Mummy’s Girl: The breasts that suckled thee

by Onyinye Muomah

I have never been a parent neither have I ever lost a kid, so I can only imagine. And I imagine a trauma that can lead only to insanity and even suicide.

Ever been hit in a car by armed robbers while struck in traffic? My friend and I were once. Actually, I was not in a car, I was in a bus coming back from Ibadan, along Toll Gate area in Lagos. Next thing we saw were all the street hawkers running. Some people came out of their cars and start to run too.

A lady with a baby by the door of our bus manages to open it and skip out. The funniest was this dude sitting by the door; he climbs over our heads to the back seat and then laid down across all the four ladies there. It must have been uncomfortable and stinky as hell (the guy was wearing an unwashed agbada) but none of them complained. After all, who would want to be denied of a shield in the face of potential danger?

As for my friend and I, we were senselessly trying to crawl under the cramped seats. There was not enough space between seats for our knees talk less of our entire bodies.

It was a scary evening indeed and when it was all over the thieves did not even come near our bus. Imagine!

While all the drama was going on, I kept consciously asking myself, “If you survive all this, will you change? Will you be more serious with religion?” And in the same instant, I gave myself the answer, “Of course not! If I survived, I would continue in my unholy ways until I encountered another near-death experience where I have to call on Christ in fear.”

Trust me, I am not being blasé, I am being honest. I wish I had a lot of religion. I have some but not a lot. One of my mum’s frequent sayings to me after each Sunday that I miss mass is: “Are you and God quarrelling?”

Ah! I wish I was quarelling with God, at least I would have some excuse.

So after I questioned myself over my lack of religion, my mind went to my mother and that was where my faith kicked in.

“Oh God, for her sake, do not let me die,” I prayed hard.

Sounds silly, right?

Actually, back then my mum had just lost my dad, and with him went her smile. My mum has the most beautiful set of teeth – small with a gap in the middle and pink gums. She is fair-skinned so her toothy-pink-gummed smile just complemented her pretty face beautifully.

As a kid, one of my best memories was of my mom’s gap-tooth in pictures. These days, I don’t even know what her smile looks like. If her teeth are now brown and the gap much wider, I don’t know.

My mother was the most precious thing to me being the only parent I still had. And, it was important that she continued with some happiness especially after the loss of my father.
If anything was to happen to any of us, her children, even now, wow! The fading light in her eyes would dim forever I think.

I know that because I know a woman who lost her child recently. Talk of dimming lights! Where she once glowed, now she is just “a shell of herself” doing everything by rote.

When I think now of all the senseless killing of children who have not known a world beyond their parents view…

Mothers left to grasp at the memories of their babies’ lips on their breasts and how it felt to hold them…

I have never been a parent neither have I ever lost a kid, so I can only imagine. And I imagine a trauma that can lead only to insanity and even suicide.

May God comfort parents forced to watch their kids die. Amen.

Peas Hawt!


Onyinye Muomah is a writer, blogger and journalist who loves to explore her brain for the quirkiest scenarios. She is also an out and proud Mummy’s Girl. You can also find her on her blog Onyi’s World <> and on Twitter @OnyiM


*Op-ed pieces and contributions are the opinions of the writers only and do not represent the opinions of Y!/YNaija.

One comment

  1. I love this article because it captures the emotion attached to being a parent and fearing losing your child.

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