When my mother recently turned 60, my sisters and I came across some old pictures of hers that made us green with envy, yet so proud. She too had worn an Afro hair doo in her hay days and yes, she had once worn mini-skirts to reveal her lovely legs. And for the record, we have always envied her legs even at age 60.
Growing up, I remember a phrase she constantly used when we made jabs at her advancing age which made her behave in old fashioned ways. She would just point at us and say, “As you are, so once was I and as I am so one day you will be.” I would just shake my head and mutter to myself “whatever”
But isn’t it so true? Were they not there before we arrived on the scene of life? It’s funny how we sometimes think we looked better in our days or worse still that we know better than those who have lived several years before us. Guaranteed, older does not always mean wiser but by observing the road where their choices led them to, we get to benefit from both their good and bad decisions.
I sometimes look at my old pictures in which I was feeling so fine and laugh so hard at myself wondering what I was seeing at that time. There are others I look at and realize though still young, I have been younger with a fresher face. Mummy, said it right? As I am now, so one day you will be. We hope to still look good but will definitely have to deal with annoying remarks from our children one day who will think we too are being old fashioned. The irony of life’s cycles!
My sisters and I were once watching a live big brother television show in which my mother accurately predicted a negative character trait in one of the housemates. We wondered how she could have arrived at what we felt was a hasty conclusion. To our surprise, what she predicted happened a few days into the show making us wonder why we could not see what she had predicted so accurately. No wonder Job 12:12 says “Wisdom is with the aged, and understanding in the length of days.”
It reminds me of a saying I often hear in Nigerian movies that “what an adult sees sitting down, a child cannot see even if s/he climbs a tree. I wonder the mistakes the world would avoid if we would only listen to older and wiser counsel. Honour thy father and thy mother as the Lord thy God had commanded thee; that thy days may be prolonged, and that it may go well with thee, in the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee; Deuteronomy 5: 16.
This is one of the commandments hammered on endlessly in Sunday school classes and sometimes by parents to their stubborn children. But it is good for parents to remember that God in his omniscience also wanted parents to warrant that honour. “Fathers (mothers) do not provoke your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonishing of the Lord. Ephesians 6: 4”. This is not to say that we must not honour parents who provoke their children to wrath or worse still neglect their parental responsibilities.
However, honoring a parent who has played their God ordained role despite their human imperfections just flows naturally. And that is why we honour you today…
Happy Diamond Jubilee Mummy!
(Her Children rise up and call her blessed; Proverbs 31: 28)