Last Sunday, we celebrated Mother’s Day. It was joyful because I am a mother but there was a void. I miss my mother, Plaxedah Busingye Nalongo Mukasa-Tinaako, who left my siblings and I five years ago. She succumbed to the ruthless grim ripper, breast cancer.
We believe she died a very happy woman and before her death, she asked us and our father to remain united and God-fearing.
“Rukundo egumeho” (loosely translated ‘Let love remain among you’) was a catchphrase she echoed for as long as she breathed.
She met her husband in Mbarara before they later moved. She worked as a school nurse at Namasagali College in Kamuli District where the husband was a teacher. A lot can be said about a mother but it can never be exhausted on paper.
She was a no-nonsense and tough talker.
“Children ought to be well-behaved if they are to succeed in life,” she said. It was for example, forbidden to move around the neighborhood or go visiting anywhere without her permission. I remember one time we earned ourselves a thorough beating after we had gone visiting without informing her. Did we ever make that mistake again? Of course not.
Wished us well
It is any parent’s dream to see their children grow into responsible adults. Our mother wished to see her children graduate. With as much effort alongside our father, they afforded us a modest education and by the time of her demise, we were all graduates. I believe she would not have asked for more. Together with our father, they always held counselling sessions, we always referred to these sessions as lectures for us every beginning of term. Here, she emphasised that we had to work so hard if we wanted to excel and become responsible in future.
Caring and humorous
Mother never run out of good jokes that would leave our ribs cracking. Every night before we went to bed, she sat with us and told endless stories that always had a funny character who would be related to one of us in a way. She told us stories about her siblings whose stubborn traits reflected in some of my siblings and I.
One of such I cannot forget was that of her sister who lent her a dress and kept reminding her all day to sit carefully and not play carelessly lest she tore the treasured Sunday best attire. This, related so much to us because we are five sisters and we never survived this endless battle of dress sharing.
Like mother hen, she looked out for all of us and ensured to have a conversation with each one of us so as to make us feel listened to. This created a warm feeling of the best confidante that we wished to spend much of the time with her.
Despite the fact that we always had helpers at home, our mum always allotted work to each one of us. We had to do all chores especially during holidays. From childhood, we each had to make our beds neatly every morning before starting on the rest of the day’s programme.
Born in a humble and staunch Catholic family, our mother attended church founded St Theresa Primary School, before joining St Mary’s Secondary School, both in Rushoroza, Kabale. It is against this background that she taught us to pray and always went to church with us.
She always encouraged us to pray and look to God in every situation. We miss mother so much, and remember her in prayer always. It is this that led us to propose to our father to hold a memorial mass for her at our home in Mbarara. The mass was strictly attended by immediate family members. We remember her because her exemplary love taught us a lifetime of lessons in humility, respect, love, compassion, optimism and to trust in God, even in the face of death.
Our memory of mother shall never pass, we will not ever let the tears mar the smiles that she gave us. Days such as Mothers’ Day are so nostalgic, even though she is no longer with us physically, her love will forever live with us.
Nalongo Plaxedah Busingye Mukasa-Tinaako was born on February 7, 1957 to Gilberto and Prisca Rwizire in Kabale. She got married to Deogratius Mukasa-Tinaako Salongo on April 12,1986. She is survived by six children Edwin Collins Atuhaire and Edwig Bridget Atuhairwe, Ingrid Sharon Atwongyeirwe, Joan Ayebare Mukasa, Doris Asasiira Mukasa, Joan Ayebare Mukasa, Pamela Akankunda