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Mum & chubba lub me (this photo cracks me up cos I look like a fat version of my nephew Ezra lol)

The most common reaction I get from friends meeting my mother for the first time is OMG!  She’s papa’a/palagi/white!  which is kinda hilarious to me because most Samoans don’t take me for Samoan either.  I even had one of my friends who used to run a health programme at our church tell me that she was trying to guess which one of the big island ladies in her aerobics class was my Mum and got a real shock when I introduced her to the little, white lady at the back of the class lol!   and before you think I’m adopted I’m afakasi (half-caste/bi-racial/mixed)  My Dad is a very big, dark Samoan haha

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Dad, Mum & me as a newborn 

I remember chatting with my sister Leilani of Lani Says about a magazine who were doing an article on her and they had sent through their questions and one of the things they asked her was ‘What did you learn from your mother or what did your mother teach you?’ so we were discussing different possible answers she could give and it made me have a think myself.  I mean hey!  Your mother pretty much teaches you everything right?  Teaches you to talk, walk, eat, go to the loo …..

My mother taught me to ride a bike – I remember her quite clearly running along behind me holding the seat of my bike until she thought I had got my balance enough to let go and ride myself, she taught me to cook – YES I CAN COOK! I just don’t have any kind of passion for it like my sister Talia of Talia’s Treats.  To be honest I’d rather mow the lawn than cook lol!  She taught me my ABC’s and how to read & write – yeah, I knew how to do this before I got to school #truestory,  She taught me the value of hard work – whether it be putting in work training for athletics or sports comps or in school and work and life in general.  She taught me to be independent.  I think I get my love of travel & photography from her.  When I was younger she always had a camera in her hand and she had slides and miles of photo albums that we all spent hours pouring over as we grew up.

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Familia in Raro 

Like Lani said in her magazine interview she always told us to stand up straight, walk tall and be proud of our height.  I outgrew my mother when I was like 10 or something – she’s maybe 5″7 or 8 and I’m 6″1 lol!  She always made a fuss of special occasions in our life, never forgot our birthdays – always put little parties on for us even though we didn’t have much growing up.  She had to put up with me being a VERY rebellious teenager & also had to watch me enter into a marriage that she knew would end in tears.  She took my children back to Samoa with her when that marriage came to an end & was a mother to them for 9 months while I worked 2 jobs to get back on my feet and has been an awesome help to me & the boys since moving back to New Zealand.   I appreciate it and you Mum – Happy Mothers Day 🙂


All of us grown up with our little Mum last Mothers Day lol

She also never forgets the first time I became a mother myself.  I don’t really like writing about myself or personal things – I’d rather write about other people and their lives lol!  I saw this tweet yesterday though & felt like I should share my experience.

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Just after my 21st birthday, I was 28 weeks pregnant and went into premature labour.  I gave birth to a beautiful little boy Jovan (One of my best friends Chere has a niece named Javan and I’d always loved the name – I changed the spelling slightly seeing as he was a boy) but he only lived for 3 hours and died not long after that.  His funeral was the day before Mothers Day and I always felt like I WAS a mother because I had been for a really short time but at the same time I wasn’t any more and that was cruel you know?  I’m not going to go into it much except to say that it’s the hardest thing I’ve ever had to experience in my life but I’ve since been blessed with 2 more boys and time does heal. My  Mum never forgets and she always gives me a hug on the anniversary and a little card from her and Dad.  My son Jovan would have been 16 yrs old this year.


My boys Rocky on the left when he was 3yrs & Jirah when he was 6yrs

I hope I’m not being a huge  Mothers Day kill joy but I guess I wanted to share this to say to anyone who has lost a child – Happy Mothers Day – you’re not forgotten.  My friend Tania lost her daughter Amanda last year to cancer.  Love you Tanz!  I also have a couple of friends I went to school with in Raro who lost babies at birth too.

Also, thoughts with friends who have lost their own mothers.  My girl Chere I mentioned before lost her mother when she was 15 or 16 so thoughts with you and all the Arthur fams.  My friends Raymond, Tia & Mark lost their mother last year – thoughts with you guys and the Sagapolutele fam.

And lastly shouts to all the unsung hero Mums – my Aunty Lagi who has raised my niece Destiny as her own her whole life and also to the REAL MEN like my friend Steven who are having to be the Mum AND Dad for whatever reason.  You guys do an amazing job & God Bless xx

HAPPY MOTHERS DAY to my awesome Mum – love you Mum! and all the other Mummys out there – hope you get spoilt today!  My girl Trish just tagged me in a fb post and wrote “Thank you all for being such amazing women in the lives of not only your own children but in mine as well” and yup ditto to you Trish & all my friends & family who are “mothers” (female or male) – love you all xx

Thought I’d leave you with a bit of Tupac & Kanye 😛

Dear Mama classic Tupac

Album version of Hey Mama 

Live performance of Hey Mama where Yeezys Mum gets up and raps some of it with him – too cool! 

2008 Grammy version after Donda had passed 

20 responses to “DEAR MAMA

  1. Beautiful Pen,yes through the thick & thin mamas are always there.Happy mamas day…love ya

  2. Hey Penina! Just took Chere out for a cute Mother’s Day brekky and now a few Mother’s Day wines! (Hehe) Seeing as mine is across the ditch she’s the next best thing. Now we’re reading over your blog and both just shed a tear. Nawwww, love it! Love you. Hope you’re having a beautiful day Queen P! Happy Mothers Day to you – with all the piss pot love in the world!!! Kimiora XX

    • Awwww thanks Kween K! You’re too cool taking Chere out for Mothers Day brekky – thats awesome! Love you too xx #Pisspots4Life lol!

  3. awww that was beautiful penz .. i keep forgetting you have a blog i have to remember to flip to your page after reading lani says LOL .. heaps of hugs out to ya and those who have gone thru loosing a child .. God Bless xo

    • Awww thanks little Linga Longa – oh man yeah, I’m way behind on my blogging aye? Got all these stories & IVs I haven’t got round to doing lol! Thanks for reading tho – appreciate the love xx

  4. Great piece and thanks for sharing and giving a little insight into the always happy-go-lucky chica we know ‘Penz’. Happy Mothers day sis, alofa atu mo oe ma lau fanau. Ron.

  5. This is beautiful! Your mother is an incredible woman. I had the pleasure of being with them in Samoa, it was also during the time when Rocky & Jireh were there 🙂

  6. OMG Penz, Bub gave me this to read yesterday at our Mother’s Day lunch. This was Beautiful, touching and very thoughtful 🙂 I hope you had an AMAZING Day and Happy Mother’s Day! Thanks for the mention, Our name is Pretty Awesome 😉 Lots and lots of Love xoxo

    • Awww that was really cool of you guys to take her out for a Mothers Day Lunch! Thanks for taking the time to read it – yup I did have an amazing day. Boys didn’t play up too much lol and yes your names are pretty awesome 🙂 Loves much – Penz

  7. Pingback: Iesu e ua sili oe – Samoan AOG oldie but goodie | peninajoy·

  8. Happy mother’s day penina hope and wishing you your mum and to all the people In the world who are thinking of the ones the call “mum” today the best of love and joy!!!!!

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