She is in Savaii with our old aunt So'o this weekend, having a relaxing Sunday, they went to church and had toonai.
When I write about my mom, I try to be emotive about it, but in truth, our conversations are really matter of fact, casual as.
But, I remain grateful and proud of my mom for raising me, and my six siblings, and many of our relations that we grew up with.
My father died in 1984, my youngest sister was just 2.
I forget sometimes but my goodness, what a burden...losing your husband and left with 7 children to raise, along with the rest of your family.
Growing up, I never once thought I was deprived or disadvantaged, and for that, I am every so grateful to my mother.
We shared and lived and grew up with cousins and relatives, I was truly blessed.
Again, she's not the emotive type, my mother.
When we came first in class or won something, it was not ours to claim, it was 'It's not your viiga (glory)but humble yourself and thank God, thank your family, and work harder".
When we were in trouble, or someone was mean to us, she didn't pick us up and hold us close, but rather ...let us fight our own battles and then say..."But what did you do to get that treatment?"
She is a giver. She does things for everyone. She receives money and gifts and it gets given away immediately.
She cuddles her grandchildren to sleep but she is more in tune with them when they are a bit older, and she totally ignites the creativity in people. Children love her for this, when she makes them weave pales (head pieces) and tend gardens and draw pictures, make witch hats, draw tattoos on kids and draw stick figures with chalk...she makes children get creative and sing songs and tell stories.
I had a shock when my then 5 year old said to me in the car last month "Did you know Tui Fiti means the King of Fiji and he lived in Samoa?" or when she tells me about "Apelaamo" because her granma read her the Bible story book.
Another thing I thank my mother for is, she took us places. We played under many a conference table, we volunteered as Red Cross kids after Cyclones and floods, we played in villages with other children while she was in meetings, we spent hours in rainforests while researchers collected seeds and interviewed people, we learnt so many things about the environment when we were in primary school.
I am ever so grateful for having such an enterprising, hard working and amazing mother. I wouldn't have it any other way.
I love my mom.