Your granny turns 62 today and I have tried to figure out what to write about this, the truth is that every time I think about what my mom means to me, I have to take a step back because it takes a real woman to raise a woman, and I don’t know if I can fill her shoes, to be that kind of mom to you.
Lynette Alice Lowe was born on the 20th of November, 1956 in what was then Natal, now Kwazulu Natal. She is the first daughter of John and Joy Lowe, they had three children in total who are my uncle David and Aunty Colleen who you know very well as a granny and grandpa. Mom married dad in 1985 and later that year I was born, uncle Kudzi followed two and a half years later.
I am told your granny was an exceptional student and always got great grades. I can definitely believe that. Grandpa Dan used to remind us often that because his wife is so smart, his kids would be so smart. He also always warned that we should not trust people as much as granny does. I may disappoint my dad there, because I trust more people than granny does.
My mom and I had an up and down relationship until my teens where I realized that I did not, in fact have all the answers and that maybe, just maybe, my mom, may understand me and find them for me. Mambo, I learnt from your granny that to have a mother is not to have someone that understands you, because regardless of whether she agreed with me or not, your grandmother never left my side. Through all my decisions, good or bad, she has held my hand. Support superseded understanding. She has faced journeys with me, her daughter, a woman in training, right by her side. She has been grace, strength, discernment , calculation, practicality, love, care and kindness all wrapped into one small package. My Little Machine.
When I told her I was pregnant with you, your grandmother did not get up and ululate as if I had achieved anything, nor did she shout and make me feel as if I had done something wrong. Granny sat across from me, and asked me first if it was what I wanted, and then what my plan was, and then if I was happy. Only after she had heard the words from her own daughter’s mouth did she then say she was happy too. It may sound like she was being mean, not at all. She was ascertaining whether this was exactly what was my hearts desire, so she would know how best to support me. Support is obviously an understatement when it comes to my mom, she has continued to carry me on her shoulders, a real reminder that I am so blessed to have a mom.
You will hear people often describe your grandmother as a loving, hard worker. This is true, but really, she is so much more. You know her as granny who feeds you yoghurt, baths you, sings with you, claps for you and plays with you on the swings after long walks in the garden, and I cannot wait for her to become much more than that. To me, she is mom, my place of comfort and light, the good cop to my bad cop, the storm to my calm. She has taught me to use my mouth, my brain and my hands to benefit myself and others. Mummy was my first style icon and my first strong female role model. She was my first teacher and my first friend. I have her determination and her ability to break situations down before responding to them, my prayer is that I grow more into what she has taught me- more of what I have yet to learn. You will find as you grow that you are already a lot like her. She is a force of authority because even in this world where the odds are not always favorable for a woman of her physical appearance, she transcends. Your grandmother is pragmatic and highly ethical, she rewards good work with the simplest and yet most meaningful acts of kindness. Your grandmother is an example for you where you find others are lacking. Know her, love her, she will never let you down.
Mambo, your granny is the village, she is the rock, she is the force, she is the head, she is the comforter and the voice of reason. Your grandmother is strength and she is all that is woman. You will want for nothing because she is everything you need. Your grandmother is a mother. A great mother. Your grandmother is love.
Mummy, on your 62nd birthday, you must continue to know that through you, I know what a woman is. Through you, I know what a mother is, and if I ever get to be a grandmother, I will know it through you. I know strength and love in equal parts. I am, because you are, and I am so grateful for everything you are and for all that we will experience in all our years to come.
You are the queen of our hearts.