Tuesday, September 13

Tribute to My Mother...Who Sleeps.

Exactly 12 years today, Mrs. Mary Musa, ‘mama’ to us children and ‘aunty’ to husband, Mr. Musa finally ‘slept’. I say finally because this woman never slept an entire night for as long as I can remember.
Mr. Musa, who is usually up about at 5am to pray didn’t hear you stir and found it strange. When he got off his praying mat about 6am and went to check up on you, you were lying prostrate in bed…he almost went crazy when he discovered you had gone.
You had been given the clean bill of health from that stroke, you were walking to church on your own, and your hand was fine. You were fine, but you just slept and never woke up. I say it was a ‘good’ sleep. You didn’t go in pain.
All these years, I have never really done an ‘in memoriam’ for my mother, because I never really remember, although the first year was bad and difficult; my oldest brother died exactly 6 months after her.
I am not remembering her today because there is something special either, but because I now understand why she did a lot of the things that she did; things we despised her for even then. For example, I just would never listen when she told me to please change my trousers for a skirt in order to accompany her to visit her Apostolic Church pastor! Also, she always used to pray all night and read aloud from her Hausa bible (I am really sad to say we lost this well-thumbed Bible to some Adamawa tradition, really sad to say) and because we used to sleep in her room back then whenever we visited, we would complain and bitch about how she was disturbing and wouldn’t let us sleep. We also resented the fact that she was a simple and peace-loving woman; no matter the cost, she always would let things go ‘for peace’s sake’ Duh.
As I remember her this 12th year, I recall some of the things about her life that I now admire and hope to inculcate as a woman who would one day be a wife and a mother.
She was so gentle-spirited. She was quiet, to a fault but oh, a woman of steel! Its in her quietness that you know exactly what you should do. You cant be slack around my mother.
She was a too-generous giver, I say ‘too generous’ because she gave and gave (to my father’s disgust) even when (especially when) it was not convenient! With her I learnt that it is not possible that you have nothing to give, there is always something you have that someone else needs. Throughout the over 30 years of marriage to my father, who, I must say, was not the easiest of men to live with then, I have seen her pack her bags times without number to leave, but I never saw her take a foot out the door with those bags! Also, my mother would never eat before any of her children had eaten. Never. And at those times when there was nothing, literally nothing, she stood in faith and believed for us all. She was an incredible woman. I say that now.
My mother was a woman of intense prayer who also lived a fasted life. Gosh, I can still hear my father complaining about how she would hurt herself fasting so endlessly! Even we joined him in that rebuke!
So today, in her memory, I would like to appreciate all mothers, and I pray to be a good mother, an ‘enduring’ wife, a woman of prayer who is totally dependent on God. One thing I learnt from my parents (not perfect marriage) is that, no matter what, you can make it work. A marriage can work.
Mama, I know you are at peace, finally. You don’t have to worry anymore; we are doing well. You would be proud of the girls especially, although I try to imagine what you would think of me still single - you would probably say I should stop wearing sokoto, and to stop ‘perming’ my hair, but what would you say if you knew that I have cut off the entire hair sef??’ Lol!.I remember the last time I saw you, 2 weeks before you died, you had brought out all those old pictures because you wanted to show me a particular one in which I had such a great shock of hair! You claimed all the ‘perming’ is responsible for me going bald!
‘Ba Baba’ misses you still oh! He has refused to marry again, though he tried it briefly, six whole years after you had gone! He gave up after one year saying it’s not the same. We are now asking God to intervene because he can’t be left to live alone.
You also have a 3 year old granddaughter Karimat Maryam, very smart but oh, she has such a temper. What do you expect from a child of Bala, alias 'kura mai chin nama? Another grand’someone’ is also on the way this September!! Yay.
Having said that, in your absence, I am blessed with 3 mothers; indefatigable women in their own right. I salute them all because I got 3 in place of 1.
Readers, celebrate your mother (and indeed fathers oh), in fact celebrate the people around you as much as you can today, for ‘if tomorrow never comes…’
Be free oh.


  1. I remember her as one who never talked much but or at all, very kind at heart and generous to a fault. When she takes a decision, its very very difficult if not impossible to get her to change her mind. Neurotic about cleanliness(o yea) she sweeps like 20times a day, very tin has to be in place and in pristine state as a result of this, she wouldn't allow me do anything around the house because she feels I will not do it d way she wants it and so just to avoid talking, she does it herself. Because she doesn’t talk much, never gets angry, but is unpredictable, our friends, neighbours and even church members are very careful around her, more like scared of her cos they don’t know what they will do that may upset her. When neighbours are arguing or having a fight, the moment my mum steps out, as soon as everyone sees her, they all immediately stop and return to their houses, she doesn’t have to say a word all as long as they see her. In fact it’s my mother who I know can just tell sm1 to do dis and they will do it without saying a word. I remember d night before she died, it was a Sunday and I travelled and was expected back that day but got delayed and my mum was very worried. Normally she doesn’t get that worried so I was surprised when I saw our next-door neighbour with a big umbrella because it was raining heavily, she said my mum had asked her to go look for me and not to return without me! The poor woman had no choice! Lol.
    When I got home that faithful day, she was unusually happy to see me, when I sat down to eat she said she I should let her feed me(at 15!) Well I sat back and she feed me, knowing it was a bribe because she was going to ask me to read to her from the English Bible. I was right, she also said she wanted me to sing some hymns to her, but later, at 10pm. That night she wanted ON CHRIST THE SOLID ROCK I STAND and two others that are sung at wake keepings! When I asked her why I'm I singing those particular songs she just told me it was because she's happy she's going home and when she saw the look on my face she just said ‘don’t worry, you will be fine, I will always be with u all but promise.
    I have a lot to write about this wonderful woman, a true mother in Israel, a strong woman of God, no one can take your place in my life. There is so much more to write about you but I'm glad you have found rest. Adios mama. I miss u plenty u r d best!

  2. She was a woman of very few words who could be tough and a no-nonsense woman. Whatever needs to be done, must be done right and @ the right time. Discipline, maturity, cleanliness is not negotiable. She was a neat freak and I remember calling her "uwar sabta"; she sweeps every minute you walk past.
    For her, prayer is a lifestyle and u have no choice in the matter, you must pray. She will cook my meals, bring it to my table, serve my water and will clear my plates and do the dishes when am done, not as a child o but as a full grown woman in my twenties.
    I remember well the first and only time she beat me, ha! she used a belt on me and I ran into the room and covered myself in a blanket, she didn't stop beating until daddy came to my rescue with begging and after that she gave me water to drink), she bribed me with food afterwards. She was a devoted Christian, mother, wife, Come rain or sunshine, mama must go to church every Saturday to clean the church in preparation for Sunday service; she, of course she tried to take me along severally with no success.
    She was also very good with the sign language, whenever I goofed, only a look will tell me to sit up. I have never seen anyone so humble like her. Very respectable and so respectful herself.
    Have never seen her sad or angry and sometimes. I truly see her as a strange being. How can a human being be so perfect. Now I realise, I was blessed with an angel called Mary!

  3. @Muni and Rakiya: no wonder you are both spoilt, especailyl Muni! Sccheww.

  4. I stand with you at this moment. Thank God for giving you such a 'manly' strenght! Mama lives on.

  5. My sisters,
    Surprising,but I am here shedding tears.what a wonderful woman!I am going to shut up the next time love Emmanuel goes on one of her prayer sessions.
    I have also learnt that no matter what,I must be a good wife and mother.
    I am sure she is smiling down from heaven knowing u r all doing well.
    May her sour rest in eternal peace

  6. @Oma: yes o! they annoy us but we have to let them, that is the only way they know to 'live'. Prayer. Reason I am tolerant of momo when there is a debate on 'to let her go or not!' Go oh!

  7. Ooh what a mother you were! As your daughter in-law, I came into the family hearing good things about you, and everyday I wish you were here! I want to say you raised some of the best children, because my husband Bala is a living example of you, even though he has his short comings, he is as wholeheartedly generous as you are.
    My family and I are saying WE MISS YOU and will always love you, sweet mother.

  8. Mrs Musa, a gentle but strong woman, I remember you today and it seem like its just yestarday! Cant believe its 12 years! Of course your specie was an endangered one! Can we be like you? No matter how hard I try, the honest answer is NO! We go try! Iya has stepped into your big shoes, despite her big feet, the shoe still no size her sha, but she is trying her best!
    Abeg greet Mr. Alabi for me!

  9. Little wonder Muni turned out the way she is!
    I remember running across TSS field whenever I could afford the money to buy her groundnuts and even when I couldn't, I'll pretend I want to drink water knowing that the 'nuts will be added... Yeah I have always been street smart!:)

    God bless your soul Mama Iyabo.

  10. Sweet is the memory of the just. I feel you all today as you remember your sweet, prayerful mother. God will take care of you all.

  11. ....Hold on2 d memories....frm d lil' i ve read, she would b proud of u guys!......May her soul continue 2 rest in peace.....it is well wit u all ~Harwaylay

  12. "I remember my mother's prayers and they have always followed me. They have clung to me all my life." -- Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865)

    Didun ni iranti olododo...

    You also have great qualities from your Mother,
    God bless you Zainabu for been a sweet mother to your sister's and your friends.

  13. I love this post. It's very touching indeed. She rests easy because she knows God is the ultimate mother with whom we don't have to worry.

  14. She would be very proud of you. I have watched you watch over your siblings with such grace and wisdom. You surely inherited some of her traits.
    May she keep resting in peace.

  15. Whaow! You had a wonderful mother

    1. Hmmm, if this is the Funke I know, now you can understand the "Nkoyo" connection! :-)


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