“Mom, I am sorry I missed your call”, reads an anguished Facebook Post of a Tigrayan woman after she missed a call from her mom in Tigray, whom she hasn’t spoken to for more than 10 months. Worst of all, to whom she cannot call back and say “I am sorry mom I missed your call earlier, what is up?”
A mom, in Tigray, calls (through the Red Cross, most definitely, after a lot of hassle and wait time) her daughter in Europe, whom she hasn’t heard from for almost a year. The daughter misses this rare call, and receives a 2 second long voice message. The pain, the despair, the anguish the daughter must have gone through at that moment – my heart breaks to even contemplate. But I am certain, she is strong and resilient as her mom is as the millions of mothers and daughters of Tigray everywhere are – and in the end she will emerge stronger and more resilient for what she has endured.
But what do you imagine a mother, in a region under complete siege, will say to her daughter in just 2 seconds – after almost a year since they have talked?
What would you have said if you were in her place? In her circumstances?
She could have said so many things but do you know what she said ” ንግስተይ ዳሕና ኢና!” (“My beloved Nigisti, we are okay”)
Can you imagine, being in the mothers of Tigray’s shoes , and CHOOSING to say this, of all the things you could have?
She could have broken down and said ‘ I miss you’. She could have told her daughter she longs to hear her voice, to see her. She could have told her she misses her and her grandchildren so much that it hurts – because it is all true. But the selfless mother of Tigray schose to absorb the pain instead and said ‘my beloved, we are okay’
She could have told her the unfathomable suffering herself, her family, and her entire community are going through. But this unbreakable mother of Tigray was determined that if all she can say to her daughter was going to be summed up in one short sentence, it was not going to be a message of desperation and pain but of hope and resistance – so she said “my beloved, we are okay”
She could have told her daughter the countless things she needs or is living without but she knows that would break her daughter’s heart and she cannot have that. She chooses to guard and to protect her daughter, no matter what. So she says, “my beloved, we are okay’
Our sweet, kind, humble and loving moms,
Yes we are sorry that you are going through this. Yes, it breaks our hearts every single moment of each day. Yes, thinking of the unimaginable situation you are in threatens to crush us down, but then we remember you, your strength, unbreakable sprint, selfless love and extraordinary resilience, and we carry on. When we reach our lowest, we think of you, and draw on an inner strength we did not know we possessed.
You didn’t deserve to bear and witness such loss, pain and agony. You didn’t deserve to long to hear the voices of your loving daughters and sons, day after day, week after week and month after month. We didn’t deserve to go through this anguish of missing you and worrying about you non-stop, either. We didn’t deserve to go through the crippling helplessness of not being able to be there for you, when you needed us the most. We didn’t deserve to go through the despair of not being able to call you back when we missed your calls …
But then, no human being deserves such injustice and cruelty! No mother deserves to go through what you are going through at the moment, our beloved mothers; and no daughter or son deserves to endure what we are enduring
Unfortunately, what’s happening to us now, does happen every now and then, because the children of evil dwell amongst us, and sometimes they do have the upper hand. And when they do, they bring about pain, loss and suffering on innocent people. They know no mercy and of course, by definition, they are neither fair nor compassionate! But no power of EVIL lasts forever!
So our beloved moms, this shall pass!
Dawn will come; we will see you; we will shower you with love, hugs and kisses. We will tell each other all the things our hearts long to, but are denied now; we will console each other; we will cry and laugh together; we will heal together.
In the meantime, please do continue to be strong ; do continue to be resourceful and resilient; do continue sending us these messages of ultimate love, kindness, selflessness, hope, prayer, and resistance – “our beloved, we okay okay”
And we will do the same – for you. We will follow your suit. We won’t give in to the pain and desperation – for you, our moms. We will keep on keeping on – for you, mothers of Tigray.