Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation

How My Mother’s Love Eventually Found Its Place With Me

Picture my mother’s love as a pond in a garden and her daughter spending years searching and yearning for sunlight where only water finds life. I despised how nothing from this body of water could morph itself into the love I desperately needed.

I wanted to experience this love as kind words affirming that my mother did indeed love me. I dwelled in the emptiness of a corner where I believed hugs, little notes in my lunchbox, daily check-ins on my mental health, and acceptance of my weirdness belonged. When none of these came home to me, I welcomed the belief of feeling inadequately loved and lonely to sit with me.

It took a long time for me to unpack the reasons why I felt so lonely. Was my mother failing to love me or was I failing to accept her love? A lot of my introspection involved putting myself in her shoes. I had to allow myself to understand love and the practice of love as a young black girl growing up in a township in South Africa during the 1970s.