To Nwanne On Mother’s Day

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Dear Nwanne,

I know Mother’s Day has been earmarked to celebrate all mothers and appreciate their wonderful roles in our lives. But I have often asked: “Does one day suffice for great mothers as you?” 

For me, everyday, rather, presents me an unending opportunity to appreciate you for all you are and ever have been to me and my siblings.

When I look at you, I always ask myself if it is only giving birth to a child that confers motherhood on a woman. Your life has always proved this eternal truth that full motherhood derives from both nature (giving birth) and nurture. 

While most women can give birth, it takes only a mother to nurture.

Such quality is rare but in you, I have seen where the fullness of both dwell. 

When our father (your husband) passed away while you were still in your early 40’s, many would have rightly reasoned that you would remarry or fend for yourself first (and may be the children if they matter). 

No! Rather, you stood your ground and used only 6 parting words from our dying father to nurture and raise 6 children. Could this have been 6 million dollars unknown to us? 

Nwanne, you have been our moral compass – so meek, humble, gentle, soft-spoken and outrageously generous. This is nurture! Thank you for trying to imbibe these in us.

What about your choice of words? In spite of any provocation, I have never seen you use foul words on us or anybody. Even when we got you upset you would literally scream at us either of these words: “Umu Eze nke igwe” (Children of the Heavenly King) or “Ndi ihe na-agara nke oma” (to whom all things are fair). 

Is it in your choice and use of nicknames (in place of our real names)? This is legendary. Most times, I have wondered why you even bothered to name us in the first place.

Nwanne m, as I grow older, I have come to believe that your nature modelled you with all attributes of nurture. I cannot stop imaging how blessed our lives have been with you. 

In 1985, five years before our father died, on his own mother’s biography, he used a full paragraph to describe all that you are. So moving! So both real and prophetic! So valid till today!

I know he and his mother will look down with pride on you. I also know the heavens beam with smile at you for being a model of the virtuous woman. 

Each breath I drag gives a reason to honour you! Each second gives more reasons to adore you.

Happy Mother’s Day, Nwanne. “…Let your own works praise you in the gates” Proverbs 31:31

Your son, 

Uche (Naanaa)
Dr. Uche Anyanwagu