To My Mother on Her Birthday

Dear Mummy,

It’s July 19, 2018, and I am still in a different time zone. The past five years have consisted of us
getting closer together spiritually while growing further apart physically. I miss you. I want to be
able to give you a huge hug on your birthday, to shower you with roses and compliments, to sit
down with you and ask you what your plans are for the upcoming year. Alas, I’ll have to settle
for a 1 a.m. call on my end, as you’re just waking up to head to work on yours.

Mummy, I don’t know how you’ve navigated parenting in the closest-to-perfect way possible,
but you’ve done an outstanding job. Dziko and I adore you, and we know that we can trust you
with any and all aspects of our lives. You’ve never doubted our capabilities, and you’ll do
anything to support our dreams. Thank you for being a constant wind beneath our wings – at
times, without us even knowing it.

You are the reason why I believe in soulmates, be they romantic or platonic. We both know that
you are my best friend – there’s no doubt about it – but you and I seem to be able to
communicate through our energy as well as our words. How many times have you called me on a
whim and found out that it was at that very moment that I needed you most? How many times
have I had a vivid dream about you and woken up to a message from you? Our connection is the
deepest one that I’ve ever had with another human being, and I am so lucky to have such a
connection with someone who can teach me as much as you can.

To be raised by a strong and powerful woman who still understands the value of personal growth
and vulnerability has been the most important gift the universe has given me. You are so honest
about how the world works and how much you want me to enjoy it with as little fear as possible.
You own up to your shortcomings, never afraid to admit when you have failed and never afraid
to correct accordingly. You have a level of empathy and human understanding that goes well
beyond that of anybody I’ve ever met. You know when someone – anyone, regardless of their
relationship to you – needs you. You can share in their pain as well as their successes without
malice or envy poking through. It is such a rare quality that I hope I can emulate.

You are my therapist, my friend, my encyclopedia, and my entertainer. You are a bundle of
energy that can always pick me up when I’m down. You are everything to me.

You are a fighter and a survivor, capable of doing any and everything you set your mind to. You
like to joke about how old you are, but the truth is that you’ve got this amazing life ahead of you,
and I cannot wait to see how you choose to live it. This is your year, Mama, and I’m happy that I
get to come on this ride with you.

Happy birthday to my biggest hero out there.

I love you a preposterous amount,


Thokozile Zimba