The HR Juggler

Day 3: For The Love Of You

Posted on: December 3, 2013


Today’s post is by the wonderfully warm-hearted, generous Bina Briggs, otherwise known as @PlainTalkingHR and occasionally as the Chief Hello Officer of Twitter, which reflects how welcoming and friendly she always is on a daily basis.

Artwork for today (and every day!) is provided by the brilliant Simon Heath.


@AlisonChisnell: Twitter, I have a question for you. Would you like another series of #adventblogs this December? Speak now or forever hold your peace 🙂

What a question, eh? I was going to ask Alison the very question when I saw the above tweet on my timeline, suffice to say that I was overjoyed. The tradition will be maintained for the 3rd year. Thank you Alison!

The year has brought calmness, happiness, positivity and personal successes of a different type – deeper, spiritual and emotional ones for me.

This year has had a running theme for me, that of a mother. Maybe because I have been thinking about my mum a lot this year, it was the tenth anniversary of her passing away in October. Christmas is the celebration of a birth of a very precious, divine baby, sometimes though we forget Mary the mother, her rare inner strength, her graciousness, her pain in seeing her son die at the cross.

For me, the story starts back in the last century when a 15 year old girl was married off to a much older man and emigrated from India to Uganda, leaving her large family behind.

The marriage was not a happy one, after some years, she gave birth to a girl and a few years later, another daughter was born. Both daughters decided early in their respective lives that as soon as they could, they would rescue their Mum to live a life away from the family home. Destiny took over and this happened a lot sooner than they’d anticipated; they arrived in England as refugees in 1972.

It was a strange beginning and Mum showed that inner strength that we had not seen before of having to start afresh in every way. I took it for granted how she made things happen and always had food on the table for us. Mum went looking for work and joined a local company as a seamstress where they made exclusive women’s clothes for a global market. Mum’s independence and confidence grew with every passing day. She became the true head of the family in every sense.

In her personal life, my Mum looked after everyone she came across, did not miss a single birthday of her extended family in India (102 at the last count) or the new friends she’d made in this country. The maternal instincts always came to the fore as she took everyone she met under her wing…

On 19th May 2003, my Mum was given 12 months to live, she had liver cancer. On 27th October 2003, my world, my family’s life changed and 10 years on, I miss her more than ever.

This year, my young nephew started University at UCL in Euston and my sister was totally lost and devastated in the first week he wasn’t at home. She cried her eyes out. All my friends who have had their sons and daughters in Universities confided in me that they had done the same in the first few weeks. The youngsters had in the meantime found a new life of adventure, excitement and new friendships!

In the past 12 months, I think I have become more aware of mothers around me and of course, the social media has been also contributory to these heightened senses.

I think I have some understanding of mothers experiencing the pain of the loss of their offspring – may it be temporary; or a permanent one. I have recently come to know those who have lost teenage daughters to cancer and how they quietly grieve whilst outwardly smiling away at the world. They have selflessly devoted their lives to Teenage Cancer charities.

And then there are mothers who walked the Three Peaks in Yorkshire for hours, for a cause to help fund research for their son’s medical condition – and for children they’ve never met; when they’ve never done anything like that in their lives before. Then there are mothers who cope with the daily agony of watching their children endure horrendous medical conditions by sharing their experiences through blogging.

And then there’s the single mum who loves her daughter to bits – calls her “her sunshine”… That overflowing, no holds barred, love is there for all to see and reflect in its glory.

There are the happy times too when the expectant mum is sharing her joy, every discomfort, every change in her body and of the growing child and loving the experience of being a mother soon!

So, during this festive period where it all started with a mother giving birth to a divine child, when we rejoice and celebrate the birth of this precious baby, do spare a thought for all mothers…

Mother, Mummy, Mum, Maia, Ma, Mere, Mama, Mutter, call her by any other name, I salute you all and dedicate this ode to you.

10 Responses to "Day 3: For The Love Of You"

Bina, you don’t normally make me cry – in fact it’s always a smile that your tweets invite. What a wonderful picture you draw of your mother, and such a beautiful homage to motherhood everywhere.

Amen to that. What a way to start the day, thanks as always Bina.

Indeed, Bina, a beautiful piece that brings tears to my eyes. Mothers are unsung heroes in so many ways. Mine left this planet about 20 years ago now (both my parents were old when I arrived – she 45 and my Dad 67 – She always claimed I was a virgin birth 🙂 ).

God bless your mum!


Thank you all. x Meg, I’m sorry, I didn’t want to make you cry. x Thank you Doug! x Peter, it doesn’t matter how old they were, they were yours! Thanks for sharing with me.xx

Bina, that was beautiful, heartfelt and so moving. I am proud to be your friend.

Bina, we share a lot, my mother was born and brought up in Kenya, arriving in the UK in 1973 when I was four years old. So many other parts of your story are familiar… ending with her death from breast cancer in 1999. I am intrigued that in response to similar circumstances I hardened while it sounds like you softened. I feel a little more gentle and kind after reading your blog. Thank you.

Hi Khurshed, thanks for your input. I’m glad that my post resonated with you and that it has brought you feelings of gentleness and kindness. I think I have my Mum to thank for the way I am. Best Wishes. x

Lovely post Bina, my Mum died of cancer 12 years ago in November so this time of year is always tinged with a little sadness and lots of memories. Your thoughts really helped me think positively of the good times and I liked the celebration of all mothers – thank you! x

Dear Margaret, thanks for sharing, I’m so pleased that my post has helped you in some way. Funny how I used to wonder how my Mum could miss my nan; she used to speak of my Nan with such fondness. Now I ‘m getting to understand in the last 10 yrs how she’d felt. Take care. Think of the happy times. X

[…] Post number three came from the generous, kind and big-hearted Bina Briggs and there was one overriding image that came to mind when I thought of the author and read and re-read the post. […]

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