain, singing a song of hope, praying God to not abandon you to people‘s mockery. Maman , on your way to the forest in search of fire wood, corn, cassava for our up keeping thinking about what people, your neighbors are saying about you. In you multiple deep thoughts, you stepped on the animals on your way to the bush and nothing happened because our Lord was protecting you. Maman, you made somehow, anyhow to that day. That day that a child was born, a day that God delivered you and your child. That was the day you knew that your baby was a baby girl. Because there was no way you could have known before head what baby you had in your womb. Even if there was away, it was meant to those who had the money, those who could afford it. At the minute you felt me out of your womb, your felt some happiness because I came as a girl. Then at the same time, the fear of what people were going to say among themselves and what others will let you hear. Ooh! What can a young, helpless girl do? That was not your mentality maman, it was “cultural”; the first person been your own husband, my father. I know that you gave an answer to that question; my baby might a girl, worth nothing to you, but I know that she will be somebody who will one day go and fetch water for me from the river and from the fountain, who will wipe my tears.
Maman let me personally tell you that you have made it and you have won. You are a Winner and today, I am proud of you and I know that you said to yourself: «as long as I live, my child will also live. She will eat what I eat even if she is not the age to eat that. We will survive.” Thank you maman for giving me life, for feeding me, for caring me on your back this safe and warm place you used to put even when you had to work in the farm, market in the kitchen. Sorry for, I cried on your back as the sun rose. I sometimes did this because I wanted and needed baby and mother time. I am so sorry if I wanted to be breast-fed at a moment you needed to finish a portion of the work. You have watched me go true the stages of growth. You fed me, took care of me, when I was sick, you cried wishing to take my sickness upon yourself and suffer at my place. You taught me how to eat starting from feeding me to self-holding the food and putting into my mouth, my first steps: “Kadaa”. As I was afraid to walk toward you, you encouraged me. I feel for you on those days that I was sick and you were sick too. Both of us did not feel well but you still had to do the house shores. I feel you when you did not have enough and or no diaper for me. You knew how to make me not to soil myself and my linen and even you. Then as I was growing, you watched me say my first words, dada, next was papa. You were happy seeing me growing in height, and you said “she is growing, she is thinking, she knows what I am saying”. I think of the days you could not find something for yourself to wear, but you had I nicely clothed. Oh Dada, today, I understand what you went thru. What a wonderful mother you were, I see your pain.
Moreover, you took me all alone to my first school. I remember how hard it was to find a place in the nearest schools. You took the decision at last minutes because you thought that my father will decide about my going to school when the time comes. Then it did not happen. That is why one blessed afternoon, after school started, I don’t know how long ago, you took me to different schools where we were told that it was too late and the classes were full. You did not give up on finding a place in a school for me that very day. I would’ve stayed home for another year, but I was already 6 years. Finally, at Saint Monique Catholic School, you accepted their condition to place me in kinder garden because their first grade classes were full. Thank you for reading my first books with me maman. But Maman may I ask you a question? How did you make it to read for me and with me? You told me later that you did not go to school. You were a very smart black woman who would’ve done better and lots of things, if you were given some chances
How I wish I could become somebody and pay you back, wipe your tears, shelter you better, feed you like you did to me, help you walk as you become old, the same way you did for me when I was learning to walk, as you did by teaching me my first steps, clothe you warm when there will be cold and lightly when the weather changes and most importantly, pray for you. I can never finish thanking for you. …..Where ever You are Maman, know that I tear up every day with the pain that I did not have enough to give more and better your life conditions before death stole from me and my siblings . I tear up almost every day. Where ever you are and if you can, please help me get over it and keep praying for all of us. Love you and I will always love you. To all the women of the world, be and remain blessed