I fed my unstable mother some porridge but she brought it back out from her mouth. This continuously happened until I decided not to feed her at all. I banged the bowl on the table, rose up, and shouted at her.

“Stop it, Mama! I can’t keep on cleaning your mess,”

She looked at me with tears flowing down her wrinkled cheeks. I then apologised and wiped the mess on her chin and under her neck.

Gone are the days, when she would shout that I’m no good compared to her lastborn. But where was he now?

He used to be my mother’s favourite. Spoiled as an egg. Everything he wanted he would get straight away without time wasted. But what I wanted would take time until I receive it, if I would get it at all. Not that I was jealous of my little brother.

In most cases a mother would favour her daughter the most and a father, his son. But that was not the case in home. My mother favoured him because she said he is the family’s heir and will continue the family name.

There was totally nothing I could do to please her. Not my cooking, cleaning, my good behaviour and not even my good grades at school. My brother was a spoilt brat who demanded things and I knew better than to argue or do that, but still indaba yami nje was off the case.

My brother grew up with the mentality that he can have whatever he wants, whenever he wanted!

It was painful when my father died but I was less affected since I was used to doing things on my own. But times were tough for my brother because by then, he had to hustle to get what he wanted, resulting in him becoming a thief and a robber.

My mother was very much aware of what my brother had become but she refused to punish him or at least discipline him, unaware that she was planting a rotten seed within him.

He continued to do even worse crimes as he saw that his beloved mother had his back. She paid the victims to drop the cases against him, saying a criminal record would ruin his future. I saw no future in him. There were once plenty of chances for him to have had a bright future since his parents took him to good schools. But he ruined them all by dropping out of school to become a taxi conductor. My mother acknowledged and accepted that.

“At least he is making himself some money since your foolish father’s lawyer says he will have access to the money left for him only if he completes school!” she would often shout.

I was the one to wipe her tears with the dress. She can’t even move her lips to say what she wants, she can’t even move.

It’s been some time since she’s been like this. She used to be active and healthy as ever.

Now let me tell you how she had a stroke…

One morning my mother went to town to buy expensive clothes for my brother. I went to school, after I made sure that my father was good and comfortable since he was terribly sick the day before. And my brother was left with my father. He disliked him very much because unlike my mother, he didn’t obey all of his commands nor did he treat him like a prince.

While I was at school I got a call from my brother saying my father had become terribly sick, again! But when I rushed home it was too late!

My brother said he was too weak that he couldn’t even swallow his pills.

“Why did you go to school, knowing that your father is sick, you stupid fool?!” My mother later shouted at me.

“But, but I was sure he was fine when I left him,” I trembled in tears.

Ever since that day my mother hated me and favoured my brother even more for looking after and being there for my father.

I spent sleepless nights wondering how my father’s condition had change within a short time. I blamed myself for not being there for him when he needed me the most.

“Maybe I was no good compared to my little brother after all,” I convinced myself.

But those words were proven wrong after the doctors stated that my father died of a pill overdose. Since he couldn’t possibly do that to himself, it was then obvious who did it.

My brother was indeed proven guilty and was arrested! Then my mom had a stroke.

Sometimes our parents are afraid of losing us that they think pilling us with all our material desires would keep us all to themselves. Parents often think they are loving their children when they give them everything they want on the material level but they are actually planting the mentality that we can have whatever we want, whenever.

Parents are actually loving us when they spend time disciplining and being there for us in times of need. The only way they can spoil us is by valuing us for who we really are on the inside. This is love and nothing material can ever replace it.

But it is also up to us to show them that we love and appreciate them for the love they give us not when they spend money on us. For even though I didn’t get all the material things I wanted, like my brother, but I received the blessing that he didn’t have. For blessed are those who respect and value their parents for who they are and not for what they have!

The End