Here I am traveling the world (well Asia first), and it often crosses my mind how I got here. It is true I put a lot of work and time into making this happen, but none of it would have been possible if it wasn’t for one person, my mum, Heather.
Life hasnt been easy for our family, most of what could have gone wrong, did go wrong. There are all sorts of reasons the things which happened to us did, and any number of people to blame. But there is one constant through all of it, and that is that my mother did the best she could for us, she, like myself, made her own fair share of mistakes, only because like us she is only human. I have made and will make my own mistakes, and can only hope that I am not judged too harshly for doing so.
I grew up with a huge chip on my shoulder, always thinking how unfair it was that my life was so hard, seeing friends and relatives enjoying a full life with what seemed to me inconsequential problems, was difficult to bear. For a long time this was the focus of my life, and probably a big reason for my bouts with depression and anger, because of this I did not make life easy for my family, I was to obsessed with my own issues to think to much about theirs.
I blamed my brother for not being there enough for me, when in reality he was dealing with his own issues, which were just as relevant as my own. I am proud of his achievements, and happy to have him as a big brother, despite my grumblings as a youth, I learned a lot from him, and still do.
I was not there enough for my little sister, who had to deal with things no little girl should have to, I am so proud of her for becoming the woman she is today, she is training and working so hard to become a nurse, and her kindness to others, and ability to deal with the difficulties of some aspects of nursing, never cease to amaze me. She is an incredible human being.
I am proud to call all three of you family.
As I get older, I realize more and more how much mum put up with for me, and from me. Looking back on life I now see all the little and big things she did to try and make life better for me, for us. Despite money always being an issue I remember having guitar lessons as a kid, a completely frivolous use of her resources. I also remember having a collection of comic books which I escaped into when things were tough, and at some point getting a game machine to divert my attention. My mum could have kept the little bit of money she had and put it towards things we really needed, but she was wise enough to realize that her kids needed something to make life more enjoyable, and so she found a way to supply those things.
If it wasn’t for her I would never have managed to get out of South Africa, it is because of her organizing everything for me that I managed to get to London, which in turn is the reason I am where I am today. A year or so later I brought her to London, and again if it wasn’t for her organizing everything for me, I would never have had the strength or fortitude to overcome the things I did.
When I was wallowing in self pity, pumping myself full of steroids and smoking enough weed to shame a hippy commune, it was her, who rather than turn her back on me, tried to show me the error of my ways, but still organized paying bills and rent and looking after all the little and big things I was in no shape to look after myself. It was her who always reminded me that I was a good person and capable of more.
Even when I was raging from the roids, she would shout back, but still made sure I was ok. When I could not leave the house because my chronic marijuana use had made my depression and isolation worse, she would tell me off, but was still there looking after me.
I have always felt that my mother was proud of me, not of some of the terrible things I had done, but of me and the good things I did to make up for it. She has always been apologetic of the things that happened to us, and sometimes I see the sadness and regret in here eyes, and hear the sorrow in her voice. I just want her to know that there is nothing to be sorry for, she is only human, and therefore makes mistakes, but she has always done the best she could for us, has always loved us, and is to this day proud of us.
I know her life is less than perfect now, and it saddens me not to be there for her more than I am. I only hope that she finds joy in the things which life has to offer, I hope that our travel stories make her proud, and that she realizes I would not be doing this if not for her. I hope the communication she has with family (especially my sister, Taunee, who is still in London) and friends brings her happiness. That Pika, chance meetings, the telly, fags and food all give her those bits of enjoyment that make up our lives. I hope that her faith in God and one day seeing my father again, bring her peace, and most of all that my love for her, and how proud I am to have her as a mother is obvious.
To my mum, Heather, thank you for everything you did for me, for making me the man I am today. I could not and would not ask for anything more than the life you have given me, for the love you show me, and for your cackles and smiles when I eventually call you up on the old tinternet to chat.
Except maybe that you stop breaking the computer!
Your son, Tykes