Mother's Day 2015
Motherhood: All love begins and ends there. – Robert Browning
I got to grow up with a mother who taught me to believe in me. – Antonio Villaraigosa
Many beautiful words have been said in honour of mothers and I asked some friends and family, who may not be as well known as Robert Browning or Sophia Loren, but are nonetheless as wise and eloquent, to give me their thoughts on:
What I've learnt from my mother
My mother Bertha taught me about caring and kindness.
She told me about her unhappy, motherless childhood and how neighbours had rallied around to help her, providing food, shelter and early education.
"Always be nice to people, listen to what they tell you, and especially be kind to old people. "They always need help," she said.
My mum, Eufrocina Magpantay, bless her soul, grew up in poverty.
Education was never a part of her growing up.
At six years of age, instead of going to school, she went to work as a domestic help (mind you this was in 1917).
In later years, and with a family of her own, she instilled in us that education is worth pursuing.
She was the best teacher in my life.
My mother, Mila, taught me never to bear grudges because if you seek revenge on someone who has wronged you, then you are lowering yourself to their level.
She taught me by example and by how she lived her life.
One of many important things that I learned from my late mother Barbara (a teacher and the daughter of an English town postmaster), was, "Think what you like, say what you like, but be very careful about what you write."
This advice is still apt, particularly in this often perilous age of social media and hi-tech communications!
My mum, Ida, always makes the best effort to help me in various things and she lets me enjoy myself.
It is interesting to hear what she says about many topics and I learnt to have a wide range of interests.
She can be both serious and have a sense of humour, even over-the-top sense of humour!
My mum, Jo, has taught me so much and while some of it has leaked out of my ears, these are the ones that I remember:
Don't cry over spilt milk and don't wallow in the past. Learn from your mistakes and move on.
It is no longer a mistake, if you learn from it.
Do your best, not for anyone else, but for yourself.
Listen to what others have to say before advancing your own opinion first,
Be thankful and always be humble.
Finally, what I learnt from my mother, Kitty Josephine, was "You can do anything if you try hard enough."
She was first married at the age of 19, had a baby at 20 and was widowed during World War 2, aged 22, when her husband was taken away, never to be found.
This sheltered young girl who spent her time doing embroidery and playing the piano now had to be both mother and father to her little girl.
Later she remarried and had me.
She inspired me to do the best I could with my life.
So, thank you, Mum, and here's to all mothers everywhere!