Talk of mom and a flood of memories surrounds us in nostalgia. She is perhaps the only one who fills our senses and seeps into the deepest corners of our hearts. Moms have not just filled our hearts; they have left indelible imprints on the history of this world. For some of us, she’s the world’s best chef! For some, the best friend! But, for many- she is the iron lady with nerves of steel. Whether they are homemakers or scientific minds, moms have always made a difference to our world.
Marie Curie – the first woman to win a Nobel Prize and the only one ever to win it twice – was a single mother. After her scientist-husband died, she groomed her children so that her daughter too went on to win a Nobel Prize in Chemistry.
One of the most surprising facts about Mothers’ Day is it was popularised in 1908 by Anna Jarvis in memory of her mother who died in 1905. Her idea was to honour mothers for sacrifices they make for their children. And, as truth would have it, Anna’s mother was neither married nor did she raise children to spearhead this extraordinary day that’s celebrated globally ever since.
Perhaps one of the few people to have yelled at Genghis Khan and got away with it was Hoelun, his mother. When the tyrrant wanted to execute his brother for treason, it angered Hoelun, and she rebuked the conqueror of the world. The chieftain yielded when he said he would grant her wish, all because of love and deference for his mother.
Let us leave aside the conquerors of yesteryears and look at today’s billionaires. Do you know the brain behind the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation? It’s Mary Maxwell Gates, mother of Bill Gates who encouraged her son to focus on philanthropy; well, this was soon after she convinced leaders at IBM to engage Microsoft to create an operating system that eventually contributed to their massive success.
And what did Maye Musk do? As a single mother she raised three children, Elon, Kimbal and Tosca who are all leaving their own unique imprints.. A multifaceted personality herself- she has been a model for well over 50 years, a dietician and carries a self-earned badge of a “star in her own right”.
If Richard Branson could cross the pacific in a hot air balloon and set various world records, his adventurous spirits date back to his upbringing. The founder of the Virgin Group once told “My mum is a very adventurous person. She very much felt that she wanted us to stand on our own two feet and not be ‘mollycoddled’”. And Eva Branson, the author and founder of The Eva Branson Foundation, was known to have pushed him out of the car when he was barely four years, around three miles before her mother’s house, with the words “Right, you make your own way there”. Well, surely Richard Branson did find his way, hasn’t he?
Frankly, it’s not all just celebrity moms who have made their sacrifices count. On 11th March 2011, the Japanese earthquake created havoc. Amid the ruins, lifesavers found a lifeless woman on whom a room’s ceiling had come crashing down. But shielded in her arms was a 3-month baby, smiling and gurgling when rescuers found him wrapped in a flowery blanket with a cellphone inside that had a text message on the screen “ If you can survive, you must remember that I love you”. And when this was passed around everybody who read that message wept for her ultimate sacrifice.
That’s the beauty of mom, and the world is filled with stories of their glories and sacrifices. As the Sadhguru once said “she gave us that cocoon and I think that made a tremendous difference to all of us in those times”. And perhaps one of the nicest messages to come on Mother’s day is from J K Rowling, the single mother who created history writing 7 children’s books that sold more than 500 million copies titled as a series called “Harry Potter”. Her memorable words: “Today’s Mother’s Day in the UK. If your mum isn’t here to treat, do something nice for yourself, because she’s part of you. Take a hug, too.”
Hugs to you mom! Happy Mother’s Day!