Many parents would throw a big party or host a dinner for their sons or daughters who have returned home with their degrees, to show their appreciation and how proud they are of their children.
But it’s a different story for Georgina Mahkwan from Siusega, the proud mother of Lydia Melanie Mahkwan Fatutoa, who just graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Business Management and Administration, from the Chaminade University of Hawaii, Honolulu.
Instead of throwing a party, Georgina approached the Samoa Observer newspaper as a way to tell her daughter and everyone else, how proud she is of her daughter’s achievement.
“The Bible says, “A wise son maketh a glad father,” and I am proud of my daughter,” said Georgina.
Lydia is the eldest daughter of her parent’s five children, and the eldest grandchild in her mum’s family at Siusega.
And she has set a pathway for her siblings to follow.
Said Georgina, “Lydia was always a smart girl when she was young. She has always been an obedient and respectful daughter. She loved reading when she was young and she was always a quiet person.”
But life was tough for Lydia and her family when Lydia’s father passed away 10 years ago.
“She was heartbroken and we were all sad,” she said. “However, I tried to stay strong for my children, and with the help of our Heavenly Father, we were able to cope with all the pain.
“We then moved back to Samoa and I raised my children here. That really helped Lydia to become the person she is today, and I am glad that I made that decision to bring her here to Samoa. I wanted her to see and experience that in life, you have to work hard and do your best otherwise you will struggle.
“I raised her to be independent and not to rely on anyone. I told her to learn from my mistakes and choose to go hard in school because that will open up a lot of opportunities for her in life. And today, I am extremely proud of her and I just want to thank God for all His blessings.
“Lydia is such a blessing and I want to tell her that I am proud of her and the person she have become. I’m sure her father is also proud of her.
“It was sad that I wasn’t able to attend her graduation, but this is my way of thanking her and telling everyone how proud I am of her. I am grateful and thankful to her for being such a good role model for her siblings.”
And this is not the end of Lydia’s road to success.
Her daughter, Georgina said, is driven to achieve more in her life.
“I am happy now that she’s here with us and I am glad to have her home. But she told me that she wants to do her Masters now. And even though I don’t want her to leave us again, I will support whatever decision she makes. It’s her dream to be successful and I will do my best to support and help her in any way I can and pray to God to guide and help her out.”