A Village of Kindness: Mothers

I am here today because I was mothered by a village of kindness. One woman gave birth to me. One gave birth to the one who gave birth to me. To the late MaRhadebe who made me feel adored for as long as she was alive. To her teachings that have made it impossible for us to ever consider a tattoo because her voice was like God’s. “Your body is a temple of God. Do nothing to it. Yes you can’t even scribble on it with a pen.” To my late grandmother who left us last year, iBhelekazi elihlophe, elithule lithecwaka. I was given special treatment at the hospital as a baby because my granny was a nurse. I hear that I was a very sickly child. But I only remember being happy and going to the hospital to my granny often. But I thank the village full of women and younger women who joyfully carried me on their backs even when I thought I was too old. 
One in particular insisted on carrying me on her back. She was older but not old enough to be my mother. She died probably when I turned 20. We saw each other once when she was sickly. Though I hadn’t seen her since childhood, our eyes locked. We had no words, only memories, silent thank yous too sacred to utter. Our eyes locked, communicating with our souls. Reaching out because what words are there when we had not seen each other for so long, when we both young and carefree. And now, death had already come to steal a life not yet lived. And even when she carried me on her back. I knew that she did not know my grandmother’s words, that her body was a temple. I didn’t know how to communicate that with her. And now that lack of knowledge killed her to soon. 
Today I pray for the orphans who have no one to say Happy Mother’s Day to. Today I pray for the childless to be with child. Today I thank the countless mamas who treat me as theirs just because we do belong to a greater family than our own. 
Today I wish myself a happy Mother’s Day, may I be called the mother of presidents. 


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