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Thank you, Mom, for inspiring me

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In the middle of an American tour, rocker Mia Chambray awoke with a terrible virus. The Mohawk Radio singer debated whether to cancel her evening concert and stay in bed. Then she thought about her mother, Jennifer Page, at home in Bermuda.

“My mom is such a fighter always in the face of whatever adversity,” Ms Chambray said. So she got on stage and tore things up.

“I left nothing to be questioned,” Ms Chambray said. “Because that's exactly what my mom would do.”

Mothers influence us in so many ways. In honour of Mother's Day, The Royal Gazette asked some of Bermuda's most successful people how their mothers inspired their success.

New York fashion editor and stylist Shiona Turini said that like a lot teenagers, she gave her mother, Lynnell Turini, hell, at times.

Defiant and outspoken, Ms Turini often argued with her mother about her career path.

Her mom wanted her to choose accounting, she wanted to go into fashion. Still, her mother never tried to stifle her energy or diminish her.

“She showed me the world and made me feel limitless, like I could accomplish so much more than what was typical or expected,” Ms Turini said.

She added that she got her passion for fashion from her mom, but did not fully appreciate that as a child.

“I remember being 10 and watching her shoe shop with a combination of fascination, jealousy and annoyance,” Ms Turini said. “And today, I never ask her for career advice. It would only end in a fight.

“But, and I know it sounds like a cliché, I would not be where I am without the support of my mother. Her sacrifices paved the way for me.

“She is not a woman who coddles and she's not delicate or gentle. But she led by example and is the epitome of a strong black woman.”

It could be said that behind every great man is a great woman, probably his mother. That is certainly true of Troika director and founder Seldon Woolridge.

“My mother, Patti Woolridge, inspired my career by showing me how important it is to embody the attributes of passion, hard work, resilience and goodwill in whatever you do,” Mr Woolridge said. His mother, an administrator at the Berkeley Institute, comes to all of Troika's productions.

“She's very supportive,” he said. “Having a strong, driven, multitalented woman in my surroundings has shaped me in so many ways, and I am so grateful.

“There are many ways in which my mother influenced me to become what I am today and some of those things are her characteristics, perseverance, and her sense of responsibility.

“I have learnt to truly value them by watching my mother throughout my life.”

Without a mother many of us would be left with a gaping hole in our lives.

Lillian Lightbourn, who has modelled for major companies such as Maybelline and for events such as London Fashion Week, lost her mother, Garrowlyn Lightbourn, when she and her twin sister, Charlie, were 8. Luckily, she had sisters and aunts to help to fill the void.

“My sisters Dawnelle and Keilyn Lightbourn and Neaka Jackson, and stepmother Glenda Gibson all had their roles to play in my life,” she said.

“I learnt from them to love unconditionally.”

But she is reminded of her mother every time she sees herself in a photograph, as she resembles her quite a bit. She said: “The best advice I got from my mother wasn't in anything she told me, but was in her actions.

“She was the sweetest woman I'll ever know and that reminds me to be sweet. The best gift I can give her is the one she has given me; that in every photo I take as a model I see her face.

“That would make her proud.”

Although there are lots of gender stereotypes around motherhood, jeweller Alexandra Mosher, of Alexandra Mosher Studio Jewellery, said her mother, Roberta, was not keen on following them.

Growing up, there were few gender lines drawn in the Mosher household.

“When we were little, my mom would be out mowing the lawn if it needed mowing, painting the house if it needed painting, and doing what needed to be done,” Ms Mosher said.

“Because of that I know that I can be a person who gets fantastic things done, who feels empowered in business while simultaneously being wildly inspired.”

She said her mother taught her to see the world in a whimsical way, which has helped with her jewellery design.

“When I was a little girl, my mother, brother and I were always making something cool out of found objects,” she said.

“We made google-eyed reindeer out of the bottom of browned palm tree leaves, leis out of fragrant frangipani strung on long grasses, and dripped candles with shells embedded in the wax. We went on adventures and created beautiful things out of nature, and we still do.”

Love and support: Alexandra Mosher hanging out with her mother, Roberta Mosher (Photograph supplied)
Strong role model: Jennifer Page with daughter Mia Chambray, now the lead singer with Mohawk Radio. Miss Chambray's t-shirt hints at her future career (Photograph supplied)
Much loved: the late Garrowlyn Lightbourn with her twins Charlie, and Lillian Lightbourn who is now a successful model (Photograph supplied)

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Published May 06, 2016 at 9:00 am (Updated May 06, 2016 at 8:42 am)

Thank you, Mom, for inspiring me

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