“Mummy!! Mummy!! I want my ball”, he shouted as he stretched his hands to reach for his football on the shelf.
“You can reach for anything you want, Ed”, his mother said as she lifted her redhead, blue-eyed cute son. Rosemary, his mother, had to deal with a lot of challenges after giving birth to a white fatherless boy.
“This is very absurd, Rose! How could you let this happen to you? You have disappointed me! After all I have done to train you in the right way. After all I have taught you, you still went ahead to fornicated with that white soldier”, she could still hear her mother screaming at her. Right from the day her mother discovered that she was pregnant, she had no peace. Her mother flogged her every day, insulting and calling her all kinds of names. She could remember vividly how her mother placed her left hand on her hip and tossed her right hand in the air. “Rosemary! Rosemary!! Rosemary!! How many times did I call you?! I have had enough of you in this house. This place cannot be convenient for me, you and that white trap you call a baby, so I need you to move your black ass out of my house. You now have a child, right? So, you have grown up. You are now a woman. You should be able to take care of yourself. Idiot!!”
She had nowhere to go, no one to turn to. She became the laughingstock of her community. She had to scrub floors, wash dishes and toilets to be able to provide shelter for her and Edward. After it was announced that her boyfriend was killed while on a mission in Iraq, all her friends ignored her. “It’s over girl, bye!”
But she strived against all odds; she found a petty job, completed her online degree and got a good job. She made Edward her priority, tried to send him to the best affordable school around. She gave him all she could afford, but as much as she tried to protect him, he was still facing a lot of discrimination and related challenges while growing up. He had problems fitting into the society around him. He was the only mixed child in his neighbourhood and school. “You are not black and you are not quite white. What are you then, Mr. Redhead or should I call you RedEd?”, asked one of his classmates. The others just stare at him awkwardly. “You don’t belong here, boy! Move your odd-looking face, curly red hair to the Loser’s table”.
“Mummy, who am I? Why don’t I fit in? I do not belong here, Ma’am”, he often cried to his mother. “Where is my father? Why are you dark-skinned and I’m white-ish with blue eyes. The others in school mock me. Sometimes they punch me and call me names”.
“My little boy, the world rebukes and throws away whatever it does not understand. You are something really special and I’m so sure that your father would have been proud to see you, but may his soul rest in peace”, she said as she hugged him and placed her head on his shoulder. “The world is going to keep on coming for you, but you should never get tired of kicking back. When you have no one to call on, remember that you always have God by your side. Never get tired of pushing forward. Do not let the negativity and wickedness of the world put you down. You are destined for greatness, Edward. Never forget that, son”, she said to him as she stood up and went into the kitchen.
Her words were what kept him moving. Through all the storms, discriminations, insults and racism that he faced, he rose up to the top. He got his dream job and became a force to be reckoned with. There was nothing he could do against the way he was born, so he learned to love himself for who he was.
“Edward, there is no one like you. You are strong, you are born for signs and wonders, you shall make it to the peak, you just have to block out the hatred. Keep your eyes on the price”, her words kept echoing in his ears as he stood in front of her grave with tears rolling down his eyes. “You were the one who kept me going, Edward. You are my world and I am so proud of what you have become. I am so happy”, those were her last words.