I have a Mother who stood by my Father through every crazy move, who would sometimes find herself throwing up in fear before massive receptions, who would take on every posting like it was going to be one giant adventure. This one is for every Mother who braved this role, and raised amazing kids.
My Father would tell us that he knew instantly that my Mother was it for him. She got on a plane having never been out of her country, and traveled to meet her new husband (my Father alone. She quickly got pregnant, and had a baby in Africa, with only a midwife present, and a whole lot of prayers that she didn’t have an emergency. She drove in every single country, memorizing every street name, never in her own tongue. Made a point of learning every language she could. Sometimes suffered in silence as her work was never rewarded with a pay cheque, an applause, or a thank you. She was, in my eyes, fearless.
With every posting, came a new challenge, sometimes with pregnancy, sometimes with small children, but always with a fear of the unknown. She lost both her parents while abroad, heart-broken and far away. She braved coup attempts, and many demons and fears of her own, while trying to be a supportive wife and mother.
When I was struggling with Shakespeare, she took it upon herself to put on a one woman production all nighter, in which she played every part of Hamlet in a wildly, hilarious dramatic voice. She would often stay up with me, quizzing me, explaining art and literature to me.
Sometimes, she suffered from depression, there were days after a big move, in which she would be paralysed with a horrible stomach infection. We would tip toe around her, knowing it would last a couple of days, and then, just like that, she would be organizing again.
She was never average, we never got birthday parties, or special kid events. Instead, she would take us to orphanages and teach us about the less fortunate. She would carefully pack our old clothes, and give it to the children of the Locally Engaged Staff. When I told her that one of our maids had stolen some of our food, my Mother looked at me and said “they live with us, that food is for everyone in this house, that is not stealing.”
So to my Mother, A very Happy Mother’s Day.