This is not an easy blog to write, but I feel that in writing it that I will get to a different level of understanding and even being/doing.
For at least the last decade of my life, my greatest yearning has been to have a child. The logistics has always been quite fuzzy, but all I knew was that I had all this love in me and I deeply wished to experience the miracle of having my own child (or children) in my life. I suppose in these modern days, there are many ways to go about having a child without the definitive committed relationship that seemed to elude me. Yet, none of these options ever appealed to me. Whilst I toyed with the idea of adoption – I kept on waiting for this amazing magical relationship to show up that would allow me to fulfill my deep yearning. Thus, in many ways, I have spent a lot of this time unconsciously waiting.
Last night something clicked into place for me in the most unexpected way. In the space of this waiting, I never acknowledged the love and the opportunities to love that did show up in my life.
In fact, I am one of those truly blessed people to have had so many opportunities to love and express my love for children. When I think of the special relationship I have with my niece (Aqeela) and nephews (Luqmaan, Laeeq and Uthmaan) – I see in those relationships the joys and gifts of treasuring, loving and building a special connection with each of the very unique human beings who really see me as I am (even though I know sometimes they struggle with how different I am to everyone they know) – and who truly love me. And who so generously give me the space to love them in my special way.
In the last 10 or so years, I have also run a youth organization – and I have to say even there I have built some amazingly beautiful connections with a group of young people who also still very much present in my life and who allow me to love them, be a parent/friend/mentor to them in ways that each parent wishes for. They have walked with me through my own journey of growth (and I in turn watched them and continue to watch them to become more of them). These amazing young people (Saira, Bongiwe, Msekeli, Sindile, Luzuko, Athena, Katendi and the list goes on) have anchored me – and just given me the space to love them and they have in turn loved me madly. Each year, this list grows as young people continue to flow into my life and allow me to share my gifts with them, and in turn, they leave me with gifts.
Last year, my youngest brother (Rashied) came to live with me and this year I adopted another brother (Papi). And while I told myself that my intent is to give them a platform for independence, growth and also life – thus helping them achieve what they need to in life – I now realize that my role in their lives is much greater and in fact boils down to one simple thing. All they need from me is to really and truly love them and they in turn only desire for me to allow them to love me back. Perhaps because they are in my intimate space – it has not always been easy. I have realised that presence is of tantamount importance – and it has meant that years of living alone has to be reprogrammed. But they are patient with me – give me my space and I hope will continue to teach me how to love them - as I in turn learn how to allow them to love me.
So, as I sit here writing this, I realize that in my waiting, I failed to acknowledge the opportunities for parenting/mothering and nurturing that has and continue to show up in my life, simply because it did not come in the package that I was so looking for.
Belatedly, I am sending out feelings of gratitude, appreciation and love to all of these souls who have joined me on my journey and answered my call to be a parent/nurturer/friend and mentor. I acknowledge you for contributing to my growth. Thank you for loving me and allowing me to love you.