Mama Samuel, as she is fondly called, sat still on her small but comfortable couch, staring at the figure in front of her. She must have been staring at the figure for about ten minutes or so. She had lost track of time. The figure before her was Samuel, her son, her one and only son, the child she had for a man who dumped her when he was barely six months old. She was looking at him with great admiration, a beautiful boy that has metamorphosed into a man over years, not just any man, an upright man of the society. She had no idea when tears began to gather themselves around her eyes.
“Mama”, Samuel started, whipping out an handkerchief from the inner pocket of his suit to clean his mother’s tears, “I told you. These tears will do you no good. You have nothing to cry for, mama. You have everything to be happy for. And if I’m the cause of your tears, maybe I’ll stop coming here altogether”
“My son. Forgive me”, Mama Samuel began, sniffing after each words. “Its just that, seeing you gives me so much joy that I can’t contain. To think that all our years of toil would be rewarded this way. Oko mi, thanks for making me proud. Your children would do you proud too”
Samuel beamed at the prayers his mother showered at him.
“Amen, mama”, he responded and proceeded to hold her hands in his. They were a lot smaller in his palm and wrinkled too. Each wrinkle told a story. Those hands have been through a lot too : splitting logs of wood, fetching vegetables from the farm while being attacked by thorns, tilling the soil, washing and doing public laundry, all to ensure that he had quality education and became someone great in life.
His mother had suffered so much for him. He does not even know his father. He left when he was still being cradled. Since then, its been only him and his mother facing the battles of life and braving the storm together. She had tried all she could to make sure he had formal education, incurring debts in the process, and he had made sure none of her efforts were in vain as he made straight As in his courses. He graduated with second class upper from the Obafemi Awolowo University as a student of Engineering. His life is dedicated to paying back his innumerable debts to his mother for the care and affection she’s had towards him, and he knew it was a debt that could never be fully repaid. Nothing like a mother’s love
“Mama”, he started, squeezing her hands gently, “I’ve not made you proud yet. This is just the starting point. You and I, Mama, are going places. What you’ve done in my life can not be measured. You could easily have dumped me too, or even chosen not to have sent me through school, but you didn’t do all that, ignoring all odds. That’s more than I could have ever asked of you, mama, and all these I’ve done, the house, the cars, are just the beginning of what you’re going to enjoy, mama. Its your time to enjoy the fruits of your labour”
“My son, you have spoken well. Right now, right here, today, I’m also glad I didn’t take to the advice of my friends to squander all my money on clothes and all other worldly possessions. Now I know my decisions to go a-borrowing was worth it. Here you are before me, worth more than a thousand clothes and jewellries. Here you sit, with the ability to pay my debts then with just a snap of your fingers. Here and now, all my PAINs have now been transformed into my GAIN. I thank my stars. I thank Eledumare for giving me a child like you. It shall be well with you, Samuel”. She stopped as she started to get emotional again. Another bout of little droplets of tears of joy were forming around her eyes again.
“Now, now. Don’t cry anymore, mama. The LORD has bettered our lives. Let’s be grateful and not cry”. He withdrew one hand of his from hers and with the back of his hands, wiped her tears away.
In that moment, right there, the chain of motherly love she had always felt towards her son tightened and she drew him into a hug. He didn’t resist. If there was a woman he could hug for the rest of his life, it was his mother.
With gentle sobs, she vibrated. Samuel patted her back rhythmically to pacify her, although he knew there was no use. There hung an aura of LOVE about them, as mother and son were in a deep embrace.
Sam, now a consultant with a big Engineering firm reflected on the words of his mother and smiled. He was her Pain, and now, he is her Gain.
“My Pain, My Gain”. Title was submitted by Samuel. I hope he likes what I’ve done with his heading. Thanks for reading.