It is day 5 of my new reality. 5 days of life without my mum. My quiet, fiercely independent and loving mum. My heart is broken that she is no longer with us but I know that she is now at peace. She suffers no more and that gives me great comfort. She taught me much in the 45 years I was blessed to call her my mum. These are just a few of the valuable lessons I learned from her:
1. You are responsible for your life
Like I have mentioned above and in a previous post, my mum was a fiercely independent woman. She didn’t sit around waiting for anyone, she just quietly went about doing what needed to be done. She was dedicated to her family, to her job and to her God. Through her example, my sisters and I have learnt responsibility and diligence and have each become independent woman ourselves.
2. Being a mother means loving and accepting your children and being there for them always
I remember calling my mum to tell her that I was pregnant. I was 34 and single and felt like I had let my parents down terribly. She quietly listened and then said to me “It is what it is my child. It’s ok. Let me know what I can do for you”. She did not judge me. She didn’t make me feel guilty, she just accepted me and loved me anyway. She was a woman of few words and seldom voiced her emotions to me but she showed me her love by her actions. True to her words, she was there for me in every way that I allowed her to be and even in ways that I never expected. She loved her grandson dearly and he lived for that one week every holiday that he would spend with her. Thank you Mummy.
3. Actions speak louder than words
Like I said, my mum was a woman of few words. What she didn’t say, she showed. One of the ways she showed her love was through her baking. She loved to bake and she was an excellent baker. She set the standard very high and it is very seldom that I taste someone else’s cakes and find them up to the standard of my mum’s. My mum never said “welcome to my home” or “happy to be here” with words. She said it with a her baking. She knew everyone in and outside of the family’s favourites and made a point of baking it when she knew they were coming or if she was going to visit them. She took great pleasure in delighting everyone in this way. In our home, Sunday night’s were treasured because she would bake 2-3 different delights every Sunday afternoon and that was how we spent our Sunday evenings, savouring my mum’s delicious baking as a family before we started a new week.
4. Your smile lights up the world
Some of the comments that I have often gotten from people over the past few days is “I am going to miss her smile”, “whenever you met her she would always give you a big smile”, “she was always smiling”, “she had a lovely smile”. My mum delighted everyone she met with her smile. She used it to make them feel welcome in her presence. She used it brighten their day. Her smile lit up the world of everyone around her. It was a simple yet effective and gracious tool that she used to make this world a better place everyday. Even while she was in the hospital. No matter how terrible she was feeling, whenever her grandchildren came to see her, she would find the energy to sit up straight and put on her brightest smile when she saw them. It blew me away to see her do that every time.
There is of course so much more that I could share about my mum and I know that as I continue to reflect on her life and my experience of her in the coming weeks and years, there will be a lot more valuable lessons that will come to mind. Even though my son only got to spend 10 years with her, he was blessed to have lots of quality time with her and she instilled in him lots of values and of course, a love for baking.
Thank you for being you Mummy. You were authentic and an inspiration. I am blessed to call you my mum.
Rest In Peace Mummy.