My mother would have turned 80 years today, she died of an ischemic heart attack at the age of 52, three years younger than I am today. I will never be able to erase that date from my memory as my dad and uncles came to break the tragic news. I don’t think there’s anything that can adequately prepare you for the loss of a parent. My people say, you can never finish crying.

Mum won the Dr. Maja’s prize for best student in midwifery and rose to be a matron in a teaching hospital before she retired. She was self-less, hardworking, loving, sacrificial, stylish, pretty, and dedicated to family. She saved and scrimped to train all her younger ones and helped everyone that came her way. I remember her giggles and her beautiful smile. She was so gentle and simple. She was peace loving and liked to socialize with her friends. She was also a business woman, an investor, a sewing mistress, Baker, farmer, you name it.

I usually speak more of my late father but this year it’s been different. Maybe it’s because I ran across and old friend of hers in January. It was like stepping back in time. That meeting opened a torrent of emotion and it’s like I am mourning her death all over again.

My mother was not perfect, but she was the perfect mother for me. I couldn’t have wished for another. I remember being with me through the delivery of my son, and seeing me through the many sleepless nights after. I recall her nursing me when I was sick, the love oozing out from all her pores. I wouldn’t have exchanged her for all the gold in the world. The first two Designer Women Workshops took place on August 22nd, her birthday and our shelter is named after her – Grace’s Place. These are minute gestures in remembrance of her compassion and humaneness.

I can go on and on about my mother but I just want to wish every woman out there : happy Mother’s Day. I celebrate you indeed. Motherhood is not necessarily biological, it’s an essence, a posture of love, sacrifice and service, a nurturing instinct which every woman possesses. We love our mothers. Therefore to all God’s Designer Women out there please call your mother and wish her happy Mother’s Day.

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