I’m not sure how old you’ll be when you get to read this, but hopefully I’ll still be with you on this lovely earth. The day I found out I was pregnant with you I felt like my whole world was crashing down on me. I was 19 and your sister had just turned 2. Your father and I weren’t in good terms and this made this difficult.
As you grow you will realise there were other alternatives, but I decided to have you. Not because I want to be applauded for that but I wanted to see the purpose I’d bring in your life. Mom always told me everything had its purpose and I wanted to find yours in our lives.
I remember wondering what I was going to do with two children, being a kid myself. But your grandparents were the best and helped me through it. I had a complicated pregnancy and hopes of you making it were very slim. Around 6 a.m. January 14th, 2012, a nurse came to monitor your heart rate. For a little while they couldn’t hear anything but it was there. They looked at me with concern.
“You better go take a bath and get ready to undergo surgery, expect the worst,” they said.
Scared as hell, I did as I was told. I woke up around 12 noon, with my mom sitting in front of me, smiling.
I looked at her and she looked back at me, and said, “Akamhle, ndithe nguLukho kemna (He’s handsome and I named him Lukho).”
I looked at her and muttered, “Uxolo, I’m sorry Mama.”
She held my hand.
“You messed up, I know, but you always find a way to make up for it. I’m a grandmother to two beautiful kids. No one knows how long I’ll live but when I do die I’ll be at peace knowing I got to know them.”
She was so emotional but as soon as nurse walked in with you she said, “Sapha umzukulwana wam (give me my grandchild).” As you know, she died four years later at the age of 46.
I don’t remember a time when I felt like you were a burden in my life. Not once have I ever felt the need to remind you of all the things I’ve had to sacrifice to make sure you become the person you were destined to be. After I lost my mother I never knew what I was going to do.
I remember fighting with you on a Tuesday morning because I made you guys cereal, when Tuesdays were full-breakfast days with mom. I didn’t know that because she let me do what I wanted to do. I chased my career while she became everything you and your sister needed in a mother. It took me a while to get to know you. I never knew why you only fell asleep if your hand was on my breast until I got used to it.
There are times when I feel like I’ve failed you. As a boy I’m sure it is your utmost wish to grow up around your dad, but unfortunately I couldn’t give you that. Don’t ever think you are at fault for that. One day you will realise that sometimes things don’t always go according to plan. Some day you will have your own children and you will have to make sacrifices that you will have to live with, but always make sure it’s exactly what you want.
Being a perfect mother was never the goal for me. I can never come close.
I’m writing you this letter to remind you that you were no mistake in my life. If you weren’t here I’d probably not be the person I am today. I try a little bit harder than I should because I know you, son, will not look for a role model elsewhere. Raising you hasn’t been the easiest at all; from being sick most of your infant years, to being an over active child with a big imagination. I still struggle to understand you but that’s what I always tell you. I won’t stop trying.
Even at times society tries its best to paint this negative picture of me, but you still believe in me.
I want so much for you. I want to watch you grow and become a man who will respect everything about himself. A man who knows the value and importance of life because he’s seen it all in front of him. I will never tell you what to do, but I will always say what I feel is best for you.
You will probably grow up and find yourself an incredible person whom you will want and hope to spend the rest of your days with. You probably will even forget about the house you promised to build me when you were three. But I don’t care, as long as you grow up to be who you are destined to be. Be someone that even if your dad and I aren’t around anymore, we can still be proud to be your parents.
My dear son, never feel you have to be the best for me. The day you decided to fight to be in this world was more than enough for me. I may have not been able to give you the life your peers have, but I never want you to think I didn’t try.
I love you so much. I feel like storing you in a jar so I can protect you from the world but I can’t. You will live. You will love and you will always remember who you are. Be the best version of yourself and never let anyone tell you otherwise.
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