A Tribute to My Mother - A Woman of Courage
This woman was one whom you couldn’t help but admire and respect. Her courage, her strength made you stand in awe. She was unmoved by the unkind hand that life had sometimes dealt her. She never blinked, she was a champion. Though she did not outwardly display many emotions, one could feel that she loved in her own way. She lived life on her own terms, frequently defying the norms of her culture. She was my mother. I never realized I loved her so – until she passed on a few days ago. I cried as I have never done before. The void that she has left behind has begun to sink in and become more real as minutes tick by..and days roll on. Nevertheless, I seem to have inherited her strength and courage to continue. It won’t keep me down for long.
I have done many things for her as a daughter, because it was my duty to her and as a responsible adult, but not with the same kind of effusive love that I have for my husband and children.
As we observed her laying peacefully in repose, members of my family, extended family and friends remarked how regal she looked..very much like a queen, a woman of authority and strength. I knew that this woman was the one I took after, not so much my father, whom I Ioved and respected highly. She stood for all the ideals that I believe in, whereas my father was my mentor in faith, he taught me to love. The truth struck home hard for the first time in my life. I truly loved her with all my heart, but hardly ever expressed it. In hindsight, I doubt that she would have liked me gushing all over her, in any case.
An epitome of Courage and Strength
Widowed in her mid forties, she took on the challenge to educate her children and ensured that each of us graduated from college. She was always ready to help us further our education if we were up to the task. I grabbed this opportunity with both my hands and went on to do my masters and several other degrees..while she saw her dreams realized in me.
Women of her generation were at best high school graduates. She was one as well, but fought her way through, to do her teacher’s training course and stood on her own two feet. At the age of forty with a brood of six children, she graduated with a degree in Math. She did not attend college, she had a full time job at teaching and mothering us, and yet she made her dream happen. This woman was never satisfied with her achievements, she went on do another degree in teaching, a tough course by any standards. She worked tirelessly. I am so grateful for the gift of strength and determination I inherited from my mother. I have learnt what it is to work hard from her. Sickness or health, she was in the kitchen early in the morning to ensure that we were well fed. I salute you mom – you were one awesome woman! I hope I will be able to meet those standards you set.
A Woman on a Mission
Her future was her children, and she did not have a life of her own, or even think she needed one. This woman, my mother, was focused, single minded in her ambition. She wanted each of her children to reach their best potential. She may have failed with some and succeeded with others...but that’s life.
She was a woman on a mission.. never sidetracked by any other distractions. She was good at anything to which she applied herself. I remember, my little boy wanted a picture of a lion. He was just a year and a half and started to cry. She grabbed the hard cover of an old notebook and drew a roaring lion and painted it magnificently, which he still treasures.
Our home was beautiful with her hand-embroidered and embellished linen. I never learned those skills. She wasn't too keen on passing them on to me either. All she expected of us was to be people of values and culture. Mom – I wish there were more moms like you.
She loved to teach. A dedicated teacher, the likes of which is hard to come by these days. She had the heart of a philanthropist and would gather up those who needed extra help, brought them home to teach them to excel. Our home was like a school, filled with poor children, but with a desire to learn. We never had our mother to ourselves, we may have even resented it somewhat. Looking back, I can clearly see her heart of gold and dedication to the profession of her choice.
She taught us to be independent. More than anything she taught us life skills. In a society where the women slaved in the kitchen while the men had it easy, she taught all of her five boys to cook, clean and fend for themselves. She did not give them a choice. I was surprised that she never bothered to teach me to cook.. I loved to cook anyway. Looking back, I think she was a woman out to change the way the world thinks. She paid little credence to the opinion of others, she had her values and lived by them. She decided how her life ought to be, until she became old and somewhat dependent. Even then she would never let anyone trample over her.
She was a woman who commanded respect and made friends so easily. She was a wonder woman for me. I always got the feeling that the rather docile women of her generation resented her courage, the men hated her guts, but they could not stop admiring her.
She was proud of her beauty and brains, proud that she was self-made and self-taught. A woman in her own right.
Thank you Mom. Your passing has made me realize how much I value all you stood for and I will always love you for it. I will always miss you – so will your sons and your grandchildren.
Mom, you were a very special woman, ahead of your times. I am proud and grateful to have been your daughter. I hope to see you when my time is up on this planet.. You have kept your faith and run your race.. watch out for me.. mom.. I am on my way..to succeed on my own terms as well!