There’s nothing that makes me feel older than other peoples birthdays…My younger siblings more than anyone else. Though one that shocks me a lot is my daughter’s. There are four birthdays from the 23rd to the 30th of November. The 23rd happens to be my big mum’s birthday. She is a precious woman in whose house I spent many of my childhood days. Growing up, I always new she was my mum’s sister and was probably in my teens before I fully understood that she was actually my mother’s best friend. Seems dumb I know but I think it explains the kind of relationship that we have with their family. There were times when my parents couldn’t pick us up till late and we spent the night. We spent holidays there, shared in birthdays and hand me downs went between the two houses. I miss sitting pa mpasa after school and talking with her and gleaning from a life lived well. She has been a source of wisdom and when I had a child out of wedlock, she loved me all the more; she defended me. She reminded me I was worth so much and that I could achieve anything.
She loved my child before she was born and the day I went into hospital, all mum had to do was call her and her and her eldest daughter (my sister) were there when we got to the clinic, and she stayed until they had no choice but to go home; same time mum left, and she was back the day after and the day after that. She was there when I was struggling with intense feelings of sadness, when I couldn’t understand why God would let my life go the way it had. Even today, all I have to do is call or text and her wisdom always leaves me feeling at peace. I have always been safe with her and I love her beyond words. Celebrating her birthday leaves me feeling blessed.
Then there’s the birthdays, other than my daughter’s that make me feel old. Younger siblings! Bwalya, Ndeke and Dalitso; their birthdays are on the 24th, 28th and 30th respectively and they turned 18, 17 and 21. I feel old because I’ve seen all three in Diapers and carried them on my back…
I don’t think I ever carried Mr D but still, he’s my baby brother and even though he now thinks it’s inappropriate for me to say so, he will always be that and that image will never go away. Maybe one day I will manage to get him reading.
Bwalya and Ndeke are just two of the bravest girls I know. Both have faced so much and are still standing. You guys inspire me and I know I can be very mean and love to tease and portray a very harsh no nonsense face but I love you guys and I am inspired by you. I can’t wait to see you guys in the next few years. I can’t believe how big you are and for me the hard thing is to let you be grown because I will always see you as my babies in need of protecting. God will take you places and I know that people will be blessed because of you!