Today, dozens of countries around the world are celebrating this Mother’s Day according to their traditions. Florist shops have run out of roses, restaurants have been booked weeks in advance, handmade cards have kept children busy in school art classes throughout the week, and fathers were up early this morning to help their children prepare breakfast-in-bed for mom.
Today I am celebrating Mother’s Day in Canada by remembering by Mom and the many ways she inspired me to become the woman I am today.
She passed away 5 years ago, this coming week, just several days after the weekend celebrating her life as mother and grandmother or “Babcia” as her grandchildren still call her when speaking of and sharing their memories of her.
She was a formidable lady having gone through war, famine and many other hardships that life threw her way. I posted a short bio of her life last year, so this year I want to share her qualities and how they influenced myself and my family.
She was a fighter, a survivor and taught me to never give up and to fight for what I believed was right. It’s not always easy to stand-my-ground but she always supported me and I know she’s still there beside me, giving me strength.
She was tough but fair even though I may not have always thought so – especially in my formative years. We certainly had our battles but we also had our great times and those are the ones that I cherish when I think of her.
She was kind to others and knew the meaning of helping those in need. Having been a war refugee herself she never forgot the helping hands of the International Red Cross and other organizations and individuals that were there for her and her family. Sharing and volunteering is something that she taught me at an early age and which I continue to practice to enrich my life.
She loved her family unconditionally. Her husband, her children and her grandchildren were the lights of her life. She is fondly remembered at every family occasion and we just know that she is there with us sharing in the laughs and the good times.
She was an excellent, self-taught cook and had me “helping” in the kitchen as long as I can remember. Having suffered hunger in her early years, she made sure that we knew that food was to be savoured, appreciated and enjoyed. She always laughed when she spoke of the first meal she cooked as a newlywed – burned pork chops that she slathered with sour cream. My father just remembered eating it lovingly and swore that the meal was perfectly cooked.
She knew that family was important and, even if someone was not family, they became family. Whatever the occasion or celebration, there was always a few extra guests around the table. Whether I brought a friend home unexpectedly or I knew that someone was alone for the holidays, my Mom always welcomed them with open arms, found an extra chair, and put another food-laden plate on the table.
Today I celebrate her and the many qualities that made her a wonderful Mom. Today and every day I thank her for being my rock, my inspiration and my strength. Every day I miss her, think of her, and remember all the joy she brought and brings to my life.
Happy Mother’s Day, Mom… I love you!
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