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!
This is for you mom... I can only imagine.. dance on...
Kristen Howe from Northeast Ohio on March 05, 2015:
This was a beautiful tribute of your mother, Sofs. I lost my mother on St. Patrick's Day last year. She hated that holiday, too. Always keep her close in your heart and the wonderful memories in your mnd. Thanks for sharing and voted up!
Linda Rogers from Minnesota on June 27, 2013:
Dear Sofs~I am so sorry to come by and see you have lost your beloved mother. She sounds like an amazing woman who was a trail blazer of her generation. I had goosebumps reading your tender words about how much your Mother meant to you. I will be holding you in my heart and my thoughts as you grieve this enormous loss. God bless :-)
pramodgokhale from Pune( India) on January 24, 2013:
Great hub.My childhood without mother ,i can not imagine.
Today's isolated society and rising elderly houses is nothing but a commercial world where there is no importance of values but money.
elders are simply put in hostels and mothers day are being celebrated .
India has already on path of separate family systems instead joint family systems.
thank you for hub.
Sophie (author) on January 23, 2013:
@Talloni , Thank you . God bless!
Mts 1098 ,Thank you, that is really sweet of you. I know that you have been through tough times as these and you understand.
I am okay.. I am just not finding my inspiration to write .. this too shall pass I know.
mts1098 on January 23, 2013:
Hi sofs - just checking in to say hi :)
RTalloni on December 08, 2012:
Just stopping in to say that I am thinking of you, knowing well that the beautiful season of Christmas can make us miss loved ones.
Your hub has generated some lovely comments. May you enjoy wonderful, quiet times with your family during this busy holiday season.
Sophie (author) on November 22, 2012:
Thanks everyone... Coming to terms with such a loss has been difficult.. Thanks for your love and support. God bless!
iguidenetwork from Austin, TX on October 12, 2012:
Very impressive hub... honest, lovely and touching article. We should thank our mothers for having raised and guided us -- especially while they're still alive and now are needing our love and care.
William Gerace from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on October 09, 2012:
Sofs I just came back to Hubpages after a long hiatus. I remember you helped me out a lot and I just want to say my God watch over you and your family as you go through this most difficult time in your lives. This was beautiful tribute to your mother. Well written and well said. God bless you love. Take good care of yourself. I'm thinking of you.
mts1098 on October 05, 2012:
Sofs - Your mom sounds like an incredible woman and must have been to get 5 guys cooking (they don't own the 5 guys burger chain do they?)...I am truly sorry for your loss and I know that you will not forget the life lessons she taught you...cheers
Eiddwen from Wales on September 22, 2012:
Such a heart tugging hub and your proud love is so evident ;and your mother knows this nand will be so proud of her daughter also.
Here's lots of love and hugs for you all the way from my little corner of Wales.
Dave from Lancashire north west England on September 15, 2012:
sofs, my thoughts and prayers are with you. It was a brave article for you to right. God bless you and your family at this sad time.
Sophie (author) on September 10, 2012:
Magdaleine, Thank you and god bless. Take good care of her while she is with you... She is precious.
Sophie (author) on September 10, 2012:
Joy, Thank you my dear, I need those prayers... I still struggling to come to terms with my loss. Love you Brenda and God Bless.
Magdaleine on September 10, 2012:
Deep condolences for the loss of your mother.. thanks for writing this article, it is reminding me to take care of my mom more.
Joy56 on September 05, 2012:
it is such a pleasure to see you here. You are always in my thoughts and prayers, you are a beautiful person, god be with you
Sophie (author) on August 31, 2012:
@ Genna Thank you and God bless.
@ Mizjo Thank you for your kindness. God Bless.
@ Denise Thank you so much... I really need the prayers...
I am sorry for taking so long to respond.. It has been difficult.. to come back here.
Denise Handlon from North Carolina on August 31, 2012:
Sofs, I sent a condolence comment to you earlier this week. Somehow it didn't show up here. I've been thinking of you and keeping you in my heart during this time of grief. Namaste. Take care.
Denise Handlon from North Carolina on August 28, 2012:
Sophie, my goodness...I'm so sorry for your loss. What an honorable tribute to your dear Mother and your grief for her. My heart aches for you. Take care of yourself, during this time of grieving, and know that my thoughts and prayers are with you.
This is a great loss to bear...your writing here is beautiful, sweet, and revealing what she meant to you. The music is just perfect. You have much to be proud of and have the strength and courage that you 'saw' in your mother...it is part of the legacy she has left for you.
Many blessings and sincere condolences to you and your family.
mizjo from New York City, NY on August 26, 2012:
Just beautiful, Sofs, your mom must have heard your words.
Moms are a special gift from God, there can be no denying that, and when I watch how my 2 little grandsons worship their mother, this fact comes home to me strongly.
I had a mom like yours, brave, indomitable, brushing aside the obstacles to fend for her children.
Thank you for sharing this wonderful tribute to your mom.
Genna East from Massachusetts, USA on August 19, 2012:
I am so sorry to hear of the loss of your mother. Your words are a tribute to a wonderful woman whose blessings live on in her daughter. This was a lady of courage and great heart, and these are qualities I see in you as well. Hugs, Sofs, and my very best to you and your family.
Sophie (author) on August 16, 2012:
@ Teaches 12345, You are right, I am blessed. Thanks for stopping by. God Bless.
@ Lisa, Thank you for your kindness... Its amazing that you stopped by to comfort a stranger. God Bless You.
Lisa on August 15, 2012:
This is a great tribute to a special person. Loss of a loved one is difficult. You and your family will be in my prayers.
Dianna Mendez on August 14, 2012:
Sofs, you have me in tears on this one. Your story of your mom's love, your faith, the video song -- it all reminds me of my parents' love for me. God has blessed you much.
Sophie (author) on August 14, 2012:
@ MsDora, Thanks and God Bless.
@ Pegcole , It has been a difficult time... Thank you. God Bless.
@ Peggy, I know I will miss her always... the pain seems to haunt me.. Thank you and God bless.
Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on August 12, 2012:
So sorry for the grief you are experiencing right now regarding the loss of your mother. Mine exited this plane of life in 2010 and I still miss her. Knowing that our mothers will be waiting for us in the next life helps. This is a wonderful tribute to your mother. Thanks for sharing a bit of what she was like as a person with us. May your memories of what she passed on to you keep you comforted until you meet again.
Peg Cole from North Dallas, Texas on August 12, 2012:
Hello Sofs. My deepest condolences on the loss of your dear and wonderful mother. You've shared her strengths and the things she taught others here in this loving tribute. It was awesome and 'I can only imagine' it was truly a difficult thing to put together in this tender moment of your grief. Now she will be remembered by so many others who have grown to know her through your words.
Love to you today
Dora Weithers from The Caribbean on August 09, 2012:
Sorry about the loss of your mother. Glad you could use writing to help you deal with the grief. Your tribute is lovely, and I pray that some of the good memories you recall will underscore in your mind that she has fulfilled her purpose.
Sophie (author) on August 09, 2012:
Carol7777, Thank you. I appreciate your kindness. God Bless.
carol stanley from Arizona on August 09, 2012:
Lovely tribute to your mother. And her best reward was what she worked for happened.
Sophie (author) on August 09, 2012:
@ Tami Fite, Thank you, your kind words bring so much consolation. God bless.
@ mperrottet, She was a blessing indeed. Thank you and God bless.
@ Brenda, thank you my dear, I appreciate your kindness. love, Sophie.
@ Tim, Thank you for always being there as a friend to support me.. You may not really know how much I value your kindness and support.
@ Ruby, You are such a sweetheart, thank you for being there, your kindness never fails to touch me. love, Sophie
@ Tami, I am sorry for the late response. I appreciate your support greatly. love, Sophie
@Lesley, Thank you my dear. I has been a tough period to say the least. God Bless.
Movie Master from United Kingdom on August 09, 2012:
Absolutely beautiful, this tribute to your mother is so well written - I am sure your mother is very proud of her wonderful daughter.
Best wishes Lesley
Tami Fite on August 09, 2012:
Honest, loving and a beautiful tribute to your mother...my mother began her eternal life with our Lord March 30th and I ow understand what the saying "grief is a journey" truly means. Some days I am ok, and others days I miss her so much I can hardly breathe. Old memories continue to flash back into my mind and I too understand more every day, just how much my mom meant to me and how much she sacrificed to love her family. may the Lord bless and keep you as you walk through your personal journey with grief. Tami
Ruby Jean Richert from Southern Illinois on August 08, 2012:
Sophie, I am in tears here. I am so sorry for your loss. What a wonderful woman, your Mother. She was brave, making her mark when men disliked a well educated woman. I know you are just like her, i've always felt that. God Bless you Dear Friend...
Tim Nichol from Me to You on August 08, 2012:
Hi sofs. So sorry to hear of your mom's passing. She sounds like a wonderful woman, and you can rightly be proud of her. Yes, it's unfortunate that we sometimes don't acknowledge how much we appreciate family and friends while they're alive. At least you know how you feel about them in your heart, and that counts for something. Well done, buddy.
Joy56 on August 08, 2012:
I am so sorry for your loss....... She was special and so are you...... she has left behind something very beautiful, in the only member of the family i have had communication with......... Time will heal the immediate pain. You will for sure be reunited. You are in my thoughts and prayers.... Brenda
Margaret Perrottet from San Antonio, FL on August 08, 2012:
What a beautiful tribute to your mother. It sounds like she was a wonderful mother and a person to admire. You are fortunate to have had her as an example. I'm so sorry for your great loss - I know how painful it is to lose a parent that is so loved.
Tami Fite on August 08, 2012:
Beautiful tribute -- my mother began her eternal existence on March 30 -- grief is a strange journey -- some days ok, others are beyond painful. God bless you as you sift through the memories and life lessons that you did not realize existed... I was and am blessed beyond imagination -- and still realizing the depth of my love for my mother as well. May the Lord bless & keep you, Tami
Sophie (author) on August 08, 2012:
@ manatita Thank you... you know the pain and the privilege of having a wonderful mother and losing her.God bless you.
@ nasus loops.... thank you... God Bless
@ truedatingtales.. my heartfelt sympathies... to you. The pain of loss is hard to bear, especially if it is a very special person to you. Thank you and God Bless.
truedatingtales from Weybridge on August 08, 2012:
Simply beautiful. I have never lost a parent but I have lost a very special person in my life and the pain is overwhelming. Your mother should and will be very proud of this tribute and of you as a person.
nasus loops from Fenland on August 08, 2012:
This is very well written and an excellent tribute to your mother. My thoughts are with you and your family at this time. Losing any member of a family is tough but a parent is exceptionally hard.
manatita44 from london on August 08, 2012:
More of us are now writing about this paramount subject. Mothers go around silently bearing the burdens of others with tremendous Grace. Someone needs to highlight this, and I am glad you've done so. Have you read my Ode to The Divine Mother? and Eulogy to my Mum? You mom seem to embody so many of this qualities.
You seem to imply that she has passed. My deepest empathy. Tomorrow is the first anniversary of my Mom's transition from this world into the next. Many Higher blessings to you and all your family.