Keilani - Raising a Child After my Mother Died
I was living in another country when I got pregnant. My husband is from Belgium and my family and I are from Mexico. I decided to leave to get married to the one who is now my husband and live there.
So, when I got pregnant, I was super excited to tell my family and when I did, my mom started crying of happiness and, at that moment, I knew how much she was going to love that little baby.
My mom would video call me almost every day to know how I was feeling and how that little baby boy was doing. I felt that we were even closer now that I was going to be a mom.
We were so excited about the news that we bought tickets to go to Mexico after I would give birth so she could meet him.
The days and months passed, and I was already 8 months pregnant. My mom as usual, called me and told me she was not feeling really good. That day my dad took her to the hospital. It had been a few years that my mom had a polycystic disease which means she had a large amount of cysts growing among her organs. As a consequence, she needed a kidney transplant and her liver function was deteriorating rapidly. So, when my dad took her to the hospital, the doctors immediately hospitalized her. After a few days, my dad told us that my mom would not make it. My mom passed away on July 15th, 2017.
I actually felt grateful that God had given us the blessing to be with my mom for so long. In fact, my mom was very sick exactly a year before she died and we thought, at that time, that she wouldn’t make it, but we prayed hard and we believe that God actually gave us an extra year with her. What made me really sad was the fact that she was not going to see my little baby boy. She was so excited to see him, and it broke my heart to know that she wasn’t going to. I like to think that maybe she met our little prince before he was born.
After my mom died, I started to reflect and remember the things she did for me, my family, friends and others. I appreciated more all the sacrifices that she did for us and every day now I realize more and more the effort she was doing to help us and please us so that we could have a better and happier life. I am now a mom of 2, and when I’m tired and have to wake up in the middle of the night because one of my children is sick, I realize the strength that my mother had to take care of us.
My mom was always thinking about others and even when the pain was at the highest, she never let her own sickness come before her family, friends or even strangers.
When I think about my childhood, I always remember my mother cooking for me, my sister and my dad. I remember her singing to my sister and I to wake us up, to dress us up, before we went to bed and just whenever she felt like singing which was basically all the time. I remember her helping us out with our homework. I remember her listening to us attentively even when we just wanted to tell a joke. I remember her just being there…always. You could tell that she cared most about her family and I am grateful for her and her incredible example.
When my dad had a significant responsibility in our church, he sometimes had meetings for which he needed to stay longer. Everyone was always hungry, but before they went back to their homes, they needed to discuss important matters about the members and the church. One time, my mom decided to bring this huge basket full of huge and delicious sandwiches for everyone that was in the meeting. She had prepared these because she knew how hungry everyone was and she thought not only about my father, but also the other men and even families that were going to stay with their husbands until the end of the reunion. You can only imagine the surprise of these people when they saw that basket!
My mom had a big heart. She would basically love anyone that she’d encounter.
One day, a homeless mother and her child knocked on our door, and when my mom opened, she noticed that the little girl (probably 4 years old) was really dirty from her hands and face They obviously asked for money and my mom took them both into the house and washed the girl’s face and hands, gave them food and some money. She didn’t think about it, she just saw the need and acted upon it.
My aunt used to sell a lot of jewelry, and my mom would love it. She would buy her a lot of necklaces, bracelets, rings, etc. My mom had so many boxes filled with the jewelry that she had been buying from my aunt. I once asked her: “Mom, why do you buy her so many necklaces and bracelets? You have a lot already!” My mom kindly responded: “It’s not only about the jewelry, I want to help your aunt and uncle.” My mom taught me by her example, she wanted to help others and she showed that to me.
I could go on telling many stories about my mom and how she has taught me so many things, but I just want to say that I try my best as a mom to be like my incredible mother. I think about what she would do or say when I am in a situation in which I don’t really know how to act. My mom’s love reminds me of my Heavenly Mother. I believe that we have a God that is our Father, and we have a Mother too; and I cannot imagine the immense love that She has for each and every one of us, how she has sacrificed and how she will continue to do anything to make us feel happy. As our Heavenly Mother, I know that my earthly mother tried everything to make us feel loved, happy and special. I definitely want to help my children understand that; and I want to teach them what is valuable and important.
There are so many lessons I learned from my mom, some that she didn’t even realize she taught me. I love her, and even though she wasn’t perfect, I am grateful for her example and her light. Now that I am a mother myself, I cannot ignore the fact that everything I do, I do it thinking about others, my baby girl, my boy, my husband and I have come to realized that I even think about the people that surround me! It’s been amazing to acknowledge this by just being a mom. Being a mom is a great calling and I am grateful for all the mothers out there who sacrifice themselves and what they have for their families and others.
There's not a day that goes by without thinking about my mother. I am trying my best to follow her example of kindness and endless love. It’s not always easy, but I will keep on trying to reach my potential, because yes, we have a great one.
Story by Keilani Dawagne Pictures property of Dawagne Family