Seray Sidibeh spent her childhood in a large family with a lot of other kids. She was content that she and other relatives had each other and were always there for each other.
She had a happy childhood full of laughter, and her mum was always there to support. At the age of eleven, he parents divorced and her mum moved away and became the only provider for Seray and her siblings. She put them through school, provided for their basic needs and did everything else. Her dad chipped in whenever he wanted to. Her mother became a single mother and had to take full responsibility of her kids’ upbringing.
“I started struggling in my life after the divorce and my mother moved from Talinding to Sinchu Alagie to live with her uncle,” she says.
Seray’s nightmares worsened after her mum got ill. For the next two years, the mum wasn’t able to work or cater for the family because of the sickness. Seray had no choice but to mature quickly into adulthood and take the responsibility of putting food on the table.
“I would say my childhood was very short.”
Her first task was to sit next to her mother’s sick bed and take care of her day and night. When her mum was asleep, Seray would stay awake to think about how hard life of a child of a single mother was and about her future. She’d recall how when she had difficulties, her mother would tell her ‘what’s difficult won’t last long’.
For Seray, the transition was like “molding from an old skin to a new one.” But despite the struggles and the tears, she pays tribute to her mother who she describes as the most optimistic person she ever knew. “Even when things were tough, she was always positive and would always tell us that there was light at the end of the tunnel.”
Like millions of people who celebrate Mother’s Day Sunday, Seray is grateful that there was a woman in her life who stood by her and did the best she could for her even when things were tough.
Happy Mother’s Day!