Truths, Tales and Tirades


Mother’s Day is the one day of the year when mothers all around the world are honoured by their children. In North America and South Africa it is the second Sunday in May.
My mom and I were very close. Even now, fifteen years after her death, not a single day goes by that I do not think of her. And with the photo slideshow used as a screensaver on my computer, I regularly see a variety of images of her. Wonderful memories.
She never ever spoilt me, even though I was the youngest and the only son. My sisters strongly disagree with me on this, but how would they know? And what mother would not sometimes step in when a fragile young boy gets badly bullied by his elder siblings?
I finished school at the end of 1973. We were living in Vryburg in those days and the army beckoned. On the day I finally left home, I was hanging around in a music shop when I saw a new record by Alan Garrity. I had never heard the song before, but Goodbye Mama sounded like an ideal farewell present. I bought it on the spur of the moment.
When I got home, I called my mother to the living room and put the seven single on the big Telefunken in the corner. After changing the speed to 45, I switched it on and turned up the volume. Alan Garrity’s voice filled the room.
“For all my life you taught me all you know. Now the time has come for me to go. And practice everything I know is good, so I am, like I should. Goodbye Mama, Goodbye Mama, today’s the day I’m leaving home. Goodbye Mama, Goodbye Mama, I’ve got to try life on my own… There’s not much more in my mind to say, but goodbye, I’m on my way.”
She started sobbing uncontrollably. And then she held me in her arms as if she would never let me go.
I love you, Ma. And I miss you. – Albê Grobbelaar