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.
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