Ma used to wear a happy face during the day and she never looked sad. I adored my mother and she was my superhero. Although she looked fearless, strong and happy during the day. The moment that Ma shut her bedroom door she was like a piece of glass that had crashed to the ground. She allowed herself to be human and every night she would soak her pillow wet. The sun shone on the reflection of a woman I adored but the moon reflected on the woman I wished I had known.
If Ma had been supported by her family and friends she would have been alive. She would have smiled because I am a spitting image of her. If only the world had been kinder to her she would have realised that her emotions are valid and being a single mother does not make her less of a woman. Ma did not have to explain herself or justify her actions.
When I was young Ma hated being in public places because everyone would ask her where my father was. There was a time that we struggled to rent a backroom because the landlady didn’t like single women who were either divorced or had children out of wedlock. The only father figure I had was my grandfather but he died on my eighth birthday. Some church members would treat my mother and me like we had leprosy.
I was too young to understand that society hated my mother. She was taken away from me before I experienced my first period and I remember crying when I discovered a stain on my underwear. Ma would have made everything easy and her smile would have made me feel safe. Sadly I am all by myself but the memories I shared with my mother are my treasure. How I wish the stigma and discrimination for divorcees or women who had children out would stop.
My mother had suffered enough and mentioning these words, “she is a child of rape” always crushed her spirit.