I often laugh and tell my mother, she should have been from a bygone era. She would have been known as a freedom fighter. It wouldn’t be too far stretched to say that she is the ‘Karl Marx’ of this time. I grew up watching her fight for equality every single day. When she joined the communist party, she surrendered herself to serving people. It was difficult for me to grasp that as a child. It was just the two of us at home so I used to crave all her time and love. I grew up with a single parent as a community baby within a political movement. It wasn’t a slide down in a park for either of us. I made a promise to myself, to never choose the path my mother tread, and to give my time to my family.
As a teenager, I stomped around for her attention. She was nothing like the other mothers that came to pick up their children from school every day, watched them play in paranoia worried they would fall off the slide. Ours was an adult relationship. It was a camaraderie and it took me years to understand this partnership.
As I grew up, I dreamt of a cushy adult life as I turned into a fine microbiologist. A few years later, I turned around and moved to a conflict zone to rebuild the lives of children. It was a single striking moment in my life that made me realize that behind all those tantrums for my mother’s attention was an incredibly proud girl that had always dreamt of standing exactly as strong and tall as her mother.
Today, I am her, I made the same choices - I am her perfect reflection.
And true to the nature of our relationship, unlike other mothers, when there are bombs going off where I work, she will hold my hand and drop me to the conflict zone- to pursue my dreams, to fight for what I believe in and to stand tall in that fight. That is her, that is my mother.
When I think back at so many years of this camaraderie- I realise what it took for her to construct both of us, bit by bit, from all her values and idealism. Today, we both are change makers in very different ways but as a unit.
As a child, I loved watching flowers afloat on calm waters, it made me happy, because it said aloud- look, they survived! They floated. That is me. And my mother, she is that flower that not only floats but blooms in stormy waters.
I live and work every single day to be that- to be her.