Every woman who has been through an abusive relationship had hopes, dreams and aspirations, which were later shattered. I had dreams for the home I was going to build for my family. I know my mother also had dreams for her family.
When I visit Mary’s Manger, which is located in my mother’s home, I am painfully aware of how my mother’s hopes and dreams turned into horrific nightmares. This vision does not discourage me in any way.
In fact, it gives me more strength and understanding of what my mission is at Mary’s Manger. At the moment, my main concern is to restore to my mother’s name, Mary Wanjiku Wakaba, the dignity, honour and respect that was brutally taken away from her. Her mental illness did not allow me to get to know her well.
But now to me the illness is first, a sign of how much love she had for her children that she could not function without us and second, a driving force that demands of me to dig deeper into discovering who I am and thereby get to know more of her. There are a lot of similarities between my mum’s abusive marriage and mine.
We both had two sons and one daughter and our marriages hit the rock bottom when our third borns were young. People who knew my mother tell me I resemble her a lot.
They also tell me comforting things about how neat and tidy she was and how she made delicious chapatis. I started a Bible fellowship at Mary’s Manger to be held every fortnight.
One of the memories of the first session that stuck to my mind was one woman saying how she actually ate two chapatis and how she had never eaten two chapatis before.
The second time, I decided to host a luncheon and generously feed the women who came. I figured that people just need a good meal to feel wanted and loved.
That is what the villagers used to give mum since none of them could afford medical care for her. From that first meeting, I realised just how wonderful a plate of food can be to someone including myself.
I do not need donors or wellwishers to start feeding the women who come to Mary’s Manger; at least not yet. Already for me, a miracle has happened by my being able to return to my mother’s home and seek to fulfil in her home, the dreams and aspirations I imagine she had and which I also had for mine.
Like me, she must have been generous person. I have been told that she was running a thriving business in a nearby town called Rironi. There is nothing more empowering in life than discovering the real you.
To me, knowing myself is my life’s purpose. And with my mother’s life having turned out the way it did, I insist on believing that she too had the same good qualities as I do now. The writer is a lawyer and a blogger www.njerimucheru.com