After I made and served about seven of them lunch, they all (including my kids) dropped the plates in the sink, said thank you and went about their business. By that time I had started feeling overwhelmed after making lunch for an army of seven kids – used pots, dirty dishes and all, and wondering how I would make it through that afternoon in one piece.
Just as I stood there alone in the kitchen wondering what to do, one of the young girls came to me and said ‘Aunty, can I help you with the dishes?’ She was the only one of seven kids that came back to help me. I said ‘Sure you can’. And she went on to wash the dishes and pots, and cleaned up the kitchen.
I was very touched and impressed by the fact that Moji, the name of this child came back and volunteered to help, and more impressed that she actually did it without supervision on my part. This has made me to not only admire her Mom, but have a deep respect for her.
You see, Moji is the child of a single parent. Her Dad left her Mom shortly after she was born without a trace of his whereabouts. Her Mom, a teacher, fends for her alone. In spite of the tough and challenging economical terrain, she has had to make sure that the standard and quality of life of Moji remained intact. She has had to build the character of this child to be a responsible and considerate child, who looks out for the interest of others, with no external motivation.
Today, I am making a tribute to all single parents- Moms and Dads. I do not just celebrate you, but I stand up in salute as a mark of the highest honor. In the ranks and file of parenting, you are Five Star Generals.
Many times, you have had to make hard decisions with the consciousness that no one else but you would bear the consequences, but you took the risk anyway. You have been misunderstood and even stigmatized by family and society, but in spite of that you put your head up and chest out. You bore your external challenges and internal pain with the resilience of a soldier, and you carried your cross with strength and resolve, in spite of the curve ball life threw at you.
We your children, sometimes resent you and rebel against you, blaming you for some of our own problems, but you have taken it all and you have not let that deter you from your duty and your love for us. In the face of all that, many of us have turned out like Moji, an exemplary child with strength and compassion.
I salute you today, all our single Moms (and Dads) who shed tears and bore pain that no one knows about, who have played the role of Dad and Mom, providing, yet nurturing, the tough task of discipline and the gentle art of loving. Many times you have been unsure of yourselves and your decisions, not knowing who to bounce it on but God has honored them. You still landed on your feet.
Some of you are single Moms in a married situation, married on paper but living the life of a single parent- I salute you more. Thank you, for not letting us go. Thank you, for not allowing your present circumstance to determine your love for us. The love you have for us can only be given by Christ Himself. Thank you, for sacrificing your own stability and emotional well being for ours. Many times, we don’t know what it costs you and the secret scars that you bear, but God sees, He hears, and He knows.
As a child of a single parent myself, I now better understand. I don’t get along with my Mom all the time, but I give her the honor worth Generals today. She went through trauma that I am not sure anyone can fully recover from without the help of God, and in spite of the pain, the tears, and the battles, she never let us know that we were missing out on anything.
We know you are not always right, you have not always made the best choices, but that one decision that you took, that you would give us your best no matter what, demonstrates the love that only God can give.
We also want to thank you for not giving up on yourself. In doing that, you have demonstrated to us that there is no challenge that life throws at us that we will not overcome, and by that we have dominion - there can be no dominion without conquest. By not giving up on yourself, you have made us champions. More importantly, we want to thank you for not giving up on us- for believing that we deserve the best enough to sacrifice yourself for it. Our heart blesses you today, and God’s blessings will always be on you.
It hasn’t been easy, but it’s been worth it.