A letter to my mother
It has been more than 30 years since your light was switched off from this world. I was too small to remember your face, your smell, your smile or the glitter of your eyes. I do not know what it is to have you around me, to hear your voice, or to feel the warmth of your arms. You were my biggest enigma. When I was little I searched for you in the features of my face, in the smile of ‘mano’ Binó (mano = older brother) and in my structure. But I know the intensity of your love and the intensity of your presence. As an angel, you continued to illuminate my world and guide my steps. I remember when I first saw your picture when I was 12, I felt like I had known you all my life. It is said that when people die their bodies disappear, but that through the love we feel for them and they for us, they remain alive in us forever. I believe this is true, although you were not physically by my side, you were always spiritually with me. I know that your love for me and for ‘mano’ Binó, just like ours for you, has kept us always together. When I was a kid, I did not know how to explain it, but now I’m a grown-up and a little wiser than I used to be, I know it was you. You were the one who sent that drop of love when it was missing, it was you who interrupted the pain when it became unbearable and it was you who filled my head with dreams and joyful imaginations that kept my smile and my soul intact. You always protected me and never allowed my soul to be broken.
Nevertheless, you also have always found ways to educate me and to be present at the most important moments of my life. Every time I act wrongly you made me stumble so I could put my hands on my head and think better. Do you remember when I was pregnant for the first time, from your granddaughter which I named after you? During the entire pregnancy, I was very emotional due to the hormones. I cried almost every day lamenting your absence. I wondered; Who would help me? Who would teach me how to be a mother? I believe that I have never missed your presence physically as in those 9 months. I wanted my mother to be there to tell me what I should or should not eat, I wanted my mother to be there and tell me that everything would be okay. It was the happiest phase of my life and I knew that it was only you could feel and share the intensity of that happiness with me. But even though I miss you physically, I knew you were spiritually there all the time. Do you remember what happened in the fifth month of my pregnancy? I woke up wanting to eat spaghetti with liver, after taking it off the fridge, I decided to read a book about having a healthy pregnancy. 5 minutes later I came across an article that said that liver was harmful to the baby and that pregnant women should not eat it. I knew it was you. It was also you when your sister, Mother Gina (as I called her affectionately) with whom I had not spoken for a year, called me on the very day I was in the hospital. In a sweet, calm, controlled voice she just said, “Do not worry, everything will be fine.” Like magic, all my fear disappeared and a certainty that everything would really go well replaced it. 19 hours later your granddaughter was born and we were both fine.
Besides that, you have also been in less serious moments, but as important as the serious ones. I remember once that one of your friends saw me and said, “You are as style full as your mother, if she were alive, I imagine the clothes she would make for you.” I was curious and spent an hour listening intriguingly about your love of fashion and the fantastic designs you used to create. But what your friend and I did not know is that a few years later, your niece, also named after you, would inherit the same talent. She created a brand with your name: Judith Bonga creations and the first piece of clothing she made was for me. In fact, I’m full of beautiful clothes made by her. One of them is this beautiful suit she made for me in 2013. Isn’t this fantastic momma? We are very good friends, sometimes less, but we have a special love for each other and share this love for fashion that I believe we inherited from you. My style is the same as yours, but of course with a lot of influence of dad too.
You are my greatest inspiration, I want to become the person you did not have the opportunity to become. You taught me the most important lessons of my life. You taught me that life is a gift and that freedom is priceless. I love you for what you were and for what you would become if you were still here. Give a strong hug to ‘mano’ Binó. I still cannot speak of him without crying. I think it’s not fair that I’m here and he’s not, that I’ve been so lucky and he was not. I always dreamed of the day that we would be both adults and we could speak freely of you without the fear of saying your name. There were so many unspoken words! When we were children and one of us was sad or crying, we would sit next to each other to comfort one another, without saying a word. I dreamed of the day when we would finally be adults and responsible for ourselves and say: look, ‘mano‘, we did it, momma must be very proud. Knowing that I will never do this with him is often difficult to accept. But with the idea that the pain was too strong for him to carry on without breaking his soul, I accepted that you chose to have him by your side. I still miss him a lot, but I know he’s in a better place. Tell him that I love him and that I will always love him. I have no words to thank you, Mother.
A thank you is not enough to show my gratitude for the sacrifice you made for me to grow free. I can only tell you that it is an honor to be your daughter and that I would be born 1,000,000 times more from your womb if necessary. Stay with me by my side, mother. I do not know where life will take me, but I know that as long as you guide me, I will be on the right path.
I see you in eternity.