It’s not Mother’s Day; it’s not Women’s Day; our reader may wonder why are we dedicating this article to Motherhood?
The paintings tell it all: the beautiful, perfect love of a mother for her child: love so pure, selfless, tender, caring, kind, all-enveloping, that it compares to no other.
Italian film star Sophia Loren said: “When you are a mother, you are never really alone in your thoughts. A mother always has to think twice, once for herself and once for her child.” And Oprah Winfrey said: “I believe the choice to become a mother is the choice to become one of the greatest spiritual teachers there is.”
I lost my mother a few days ago. The loss is still raw, too raw to articulate the complex web of sentiments that set in. The loss of someone whose every thought involved her children, not merely herself. The loss of a great spiritual teacher who taught a clan of children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren that anything in life was meaningless if not based on love. The loss of someone who gave so unconditionally, that much of what she gave was unimaginable by many. To her last days, when her body was overburdened with sickness, she remained a source of peace to all around her. Even strangers would bask in that peace.
My mother, Samira Kamel Guirguis (1925 – 2019) raised together with my father Antoun Sidhom (1915 – 1995) four children, and seven grandchildren. Her loving influence extended to 12 great grandchildren. She was proud that two of the children: Youssef and Samia, and two grandchildren: Dina Sidhom and Dalia Victor, have taken up Antoun Sidhom’s mission of Watani to the modern age. Every single person at Watani loved and revered her as a model of warmth and grace. I am reminded of a quote by Maria Shriver who said: “Having kids—the responsibility of rearing good, kind, ethical, responsible human beings—is the biggest job anyone can embark on.”
My mother has now left our earth and gone to the place where there is no pain or sorrow, where her good works shine. She has left behind a huge legacy of faith, peace, and love. As a tribute to her, we offer this article on motherhood as depicted by a number of Egyptian modern artists: