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The love us, raise us, and occasionally embarrass us

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Mamas, they love us, raise us, inspire us, discipline us, nag us, and on occasionally embarrass the heck out of us. In honour of Mother's Day on Sunday, The Royal Gazette recently polled some of its readers for their favourite stories about their mothers.

Like a lot of teenagers Hannah Collins said her mother could really make her blush.

“When we were children, my mother, Michelle Collins, would always, without fail, dance up and down Front Street during Harbour Nights, singing loudly and clapping along to the music,” said Miss Collins. “Of course, my younger sister and I were utterly embarrassed by our mother's enthusiasm.”

Now that they're both grown up though, they look back at their mother's behaviour with pride and admiration.

“I realise that she was just loving life and expressing her love for the music,” said Miss Collins. “And she didn't care what we thought, nor what our teenage friends thought, not one bit. Now that I have grown up a little and become more comfortable in my own skin, I feel I may have inherited some of that cheerful, carefree energy myself. That's one of my favourite memories of my mother, because I like seeing her happy.”

Tanya Warner, who works at the Bermuda Institute, said she didn't know where she would be today without the influence of her mother, Myrtle Eugenia Durham, 85.

“She is still the strong, loving, beautiful woman who sacrificed to raise five children on her own,” said Ms Warner. “Mom, we don't know where we would be today without your love, strong discipline and guidance. We are all grown now and heading for retirement, but because of you, and by the grace of God, we have become productive assets to our own children and the community.”

Marica Burgess said her mother, Judith Burgess has been a great inspiration to her. Marica was adopted by Judith, her biological aunt, when she was five years old.

“She took me in as her own,” said Marica who works in the insurance industry.

Judith is Executive Director of youth charity Pride Bermuda. Marica's favourite memory was tagging along with her while she worked.

“When my mom first began facilitating Youth to Youth Friday meetings for teens I was about six years old,” said Marica. “We would tag along with her to each meeting and were always part of Pride youth conferences in the community helping to promote drug-free living.

“She's always been at the centre of helping others. I admire how she can still manage all of that each day and come home to care for her grand babies and have supper ready on time.”

Mothers are often the rock of the family, working hard to maintain stability even when times are difficult.

“When I was younger, my family had some hard times,” said Kristin White, Development Director of the St Georges Foundation. “Basic necessities were the only focus and even those were a struggle. We'd go to The Barn or Bargain Box and I'd fill up bags of books. Plus my mama could sew and I had older sisters so I always had clothes.”

But one day, she and her mother were walking past a store when she saw a dress she had to have.

“It was so pretty,” said Ms White. “My mama smiled and asked if I liked it. I immediately hung it back up and said, ‘No it's okay. I know we can't afford it.' I remember my mama's face just dropping.”

The next week when she came home, the pretty dress was on Ms White's bed.

“I can't even remember what the dress looked like,” said Ms White. “But this memory, it brings me to tears every time.”

Weddings can often be a tearful, moving time between mother and daughter. Jenny Burrell-Jones, a nurse, and amateur actress, said one of her favourite memories of her mother was when her mother, Norma Burrell, was able to fly to Bermuda for her wedding. They are originally from the United Kingdom.

“My husband, Terrence, and I were married on Chaplin Bay and mum walked me down the sandy aisle,” she said. “My dad had passed away about 12 years ago so it was a no-brainer that mum would take that role. She looked so happy and proud as we walked along the sand. On the walk down she gave me some words of advice. My mum is beautiful inside and out.”

Dr Maria Seaman, Pastor of the Shekinah Worship Centre said she appreciated her mother, Dianne Juliet Russell, for her love and empathy.

“She knows my heart and hence, she knows exactly what to say to help my heart when it is hurting,” said Dr Seaman. “I recall in 1984, when I was taking Physics II, I was sure that I had failed an exam. I walked back to the dorm, wanting to quit college, I was so sad. I called my mom and she said: ‘Maria, you just do the very best that you can'. I have tears in my eyes, remembering this. This was so soothing and healing. Now, with two daughters in University, I have had to repeat those very words to them-even this past week. Mom, thanks! I love you with all that I am and ever will become.”

Amateur actor and sailor, Alexander Rosati, originally from Canada, said he and his mother, Diane Castonguay Rosati, share a passion for sailing and the sea.

“Of all the races I have been in, one of my fondest memories was the Marblehead to Halifax race,” he said. “It was made a very special occasion as my parents had retired to Nova Scotia and were, then, members of the Royal Nova Scotia Yacht Squadron. I still remember with pride when I was able to sail into my mom's home yacht club as a competitor in such a prestigious race. I remember how happy she was when I pulled into port and tied up bounding over the rail to give her a hug on the dock. Thinking back on that moment all I can think to say is: ‘Thanks Mom! Thanks for everything'.”

Judith Burgess, Pride Bermuda Executive Director in centre.
Monica Dobbie and mother Hilde Steinberg.
Mother Dianne Russell and daughter Pastor Dr Maria Seaman.
Mother Myrtle Durham.
Alexander Rosati and mom Diane Castonguay Rosati.

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Published May 09, 2014 at 9:00 am (Updated May 08, 2014 at 6:08 pm)

The love us, raise us, and occasionally embarrass us

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