Written By Roland Bankole Marke
Mother’s Day is celebrated around the world on different dates. In the United States and Ghana, in West African, the celebration falls on Sunday 8th of May. Ghanaians placed 98% more calls last Mother’s Day, than the average, registering the highest calls in the world. In the United Kingdom, Ireland and Nigeria that day is observed on the 4th Sunday of Lent. May is actually the most popular month for this observance. But I refuse to be sold into the commercialization of this special day, honoring our mothers who have played indispensable roles in our lives. I consider them priceless. For me, everyday is Mother’s Day. I don’t know anyone who’s not the offspring of a mother, even Christ the son of God had an earthly mother. It saddens me when some politicians in the US claim that they value the sanctity of life, and uphold family values. But they go on to show how much they value families by chopping off a big chunk from food stamps, childcare provisions or housing for the poor and needy. At the same time their rhetoric on abortion grows vicious and divisive. Are they speaking from both sides of their mouths? If men were to conceive and carry babies, a debate might not even exist.
I’m proud to adore, if not immortalize my mother, Mrs. Eva Koni Marke, who gave birth to 7 children and worked a full time job, where she rose to the position of manager. She carried out her responsibilities lovingly, faithfully and judiciously. She invested her life and treasure in all of us her kids. In Sierra Leone, where retirement benefits are negligible, often non-existent in most cases: investing in the upbringing and education of one’s kids is the best investment. Mama would turn 85 this year and her zeal for living is ever stronger, trying to outlive her mother the late Victoria Tryson of blessed memory, who lived till the ripe age of 98 years. Yes, the genes of longevity is in my DNA, but in today’s stressful world marinated with cut throat competition, longevity is never guaranteed.
The best gift we could give our moms aside from supporting them financially, during these trying times, is to live a life that would make them proud rather than dragging the family name through the mud. Mothers get most of the blame if the kids don’t turn out well, while fathers take the lion’s share, if they do. I encourage folks to call mom all the time, not only on Mother’s Day, and tell her how much you appreciate her: and replay the endless sacrifice she has made. I remember last year when I was interviewed by the UN radio in Sierra Leone, before it merged with Sierra Leone Broadcasting Corporation: Mama heard the interview and was so overwhelmed hearing my voice on national radio, during the nation’s Independence anniversary that she called me in the US to express her sentiments. Though it was not a big deal to me, for her it was more than a big deal. Her son was on radio and that made her day. It is not just our deep pockets that make mom proud and elated, though that helps a lot, but our deeds: What we do with our life and how we impact our closely knit society and the world. Happy Mother’s Day to all mothers and prospective mothers. The joy of motherhood is a wonderful and special gift and blessing from God. The poem, Heroine in my life, says it better as it pulls through my heart strings.
Heroine in my life
How quickly time races on
Mama’s love ever the same
She endured anxious times
Too often loving tears flowed.
Her priceless sacrifice is love
Tender heart as warm comfort
Mama, I’m innately proud of you
Enjoy long life with good health
Enjoy more showers of blessings.
Peace as happiness be yours
Mama is the heroine in my life
God bless you dearest mama
My African roots is a blessing
For everyday is “Mother’s Day.”
Roland Bankole Marke © 2011
Visit his website on: www.rolandmarke.com