For Momma

Yesterday I was a joyful soul. An all-smiles-cheeks-wide- grinning  joyful soul. I wore my momma’s blouse I brought with me to this new city for the first time in nine months, and it felt nostalgic. Worn on a jergins and boyfriend shoes, the cotton blouse sat on me with weird grace: bogus and plain, yet adorning my frame with dignity, the chic-est fashion item you’ll find in a Christian mother’s wardrobe.
My day was spent reminiscing the good ol’ days of family devotions. Out of the blues, a song popped up my mind. It was one of momma’s favourite. I sat by my desk, thinking about all the funny ways she sang that song, and every other song. Weird tunes that are mostly off-key came to mind. I giggled, tossed my head back and let out some good laugh. Nobody destroys a good song like my momma. Nobody. Except my brother-in-law, of course. That one is irredeemable. He should be fined for all the ways he’s destroyed the elements with his voice.
Momma is a beautiful singer when thrown in a pod with her son in-law. But I don’t want to make this gist about him. I might step on his good graces if I take this time out to emphasize all the miseries I’ve endured because of his voice. Musicologists maintain there’s no bad voice only because they haven’t met my brother in-law. No one encounters his voice and remains the same. No one. But I’ll share the grace on his case already. So help me God.
In my immediate family, everybody is a singer. Dad was a choir master when he was younger, so he taught us the fundamentals of good singing. It was from dad we learnt you don’t sing 10 songs in one minute just to make your audience know you have a large song list. You allow them enjoy a song before switching to the next, and if you have to change a song so quickly, it should be because they’re not flowing with it. But for all the trainings on good singing,   momma was a flop. Her awkward pitches and off beat rhythms are a burden we’ve all endured through the years.
In momma’s clothes, yesterday, I remembered all the joys gleaned from teasing her voice, times my siblings and I made her an audience of her awful singing. I remembered the laughter that erupts after listening to us mimic how she sings, and how she  jokingly tells us in fine Pidgin after we’re done being naughty, “so na wetin una go talk for my burial if I die be this ehn?” I remembered the sighs heaved afterwards, the silent gratitude to Yahweh for still being here with us after life-threatening storms.
Last month, 20 years ago, momma was in the emergency ward of St. Georges hospital, Warri, fighting the hordes of death, coveting one more breath, each phasing second. For her babies. Yesterday, I remembered momma and all the ways she’s shamed adversity. In her blouse, I see sacrifices made, sacrifices I hope my kids would come to accept as a family tradition;  this lifestyle of selflessness. Nobody loves like momma. Nobody. This morning, at 3:31am, I remember all of God’s treasure poured out for me in a woman, miles away. I bow my head in reverence. And say a word of prayer.
For momma.

Temi Enemigin

I breathe in music, and exhale words tastefully woven for your soul's pleasure. When high on sarcasm, I could smash your ribs into fine pieces. But whether on a stage, singing out my heart, on in Solitude, scribbling out mysteries, my greatest aim is to bless humanity with the essence of my being.

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24 Responses

  1. Black Sugar says:

    This brought giggles . More giggles . Tears then broad smiles . God bless momma. I look forward to being one . Thank you for sharing

  2. Ireti says:

    And one thing I love about her is that she’s peacful

  3. Essien Bassey Greg says:

    Beautifully woven in twist of memories

  4. Peace says:

    Reminisce…………….. This really brings back a lot of memories. Beautiful. Inspiring, inciting and an aide-memoire of mother’s love and the love for mother

  5. Chyke says:

    Great piece Temi. Keep up the good work.

  6. Adun Collins says:

    Nice one ma’am. Mama nor be small ministry oo. I love my momma.

  7. Tsuwa wealth says:

    I love you momma… Thanks for all the sacrifices… Thanks for being there, thanks for enduring my stubbornness… Love you to the moon my pride

  8. Emeka says:

    Wow. Thank God for Mama’s Life. As ‘Uuurgh’ as they can be sometimes, aren’t they God’s angels to us?

  9. Jaydon Adigun says:

    Really cool 🙂🙂

  10. Steve says:

    Wao nice

  11. Praise says:

    In the words of momma’s monitoring spirit who’s well aware, “I no blame you at all. . .”

  12. Happiness says:

    And the way she accept everyone that comes to her home as her child n plays with them,she is so loveable n very jovial,there is never a dull moment with her,she is a mother indeed

    • Temi Enemigin says:

      She’s that lovely to her babies’ friends. But then, you guys are a bunch of sweetness. Thanks babe.

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