What lessons have you learnt from your mom?
Sure, your mom taught you to tie your shoe laces and say “please” and “thank you”, but she probably passed on more profound life lessons as well.
In honour of Mother’s Day on Sunday, Lifestyle asked some of our contacts to share the most important thing they learnt from their mom.
Roxanne Christopher said her late mother Hazel taught her to believe in her own capabilities.
“When I became a single mother and I was dealing with the journey ahead, I will never forget the day in her boutique when she told me that I was not the first, nor will I be the last, and I have all the tools to be an amazing mother.
“It was a very surreal moment to have my mother call me an amazing mom.”
Ms Christopher said she was always the apple of her mother’s eye. The Jamaican-born seamstress had four sons and had been praying for a daughter when she was born — as a result their bond was always a very strong one.
“I was always raised knowing that I was her special gift that she prayed for,” she said.
“My mom would call me every day at work even though we lived together, to remind me that she loved [my son] Riley and I. She would tell me that I was destined for greatness.
“There was never a greater role model in my life than my mom and I can only hope that my life will measure up to the legacy she has left for me.”
Celebrating Mother’s Day has been especially hard since her mother passed away two years ago. She plans to spend the day with family and will place her mom’s favourite flowers, Calla lilies, on her grave. Her son has also written a poem for his nana.
Atelerie owner Heather MacDonald described her mom Charlene as her “rock”.
“She has continually supported and inspired me to work harder, even when the going gets tough,” Ms MacDonald said.
“A very important lesson she taught me was to always follow my dreams both personally and professionally. As a result, I’ve tended to choose unconventional and risky careers, from working as an artist, an oil painter, and starting a new business, Atelerie, at the start of a major recession.
“She continues to be my biggest advocate no matter how crazy my ideas sometimes are — selling wine and chocolate in a women’s clothing store! She’s always there to give me valuable advice, a helping hand or just be a sounding board.
“Probably, though, the most powerful lesson and gift she has given me is unconditional love as she has always been there for me through thick and thin. I am really very fortunate.”
Author Rodney Smith said his mom taught him never to give up, even when the going gets tough in life.
“My mother [Yolanda] taught me to always believe in myself,” he said.
“She instilled this in me from a very young age. I remember the first two years of high school, I wasn’t doing so well. I guess you can say I was just getting by.
“She noticed that and sat me down and had a heart-to-heart talk with me. This talk is what turned things around for myself. Her having so much faith in me that I could do better, made me believe in myself. She is one of the main reasons why I’m successful and why I have accomplished so much today.”
Mr Smith is currently working towards a bachelor’s degree in computer science in Huntsville, Alabama; he’s also the founder of a support group for single mothers there. Jamahl Simmons said the most important lesson he learnt from his mother, Cecille Snaith-Simmons, was self-respect.
“Like my father, my mom believed and taught us that as black children we should have knowledge and love of self first, so that we would be able to function in this world without any sense of inadequacy or inferiority,” the PLP MP said.
“That is a lesson that I took to heart and carry with me everyday.”
Gita Blakeney Saltus said her mom, long-time educator Davina Blakeney, has been a constant source of strength in both her and her sister Gina’s lives.
“When I quietly think of my mother and her lessons of life, I am most impacted by her devout faith in God, her dignity and her respect of others.
“She teaches me by her example, the beauty and authenticity of kindness, forgiveness and humility and I give thanks for her life and her unwavering commitment to our family.”
Mrs Blakeney Saltus said she uses such qualities in her role as executive director of drug treatment organisation Pathways Bermuda. She said she would be honoured to be like her mom when she gets older.
“She is the greatest role model that I could ever have,” she added.
Owner of TABS Bermuda shorts Rebecca Singleton said her mother, Elizabeth Jane Hanson was her mentor, nurse, piano teacher and “TABS delivery lady extraordinaire”.
She also taught her how to seize each drop of fun out of life, she added.
“The lesson my granny told my mom, which my mom now tells me, is to enjoy every minute.
“Every success I’ve ever achieved is because my mom was there supporting, encouraging and helping me. In hard times — and there have been very hard times — her strength and heart never cease to amaze and inspire me.”
To this day there’s no one Mrs Singleton would rather enjoy a cup of tea or glass of wine — or two — with, than her mom.