My mother died when I was two years old. Almost 3 actually. She was having another baby and complications at birth among a series of events, as told by those that were there, caused her to lose both her life and that of the baby. The death certificate listed her cause of death as a ruptured uterus.
Soon after her death and because my father worked away from home, my older siblings were still young needing care themselves and because there was no one around to take care of a toddler, I was taken to live in a children’s home. Somewhere in between the years, I lived with some foster parents before going back to live with my biological family.
When I reflect on my time at the children’s home, I feel it is not the best environment for a child to grow up in. The experiences there have had detrimental effects on who I am as a person.
No, I do not regret my time at the children or foster homes. As matter of fact, given the choice, I wouldn’t have it any other way. I was able to access opportunities that I probably wouldn’t have otherwise and my path crossed with people and experiences that positively impacted my life and are core to whom I am today. Also, the events of my life at that point were beyond my control. People made decisions over my life based on what they felt was best for me and themselves at that time and I embrace those experiences in their fullness.
In my socialisation, I have had several mother figures. Some who I still love dearly and adore wholly. Many were nightmares! As matter of fact, the reason why I was able to go live with my family in the end, was because I ran away from the children’s home because of mistreatment and physical and emotional abuse. But that’s a story for another day.
I didn’t grow up with a mother. So that’s an experience I will never have. I have no memory of my mother and apart from seeing her in pictures, I wouldn’t recognise her were we to meet in the streets. Also in a group photo, I’d have trouble pointing her out.
I probably did call her “mum”, “mama” or “mami” or whatever. I imagine I was verbal at three years and a child calling their mother is one of the first things they learn to vocalise so…