We've been praying for this day for so long...and now it's almost here....the day we all meet in person. The day me and my children get to touch you, smell you, laugh with you face to face, pray with you holding your hands and hug you close. There's so much to catch up on, so many gaps to be filled...I'm overwhelmed and not sure we'll manage it in just 7 whirlwind days...so to start, here's this...a letter from the heart-in case I mess anything up!
16 years! That's how long we've been in each others lives. Of course I was much shyer back then...16 years of age and falling in love with your baby boy...you were a strong minded capable business woman...I felt intimidated and nervous most of the time when we spoke-in awe of you raising four children whilst holding onto a strong career. You were popular; ambitious; respected; Godly.
Me? I was just starting out, new to college and my business studies course, holding down a waitress job in-between lectures, jumping on the train to get here, there and everywhere. We were two women thousands of miles apart in distance, living in very different cultures, yet joined together by their love for one person.
It's amazing how quickly the years fly by; it's also pretty amazing that despite never being together in person we have built up a relationship of mutual respect, integrity and trust.
We're both two different women today compared to back then....you're still that feisty, strong minded lady, but your slower in pace now, smaller in stature and more reliant on your children, following daddy's passing three years ago.
Me? Well I've been your namesake - Mrs.Omokaro for nearly 12 years...and together we have your five beautiful grandchildren-the hobbits. I'm working hard to carry the household and be a good wife to your boy, a great mummy to the babies and to serve God and get myself back into the workplace once little princess starts school.
For years we have prayed together for a day when we would all be united in person celebrating life...and now...in only the way God answers His prayers, here we are - literally about to see our dreams come true.
I wonder mainly how we will be introduced...do I run into your arms? Shake your hand-yeh right!
I'm pretty certain 5 little - well maybe not little in height! - people will swarm around you first. They will want to take in every single inch of your face, your smile, your laugh...biggest boy is nearly 11, number 2 son is 9, number 3 little man is 7, the pirate is 5 and fairy twinkle toes is 3. They are so excited to be meeting daddy's mummy for the very first time. And I will honour that by allowing your first moments to be special and about them and you :-)
But...I know I'll want to have you to myself for a few hours. I'll tell you stories from our early relationship days and then our wedding day, to keep in with being typical women, I'll share every detail of each birth story, I'll no doubt fill you in on how great a man your third child is (and possibly add a few of his flaws...lol) I'll praise you for bringing this amazing person into the world, for doing your best by him as he grew-for ensuring he had good morals, manners and respect for women. I'll thank you for allowing him to follow Gods prompting of moving back to the UK all those years ago when he was just a teenager, and I'll squeeze your hand for never once judging him for entering a mixed race relationship with me, for blessing our marriage with your prayers, advice and love.
We're learning each day that marriage is a journey-not always easy...in fact some days it's really hard. And I know you get that. I know you understand that being a strong woman can be challenging in marriage at times...that humbling ourselves is a gift from God...and I thank you that you're encouraging of me and love me. It's a factor that helps your son to keep loving me for me-this I know.
You're amazing Mrs. Victoria Omokaro - my beautiful mother-in-law. Because life always hasn't been easy for you- yet here we will stand, celebrating your 70th birthday as a whole family - rejoicing at your life, claiming many more family reunions...many more gatherings and happy memories.
I don't want to think of how we will say goodbye at the end of our week together...I'll carry on concentrating on how we will say hello...in fact, can we make a pact to not say goodbye? As we depart, can we maybe say something along the lines of "Next time you'll make the first cuppa...." or "Girlie shopping day in town soon..." No goodbyes...I don't like goodbyes, especially when there haven't been enough of them in person over the years.
So...this letter comes to an end for now...but it very much sums up the thoughts whirling round my mind this Thursday evening. I promise to print it and give it to you...maybe you can read it before we have our time out together...I feel I may revert back to that timid (well I was slightly) 16 year old girl - and this could start us off nicely.
Not long now sweet lady....and this time I'll make the first cuppa :-)