The woman who gave it all.

Hawwah
Posted April 9, 2020 from Nigeria

A lot of women have inspired me throughout my life. I have looked to different women at different stages in my life for inspiration, all of whom have excelled in their lives and respective careers.

Growing up, the woman that I look up to and inspire me the most was Oprah Winfrey. Because I wished, dreamt and saw myself and parents in her TV show every time I watch it. Christine Amanpour took her place shortly after I went into A levels because she was always used as the epitome of exceptional journalism used in our lecture theatres.

Even though I have often admired and respected hard-working women who have refused to succumb to the reality of their lives by trying their best to change it and make a difference. This is perhaps the first time in my life I'm admitting to being inspired by this woman.  Although I have known her my entire life, much more than I have known all the other women, I have never considered her to be an inspiration until now.

This woman does not in any way compare to any of the outstanding women I have ever drawn inspiration from, she is the complete opposite. This woman has no formal education neither does she have even a percentage of the privilege and opportunities these other women have. Never having had the opportunity of an education, she decided to pursue Arabic and Islamic literacy at the age of 70, old, frail and tired but still determined to add value to herself no matter how little.

This woman, even though old, frail and tired is still regal and a delight for the eyes to behold. Tall and well-built she has a voice like the chirping of the birds at dawn and skin that glows like the early morning sun.  Her smile even though sometimes forced adds beauty to her face by highlighting her cheekbones, slim nose, full lips and well-formed white teeth accentuating her warm beautiful demeanour  endearing people to her even at first encounters.

Even though not educated much less have a career, but she is so smart and gifted. She was intelligent enough to self-tough herself so many skills set. Skills she used in making some little income to support herself and children intermittently, from time to time. She dedicated her entire life to the service of others, never giving herself even the tiniest percentage of it. She is the typical example of someone who always gave from an empty cup.

She dedicated her entire life to raising her children, and those of and to the man she married as a child bride and his many other wives. She was everyone’s 'go-to' for help, support, counseling, love, and care. And she was always the last person everyone would go to when they have hit the jackpot.

Even though I loved her, I prayed and wished to be nothing like her; she loved everyone but herself. She was kind to everyone but herself, she sacrificed herself for everyone but herself.

Now that I am much older, and wiser, I have come to not only understand but appreciate and treasure the love and affection she gave and the sacrifices she made. I have come to realize that her selflessness, which she carried effortlessly was her purpose and the love she willingly gave everyone, was a calling. I have come to realize that it is this same purpose as hers, that gave me mine.

The purpose of not only making judicious use of the privilege I had of education and the opportunities open to me but to also ensure I do not lose the love, kindness, and compassion I have inherited from her no matter what life and humans throw at me. I have only just realized that even though she may not have had a career or profession, but she has supported many to have one. She may not have had a happy life, but she has been instrumental to many others having one. She may not have had a happy marriage, but she has enabled many other women to have one. She may not have any material possession, but she has a lot of immaterial ones. She is rich beyond measures, in priceless and immaterial value which is only derivable from the positive impact on the lives of many. That woman is my mom, whose power and great influence everyone underestimated and overlooked; herself inclusive. It is from her and her life, that I learned the power of kindness and the need for compassion. Even though she does not know it yet, but she taught me the power of purpose; living a life that is true to you even if you do not understand it. My mother lived a life of service to others without giving any attention to herself or needs; the inspiration I have derived from her life is to not only give myself to others, but to also love myself.

Comments 25

Log in or register to post comments
Jill Langhus
Apr 10
Apr 10

Hello Dear Hawwah,

How are you and your family doing, dear? What a lovely, and special tribute to your amazing mom. Love it! Thanks so much for sharing.

I hope you and your family are safe and well, dear.

XX

Hawwah
Apr 13
Apr 13

Thank you very much Jill.
I have never truly given her any tribute. No one has.
And she has suffered so much for everyone.
I just hope this captures and expresses how much I appreciate her even if no one does.

Jill Langhus
Apr 15
Apr 15

You're very welcome, dear.

Oh, I see:-( That's sad. I'm sure she knows how much you love her, though, right? Have you told her, or do you have the chance to tell her?

Yes, it does! Rest assured that it does, dear.

XX

Ellie E.
Apr 10
Apr 10

Beautifully written and such a touching tribute! I love that you saw many things that you loved in your mom that you strive to simulate, but that you also recognize the importance of loving yourself as well as others! Thank you for sharing your story!

Hawwah
Apr 13
Apr 13

Dear Ellie,
Thank you.
The past year have been a defining one for me. I have had the clear mind to examine and re-examine a lot of things about my life.
I have always loved my mother, but I hated the fact that she took all the pain with so much dignity.
I think I understand now.

Anita Shrestha
Apr 11
Apr 11

Thank you for sharing

Hawwah
Apr 13
Apr 13

Welcome, Anita.
I hope you are doing well in this period and staying safe.

Anita Kiddu Muhanguzi

Hi dear Hawwah,
Thank you so much for sharing your post. It is indeed a lovely tribute to your mum. I pray and hope that you are all stay safe and staying home.
Have a blessed Easter.

Hawwah
Apr 13
Apr 13

Dear Anita,
Thank you and I hope you and yours are doing well too xx

Tamarack Verrall
Apr 12
Apr 12

Dear Hawwah,
What a beautiful tribute to your mother. Instead of judging her you have learned so much of what is truly valuable and possible that can come from a pure heart, and have given us the gift of knowing about her, her life and her gracious, generous spirit.I love too, that you have taken it a step further to remind us to love and care for ourselves.

Hawwah
Apr 13
Apr 13

Dear Tamarck,
I am glad you liked it.
And yes, that's the most important lesson I think, to not only care for others but ourselves.
Stay well and safe xxx

sarah_2
Apr 13
Apr 13

Hi Hawwah,
I just love this tribute to your momma...This is how is suppose to be.Nothing can beat the sacrificial love of a mother. She gives without turning back.
One love to your mother and all the mother's.
Love-kisses-hugs

Hawwah
Apr 13
Apr 13

Dear Sarah,
I am glad you loved it.
Yes, our mothers were selfless, and victims to many injustices and abuse.
We must bee selfless too, but never victims.
That is the change we must bring.

sarah_2
Apr 13
Apr 13

You are right Hawwah and I strongly agree with you.

Thelma obani 2020
Apr 13
Apr 13

Wow..
Thanks mum.
Stay safe❤❤❤

Hawwah
Apr 13
Apr 13

Thanks Thelma.
You too xx

Selma Ndi
Apr 13
Apr 13

Hey Hawwah. This is a lovely tribute to your mom. I hope she gets to see this or you read it to her. so lovely. Mothers are the best

Hawwah
Apr 13
Apr 13

Hi Selma,
Thank you. I hope she gets to listen to it someday too.
Stay safe and well. xx

EmilyLin
Apr 18
Apr 18

Hi Hawwah!
This is so beautifully written. Thank you for sharing your mother's story. I really admire your vulnerability and how you see the importance of loving yourself. I once read somewhere that we are all reflections of our mothers, and we learn not only from the lessons they teach us but generally who they are. This is the best illustration of that!

Hawwah
May 18
May 18

Yes, indeed dear Emily.
I guess as we grow older, we cannot only recognize and appreciate their huge and selfless sacrifices but also their weaknesses and shortcomings to enable us to be better and do better by ourselves and children. I personally, am of the conviction that it is not everything our parents did that we must do, especially the ones that apparently do not bear good results. Believe me, patience, empathy, compassion, and kindness to others is good, extremely good, but the best one is giving to yourself first.

Metiege Noel Eve
Apr 28
Apr 28

Thanks so much for sharing such an amazing tribute to your mum
I value it
Stay safe

Hawwah
May 18
May 18

Thank you Metiege, I am glad you like and value it.

Olawunmi Okupe
May 02
May 02

Beautiful sister! Mothers are worth more than what they get, celebrating them every second isn’t enough, they are our super heroes

Hawwah
May 18
May 18

Indeed they are Olawunmi. Sadly, they hardly get as much commendation as they deserve. We must try to celebrate and commend them as much as we can.

JULITON
May 30
May 30

Thanks for sharing, love mom