A few days ago I had to make it clear to someone who said my life is better than theirs. This made me upset because they don’t know half the things I’ve been through and still going through. But I’ll make it. I make damn sure I pull through everything that tends to come between me and my way forward. I refuse to let situations and my surroundings define what becomes of me. Yes, I’m blessed like anyone else, but I fight to maintain my blessings.

There were times when I hardly saw my mom because she had to work to get me and my aunt through school. She would leave home early and come back late, I’d be sleeping in both instances. The only way I knew she was there were the evidence of the sandwiches she made at work so that I’d have a nice lunch at school.

She was never around to help me with homework, tell me she loved me every day or wait for me at the gate when school was over. I wished for that, but not once did it happen. The time I did have with her though, showed me she loved me. So, I took each day as it came and I knew Sundays would come where I’d be like other kids. Saying, “Mama this” and “Mama that”. That’s where I learned patience.

At 17 I had my daughter.

I remember my family gossiping behind my mother’s back, asking if she was proud of what became of all her sacrifices. However, that never made her love me any less. At just seven days, I left my new born and went to school in January month of my matric year. There were days when the sun would be scotching hot and my breast milk would start to leak. The other kids would laugh at me but I knew I had to finish school.

I remember she insisted on me going to my matric ball. She was going to sacrifice her salary for that. Deep down I knew we would struggle during the month. My daughter could run out of formula, I’d need bus fare to get to school. So, as much as she wanted me to go, like any other parent, I said no. The following year my daughter turned one and two days later I received the news that I had passed matric. That’s where I learned the importance of sacrifice.

I got a good job, studying on the side.

I asked my mom to stop working. I had my son at nineteen, just when I thought life was going to be about me, I had a family to look after. My mom never wanted to be a stay at home person but I knew she needed it. I taught her how to live a little and enjoy the finer things in life. My kids had everything they ever needed and wanted. I got to live and enjoy things and be a young person.

At 22, everything was falling into place until one day, mom woke up with a minor migraine. And that was the end, the end of her and my happily ever after. The life I had planned was perfect but there wasn’t a part in it where she was not included. When she died my whole life was turned upside down. I lost everything I had worked so hard for.

I had to rebuild my life, learn to live with way less than what I was used to but I made it work. I lost everything that I thought had me, had my back. I’m glad I did, because that taught me to learn to depend on me. Most importantly, I learned to accept things as they are and not let them define me.

So again, you ask why I say some of us fight a little harder?

Here’s why: Every person gets thrown to the wolves at some point in their lives. It’s up to them whether they stand up and fight and come out stronger or they stay down. I chose to fight because it was no longer about me. It was everyone depending on me. I love my kids a little more than any other parent, you say.

Well, they don’t have anyone else. I spend too much time with them, you say. I’ve been without a mother and I know what it’s like. So yes, I choose to fight for my kids. I choose to give them the best of my ability because I don’t have anyone else who will. I know what it’s like giving up. Because there comes a time where you feel defeated but you are never put in difficult situations without any options.

We always think our situations are the worst but trust me, there’s people going through harder things. I choose to live my life at the best of my ability because it’s all I have left for myself. No one has it easy; some just fight a little harder.


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