Tribute to my Mama

my daddy and mama
I thank God for my mom. She is a smart, beautiful and very hardworking woman who has a lot of common sense and more importantly, a sound and solid soul. All my life, she has been working from home because she chose to. She has a degree in accountancy and was the fastest typist and stenographer in the office and was actually one of her boss’ favorites but early on in her marriage, she quit her office job and stayed home when one of my younger brothers came down with amoebiasis.
Right from our home, I had seen her build a small retail store into a buzzling community wholesale store. When we became Baptists and my mom read from the Bible the evils of alcohol and smoking, she stopped selling liquor and cigarettes even if it meant losing her customers. Her store eventually closed down. She then transitioned and found a more lucrative business in the form a lumber yard which was a lot less labor-intensive than running a store.
She has also been managing a sugarcane farm which has helped to bring income to sustain our gigantic family of 8. When my dad gave his life to become a pastor, my mom again gave up her lumber yard and started a school instead. Her academy is now known to be churning out fast and early readers in our town. Her Christian academy is now offering up to grade 8 level of education and is now housed in two buildings. At the present, she is intent on preparing for senior high school. And she’s already 61 — normally not a time for starting anew and making transitions — but then my Mom is beyond normal.
I am constantly amazed at just how much my mom has accomplished in life. She is an astute businesswoman, a fair employer, a passionate teacher, a dutiful pastor’s wife, an excellent homemaker, an ever-present mom and just, simply an interesting woman.
Through it all, my mom has always been a constant presence in our home. 
She cooks well and fast. She sews by hand and by machine. She maintains a vegetable and flower garden and recently, a vermi-composting farm. She visits with my Dad. She teaches in Sunday School. It is still a wonder to me how she juggles her many responsibilities.
When I come to think about it, the kind of women I grew up admiring and looking up to are robust, lively, dutiful and hardworking women like my mom. She didn’t obsess about her looks, she rarely puts on makeup, yet I know she can show up at schooI events and outshine everyone. She does not own a set of jewelry and she disdains painting her nails, yet she’s beautiful in her nonchalant way.
I know she is a very intelligent woman (she was class salutatorian in high school) and I know she could have easily used her wits to climb up the corporate ladder, yet she chose to stay at home so she can take care of us. Back before working at home was thought of as hip, Mama was a pioneer and trailblazer in that field. Through the years she managed to carve a fulfilling niche at home, and successfully at that. We know her income was almost equal to that of my Dad who worked as a civil engineer at a state-owned power corporation.
Until now, I consider women of substance those who can strike a balance between work and home, those who can achieve their dreams without necessarily neglecting relationships, those who are a whiz both at home and in their career. I hope I’ll be like Mama, but I feel I lag so far behind. It sure is empowering to have as a peg your own mom, to look up to her with admiration and respect, to feel inspired to come close to what she has been and done.
This is my way of saying Happy Mothers’ Day to Mama, and my own way of greeting all my mom readers a Happy Mothers’ Day as well. May I become like my Mama. If I could become her, that would be the time I would want my daughter to become like me.

How has your Mama impacted your own life? I hope you’d step out and share, as a way to honor your mom this month.

If you enjoyed this, you’d also love this blog post on my mom being a social entrepreneur.

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