Why I Salute My Mother Silently Each Mother’s Day…

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My mother is a very simple, naïve and kind-hearted person. She has been forgiving everyone, without claiming to be angelic, without giving any credit to herself and her goodness.

As a child I couldn’t understand her, didn’t like the way she responded to my needs and desires. I didn’t like the way she let things be. I detested her lack of action against the atrocities she could tolerate.

She passed on mute messages. I am glad I could gather them.

Alas! I couldn’t appreciate her sterling qualities. My dominating and aggressive father had overshadowed her real characteristics and never let her grow into the kind of woman she could have been.

She became whatever circumstances demanded her to be. She adjusted to all kinds of situations, without any resentment. Probably she didn’t have a choice. She was conditioned to accept the unwritten norms of the society she lived in.

Her empty insensitive words could not affect me but her suffering and struggle did.

What she taught me, without telling me was more effective:

Love is not a trophy to exhibit:

I had a strange relationship with my mother till a particular age. I always thought she doesn’t love me as my focus was always on her unsavory comments she passed on my rebellious nature and me. Never did she say the word ‘love.’ Probably she herself had never been loved. Orphaned and married at 13, she had no exposure to finer emotions, which are picked up from a loving family.

The word ‘love’ always remained subdued in my life too as it had never been nurtured. I came to know it as a silent emotion, which could be felt deep down in our hearts…it was unconditional; it was listening and complying with all the diktats of the family and the society.

Self-love was taboo. It was being selfish.

Strength is the quality of the mind:

The impressionable years of my adolescence were molded in the cauldron of hostile circumstances when my mom struggled all alone to raise three children. Widowed at a very young age, she didn’t let the society pressurize her into giving in to depend on the hungry wolves, waiting to devour her and her husband’s property, her sole source of meager income.

Her resilience was worth emulating, her sacrifices sacrosanct and her courage inimitable. She became an incarnation of inspiration for me. Her strength left an indelible mark on my personality albeit I realized it much later in life.

Detachment is a way of life:

She has never been clingy and gave away all she had, without worrying about her own future welfare. She could detach most naturally though she is visibly shaken inside. She could never find enough words to express herself well but she made us capable of reading those repressed emotions. My gratitude goes to her for giving us the wings, for freedom of thought and expression, for never forcing anything down our throats.

Acceptance is not a sign of weakness:

It strengthens us mentally and emotionally; it acquaints us with our weaknesses, our failures and follies and renews our energy to deal with our emotions effectively.

Now I know why my mom accepted all that came her way.

Now I can see the value of each tear she shed alone and how it endowed her with greater toughness.

Now I can figure out why her words were so acerbic as they depicted her own pain, which I could not see at that phase of life.

I salute you dear mother, for making me what I am today.

I owe an apology to you for misunderstanding you; for underestimating your anguish and angst. I know it was your love for us, which made you toil day and night to give us an economically secure and brilliant future.

I wish you the best of opportunities and lot of love in your next life, if there is any.

I pray for your good health and happiness till your last journey, which I know has to be peaceful if God sees the truth.


Thank you for reading this. Please share your reflections about what you learnt from your mother.

If you have liked this article, please share it at your favorite social networks.

Balroop Singh.



39 thoughts on “Why I Salute My Mother Silently Each Mother’s Day…

  1. Thank you for sharing this, Balroop. it’s true that we would not be the people we are today without all the experiences that brought us to this moment. A profound tribute to your mother with all the complexity of her life and your relationship with her. I sense peace and love in your poem.

    1. Thank you Diana for such lovely words, I am glad my poem breathes some peace and love. Yes, experiences do make us what we are! 🙂

  2. An honest, emotional and courageous tribute to a wonderful woman. I admire how you took those qualities about her which you saw one way in your life and see them differently now. I wish she reads your blog and reads this wonderful tribute or at least gets it read to her 🙂 And the best part Balroop is that all the words that she didn’t say and may have wanted to have now been given voice to by you 🙂 Not only for yourself, for her but all of us who read your writing regularly. Happy Mothers Day to you too!

    1. Hi Vishnu,

      Some words can only be written and not said…they were buried in my heart and could have remained so if I had not gathered the courage to pen them down. Emotions can be expressed better if we put them down, that’s why keeping a journal is considered to be therapeutic! 🙂

      Thank you dear friend for understanding emotions so well…only few men can! Stay blessed and have a nice week.

  3. Happy Mother’s Day, Balroop! It was so pleasing and inspiring to read about your beautiful mother. She taught you all relevant lessons of life and love. Detachment and acceptance are wonderful qualities and not easy to come by. God bless your mother and your love for her!

    1. Thank you Alka. I am glad you found this inspiring. It is only when life doesn’t offer you any better choices that you learn the lessons of acceptance and detachment. Love those kind words. Stay blessed.

  4. Such a wonderful tribute to your mother, Balroop. It must have been tough when she was widowed but she accomplished much as time went on. Very selfless of her to put her children’s needs first, and although she might sounded harsh she just wanted the best for her family 🙂 Happy Mother’s Day to you and her 🙂

    1. Hi Mabel,

      I appreciate that you could understand the sterling qualities of a mother who put her children first… values do matter and cultural influences mold such values. 🙂
      Thank you. Have a blessed week.

  5. It’s a great tribute to your mother on Mother’s day. She has all the qualities of a perfect woman, and she has passed down all those traits to you… 🙂 Wish both of you a beautiful day …Happy Mother’s Day… 🙂

  6. This is one of the best written tribute to one’s mother and you have done it so beautifully. This is exactly what I felt about my mother and it is what most of us feel but lack the word to write it and share it. Yes, love is not a trophy to exhibit and this sentence takes away everything, love has to demonstrated and love has to be experienced not display and not trumpeted. Mothers do it and we during our childhood never realize its importance and the way mother do it. Especially the way your mother has taken the challenge of life at the early age and faced the hardship of life alone and grown you all a children is simply a feat by itself, never easy to fight the male dominated society and the way challenges are thrown at on a daily basis and doing so without reaction and responding wisely and calmly makes such a huge difference and she has done with such strength…

    Strength is the quality of mind and we need to work on our mind and which comes with experience and with deeper reflection and as we start relating the way our mother’s have deal with things, we just have to accept and appreciate the ability to handle so much complexity with such simplicity. Once we embrace the power of detachment, life becomes so beautiful and we start enjoying with whatever we have and not run for whatever we don’t have…yes mother’s are epitome of care and compassion and patience and passion, the poem sums it all so well, I couldn’t have ended so beautifully.

    Thanks indeed for sharing such a gem of a piece and everybody should read this…
    Hope you are having a lovely Sunday.

    1. Hi Nihar,

      Thank you for coming in for sharing your perspective on this post, much appreciated. I agree with you, it is very hard to put the emotions we carry in our heart for such a loving person and I could feel that I am not able to convey what I wanted to for lack of the right words. In fact words can never describe what our mothers do for us…a universal fact! 🙂

      Yet I have made a humble effort for my own sake, for lessening my own burden to leave this baggage behind. I appreciate that your words are in consonance with mine. Thank you for sharing them. Stay blessed.

      1. It has indeed been so beautifully written, it can only come out of the true emotions and something one has deeply felt about it…it reflects every bit of it. I agree many times we fall short of words to convey the feelings but the narration and the composition of thoughts overlooks the choice of words, it the flow and it is the form that depicts the power behind the thoughts. Nothing can ever convey or capture the true feelings we have for our parents and mother has a truly special place and nobody can ever take that place away from us.
        Always my pleasure to read such powerful thoughts so wonderfully written…

  7. Love this tribute to your beautiful mother Balroop! I resonate most with the fact that when I was younger too, I never understood my mother, the way I understand her now, after becoming a mother myself.
    How perceptions change 🙂
    Love to you and your beautiful mother on this lovely day.
    xoxo, Z~

  8. Wow, Balroop. This is an exquisite post. Your writing is so beautiful here and what better topic than your mother? She sounds like an incredible lady who has suffered greatly without showing it. I wish the ‘LIKE’ button was a ‘LOVE’ button to click.

    Happy mother’s Day to you as well, Balroop and thank you for sharing this lovely post and poem!

  9. Your mother had a tough lot in life. She tried her best, whether she gave love or not much, it was because she didn’t have an example.
    I feel bad for her living under tight control so early in her life. She was unable to express herself. Until you grew up, were a parent and had your dreams fulfilled in family, you could not see her positive attributes.
    Balroop, your story isn’t far from many of us, we all showed disrespect or worse, some people I knew showed contempt towards their mother. I had a strong mother who taught students in high school, Spanish, English and World Literature. It was unique in my neighborhood to have a working mother and father not being the sole supporter. I always wished for a stay at home mother, like your mother. Funny, isn’t it, two sides to the coin, mothers from two different families. Thanks for sharing this. I like the beauty in your mother’s face and your honest portrait of her character. Bless you, Balroop.

    1. Hi Robin,

      Thank you for sharing your perspective, I appreciate it. It is not that mom didn’t have any love in her heart…she still has immeasurable love within her, only she didn’t shower at that stage of life, probably because she didn’t want to or she couldn’t due to her own misfortunes.

      I love your choice of words for her. Thank you! love and hugs.

      1. Thank you for understanding my words. I do believe I should have said her love for you was restrained but in her heart. I am so glad you added this piece to make it much more understanding of her circumstances, Balroop. Blessings to you, your Mother and family.
        I also enjoyed your recent description of the area around Buffalo. I have been to Niagara Falls and both New York and Toronto. I am not sure I have been to the finger lakes but the Lake Erie and Michigan shores have been trod on and enjoyed. Take care and we shall stay in touch.

  10. Hi Balroop,

    Awesome post indeed 🙂

    All I can say is that your mother would be so happy and proud of you, especially if she read all that you’ve written so well about her. Having lost my mother years back, I can well understand the feelings and emotions. Loved this one 🙂

    Thanks for sharing it with us. Have a nice week ahead 🙂

    1. Hi Harleena,

      I am sorry to hear about your mother leaving so early. Mothers are the only heavenly beings we can meet on earth…the connection never breaks even when they leave.

      Thank you for sharing this thought. Stay blessed!

  11. What a powerful post Balroop. It must have been so hard for you, for her. It’s good that over the years, you realized how much she meant to you and your meant for her; Sometime we do misunderstand our loved ones. Most of them tend to do the best they can with was they have been given.
    Thank you for sharing these incredible teachings. Mothers are precious.

    1. Thank you Marie for understanding my emotions so well. I appreciate your standing by to share your lovely perspective. 🙂 Stay blessed!

  12. Hi Balroop, I am late catching up on the post. Mothers Day has gone by, but the lessons that your mom has taught you through her actions will ring true forever. Maybe when we are young, we fail to appreciate some qualities that are not spelled out in words. As you have said, her words may have been acerbic but her actions were very elegant.Thanks for sharing this wonderful tribute.

    1. Thank you Somali. I agree…youth focuses on situations differently, it is only when we mature that our perspectives become balanced. I appreciate your coming over and sharing those thoughts. 🙂

  13. Hi, Balroop

    This is the most impressive post tributing to mother. How honest and open about struggles with your mother during growing up. This was caused by the combination of her hard life experience and no desire to express.

    The beautiful thing was that you can extract some of her life principles which are useful in your life. I particularly love the poem at the end.

    will share!

    Stella Chiu

    1. Thank you Stella, I am glad my reflections appear impressive now but they were not when I had to face all those experiences. It was a very hard time and made me lose faith in God. What ever principles I imbibed were picked up unconsciously and I am happy I was positive-minded…always hoping for better times.
      Thanks for the kind words and share. I appreciate that.

  14. Looooooooovely piece.
    Your mother is a gorgeous, quiet soul.
    Sometimes silence says so much more.
    Loved this, Balroop.
    Are you on Facebook? xx

  15. What a wonderful tribute this is to your Mother dear Balroop.. What strength and what courage your Mother’s journey undertook..
    I agree it is often only later when with wisdom we see the value of those silent lessons we were taught when younger.. That also helped us gain courage and strength along ones own pathway..
    I so loved what you wrote, I have apologised in prayer many times to my own Mother whom I judged, as she too could never express love.. And it isn’t until one’s eyes open that you see two sides to a coin.. And wonder at their own internal battles they had to overcome..

    Love and Blessings dear Balroop.. Enjoy a wonderful Weekend
    Sue ❤

    1. Hi Sue,

      Tears well up as I read your reflections…you have such a lovely, tender heart dear friend. Thank you for understanding my thoughts, which I have never expressed to anybody…writing is so cathartic! I have put the same thoughts in many of my poems, hiding behind one protagonist or another and felt great solace.

      You are SO right when you say that we learn to see the other side of the coin slowly as we mellow down…who can understand the pain hidden beneath struggles! Then also we arrive at our own conclusions!

      Love and hugs dear Sue. You too have a nice weekend.

      1. In hindsight we can all look back on situations within our lives and ponder.. But until we have walked in another’s shoes, who are we to say how we too would have dealt with a situation.. And Your Mother went through a great deal through her young life aged 13… Still but a child and yet having to learn to grow quickly.. Life then subservient, I am sure she learnt the hard way if she spoke out of turn..
        So in reflection your muse and tribute takes into account in reasoning why she seemed perhaps indifferent and aloof if that is the right term. For she then had to bring up her family alone.. No mean feat ..

        My own Mother was raised in a loving family, and I couldn’t wish for better loving Grandparents who gave all to their Grandchildren. Yet her relationship with my Dad was volatile.. She would never forgive and was like a dog with a bone, she would chew on things over and over never letting anything drop And would start the arguments, then point the finger always at my Dad.

        And at age 18 she showed me the door simply because I had disagreed and challenged her, as I was working, giving her all my wages and yet I had nothing to put in my sandwich for work.. While she bought cigarettes etc..

        Some people find it hard to Love, and show it.. While it took a long while to fully Let Go of the hurt.. I began to understand while we hold on to wounds we only hurt ourselves deeper..

        So I resonate greatly with the telling of your story and your tribute to your Mother dear Balroop..
        We learn to forgive and see life from another’s perspective..
        Which is what we are all here to learn.. 🙂 and I am loving this journey. For I am discovering who I AM along the way..

        Love and Blessings.. And thank you for listening.. And for being who you are.. Your words, your poems. Your insights have helped enrich that which I know as truth..
        Thank you from the bottom of my heart..

        Love Sue ❤

      2. I am sorry to hear you had such unpleasant experiences at an impressionable age when we expect nothing but love.
        You are right dear Sue, holding on to wounds and revisiting them is more hurting…it is better to learn and forgive. 🙂
        Thank you dear friend for sharing your story, it lightens the emotional baggage we like to keep.
        Love and hugs dear Sue.

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