Hooray! Mother’s Day!

It’s been almost five years now since my kids started to bring me breakfast on my bed on Mother’s Day morning. I’m an early bird and it is hard to find me on my bed in the morning. So, they have to work hard with their dad to make it all happen. Duh! They can’t surprise me in the morning.

So, one year, I think last year, I got up from my sleep and left the room without making any noise. Well, apparently, my hubby was told to keep me in the bed.

My hubby is not a morning person and I disappeared from him before he woke up. When he couldn’t find me, he ran downstairs looking for me and said, nervously, “Go back to bed. It is Mother’s Day”.

So, I ran back to my bedroom and lied there counting every minute for them to come with the tray. Oh, I didn’t tell you this. I usually eat my breakfast very early.

So that day I already ate my breakfast. You can just imagine the frustration they might feel if they found out. After my hubby sent me upstairs, he cleaned up “the crime scene” so that they wouldn’t suspect anything (so that they wouldn’t know that I ate breakfast).

At last, they came to my room with flower, scrambled egg, French toast, and bacon. The only thing they couldn’t make me eat so far is “ham, sausage and bacon”. Thank you very much! My life is just perfect without those things.

My favorite part is reading what they write on the card. The older they get, the fewer the words they use but still very touchy. I love and enjoy it all.

My “not favorite” part is this: Three of them stand there waiting to

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hear what I think about their cooking.

My friend, I can’t eat American breakfast in the morning. I always eat raw almond and Kashi whole wheat square cereal with green tea. I’m naturally kind of allergic for milk. So, you can imagine me.

I have no choice but to eat. It is a sensitive issue for them because everybody cooks something. If I reject something, they take it personally. Well, for my little one, especially, it is a very sensitive issue.

Well, time has changed. If I now say, “I don’t want to eat”, my teens will gladly take it from me and eat it.

It is all good. May all the glory and praise be to Him who redeemed my life and made it this beautiful, decorating it with these beautiful and amazing kids!

But right now, part of my heart is in Addis, Ethiopia. I can’t stop thinking about my own mom. I am already teary. I hate that. If I’m emotional, I can’t concentrate on writing.

Yeah, many mothers might have done marvelous things but my mom exceeded them all. She gave her life to me so that I would be here today. I’m not saying she became Jesus for me. Oh, no, that is not what I’m saying. All I’m saying is: She became the mom God had called her to be. She didn’t do it all perfectly but when it comes to sacrificing her life, she did it all! I’m so sorry it is hard for me to write it now; maybe some other time when I pull myself together.

But today I want to talk about my grandma. Yeap, my grandma, my mom’s mom.

So, my grandma was the most dynamic woman ever. Mind you, I’m talking about a woman who would have been a 99 years old lady today.

During her time, she was one of the few women who went to school.

Since she had my mom and another baby (my aunt) within eleven months difference, her mom (means my great-grandma) took the older child (my mom). So, my mom grew up with her grandma until she turned nine.

My grandma became a teacher; again she was one of few women teachers of her time. When she came home after work, she used to teach her younger sisters how to read and write.

After my grandpa took her as a wife, he locked her in his house. And her work was to eat and go to the bathroom and serve her husband, sexually.

My grandpa used to travel a lot for work. So, she spent most of her time with the men and women servants they had.

Through time, she became friend with the women servants who were making cloth from the cotton they brought from the farm. So, my grandma learned from them how to make a scarf from the cotton. I know it might probably have taken her more than a month to finish it.

Why did she make a scarf? Well, she had a plan. So, one day while the men servants were not looking, she went out of the house.

She went out to the road and stood on the street.

Listen, during that time, if a woman stands on the street, the first man who sees her will stop; not because he thinks that she is a prostitute or anything but because he knows that she is in trouble.

After she stood there for sometimes (imagine, there were only few carriages and buses), she saw one of those buses which transport people from one city to the other. She waved at him and he stopped. She went to the driver’s side and said, “Can you take me to Addis? I don’t have money but I will give you this scarf for free”.

Duh, he had to say “yes” to her!

He took her and she went to her dad and told her dad what her husband had been doing with her. Her dad said, as I was told, “If he said he is a man, he can come to see me.”

During that time, she was probably twenty seven years old. Her dad found her a job and she continued to teach. As the oldest child, she was the only one from all her sisters who was allowed to go to school. (I’m glad that time is over!)

One day, after she ran away from her husband, her husband (my grandpa) sent her letter through her friends. He was very scared of her dad. In his letter, he said that he wanted her to come because her kids were refusing to eat or drink.

Do you know how she replied back to him? I mean I love my grandpa but I love my grandma more than him. She replied back to him saying, “You can cook and eat them.”

Please don’t judge her. He treated her like – – – I mean – – – (and I’m not advising mothers to reply back to their husbands like this either, lol)

Anyways, my grandma began her normal life with her dad. When my grandma turned thirty, she met a handsome physician bachelor and she fell in love with him.

Unfortunately one of the girls my grandma knew was secretly in love with the man. But the handsome bachelor was interested on my grandma and asked her out. God knows how they used to do that. Well, she accepted it, not knowing what was in her friend’s heart.

Her friends one day invited her lunch at the house of the woman who wanted to have her “boyfriend”, the physician bachelor. My grandma was a very busy woman and she couldn’t make it.

In the evening when she came home, her friend sent her “to-go” through one of her friends. She thanked them and she ate that for dinner. As her sisters witnessed, she ate only two or three bites from it; then she got up; put the food away saying to the servants, “Don’t let anyone eat from this” and said to one of her sisters, “this food is not right”.

And within few minutes she became unconscious. They took her to emergency room and within few minutes, she was pronounced dead. (Nobody knows exactly who poisoned her and from my understanding, it is a very complicated story but my grandma left this life, leaving her four little kids, at the age of 30.)

There were British physicians who attended her at the ER and they said, “She is poisoned with the most notorious poison we’ve never seen before. All her organs are completely burned up as if they were thrown into fire. We couldn’t identify the poison.”

And her story ended there. No one could press charge against anyone because they couldn’t find any physical evidence or witness. There was no technology to do that either.

Well, too late, she was gone.

Amazingly, I love her not knowing her. I love listening about her story from her sisters. Two of her sisters are still alive and whenever I go to Addis, I love sitting with them and asking them about my grandma.

She died young and she only has one picture, which I’m sharing it with you all. I hope you see the resemblance, lol.

When I went to Addis after graduating from pharmacy school, in 2007, one of her sisters said this to me, “Dr. Meskerem, now God paid us back in you what we were eager to see in our sister. You not only have her look but also her dream. You make us all proud after many, many years of her departure.”

Oh, I love my grandma. I really do! I sometimes seriously think about her.

But at times I can’t help but think this: What would be the story of my mom, aunts and uncles if my grandma hadn’t leave her husband for the sake of her kids?

I’m not judging her or anything; but sometimes it is good to face the truth. The call to be a mom and a dad is not a little thing. Kids are entrusted to their parents with the potential for them to make or break their kids’ future; to some extent. I know kids can make or break their own lives too but parents have big role in their kids’ future.

My great-grandma never got comforted from her daughter’s death. So she followed her daughter and died with in few years. My mom lost her “mom” (grandma) at the age of 9 and after that she was living with this family and that family who didn’t necessary have that much love and compassion (which she might have received it from her own mom and dad). All the siblings were separated from each other because nobody was willing to take them all in together.

My mom, as a young girl, like 16 or 17 years old, lied about her age so that she would find a job just to be independent. She was excellent in Maths and science but nobody was willing to invest on her. She would have been a known surgeon or specialist like endocrinologist or something because she is naturally very good at understanding physiology and “epidemiology”, I know very amazing for me always. But she couldn’t finish her school. After high school, she took a course to be a secretary and that is where it stopped. She had to live before she had to go to school and she got married.

And marriage didn’t fulfill her “lived happily ever after” kind of dream. My dad was not the greatest husband but she decided never to make her kids children of a divorce family and she took it all in. She paid the price so that her seven girls would not be on the street.

Compare to my mom’s sacrifice, I sometimes wonder if I’m as committed as her for my kids. I wonder if I would be willing to hang on to my marriage just for the sake of my kids. I’m blessed with the wonderful husband but I wonder if I would be willing to sacrifice my life for my kids regardless of my “not good” marriage if I had one.

Very tough!

What my mom did for me is just priceless! What can I say to her except to say, “Thank you, Mom, for not quitting in your marriage. Thank you, Mom, for deciding to bring me into this world even if you were already raising seven kids by the time you had me. You could have aborted me but you chose life. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to be born and live! Thank you for hanging in there until I became independent. Early in your marriage, you paid a price but God turned it all around and made your marriage one of a kind. Because of what you did, I’m here today. Thank you, Mom, for sacrificing your life for me.” I guess I better stop here before – – –

Well, to all of you mothers out there, I wish you all to have a HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY! If your marriage is not as you expected it, please hang in there for your kids! Good times will come soon! ///

P.S. Look carefully to my childhood picture and my grandma’s picture and see how much I took her look. If you disagree, my cousin who looks very much like her will be very happy and I will be very sad. So, can you make me happy by saying something like, “You look exactly like your grandma”? I would be very glad if I look like my mom but I guess my sisters took that privilege but my grandma is mine! And the other picture is me and my mom at my parent’s 50th year wedding anniversary (2009). Isn’t my mom a gorgeous and beautiful woman! Oh, if you know her closely, you will say that she is more beautiful from the inside than the outside because she is. Yes, she is an amazing woman!