Sitting in the hospital holding my mum's hand as she sits through her last chemotherapy session. A single tear rolls down my cheek. My mum's always been a strong woman. The pillar of my household to be honest. And after 25 years of my life, I finally see her at her weakest.
I was a little shit growing up. Getting trouble at school on a daily. “Not fulfilling my potential.” Top attainment, shit effort you know the drill. But that didn’t stop me from fearing this woman. Not physically imposing but if looks could kill. And it didn’t help that she had no remorse when it came to punishment or throwing any item she could lay her hands on as it so happened. I could never prepare for seeing her weak. But the emotion I felt wasn’t just because I was seeing a loved one in pain. The emotion was because it took for this piece of shit of an illness which has taken the lives of my Godmother, Auntie AND Grandma, to finally share heartfelt, truly loving and memorable moments with a woman I would have considered myself very close to.
I feel like too often, especially in ethnic minority households, the level of respect that parents demand, and children give, often results in a lack of conversation. A lack of finding out about elders as the people they actually are. Going for lunch with my mum never used to be a thing. Speaking to her about her upbringing never used to be a thing. Finding out about her ambitions and aims before she had 4 kids from the age of 19 was never a thing. Thankfully now it is.
Don't wait until it's too late to find out about loved ones
This post was written by Ndubuisi Uchea