3 Lessons from My Mother, Marietha

Imma Baradyana
5 min readJun 16, 2022

On November 2nd 2021, I published an article on my blog titled 3 values I was reminded of by 41 orphans. Among other things, that article was really about how I was adjusting to losing my only living parent, my mother. Simply put, I wasn’t adjusting at all and in fact, I’m not sure I ever fully will. I will continue to deeply feel her absence for the rest of my life.

Lately, as I’ve learnt to gradually accept what I consider to be the greatest loss of my life to date, I’ve noticed that every time I think of my mother (which is a lot), I’ve started to smile. I think of how she used to encourage me, how she held me, how she made me laugh and it all makes me feel very lucky to have been chosen to be her daughter. She, Marietha, shaped me into the person I am today. I am because she was.

The risk of great love is devastating pain but as is the case with many other wounds, they all eventually turn into scars. June 28th 2022 will mark 1 year since my mother died and to honour her memory, I wanted to reflect on her life and her journey on earth. The goal of this article is to share with my audience, a few things I learnt from my mother. Some of you met her in person and for many others, this article will be the only way for you to ever know what she was like. She was a wonderful human being and I hope that her personality and character will in some shape or form add value to your lives too.

1. Humility

“True humility is not thinking less of yourself, it is thinking of yourself less.” — C. S. Lewis

I wouldn’t be doing my mother justice if I didn’t start this list off with what I think was her greatest strength: humility. I’ve met a lot of people in my life, from all backgrounds, cultures, and corners of the world and I can confidently say that so far, I haven’t met anyone more humble than my mother. She wasn’t passive, or submissive, or insecure. On the contrary, she was very confident and extremely self aware. She just never really prioritised egos, hers and that of others.

Many of us, myself included sometimes struggle with humility because we are too concerned with our own sense of self-importance. Our egos need to be stroked from time to time and our pride matters more to us than it should. Today, in honour of my mother, I’d like to invite us all to ask ourselves, “How would I behave if my ego was not standing in the way?” What would you do differently? Would you admit to being wrong more often? Would you ask for help? Would you help someone out without expecting anything in return? Would you listen without judgement? Would you brag more about others and not yourself? Would you put others first? Whatever it is, pick one and give it a try. I know I will.

2. Courage

“Courage is the most important of all virtues because without courage, you can’t practice any other virtue consistently.” — Maya Angelou

“Courage starts with showing up and letting ourselves be seen.” — Brené Brown

Here’s a phrase I never heard my mother say, “I’m too scared to try”. I really have never heard her say that or any version of it. It’s not that she was never afraid, or that she was sure she will always succeed, it’s that she persistently chose effort over fear. In fact, I’ve seen her fail so many times, over and over, only to get back up and try just one more time. She pursued growth even when it was the hardest thing to do. As a result, she was content with her life, the good and the bad, because she knew that she had really done her best.

In my opinion, there is no worse question in life than, “What if?” What if I took that job and risked looking like I don’t know what I’m doing? What if I started that side hustle? What if I said yes to love? What if I went back to school and pursued a new qualification? What if, what if, what if? Don’t let your future self ask you these questions. Like mama would say, just try.

3. Authenticity

“Authenticity is when you say and do the things you actually believe.” — Simon Sinek

I knew my mother for 28 years. During those years, life was never linear. There were happy and sad moments. Moments of success and moments of failure. Moments we celebrated, and moments we cried together. What I was most impressed by, was my mother’s ability to stay true to who she was no matter her circumstances. Her character was not conditional or dependent on what life threw at her. She was a devout Christian and mother, she never took more than she needed even when she had too much, and she was very open. By staying true to who she was throughout her life, she encouraged everyone around her to be authentic thus making space for other people to be themselves too, to belong.

What do you really believe in? Do your actions mimic your beliefs? Are your choices consistent with what you say? Do you make room for other people in your life to be their true selves? An authentic life is a rewarding life. Dear Mama, thank you for being unapologetically you all your life.

You may think that this article, which has now come to an end, was difficult to write. To my surprise, writing this article was the opposite of hard. It was heart warming and reassuring. I loved bringing my mother back to life on my blog and enjoyed sharing her with you. Which of my mother’s virtues touched you the most? Which lesson resonated? Which one do you feel like you still need to work on? Let me know in the comments section below. Once again, thank you very much for dropping by.

Until then, stay humble!



Imma Baradyana is an international technology professional, storyteller, and aspiring motivational speaker who writes about her personal, professional, and academic experiences. Each of her stories includes actionable advice and tips that are designed to help you along your journey.

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Imma Baradyana

International tech professional. Writes about personal, professional, and academic experiences. Learn more at immabaradyana.com