Today we celebrate the life of a Proverbs 31 woman, our beloved mother, grandma, great grandma, in-law, sister, aunty – late Mrs Kila Kara nee Tauhura, fondly remembered as, Vabu Vavia or Buvasti. I want to take this opportunity to reflect on my mum’s traits, and will do that by reminding my 7 siblings, our children and their children, that we are ALL a little bit of Vabu Vavia. Yes, we are & I pray that you remember and treasure that always.
Humility – mum showed gteat humility throughout all areas of her life: even though she was the first-born or roboa on both sides of her family, she had so much respect and understanding for her younger siblings and cousins. She was always the last to say something, and only when asked to or prodded. I see that trait in her eldest son, Badira.
Resilience – through some of the darkest storms of life, she stood firm and faithful to her God, her husband and family. Never losing hope, never giving up and always praying, our very own prayer warrior. Her 2nd born son, Taunao’s life exemplifies all that.
Outgoing/welcoming personality – whoever set foot in our home was always welcomed with a huge smile and the offer of a cuppa or plate of food. Who is one of the first persons to greet anyone when you go to Dere rumana? Her 3rd born son, Rakatani or David Kin tamana, madi asi ena, asi ana mo sina!
Smart and intelligent – mum left school after completing what is now referred to as grade 6, for an arranged marriage. She was selected to continue to Sogeri. And yet she went on to being more than a pastor’s wife, she was a teacher, a communicator, and a leader everywhere she lived. She loved to read and her favorite book was the Bible. Her 4th son, Sibona is like her, intelligent and one of the smartest person I know.
Witty & funny – mum had a very good sense of humour. She laughed with you or at herself but never at you. Early onset of dementia resulted in many funny quotes or things she’d say, which our family will always fondly remember. Having said that as the comedian in our family, her 5th son, Manoka, is truly his mother’s son.
Doppelganger – growing up I recall having random people come up to me and ask me if I am Kila Tau’s daughter. I hope & pray I live to be at least half the woman my mother is and not just be her lookalike 😭
Kindness – my mother was the most sympathetic and caring person, who looked out for everyone, except herself. There was not an ounce of bad in her, she was kind-hearted and always ready to help others. Her baby son, Mea, displays this trait so well. It makes sense, because he & his dear wife and children looked after her till her last breath. And I want to thank him, especially his wife Eileen and their children, Iamo, Hazel, Kila and Sibona. As well as Kedea and Tanya Vavia, Mairi and Vagi Siage who were by mum’s side during her final moments.
Hard-working woman – juggling many hats as pastor’s wife, women’s leader and many others, yet she made sure her home was kept clean, there was food on the table for everyone, even unexpected visitors. She raised her 2nd daughter, Idau Junior well, who is now keeping a house and family of her own.
My mother was so full of love – she loved wholeheartedly, never expected anything in return, forgave easily and did not hold grudges. All her older grandchildren, will attest to that, that they experienced bubu hahine’s love to the fullest.
Where we, as parents tried to discipline our own children, she stood up for them. She embraced and loved them all, she was their cocoon of love & protection. She reminded us to always love & cherish them like she did for us her own children, whom she never ever raised a hand against or spoke harshly too. She loved all her in-laws (ai adavamai, tubuna, tadikakana, lalana veridia adavadia) – she treated them equally. Her immediate in-laws, she treated them as if she herself brought them into this world.
She epitomised the love of family, love that comes from heaven with no strings attached – she gave it freely and willingly. Her love was refreshing and everything that her favorite Psalms 133 talks about:
Psalm 133: 1-3 (motu)
1. A itaia, tadikaka bae noho hebou mai lalodia tamona, una na namo, bona mai moalena danu.
2. Una na dehoro namo-hereana, kwara ai na heto, auki-huina amo e veve dihomu, Aaron aukina huina amo e veve dihomu, ena dabua aiona ai.
3. Una na Heremon huhuna na heto, Siona ororona ai e dihomu. Badina be unuseni ai Iehova ese hahenamo vada e hahedua-laia. Hahenamona binai: mauri hanaihanai.
Lau sinagu lalokauna, a virtuous woman, who valued family, loved fully and lived her whole life based on her verse, Psalms 133.
I want to finish off by reading a story that I wrote a few years ago for Mother’s Day – it is a story of: * growing up a motuan woman,
* of perseverance and
* of faith in God.
It is an abridged version of the epic story that inspires my whole life. That no matter where you come from, whatever hand life deals you – you can make a difference and make the world a little better for everyone else around you. I titled it ‘there was a little girl’:
There was a little girl!
The firstborn in her immediate family!
And in her extended family as well!
She loved being firstborn.
It meant she looked out for everyone
The little girl grew up
To be smart and intelligent
One of the few girls selected
To continue on to high school
In the blue mountains of Sogeri
Alas! She finds out she can’t continue!
Her parents have passed on
She has to stay back and help!
Help raise her siblings
All her dreams to learn more – no more!
Young & literate motuan woman now
Raised well & taught to raise her own
She awaits the inevitable
An arranged marriage!
To whom she knows not!!
Like the good motuan woman she is
She knows & accepts she has no choice.
She questions her grandma
Why? Why do I have to marry him?
I don’t even know him.
Her grandmother tells her
You will marry this young man!
He will become a pastor
You are destined to be a good pastor’s wife!
And so the little girl
With hopes of being a teacher
Raised to look after a family
Became a pastor’s wife
Following & supporting her husband everywhere he went.
Apart from raising her own
She found her calling in
Nurturing communities and churches
Teaching, serving, caring and loving all
Her utmost favourite was being mother to many, not just her own!
There was a little girl
Raised to be a motuan mother
Who became a faithful servant of God
Most importantly, whom my siblings & I
Lovingly call ‘Iaia’ or Mother Dearest!
No this is not goodbye, sinagu, for we shall see each other again on that glorious morning as Jesus promised. Vada aola, emu noho gabuna namona eda Lohiabada Iesu hemetainai, Guba Basileia ❤
The smile that made the world better for so many lives that she touched ❤🙏
Use your smile to change the world; don’t let the world change your smile.Chinese Proverb