By: Mimi Pienaar, Head of Practice Management, Masthead
My Mother was a unique individual. She grew up in an era where women ran households and cared for their family. She had an indomitable spirit to be her own person, to live her talents, create a path of fulfilment and share this inner strength with me, my brother and those in her life.
She showed me that a woman can be whatever she dreams of – whatever she can create in her mind’s eye. She stepped out of a typical mould and saw the world through a lens of metaphysics. Cherishing a deep understanding that this world is merely one of many we can see. That there is magic in this world; from love and laughter, to tears and pain to be resolved. It was imbued in her that we are all here on this planet to create a better world. Not just for ourselves, but for others, our families, friends, those less fortunate.
We used to spend hours talking about life, the universe and all that is in it. This gave me a sense of comfort and taught me that this life is but a moment in time, and I should embrace it and commit and strive to do the best I can in everything I do with passion and commitment.
My Mother was very creative and applied this gift in a variety of ways as a florist, a keen gardener, and a clothing designer (one who made the most extraordinary beautiful jackets) and a teacher who taught the local woman in Rouxville how to make felt from sheep wool and create articles such as placemats, slippers, and wall hangings.
She was a public speaker, a radio personality, well- travelled, and, of course also, at times, a no-nonsense person, straight and to the point. Her example taught me that no matter how you earn your living, you have to love it passionately. Do your best and to keep learning – and when you’ve made mistakes, you pick yourself up and get on with it. She would always find the positive to focus on, no matter how dark the situation. She always had a plan: believe, trust and do what is right and good.
She taught me about responsibility for my life, my work, my family, about creating a home that is a safe space, about being independent, and yet, part of a greater cycle.
She wasn’t the greatest cook, so I had to learn how to cook for us! Indirectly, not only did she teach me how to cook, but how to learn from the situation.
She taught me that family and friends keep us strong. That as a woman she could chose to be the person she wanted to be, and she most certainly mapped a path.
Her example gave me courage and reaffirmed that as a woman, I have a responsibility to nourish a life that strengthens and nourishes me and those in my life.
In hindsight, I have realised that the lessons from my Mother are twofold. The positive that inspired me, that gave me strength, that gave me clarity and the gift that I could choose the life I want. The difficult, the things that did not sit well, but pushed me to go deeper, to believe that I can find my inner strength regardless of how difficult a situation may seem.
Feelings like pain, fear, insecurity, resentment, anger are all fuel for becoming a loving, caring, strong, compassionate human with the capacity to strive to accept others unconditionally.
On her death bed I saw how she remained a fighter, deeply connected to the world of spirit. We shared the most incredibly deep, strong, and at times, complex relationship that has moulded who I am. And so, I am forever grateful that she chose to be my Mother.
And so, my Mother, taught me many things. The many different shades of colour and brushstrokes that life uses to paint us so that we become the women we
are. Versatile, loving, caring, filled with fury to deal with that which is unjust, out of balance. And a living legacy of how to create a world, a space, a moment of harmony which ripples across time immemorial.