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'Dear mother in heaven’

BY: Lawrence Darmani
A girl, writing
A girl, writing

Here is a diary entry in the form of a letter written by a boy who lost his mother and was compelled, together with his sister, to live in distress. Written from his heart, the boy’s letter may well be suitable for the living.

Dear Mother, this is your son Kwame. I'm writing this letter to you although I know that you cannot receive it. But maybe you will see what I'm writing in this notebook and know what has happened to Cynthia and me since you left us.

During the time you were ill, you said you were going home; if we needed you and you were not around, we should remember that you've gone to heaven to live with Jesus.

Father's sister, Aunt Asabea, moved in to stay with us when you left. She is kind, but there are big problems.
When you left us I was 11; now I'm 15 and Cynthia is 13. A lot of things have happened these five years.

Father began to drink heavily. He told everyone that he was mourning your departure. Aunt Asabea quarrelled with him every day because of his drinking habit.

One night, father came home so drunk he could hardly walk. He insulted Aunt Asabea, telling her to go back to her own house.

"You have to be responsible," Aunt Asabea told father that night. "These are your children, not mine. If you continue drinking like this, you will ruin your own life and theirs."

I don't know what has happened to father. He was not like this when you were around. The other day when he came home from work, he asked Cynthia to buy him some alcohol from a nearby kiosk.

Cynthia refused because father was already drunk. He pulled a leather belt and beat her so severely she sustained bruises all over her body.

When Aunt Asabea came home from work that evening there was a big quarrel. That very night she packed her things and returned to her house.

Miss you

Cynthia and I cried all night and we missed you, Mother. We wish to live with Aunt Asabea in her house, but father says no.

When you were with us you loved us, and you were close to us. Since you left, life has not been interesting.

Aunt Asabea came to see us the next day after the big quarrel. She cooked for us and went back to her house. After some time, she came to live with us again, but she and father were not fine to each other.

Father spent lots of money on drinks, hardly leaving any for Aunt Asabea to prepare food. Auntie used her own money most of the time.

Now father has remarried. From the day the woman came to the house, Aunt Asabea left. The woman told our aunt that she was our new mother and so her help would no longer be needed in the house.

When the woman came, she brought three children with her. I think she didn't tell father the truth about these children when they met. One evening I heard them quarrelling.

"What do you mean?" father asked her.

"I mean these are my own children," the woman replied. "Why do you look so surprised? Can't I have children?"
"Of course, you can," father said, "but you didn't tell me that you already have three children."

"But you didn't ask. They were with my mother."

Father asked, "Where is their father?"


The question displeased the woman. She said, "I'm a single mother, and please don't ask me that question again."
Father did not say anything after that. But now he drinks more than before. He does not beat us anymore, but our new mother does.

Mother, this woman is wicked! She insults us every day, saying that we eat too much.

"Don't you know that food is expensive these days?" she asked me one afternoon when I asked her if I could eat the leftover mashed gari. She refused to let me eat it because she was reserving it for the evening.

But mother, I have never forgotten what you told Cynthia and me. You said Jesus would never leave us, and that he hears us when we pray to him. Every day we pray to him, although life is hard.

Last term Aunt Asabea paid our school fees. God bless Aunt Asabea for her kindness towards us. She says nice things about you when she visits. She tells us that you were a good mother to us, and that you taught us to be courteous and helpful.

I don't know how all this will end, Mother. But thank you for teaching Cynthia and me that Jesus is our friend who will never forget us. Things get better when we pray to him.

Okay, I will write again, Mother.
The writer is a publisher, author, writer-trainer and CEO of Step Publishers.
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