Information & Advice
To celebrate Mother's Day, three women open their hearts about how their mums have inspired them....
Health & Beauty Magazine Online Editor
Published March 2009
Karina Ochu, 39, on her mother, Florence, 70
‘My mum is simply my hero. She came to London from Nigeria in 1964, full of hope. But by 1971, after my dad went back to Nigeria, she found herself a single mum to me, then just two, and my two sisters aged seven and 12.
Money got so tight that she rented a bedsit where three of us slept in the same double bed. But no matter how hard things were, Mum never complained or got down. And this woman knew how to work!
She worked for London Transport during the day and in the evenings sold African clothes that she bought wholesale door to door. All her extra work meant I never missed out on toys or clothes and was able to go on school trips with my friends. Even now, she’s always there for me. I just hope I can be half as a good a mum to my daughter as my mum’s been to me.’
Ebony Vincent, 28, on her mother, Carole, 53
‘If there were one word I would use to describe my mum, it would be selfless. She has dedicated her life to helping others.
When I was six, Mum began fostering. I saw hundreds of kids come in and out of the house. They all had different stories, but what they had in common was the need for love. And that’s what my mum gave them. Some stayed for just one night, others for years. That’s how my little brother, Ashley and big sister, June came into the house before Mum decided to adopt them.
Mum also works for charities voluntarily. Every day she helps other people with their problems.
My mum is a great friend and a fantastic grandmother to my two kids. Sometimes we fall out, but I know if I ever need her, she’ll be there at a drop of a hat.’
Lesley Smith, 28, about her mum Ann, 61
‘As soon as Mum was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2006, her outlook was enormously positive. She decided that she wouldn’t die, get ill or lose her hair. Even when Mum had her right breast removed and her hair shaved off, she still remained optimistic. She joked that maybe her hair would start growing back without the grey. But that’s Mum all over, always looking on the bright side.
We argued a lot when I was younger, but now Mum’s my best friend. I’m registered partially sighted, and she always helps out with cleaning and shopping. If I need to get a train to the station at the crack of dawn, she’ll take me.
Mum’s been so strong the whole way through her illness. She just kept soldiering on, even through the radiotherapy. This wasn’t bravery, it was pigheadedness. It’s been two years since she was diagnosed and so far it hasn’t returned. Mum’s embraced life and I can’t admire her enough for that.’
Writer: Ese Odetah
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