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M is for all the ‘Mazing things she does

It’s that time of the year again. If you’ve attended school or Children’s church around this period, you’ll recall the memories. You will remember paper, scissors, colouring pencils, breakfast-in-bed with burnt toast prepared in love, and acronym-based poems.

M-O-T-H-E-R’s day 🙂

In many countries across the world, the second Sunday in May is set aside for us to honour the Maternal half of our parents. Mother’s Day is essential for all of us, because it reminds us to pause and give a long and hard thought about our mothers.

I miss my mom, Esther Kathleen Botes.  When we lost her to cancer twenty years ago, I was broken. Shattered. Since then, I’ve learnt to deal with the pangs in my heart. Today, I miss her on a different level.

Now that I’m married and a parent, I absolutely wish she was around.

I’d like to see her response to my son giggling, and his attempts at playing piano.

I wish my wife could meet her, to see how much they have in common, in their love for The Lord and hearts for reaching out to those in need.

I think my biggest question to her would be how she managed raising 6 kids (including a set of twins), while today we are barely surviving one kid with twice the amount of resources she had. Crazy!

I don’t have enough memories of my mother, and the few that I have are slipping through my fingers each year… But all it takes is one photo of her, to trigger a flood of vibrant remembrance. As small as I was when I last saw her, a photo can help me remember her smile, hear her voice as she would sing worship while working on her sewing machine. Her smell. Her willingness to (daily) use a safety-pin to tie my favourite yellow blanket around my neck to complete my superhero outfit. Imagination 2.0 🙂

That’s the power of a photo. Composition, exposure, shutter-speed, all important. Yes.

But in the moments when I’m really honest with myself, my own longing for memories is what drives me. There’s the business aspect, and mastering the craft, and a hundred other things that I love. But at the core, I want to frame memories using these few megapixels I wield. The photo I shoot, that captures a moment that can trigger memories? Priceless.

I don’t want anyone to leave behind a loved one with only a few memories. My mother didn’t like having her photo taken. I personally have less than 20 photos of her, all of which I treasure.

This day, please go ahead and celebrate the gift of motherhood. Revel in being a mother (if applicable), and/or reflect on how God has blessed you with a mother. They’re far from perfect, and some of them may unfortunately even leave behind a bitter taste. But she gave you life, and as a minimum you have that to be thankful for.

So now:


Give a long and hard thought about your mother for a few minutes.

Write a poem on a post-it, make a card, buy her flowers or just simply tell her


The following is a small tribute I wrote, to the first woman I loved. Please read it in my 6-year old coloured accent, where grammar was an expensive luxury I couldn’t afford:

“What M.O.T.H.E.R. means to me”, by Kevin Botes

“M” is for all the ‘Mazing tingz she has done in my life…

“O, T, H, E and R” is for all the OTHER awesome memories she did leave behind.  🙂


Mummy, thank you for sacrificing so much to set me on this path. I treasure your greatest gift to me: your life as an example of what it means to be a follower of Christ.

Proverbs 22:6 (NIV):  Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it”