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MUM STORIES: My mother and I started off as strangers

MARGARET MAINABy MARGARET MAINA
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“My biological mother passed away when I was 10. I had no one to look up to and I was at the edge of giving up. I first met Margaret when I was looking for a job in 2012,” she says.

 Joyce says that Margaret has loved her unconditionally since then. Margaret owns a kindergarten school in Nakuru County.

“When I told her my story, she decided to help me.  This came as a big shock to me since I didn’t even qualify to have the job. I had no idea what goes on in a kindergarten school. She offered to guide and pay my college fees.” 

Joyce admits that the offer came as an unexpected surprise.

“Imagine you just met someone, a complete stranger and she offers a lot of love and tries by all means to make you feel comfortable.  She welcomed me to her home. She provided all parental guidance and care. She became more than a mother,” she says.

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In Margaret, Joyce says she found a friend, an elder sister and above all a prayer partner who taught her how to present her worries to God. 

But when Joyce was in her first year in college, Margaret fell sick and was diagnosed with leg ulcers.

“Life took a different turn since she had to go for an operation.  The school was not doing very well at the same time. I remember her telling me that no matter how had things were, tough times don’t last.”

While desperate times calls for desperate measures, Joyce resorted to seek financial help from some of her relatives but when they learnt of her need, her calls went unanswered. 

“I remember some telling me to look for a job at a big school where I could get paid and therefore pay for my college fees. I knew my life was safe with a mother’s guidance which I had lacked for the better part of my life,” she says.

 Joyce was not ready to seek for greener pastures neither the thought of leaving Margaret when she was unwell yet she had stood with her through her darkest days.

Margaret made sure that Joyce went back to college and had everything she needed and would stay in contact with her to know whether she was okay.

“During and after my college, I tried as much as possible not to offend her in any way. It was not easy for me to work with her and live with her under the same roof and maintain the work relationships between an employer and an employee,” she admits.

At work, Joyce had so much responsibilities and she says that she somehow felt over worked. But little did she know that she was being taught to be independent, honest, hardworking and to have managerial skills. 

“I remember sometime she would leave me in charge of the school and switch off her phone. I was left to deal with staffs who were older than me. At first it was scary but later, I got used to it.”

 Joyce now believes that her mother is happy to see me work with a lot of ease.

“I am so grateful to her for being so hard and loving to me. I have lived with her family for close to nine years and I do not regret having them as my family. In her home, I found a dad, sisters and a brother who accept me with my weaknesses,” she says.

To my mother Margaret, even as you continue with this battle to the stubborn leg ulcers, I want you to know that you can count on me for anything within my reach and beyond.  I love you mom and I will always do.,”