In Loving Memory of My Mother: Valuable Life Lessons My Mother Taught Me


Hi wonderful people. Today is Valentine’s Day, lest you forget (smiling). I don’t know your view about Valentine’s Day – is it a special day to you or just another ordinary day? My take about this day is that it’s a special day of the year - the day of love. Wow!

You know what? There are numerous people you can reassure of your love on this day. For starters, you can appreciate the special person in your life.

Also, remember to reach out to the other people you love, such as your children, siblings, parents, friends, etc. We all need to know that someone loves and cares for us, and Valentine’s Day is a great day to do that.

On this Valentine’s Day, I plan to call and send messages to the people I love. Topmost on my list are my hubby, children, and siblings.

After that, I plan to spend some time reminiscing quietly about my mother.

You see, last year on Valentine’s Day, we buried my beloved Mother. So, today, I’ll look at physical and digital photos and videos featuring my mother and celebrate her.

By the way, when my mother passed away on February 5th, 2023, we didn’t plan to bury her on Valentine’s Day. We set the burial date without realizing it was Valentine’s Day.

I’m sure God wanted us to bury her on that day so that we can celebrate her each year on the Day of Love. She deserves to be celebrated forever!

Mum passed away at the age of 75. She had ailed for many years but had borne the illness bravely. As one of my sisters who is in the medical profession put it, “We all need God’s Grace to live but Mum needed more Grace to live.”

The reason my mother needed more Grace to live was because most of her organs were ailing. For 15 years, she took about 10 different types of medicine daily, not to mention the morning and evening insulin injections.

She also underwent dialysis for a few months before her demise.

But you know what? Mum bore her illness bravely, never complained, and never gave up.

You see, my mother was the kind of person who had unshakable faith in God. She depended on God in every situation – including her illness.

I always describe my mother as one of the greatest women of God of all times. She loved God with all her heart, soul, mind, and all that was within her. She was also a worshiper and a prayer warrior.

In December and January, she was doing very well. The doctors had even stopped her dialysis because her kidney function had improved greatly. However, she was still on the other medication.

On New Year's Day, 2023, we had our annual get-together at Mum’s place. She was glowing and she looked like she had a new lease of life. We were all very happy about the new development in her. We looked forward to spending many years with her – after all, she was only 75 years old.

Alas, about four weeks later, my mother passed on. Her death came as a surprise to all of us. We didn’t see it coming!

You see, on Thursday, 3rd January 2023, my mother suddenly developed breathing problems. My sister rushed her to hospital. When they got there, some of my other siblings and I joined them.

The doctors said that Mum’s oxygen levels were very low. They were shocked that she even made it to the hospital. She was admitted so they could administer oxygen as they carried out other tests.

Further tests revealed that Mum had a chest infection. They started administering medication for the infection. She remained on oxygen, and she was still taking her other medication.

On Saturday, my daughter and I went to visit Mum in the hospital. We found her in a very deep sleep. We woke her up and made her sit up. We tried to feed her but she said she didn’t feel like eating. She ate a few spoons and told us she wanted to sleep.

That day, Mum was not her normal self. She was too sleepy, didn’t want to eat, and most importantly, didn’t want to talk. My mother was naturally a happy, friendly, talkative, and chatty woman. If you were not careful, she could talk your ear off (smiling). So, the fact that she didn’t want to talk worried us a lot.

At one point when we were still in the hospital room, Mum heard us talking about our concerns for her. She tossed sleepily in bed and told us, "Be strong and courageous". She repeated those words twice – the first time in our language and the second time in English.

At around 7.00 pm, a nurse came to tell us that the visiting time was over. We (my sister, my daughter, my Mum’s brother, and I) surrounded Mum’s bed and prayed with her. She said amen. We kissed her and bade her goodbye.

I don't know why I was uneasy the entire night. I thought about Mum and hardly slept.

At around 6.00 am on Sunday, 5th February 2023, we received a call from the hospital. The person who called told us to go there immediately.

After that chilling call from the hospital, I knew that Mum was no more. I could feel it in my heart. I started crying…

When my husband, daughter, my friend, and I arrived at the hospital, we found my sister and her husband there. We headed to the ward where we'd left our Mum.

When we got there, someone ushered us into the doctor’s office. As we passed outside the ward, we noticed that our mother’s bed was empty. I started wailing…

The doctor broke the news that our Mum passed on in the wee hours of Sunday morning.

To say I was devastated by the news of the passing on of my mother is an understatement. I have no words to describe how I felt when the doctor gave us the news…

Later on in the day after all my siblings, some close relatives, and close friends arrived at the hospital, we went to the morgue to view our Mum's body.

Seeing our Mum’s cold, lifeless body was spine-chilling, nauseating, and horrifying. Our hearts broke into pieces. The sight also drained all the strength from our bodies. Some of my siblings collapsed!

After viewing her body at the morgue we headed straight to our mother’s home. When we got there, some of us started crying and wailing once again. The thought that our mother was no more was unbearable.

Then, I also realized that we had become orphans! That realization was indescribable.

As I said at the beginning of this post, today (Valentine’s Day), I just want to reminisce about my mother. She was a priceless jewel to my late dad, my siblings, her grandchildren, and me. She also impacted her siblings, friends, neighbors, community, and church in a big way.

Kindly allow me to share what I’ve been reminiscing about my mother. I’ll do so by sharing valuable life lessons my mother taught me. I hope you can borrow something from these lessons.

The Valuable Life Lessons My Mother Taught Me

Let me share with you the valuable life lessons my mother taught me without further ado.

My Mother Taught Me That the Fear of the Lord is the Beginning of Wisdom

My mother and father taught me about God and took me to church when I was born. I grew up in a staunch, Christian family. I grew up feeling loved and valued.

The first thing my mother taught me from an early age is that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom (Proverbs 9:1). She said that God is omnipotent, omnipresent, and omniscient. So, a wise person realizes there’s nothing they can hide from God. As a result, they fear and revere God.

I guess she wanted to teach me to do the right thing always. Even when nobody was watching, God was watching.

That lesson stuck with me from a very young age.

For instance, when I was a young girl, sometimes mum would tell me to feed my small sister during the weekend. My sister was an annoyingly poor feeder.  She didn’t like food. So, she would keep the food in her mouth for several minutes before swallowing it. She could take about two hours to finish lunch!

I loved playing. So, when my sister took too long to eat lunch, I’d get impatient. I would be tempted to throw away her food and lie to Mum that my sister ate all her lunch.

Then, I would remember that God was watching me. I would then reluctantly feed my little sister until she finished the food. Ugh!

The phrase “the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom," has stuck with me to date, thanks to my mother.

My Mother Taught Me That Cleanliness is Next to Godliness

I don’t really know where this phrase came from – I haven’t found any verse in the Bible (have you?). However, it was one of Mum’s cliché phrases.

From my interpretation, I think it means that believers should be clean both spiritually and physically.

However, my mother usually emphasized physical cleanliness. That God loved cleanliness and disliked dirt.

So, our home was always sparkling clean. Mother taught me that I should never go to play, read novels, sit to chat, eat, etc, when the dishes, house, or compound were dirty. I was supposed to ensure everything was clean before embarking on other things. God loves a clean place.

In addition, after cleaning up everything, I had to clean myself up and wear clean clothes before embarking on leisure activities. God loves a clean person.

I hold on dearly to this teaching to date. I have also taught the same to my children.

Mother Taught Me That the Devil Makes People Sulk

When I was a teenager, I had mood swings, and I was a chronic sulker. My sulking was especially, terrible when I woke up in the morning. I didn’t want to talk or eat!

Now, my mother was ever cheerful, and as I mentioned earlier, she was talkative and chatty. So, whenever I woke up, she’d greet me cheerfully and invite me to have breakfast. Most of the time I didn’t want to talk or eat (I was sulking). I’d just stare back at her.

I didn’t understand how someone (Mum) could be cheerful always – even in the morning! Who does that?

Mom observed my sulking for some time without saying anything.

One day, I woke up in the worst mood. I was snapping at everyone. Mom noticed, and she asked me to sit down. I sat down, and she started speaking to me.

She put on her happiest tone and said something like, “Sweetheart, today, the small devil that makes you sulk is at work in you more than ever.”

I looked at her with shock. I tried to analyze her words in my head. The words “small devil” shocked me.

I asked her, “Small devil?”

She replied, “Yes, there’s a small devil that enters your heart some days before you wake up. He makes you swell like a balloon. He also steals your joy”. I was dumbfounded!

She continued, “The next time the small devil tells you to sulk, tell him, ‘Go away devil, in the Name of Jesus’”.

That statement was appalling, powerful, and hilarious. We all burst out laughing – Mum, my siblings, and I.

And that was the end of my sulking! Every time I felt like sulking, I’d remember the small devil. I didn’t want anything to do with the devil!

That lesson has lived with me up to now.

Do you sulk? Every time you feel like sulking, think of the small devil!

Mum Taught Me To Pray in Every Situation; Even When You Feel Like You’re Bothering God

I mentioned earlier that my mother was a prayer warrior. This means she was committed to praying for herself and others.

When I was growing up, my Mum would pray for every meal and she’d pray before we went to sleep. So, I learned to pray from a very young age.

What used to amaze and amuse me when I was young was that Mum used to pray for every situation. Even in situations where I'd feel like she was bothering God.

For example, if we found a jam on the road, Mum would whisper a prayer. She’d ask God to clear the jam. I’d wonder why she would involve God in things like a traffic jam.

If we got visitors just before we were about to eat, Mum would warmly welcome them to eat with us. As she served the food, she’d ask God to make it enough for everyone. She’d tell me about the prayer when the visitors left. I used to find it amusing.

Or, if she got into a bus and it took long to fill up, she’d ask God to bring passengers quickly. My goodness!

Honestly, the fact that Mum prayed in every situation was sometimes amusing to me. Surely, why disturb God?

I later came to understand that nothing is too small or too great for God. We should involve God in every situation of our lives – big or small.

Today, I try to pray in every situation, as I learned from Mama.

My Mother Taught Me That Laziness is a Disease

My mother was a true definition of the Proverbs 31 woman. She was hardworking, to a fault. Sometimes I wondered where she got all that energy and zeal.

She taught me that laziness is a disease.

She usually quoted the bible verse, “If anyone is not willing to work, then he is not to eat, either”. (2 Thessalonians 3:10). Well, she never denied us food, but she hammered this phase whenever we slackened.

When we were growing up, Mum did not tolerate laziness from us. As I said earlier, we had to do all the chores and bathe before doing anything else. She insisted that not doing chores was laziness.

The worst part was that Mother woke us early every morning, even during weekends and school holidays. She would wake us up as early as 7.00 am. No wonder some of us would sulk!

After breakfast, we would get on with our chores. By 10.00 am, everything was in order. We were then free to play or indulge in other leisure activities.

Mother said that laziness was a disease. In addition, she said that it could lead to poverty and slavery.

When I was young, I thought Mum was punishing us by not allowing us to sleep in. Today, I appreciate what she did. She instilled a work ethic in all of us.

I have tried to instill the same work ethic in my kids.

Mother Taught Me That Having a Pity Party is a Weakness

As I mentioned earlier, we sometimes felt like our Mum was too hard on us. For instance, she could not entertain pity parties among any of us. She said that having a pity party was a weakness. That misery loves company.

Mom would not agree to join any of our pity parties.

For example, if any of us fell sick, she’d take us to the hospital. She would then take care of us and ensure we took the medication given to us by the doctor.

After three days, she would tell the person to wake up, shower, eat and resume normal life.

She said the healing process is continuous. So, you didn’t have to wait to recover fully to resume your normal life.

Interestingly, her approach worked, somehow.

My Mother Taught Me To Always Look at the Bright Side of Life

One thing that amazed me about my mother was her positive mindset. She avoided negativity as much as she could, even in the worst situations.

She was forever optimistic, confident, and hopeful. She always looked at the bright side of life.

My Mum always chose to enjoy the present moment and surrender her future to God. She was such a joy to be around!

I remember one day when she was very sick. I took her to see a renowned doctor. We wanted to have a second opinion about her treatment.

When we arrived at the hospital, they did numerous tests on her. After the tests, the nurse told us to wait for the results. We’d see the doctor after we got the results.

Mum was very sick, but we chatted and laughed as we waited to see the doctor.

When we went to the doctor’s office, he told us to sit. He had Mum’s file on the table. He turned the pages in the file slowly. He would pause and look at the roof as he tapped the table softly with his pen (picture that). He did that for several minutes without saying a word to us.

Now, Mum started giggling softly and whispering to me. She told me, “This doctor is deeply worried about me. According to him, my condition is horrendous. He doesn’t know what to say or where to start.”

Her words were so funny that I felt like bursting out laughing. I pleaded with her to stop whispering to me. I didn’t want the doctor to think we were laughing at him.

Mum went on whispering to me. She said, “He should know that nothing in the test results can scare me. My life is in God’s hands. To live is Christ, and to die is gain.” I almost choked as I tried to swallow a giggle that was trying to escape.

Your guess is as good as mine. The doctor gave my mother a horrendous report. Most of her organs were failing. He prescribed a new treatment regime for her.

The doctor's report made me tremble, literally. However, my mother was unperturbed. She didn't entertain pity parties.

She thanked the doctor graciously and wished him success and God's blessings. Then we left.

Guess what? My Mum lived for another seven years after that encounter with the doctor!

I still struggle to be as positive as Mum, but I keep trying.

Conclusion

I have numerous life lessons that my mother taught me. I think I should write a book in honor of my mother.
 

I can honestly say that everything I've learned that's worth knowing, I learned from my God and my mother. My Mum played a huge role in shaping me into the woman I am today.

She taught me valuable life lessons. I learned many of these lessons by observing her and listening to her. I will be forever grateful to her.

I have also passed on some of these life lessons to my children.

My mother is gone. She was not an angel but she was a good enough mum. She will live forever in my heart. That’s why I chose to celebrate her and reminisce about her this Valentine's Day.

Is your mother still alive? I challenge you to call her, visit her, or send her flowers this Valentine’s Day. It doesn’t matter what your relationship with her is like. Tell her you love her. She’s your mother.

Remember that no one will ever love you like your mother. Her love is pure! I know that now, more than ever.

Happy Valentine’s Day!




enna

I'm a life coach, teacher, mother, wife, writer, and blogger. I love writing about well-being, relationships, and family.

12 Comments

  1. She was truly an amazing woman, amazing is actually an understatement. Glad to have actually gotten a chance to meet her and share our lives with her.❤️

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    1. Hi Suzzayy. Thanks for reading. Glad you got to meet Mama and she showered you with love. Cherish her memories.

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  2. What a lovely piece about your mum and other mums. I’m a sulker too 😁, but now I’ll be warning the little devil away. May she continue to rest in peace

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    1. Thanks for reading. All the best with the 'little devil'. Sometimes it's all in the mind.

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  3. To be loved and treasured always. This is a beautiful write up about our beloved mother.

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    1. She was indeed a rare jewel. May she continue resting in peace.

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  4. Mama had a beautiful heart and soul.

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    Replies
    1. A beautiful soul indeed. Thanks for stopping by.

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  5. A true definition of our mother.

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    Replies
    1. She was all that and more. Thanks for stopping by.

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  6. A Very touching encapsulation of who Mum was in a nutshell.
    Praying even for rather mundane issues is something that got engraved on me.
    Perhaps also worth noting was Mum was the most punctual person I have ever known, she was never late and respected time

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  7. Mum was truly an amazing lady. I have learnt a lot from this articles. Especially about praying even for little things and not to pity oneself

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