To my Hoyo, to my Mother!!
I want to tell you I love you, I want to let you know how much I care about you and how much you mean to me in so many words. But I am tongue-tied and it is difficult to express because in our Somali culture we express feelings with our actions and with our poems but I am not much of a poet so I lean towards the actions.
I show you how much I respect you in the way that I talk to you, I would never raise my voice when talking to you, and although I debate you in some matters but I would instantly keep quiet when I know it reached a point where it is beginning to annoy you.
I show you how much I care about you in the way I treat you. I would run to get you water for ablution whenever I see you heading towards the washroom. I would not allow you to do any house chores and I would jump off the bed when I see you getting up in the early morning, but I also know when you insist on making the morning tea and you jokingly remind me that you are neither a child nor a very old lady, I should step back and let you do it because your wish is literally my command and because I would never willingly make you upset.
Although I didn’t tell you in so many words, but you sense my deep love because I am having a hard time accepting the fact that in a very few months I will be moving to my husband’s place. I am surely devastated that you are not going to live with me because our culture and norms keep you from living with your daughter but I know I should respect your wishes. You promise to visit me and I hold on to that promise.
I am who I am today because of you. You have sacrificed a lot in life to raise and take care of 7 children on your own. I know how much difficult it was for you to lose our dad, and I know you loved him so much because of the way you talk about him.
This is my way of showing you love and respect. For the way you raised me, for the way you educated me, and for the way you disciplined me and shaped me to become the young woman I am today, I show you gratitude and respect. For the way you cared for me I try to care for you in return and I hope I am succeeding at this task.
I am successful at my career and my personal life not because I am better than other young ladies in the community, but because you gave me the tools to succeed.
I know you are already the example of a good mother among the community and all our neighbors attest to this fact. I remember many of our neighbors married off their daughters at the tender age of 15 to 18 and consequently the girls got divorced in a short period.
I remember the story you told me one of these young divorcees. She was upset and sarcastically made a comment that resonated with her mother, and the woman rushed to our house to tell you what this girl has said. “Other people do not marry off their daughters to the highest bidder at a young age but they educate them and even spend money on them for quality education abroad” she cried. Our neighbor told you the girl was referring to you. You inspired many women in our community to educate their girls. I know my paternal aunts sent their daughters to school because of the way you explained to them the importance of education. I plan to give my daughters the love, discipline, and guidance that you have given me.
I cherish you, love you, and have an utmost respect for you because I know in our culture love and respect goes hand in hand. Happy mother’s day and May the lord almighty bless your life.