Tomorrow is Mother’s Day. It’s a time of celebration and of family. It’s time of gift exchange and of tradition. For me, it’s a time off loss and of new understanding. I guess I write so much about my mother because I can never capture the perfect words to completely truly express how I feel. Before I make my plea to Mother’s Day celebrators of the world, let me first explain why I feel so deeply strongly motivated to write all these thoughts and feelings out.
It’s hard for me to understand the dynamics of a mother-child relationship when it’s anything other than extraordinary. All my life, I have only known the love of a mother who would sacrifice everything in her world to make my world better. All my life, I have only known the kind of love from a mother who is unwaveringly, unconditionally, devoted and hopelessly, madly committed to my happiness.
I can’t image what it’s like to have anything less than mine.
I had a mother who hurt more than I did after I needed a good smack. I had a mother who cried during every talent show I was in. I had a mother who held my hand crossing the street even when I was 19. She made me wear life jackets in the hot tub when I turned 9. I had a mother who knew all the good and all the bad I had done and who loved me regardless.
My mama stayed up all hours of the night to help me with my home work. She made delicious Indian food every night. She cleaned the house every weekend from top to bottom. She worked extra jobs to get us the best toys and school supplies. She took the time to drive me everywhere for extra curricular activities and dates and even gave me her last dollar to get ice cream. She treated me to mani pedis and new outfits even without an occasion. She made every day an occasion.
I long to make dinner preparations an occasion again. I miss singing and dancing in the kitchen. I miss watching Hindi movies while she and my grandma massaged coconut oil into our hair as we ate samosas and pakoras or chutney sandwiches. I wish I could go for a drive to country to catch a glimpse at the reflection of the stars across the lake with her again. I wish I could hear her voice tell me that she loves me again. I wish I could capture the perfect smell she made with Australian Gold lotion and Hypnose by Lancôme perfume and whatever secret ingredients she used to smell so good. I wish I could touch her soft model hands that were perfectly manicured again. I wish I could taste her perfect home cooking again.
I wish she would tell me how it is – like she used to.. Whether I liked it or not, I could always count on her honesty. I wish she would give me a disapproving look again so I know that what I am doing or how I am acting is not how she raised me. I wish I knew which one of my jokes would crack her up like they used to. I miss the sound of her laugh. I miss making her smile. I miss the way she told me and my sister that we were both her favourites. I miss snuggling with her. I miss our goodnight hugs and kisses. If she hugged me first, she would say, “first the best” and if she hugged my sister afterwards, she would say, “saved the best for last!” It was an ongoing affair. First the best, last the best! I would say something like, “Remember when Amy was born, you thought she looked like ET? Then I was born and you thought I was beautiful?! I’m the perfect one, mom!” Then Amy would pipe in and say something like, “I’m she beauty, she’s the beast!” But, she loved us both the same. It didn’t matter who gave her more anxiety. I would stay out passed dark on the other side of the neighbourhood where I wasn’t allowed to go.. And she would send out a search party. I would go and get drunk with friends and she would make sure I had a safe ride home and a tea in the morning to soften the blow of the hangover. My independent sister Amy Elizabeth, the Queenie of the world would fight for her right to be independent with yelling and screaming matches.. And my mother would just want to kiss and make up. Forgive and forget. Don’t leave the house angry. Don’t go to sleep angry. She just wanted us to know, she always loved us. No matter what. Deep down, I hope she knew how much we loved her too!
We didn’t get to make it up to her. We dont get to celebrate occasions like Mother’s Day with her anymore. We don’t get to make her cards and see her reaction which would undoubtedly be tears of happiness. We don’t get to go to fleetwood Mac concerts with her anymore. Everyday is less and less of an occasion.
On Mother’s Day, on birthdays and on holidays, my sister and I try to be together. We try to celebrate. We try to honour our mama. Everyday, we try to be even half the person our mama was. Everyday, each passing minute is another minute we don’t get to share with her. Time could never be the remedy of a wound so deep.
We can read all the articles we want on how to end a grieving process. We can talk out our feelings and fake it till we make it. We can remind ourselves that, “She is not gone, she is always with us. She is in our hearts and watching over us.” We can do all the things in the world to make her proud, but, none of this will bring her back to what she used to be. Tangible. Audible. Real. The healing process is an on-going battle. I can be happy that she is not suffering. I can be happy that she is in a better place. I can be happy that I had so much wonderful time with her. I can be happy that one day, somewhere up in the clouds, I will see her again.. But, until that day, every day is a struggle. Everyday is unfair. Everyday is a reminder that she is no longer tangibly, audibly, really truly here. As selfish as that sounds, I need my mom and I can’t have her.
I have a little silver jar with what is left of her. I have memories.. Good and bad. I have a broken heart filled with love. I have a sister who is the potentially the only person in the world who can maybe understand exactly how I feel. I can look into her eyes and see my mama. I can wrap my arms around her and feel my mama. I can talk to her and hear my mama. I have a father who reminds me of what love can do to a person. I have prayers and I hopes and I have dreams that there is a greater place where we can all go to be together one day. I don’t know about the future but, I have the past. I have right now. Right now, I need my mama but, I can’t have her. I can’t tangibly, audibly, really truly have her.
So maybe now you can understand how hurt it makes me to see people everyday getting annoyed with their parents. It hurts me to see a mother trying to do the right thing for their son or daughter and the children putting up a protest. It kills me to see people who have cut out their parents from their life. I’m astounded to see children talking back to the people who brought them into this world and provided for them. I honour parents who say, “no” and who discipline their children because saying, “no” is hard. Discipline is hard. It’s those very things that grow those children into well behaved, successful adults. Though I will never know what it’s like to have an abusive parent, it’s a world of an opposing paradigm to me, I plea to everyone who reads this with a parent who still loves you, to celebrate this weekend.
My plea is that you don’t stop at celebrating your mother on Mother’s Day, but that you celebrate your mother everyday because you still can. Celebrate your mother this Mother’s Day and make the occasion on-going. Don’t stop at a bouquet of flowers. Don’t stop at a box of chocolates or a handmade card. Don’t stop at 11:59pm on Mothers Day itself… Celebrate each and every day. Tell your mother that you’re thankful. Tell her she was right. Tell her you’re sorry. Tell your mother that you love her. Call her. Take her for a drive to lake in the middle of the night. Hug her. Kiss her. Hold her. Don’t let go. Don’t ever ever let go.