Mothers are such a blessing. Their ability to show unconditional love to their children is unique and innate to who they are. Having my mother in my life was similar to having a mentor that I could look up to, pattern after and turn to with my problems.
Though I am not a mother, I have experienced a mother’s love and it is has made a difference in my life. As a child I had many memories with my mother combing my hair, smiling in the audience while I sang solos at church and packing my cheese sandwiches for lunch.
My mother is a woman full of purpose and the radiance of God. She is always full of love, sets the bar high and is a phenomenal woman. My mom set the example for me and everything that I am today is because of what she showed me in her actions, words and deeds.
A few of my closest friends have lost their mothers to illness or other circumstances and I often ask them how they survive day to day without their mother’s physical presence. Their answer, they survive but it is a void that cannot be filled. To the women who have lost their moms, I truly salute you for your resilience and ability to perserve without the guiding hand of your mother. Stay strong.
I have been blessed to have two other very important women in my life who are like mothers to me.
Here are their stories.
Vanessa- My Mother
My Mom Vanessa is an outlier. Her life’s story is one of a strong woman who went against all odds to make her dreams a reality. My mom was a young mogul in Trinidad where she ran her family’s empire built on floral design, sewing classes, cake decorating and other contracted creative projects. Sound familiar? Ha. She was the woman in charge and that was totally against the rules for women during the 1970s.
Upon her marriage in Canada, her dream of building a family was at the forefront of her efforts. Daniel (my younger brother) and I came along and despite the demands of motherhood, she continued to feed her creative mind and continued to teach sewing classes, floral design courses and custom sewing in Toronto. Along with these endeavours, she was committed to her church community and was the leader of many charity projects that raised money for the development of a new church building.
In the 1990s, my mom became a student and studied phlebotomy. She was at the top of her class and received many job offers right after graduation. After working for a few years, once again her family was her main focus and she returned to raising her children.
I didn’t understand why she left her job at the time. But looking at my brother and I almost 30 years later, I see the profitable results of her decision. It was her career or her children, and she chose the latter.
My mom is the queen of pivoting and with each turn in life she has been able to adapt, redirect and redesign the course of her life, while literally feeding the hungry and visiting the sick. At the centre of each turn was the goal of ensuring that her children would make a valuable contribution to the world and serve the Lord with their whole heart.
From teaching my restless brother to read and write, to praying with me before my university exams, our mom has gone beyond the call of duty.
Today my mother is still a woman of prayer and a creative innovator. She has fulfilled her purpose as a woman of God, the best wife and as a mother. She is known as a prayer leader and can still sew one of the best dresses you will ever own. She swims three times a week and can cook the best Trini fried bake ever!
My brother and I have accomplished great things in our lives that would have not been possible without the prayer and push from our mother.
Looking at myself and where I am today, I am pretty much the carbon copy of my mother. I am an entrepreneur who is involved in many creative projects. I love sewing and love to cook. The centre of my life is my husband and my family. And I look exactly like my mom.
Every pretty dress I make, every prayer you hear me pray… Every published paper that my brother writes and his kind and gentle demeanor is because of our mother, Vanessa.
Mom thank you for sacrificing everything for us.
Daniel and I love you!
Happy Mother’s Day.
Antoinette- My Aunt
They (My Dad and Uncle) say I look like my mom but I am exactly like my Aunt. I take that was a compliment because that means I am beautiful and a strong determined woman with a head on my shoulders.
My Auntie Anto, an educator in Trinidad, turned accomplished registered nurse in Canada, came into my life at a very early age. I still remember attending her nursing graduation and the party we held in her honour. I didn’t quite understand what the whole fuss was about. But a black women coming from Trinidad and receiving her RN certification was a major deal in the 1990s. To this day I have her nursing books in my library with all her notes in them. I won’t let them go.
There are so many memories with my Auntie Anto. I remember us spending many weekends together playing dress up, watching the Little Mermaid and doing impromptu photo shoots in dresses that she custom made for me.
My Auntie Anto is beyond an Aunt and has become my best friend, client ( I’m her primary stylist. Ha.), confidante and spiritual mentor. In my 30 years of life, Auntie Anto has been second in command after my mother. My mom would only have to utter her name and I knew whatever bad behavior I was exhibiting would be handled by a higher power. My mother had support and it was comforting to know that Auntie Antoinette was her sister and her support system. This is still the case today.
Auntie Antoinette instilled in me the importance of independence, maximizing your inward beauty and how to use the power of poise to stand out in a crowd.
Recently, we were standing discussing our upcoming vacations. As I looked down, I noticed both of our hands were clasped, we both were attentively leaning into each other with a slight smile. I thought to myself, “Aquila where I did you learn that from”. In that moment, I was my Aunt’s mirror image. My mannerisms, poise and grace were a reflection of all that I have witnessed for 30 years.
Last week I showed up to Auntie Anto’s house. Holt Renfrew bag in tow. Inside was a pair of the coveted Celine Shadows sunglasses. She fell in love with them when she saw them on me a few weeks ago. I got them for her as just a small token to let her know that forever, I will be her mirror image. Even down to the Celine shades.
Annette- My Mother-in-Law
I met Mum Annette shortly after meeting her eldest son (my husband) and from the first meeting she extended her love to me simply because of my admiration for her son. Her love was further extended when we realized that we had a love for all things girlie such as makeup and shoes. Our commonalities, mutual love for each other and her son, brought us closer and I now consider her a mother figure in my life.
When her father died, I attend the funeral in Trinidad. At the time I was not engaged to her son but after I sang at the church during the funeral, she proclaimed that I was her daughter- in-law. Ha! It all became real. She considered me family and from that day it’s all history.
A few weeks before my wedding day, I received a gift bag with a watch. I was stunned. It was a watch that I saw months ago and really wanted to wear on my wedding day. She got it for me. Just like her son, Mum Annette knew the desires of my heart. It was a moment I won’t forget and reminded me that my mother-in-law would become another mother to me.
Thank you Mum Annette for instilling the rich qualities that make my husband the upstanding man that he is today. Thank you for welcoming me into the family, always showing me love and treating me like the daughter you never had.
Happy Mother’s Day Mum Annette.
These three women are the true definition of a Squad. We stand by each other, love each other and have each others back.
Shoutout to the special mothers listed below who are my friends, family and role models:
My friends: Janelle, Trista , Toneil, Patrice, Andrea Ragoo, Angelique, Tinesha, Brandii, Annika R., MelissaWalton, Patricia Walton, Dominique, Mishel , Tanzy C, Nikkie Thompson, Tiffany Q and Nyasha.
The Moms to be: Elizabeth G., Sandra B. and Fiona S.
My Aunts: Auntie Kelva, Auntie Josie, Auntie Di, Auntie Sandra,
Auntie Claudia, Auntie Barbara, Auntie Jean and Auntie Gill.
My Cousins, Lindy-Ann, Kerlene, Barbara, Pauline, Nicole,
Darlene, Marlise, Nik George and Kathy- Ann.
My Mentor/Big sister, Rachel Wilson.
My favourite Teacher ever in life, Wendy Hutchinson.
Everyone's MOM...Mum Hutch
My Honorary Aunties: Auntie Gay, Auntie Vera, Auntie Joan, Auntie Aura, Auntie Betty, Auntie Pretha, Auntie Jacinth, Auntie Marshie, Auntie Ermine, Auntie Zungo, Auntie Dee, Auntie Marge Auntie Peggy, Auntie Elaine (Earch), Auntie Jenny, Auntie Pam Edwards, Auntie Pauline Christian and Auntie Rosie.
Mothers I remember every year RIP:
My grandmothers Queta and Nora
Ren Ren’s Mom
Happy Mother’s Day to all of the mothers and mother figures!