Happiness After Sadness

By Alicy Munde

I was born and raised in Malawi but I had no memory of my mother’s presence, of her smell, her voice. My father impregnated her but never married her. My mother lost her mind but she never thought of getting rid of me even if she was not thinking straight due to being disappointed by my father.

Life wasn’t easy for my mother after I was born. When I was 2 years old, she left me with my grandmother and went to South Africa. She had never been there before, but friends who lived there told her life is not as tough, and jobs were easy to find. She cried a lot the day she took the bus to South Africa. She told my grandmother not to tell me where she was. She said she wanted to apologize in person, and explain why she had taken such a tough decision when she returned.

Growing up with my grandmother was the best experience to me. I was loved so much that I could even forget that another woman gave birth to me. My grandmother made sure I got whatever I wanted. If cried for ice-cream, she’d get ice-cream. If I wanted new clothes, she bought me new clothes.

For all the things that my grandmother was doing for me, I was calling her mother instead of grandmother. She sometimes smiles if I called her mother. One day I asked, “Why are you smiling?” “There is nothing my daughter, I am just happy to have you,” she said.

When I turned 15, my grandmother called me. It was a Saturday morning and I was washing plates. “I want to tell you something that I always wanted you to know and I believe that you are now mature enough to hear it.” “Go on granny,” I said. She told me my mother was alive.

I grew up thinking of my grandmother as a mother. Whenever I asked where my mother was, she said she didn’t know. I will never forget the evening when a strange woman showed up at our house, asking me where my grandmother was. I was shocked since there was no way a stranger would come straight to me and ask me where my grandmother was. I ran inside and called for her.

When my grandmother came out, she shed tears of joy and hugged the stranger. I was so shocked. My grandmother welcomed her inside and gave her a seat. I was surprised the woman I didn’t know started crying after I entered in house. My grandmother told me that it’s time I meet my biological mother. Crying, my mother said that I looked like my father. She couldn’t hold her tears because she felt bad, she never had the chance to share her love to me. I went straight to her, and we hugged for five good minutes, crying tears of joy.

“Mom, this is something I always wanted and I can never allow you to leave me again, I have to enjoy the life with my mother too,” I told my mom. It was surprising and shocking to have her back in my life. “That is why I am here my daughter,” she said. “I came to make it up to you and came here to stay.” I was filled with joy after hearing this. Six years have passed since that moment, and I am enjoying every moment I spend with her.

8 March, 2023