This is the fifth installment on the lessons I learnt from the different women who played a significant role in raising me. My goal in this series has been to show how character rubs off on the people who observe our lives, particularly in the context of the home. Generally speaking children (dependents) are a reflection of their parents/guardians. Granted there are some (few) exceptions, but by and large principles of life are learnt in the home directly or indirectly. So though none of the women I have highlighted are perfect, they taught me quite a lot and laid the foundation for my life. For that, I am highly indebted to each of them. The fifth person who kept me and raised me was Jayne Chibuye, Auntie Jane as we fondly call her.
Auntie Jane is some sort of a maverick! She has a resolve and perseverance that is not easily broken. From as early as I can remember, she was the kind of person who relentlessly pursued her goal come rain or sunshine. One of the things that she clearly resolved early in her life was that she would not be a dependent in anyone’s home. So, after school she got a job and launched out. Through many challenges she has never looked back.
Another area where her determined perseverance shows up is in the area of entrepreneurship. She has over the years never shied away from venturing into business. Despite success or failure, her resolve never wavered!
A full person
Auntie Jane’s motto in life was (is) “life is too short to be miserable.” She determined to live life to its fullest. When she jumped into something, she was all in! She rarely did anything half-hearted. So, when she decided to venture into a project, she was all in. When she decided to help someone, she was all in. And when she decided to have an issue with something or someone, she was all in! I remember two incidents that just epitomize her fullness. While living in Mufulira, she was angry with me for something I did, and she was ready to discipline me, so I evaded her and ran for my dear life. And to my total shock, she decided to chase me in high heels! The second incident was with a neighbor who had vicious dogs that were a terror to the neighborhood. Unfortunately, they were quite careless and inconsiderate with the way they managed them such that they would run into your own yard. After many times of drama, Auntie Jane had enough of the nonsense, and she confronted the neighbors. The dogs never came out of the gate again! She is an all or nothing kind of person. After all, “life is too short to be miserable.” I guess that kind of means in the biblical sense: whatever your hand finds to do, do it heartily as to the Lord (Col. 3:23).
Her own man
I am of course using the phrase “her own man” as a figure of speech. Our family like most families is one where everyone wants to have a say in what everyone is doing and be involved in the decision you make. The pressure can be so high that if you not careful, your life will easily be controlled by other people. Auntie Jane is not one of those whose life you can control or easily influence. She is her own person. She runs her own life, and all the best to the person who attempts to control how she lives her life!
A willing helper
Another trait I picked up from Auntie Jane that may not be entirely evident to many is her willingness to help people. Because she is a “live wire” and often speaks her mind, her kindness is often over looked. But being a full person, when she decides to help out, she often pulls out all the stops to ensure that you are helped. In fact she has such a willingness to help that at times she over commits and goes all out trying to help. I guess that’s what it means to be an all or nothing kind of person.
When I actually think about it, my family is full of “characters” which makes for some interesting relationships! But one thing is sure, parents and guardians have a great influence on the children they raise whether or not they realise it. My prayer is that every Christian mother will emulate Timothy’s mother and grandmother, Eunice and Lois (2 Tim. 1:5, 3:15), who taught their boy the Holy Scriptures.