We bring to you letters written by women to women they love, miss, cherish or just remember. To celebrate the support women continue to show each other, this is #ToHER.
To: The mum who makes it easy to open up.
Maami, I could go on and on about how caring, amazing and sweet you are, but one thing I love is how easygoing our relationship is. From gist about my boyfriend to everything about school, you always find a way to know exactly what’s going on without invading my privacy. It makes me know how much you trust me to live my life. I love how I can tell you anything without being criticised. Thank you for letting me be myself.
Also, thank you for putting up with my shenanigans like hugging you every chance I get. You always tell me to save it for my boyfriend, but in the end, I always get that hug. Thank you for your love, maami. There are no words to describe how irreplaceable it feels to have you around each day. I pray that you’ll always be here for me, maami.
To: The mum who needs to feel beautiful again
I’m no longer home to protect you, but I want you to read this knowing that I’ll always be one phone call away.
Our relationship is complicated because I’ve never understood why you didn’t walk away from my dad. I hated the nights you woke me up crying, and the early mornings you spent hiding blisters. I thought you deserved more… I still do. I’m writing this because I’ve never said that out loud.
I hope you know that everything I do is for you. I want to be able to give you the life I know you deserve. I want you to travel, see the world. I want to take away the responsibility you feel to keep your crumbling marriage together for me because mum, I’m okay. I want you to be okay too.
Actually, I want you to remember the girl you once were. The woman I see in pictures, with her afro and a wide smile. I want to see the woman that looked like she had the time of her life in the pictures stacked in your side drawers. I know you stare at them sometimes. I want you to read this and remember that it’s not too late to pack up and leave. Not for me, but for yourself.
Being away makes me feel guilty. But even from a thousand miles, I’ll make sure you get your favourite moimoi for lunch today. I know it’ll make you happy not to worry about food, so I’ll grant your silent wish to lay in bed all day. I love you no matter what you choose. All I need you to remember is that you are beautiful and loved, always.
Happy Mothers’ Day, mummy.
I’m signing this letter with my pet name because I’ll never let you call me that out loud.
To: The mum who’s forever my guardian angel
Mum, it’s mothers’ day again, and I can’t help but think of you, mum. You were my angel. I mean you still are, but now, you’re my guardian angel.
I’ve searched and searched for the words to write, and I keep coming up with empty pages. Not because we didn’t share any beautiful memories, but because there are so many, I can’t find where to start.
You were the type of person who cared for everyone. Thinking about how you stressed over deworming my siblings and me as kids makes me smile. You also loved to talk and tell us many stories any chance you got. Most times, you repeated those stories until we got tired and reminded you that we’ve heard that one already. You were and are still a gem to us, mum.
There’s not a single day that I do not think about you. It’s inevitable. Sometimes, my thoughts are happy ones, and other times, they’re sad, but they remind me that no one can ever take your place in my life.
I could go on and on about you, but I’ll need more than a million words. Sometimes, you would really get me upset, but you could never stay away too long. You’d go, “Amaaaa,” and I’d know you were ready to apologise and make me smile again. You were the sweetest soul.
This is a note to you, mum, from the bottom of my heart. I love you and I miss you so much. I can feel you every day. Some days, I question whether you’re really with us, and then, I get a sign that you are and always will be.
I’ll revel in the fact that I know you miss us too. Happy Mothers’ Day to you, my angel.
To: The mum who we’ll always have the same arguments with
Like every good mother, you’d raze down any building for your children, but what I really love about you is how you handle our misunderstandings. It’s like there’s a telepathic law that guides us, telling us there’s a line not to cross.
People would probably say you’re my mother, and we have no choice but to reconcile. It may be true, but regardless, I love how we find our way back to each other. One weird thing I love is driving you to places. You’d complain about every move I make even though I’m sure it has nothing to do with me because I’ve been driving since 2014. “Ah, Ayo. Watch that Okada man o”, “Ah Ayo. Trailer is at our back. Will you park?” you’d complain. My response will always be the same. Abike: Oya, come and drive.
We’ll probably have this conversation many times, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Happy Mothers’ Day.
With all my love,
To: The sweet mum with the best conversations
I thought about you last week. About all the small and big ways you influenced my life and carried our family. I don’t think one note does justice to it at all.
I love how you took care of me. Remember when I got my small sewing machine? It made sense to me then, but you thought it was a waste of money. Yet, months later, you drove me to a tailor’s shop where you arranged for me to learn how to sew. Oh mummy, I miss you so much.
I miss our fights. I miss our random conversations in the kitchen. How you’d always tell me that all men wanted to see was my nakedness. I’d roll my eyes and laugh in my head because I also wanted to see their nakedness. Sometimes, we’d have heated feminist conversations, and you’d tell me how this world is unfair to women, especially this part of the world, and we have to adjust likewise. I’d disagree, but I miss those moments for us. I want one last conversation with you.
I miss your presence every day. How you’d always call me at the peak of any iniquities. I could be doing something you wouldn’t approve of, and you’d randomly call to ask, “Where are you?“ You were always right on time with those calls.
I hate that this world had to take you away when it did. I hate it so much. Your last gift to me was on my 25th birthday last year. That memory sticks in my head till today. You casually walked into my room and handed me the perfume set Daddy gifted you. You mentioned how much you loved that set and had held onto it for a long time.
This is my first Mothers’ Day since you left, and a lot of things don’t make sense without you. I just want to say I love and miss you. Thank you for everything you did for me. I’ll never forget.
Happy Mothers’ Day, Mama 💛