Today is 3 years since my mother passed away, this blog post is dedicated to her.
I have much that I am thankful for from my Mom. She taught me many many useful things in life, she showed me and shared her love of Nature. She instilled in me, a curiosity for, and a questioning of, all things that I came across. She lead by example, on how to deal with people in a way that was friendly and non-confrontational. She was patient and taught me the virtues of patience. She was thrifty, saving all sorts of items, that might have a use later on. This is something that I still do today. She was tolerant when I turned up at home during my student days, barefoot and with odd haircuts, my arms laden with dirty washing. My homecomings also always meant, roast lamb, made with love, the proverbial fattened lamb sacrificed for the prodigal son!
On the epicurial aspect, my mother excelled. She made the most delicious dinners, baked the best fruit cakes and loved to cook all sorts of traditional German foods for my Dad, sister and me. Even when both my sister and I had left home to live independantly, she still baked as many cakes as before, especially fruit cakes on Sundays. If these didn't get eaten by guests on Sunday, the cakes went into the freezer. Many a time, my uncles and my parents friends went home after a visit with a foil-wrapped fruit cake to enjoy at home. Six months after my mom's death, I still found deep frozen fruit cakes lying in the back of the freezer, such was the supply she had horded in there.
Cooking was not the only thing my mom did well. She was a wizard on the sewing machine. As a teenager, my mom sewed lots of clothes for me, shorts, tracksuits, sweaters etc. She was also good at figuring out plans that I had. I remember one evening we constructed a hammock together. It was the night before I was due to set off for a trip that I made to Tanzania. I don't know how many needles we broke with the tough canvas, but she worked till late after I went to bed. I awoke the next morning to find the completed hammock hanging over my bedpost. My younger cousins also wore many of my mom's creations. She delighted in making new clothes for them as they grew up.
The above examples show some my mother's altruistic side, she showed me the pleasure in giving something to someone in need, without expecting something back. In today's world, this seems to be quite a rare trait.
My mother was a teacher by occupation, and was very well known and respected in her community. The world was indeed a sadder place after she passed away. However, I remember her in many of the actions that I undertake daily, in the philosophies that I apply in my life, and the outlook I have in my daily interactions with the humanity around me. I miss my mother a lot, but am thankful for all that she gave to me.