I am, admittedly, not much of a morning person. I need my eight hours of sleep. I’m not really a “don’t talk to me before I’ve had my coffee” person; rather, I am a “blind until I’ve had and moaning while I have my first cup of coffee” person.
So I always make fun of people’s status updates on face book but this status update almost brought tears to my eyes.
It is my son's 8th birthday today.... the memories come flooding back. Of being a first year university student and waking up one day to the news that I was pregnant. And it was news to me because it had never occurred to me that I might fall pregnant and had it not been for my boyfriend (at the time) who helpfully supplied me with that information - I have no idea when I would've realised it. So many memories...bittersweet now but all tinged with some sadness over the naivety, fear and vulnerability that marked that chapter of my life. Memories of telling my friends Mmeli Dube and Mfundo Mlilo that I was pregnant and so scared of being laughed at by the other students. And I remember Mfundo saying, "If they laugh at you, you must laugh with them...take away their power to humiliate you by laughing about it too". I'm certain he does not remember saying that, but I did just that - I laughed because the only other alternative was to cry. And somehow over the years, laughter has become my default weapon in confronting life and its seemingly insurmountable challenges. Happy birthday Simphiwe Dube - my son, my light, my bringer of wisdom, my motivator, my triumph, my joy and my life-long celebration. I love you with a pain that punctures the soul and lodges itself in my marrow; I love you defencelessly....constantly and daily assaulted by the enormous weight of an affection and fierce devotion that renders me incapable of caring about anything or anyone more than I care about you. They say a mother's love is an unbridled force of nature - they don't know the half of it. I love you with the violence of a hurricane, with the ferocity of a cyclone, with the mercilessness of a blazing sun, with the relentlessness of a hailstorm and with the totally of all that is me, all that is mine and all that is within my power to command. And I love you more than all these words have the capacity to express, contain or convey. Happy birthday Simphiwe Dube, Silandulo omuhle, Mthembo ozithembayo, niNswimbo... And finally, a mother's benediction "may all that is good be your portion in the land of the living"
“An insincere and evil friend is more to be feared than a wild beast; a wild beast may wound your body but an evil friend will wound your mind” those are the powerful words of the Budha. That is just one of my favourite friendship quotes of all time. What does it mean really to be a friend? Well to me a friend is not only encompassed in one person. It is finding special things in different people in your circle that you can identify with which together make you, you. I mean you cannot identify with absolutely everything that your friends are or have. My mother has always told me that I should first make friends with my own siblings before I can go out there and make friends with strangers. My sister is five years my junior and I am proud to say that she is my best friend. She is the one person I can always expect to be brutally honest with me. And when I say brutal, I mean brutal. I can go on and on about her so let’s just leave it there.
And then there are friends that I met in school. One would have thought that after high school that would have been the end of it. No, we do not communicate as often as you, “BFF’s” do. We can go for months without calling each other but when we get together; it’s as if we just saw each other yesterday. I mean we can laugh until we fart even as old as we are. That to me is what friendship is about.
“Love is friendship that has caught fire. It is quiet understanding, mutual confidence, sharing and forgiving. It is loyalty through good and bad times. It settles for less than perfection and makes allowances for human weaknesses.” Ann Landers (1918-2002).
I have been fortunate enough to have made “friends” that have shaped me into becoming the woman that I am today. We are from totally different walks of life but yet we complement each other in the weirdest way. I can’t even remember how I became friends with some of them. I have been asked so many times how I relate with some of them seeing that they see the world totally differently from me. My answer has always remained the same. And that is, we are friends and that makes sense to us. Nobody else needs to understand but us. They are a bunch of strong, independent ladies who constantly want to better their lives and work for what they want. Bottom-line is we are not there to judge one another or compete with one another. We understand and accept that we are different and we love each other none the less.
“Some come and leave, fulfilling a single purpose; others, for a time or a season to teach us by sharing their experiences; and last, a select few who participate forever with relationships that endure through eternity.” Jaren L. Davis -
I have learnt that good friendships don’t need much. All you’ve got to be is just be yourself and give love. When you give love, you will receive love.