Mother’s Day is a special time of the year. It’s the one day a year us mummies get the chance to justify putting our feet up and actually taking time out for ourselves, even though we still feel guilty about it. It’s also a time for remembering. Remembering those special ladies in our lives who are no longer with us. For no matter how old we are, our mums always hold a very special place in our hearts. Earlier this year, a mummy who had been coming to MamaBabyBliss Nottingham classes for all of her babies lives, sadly lost her battle to cancer. Her name was Pearl. She left behind her husband, her two children, her parents, her siblings and her friends.
We want to honour Pearl in some way, and so this year we are launching The Pearl Award. The Pearl Award will now form part of our annual activities and each year in March, we will remember Pearl and celebrate a special inspiring mummy. We can never replace the hole Pearl has left, but we hope this will go some way to create a legacy to Pearl and a legacy her husband, children, family and friends can remember her for.
The Pearl Award this year will be awarded to Pearl posthumously. We are sure you will agree when you read on why we have decided to do this and we feel very privileged and honoured to have been entrusted with this by Pearl’s family and friends.
Pearl, we know you are watching now, and we hope you are proud, knowing this is the legacy you have left, and the place you hold forever in so many hearts.
Pearl Magni (Nee Hoque) - Daughter, Sister, Wife, Mummy, Friend
“We will never forget our beautiful Pearl, she was so loving, kind and caring and gave us so much.
She was an incredibly special and inspiring person to so many and we’ve all been left to try to pick up the pieces of life without her. Even during the most painful and difficult times of her illness, she never lost hope and was determined to make the most of her time left; she carried on supporting and caring for us during this time and never expected or wanted to be at the centre of things.
Pearl was the bravest person I have ever known, from the time she was diagnosed (with terminal lung cancer) up to the time of her passing 18 months later at 38 years of age. She went through so much mentally and physically but never complained or gave up, she carried on being Pearl (loving, caring, joyful, responsible) and was determined to fit as much in as possible. Pearl pushed herself to her limits and beyond, as a mother does for her children.
Pearl felt so blessed to have two beautiful children (Ruby and Leo, now 5 and 3) and loved looking after them. She put everything into being a mummy and has given our children so much love and precious memories. Pearl loved taking them to baby yoga at MamaBabyBliss Nottingham, which gave her really precious bonding time with them. She was an amazing organiser and always planned ahead with Ruby and Leo in mind, fixing play dates, special family trips and some amazing birthday parties. I’ve been trying my best to emulate this but it’s not easy!
Pearl juggled being a mum with a very successful career as a solicitor. As in all aspects of her life, she is hugely valued at work and has left a legacy behind for her colleagues. Right up to the last couple of months, Pearl carried on going to work part-time which is pretty much unprecedented for someone with her prognosis; she wanted to provide for the family no matter how poorly she felt. As if this wasn’t enough, Pearl also did lots of charitable work, raising hundreds of pounds on one occasion by organising a cake sale for Macmillan Cancer Support. She also did important legal work for Nottingham Women’s Centre.
I was so lucky to have met Pearl, my best friend and soul mate, and be her husband despite the way things turned out. As hard as the last weeks were, there was nowhere else I wanted to be but by her side trying to comfort her; she managed to keep smiling and use every ounce of energy to talk to countless friends and family who came to see her. She cared for me personally right up until her last breath and I feel she’s still helping me now. I feel like we fitted a lifetime of experience into our relatively short marriage.
Before Pearl became very poorly, we were blessed to have a year of good health thanks to a new treatment we were able to access. We used this time to make precious memories; we went on some amazing holidays as a family (including Disney World) and took romantic trips as a couple. I’m so pleased we were bold and did this; we knew the time we had together was so precious and that things could change quickly. Perhaps we should all live like this.
I always knew that Pearl had lots of very close friends (from all parts of her life), but didn't fully appreciate how many lives she touched in profound ways until after her passing. Pearl was so loved by her friends and still helped and guided them throughout her illness. She was loyal, compassionate and practical and so much fun!
In the end, I don’t think any of us can really know what it was like for Pearl, carrying the burden of terminal illness, as a cherished daughter, loving sister, adored wife, brilliant mummy and dear friend. To this day I think she protected us all from the inconceivable pain and sorrow that this entailed, shouldering much of the burden herself, which is the bravest thing I can imagine anyone doing.”
Pearl’s Husband - 20/03/17
Pearl had many special friends she met. The Friday Club, a group of cherished friends, share their memories of Pearl and why she was a truly special lady.
“Pearl still inspires me on a daily basis, I think to myself what would Pearl say? Mostly I can hear her grounded words of wisdom she would always give me. A whitty joke, with her unique sense of humour. An answer that came from her inbuilt ability to read people and situations. An answer filled with love. An intelligent answer founded in years of professional study and thirst for knowledge. She was a fiercely loyal friend, loving mother and devoted wife, which doesn't do her personal strengths justice. Pearl’s qualities transcend life itself, and have the ability to inspire me for the rest of my life. I am grateful to have had her with me for part of my life journey, because true friendship lasts forever x”
Pearl’s friend Steph
“From the moment Pearl and I met, pregnant with our first babies, I was drawn to her warmth. We navigated the first years of motherhood together and we dealt with each bumpy moment with tea, copious amounts of cake and dollop of good humour.
Pearl was inspirational. Full stop. I felt this a long way before her cancer diagnosis. I called her 'supermummy' - she was a successful and respected lawyer, an amazing wife and mummy, and a wonderful friend. She kept us in line, called us out when she needed to and most of all she cared for her friends unconditionally. I miss her with all my heart and I always will. But I think of her every single day and will always be inspired by her strength, courage, and positivity. I feel blessed to have known her and to have been able to call her my friend. X”
Pearl’s Friend Rebecca
“Pearl was and continues to be such an inspiration to me. I was always in awe of her ability to juggle so many metaphorical balls; a busy professional career, two young children, as well as her jam-packed social diary. Despite this she always took the time to be thoughtful and considerate, asking after me and my extended family as well as updates on our mutual friends. With our sons born just a couple of weeks apart she was a constant source of advice and encouragement. Her being a second time mum and me first time, I felt like I could tell her anything and she always had practical advice to offer. I never felt judged or patronised which is so often the case with well meaning advice for a new mum. I won't forget our hours spent chatting in the Poppy & Pint after a MamaBabyBliss baby yoga session, consuming far too much cake, or our long park walks in a vague attempt to burn off some of our sugar excesses, nor our mutually bad influences on each other when out shopping together. She always left thoughtful and humorous comments on many of my social media posts. Now my phone tells me I have a memory to look back on and so often that memory includes her. She had such a huge heart and her enthusiasm for life and her smile were infectious. Although the knowledge that I won't see her again in this lifetime always tinges my memories with sadness, I never hesitate to smile when I am reminded of her. With the following quote I am reminded of Pearl and her positive attitude to life, particularly when she became unwell: "when it rains look for rainbows, when it's dark look for stars."
Pearl’s friend Jenny
Pearl, we honour you this year by creating the Pearl Award, and we remember you every year on Mother’s Day by celebrating special mummies everywhere.We have set up The Pearl Award on Mamababygiving in support of Winston's Wish - a charity helping bereaving children. To donate in memory of Pearl, please follow this link.