April 15 is my Mom’s birthday. I am particularly happy that the alphabet for today is M for Mother, Mi to me. She would have been 69 today.
By now you know how close I was to my Mom. As much as she influenced me when she was alive, she continues to inspire me every day through the wise words I received from her, the unconditional love she showered on me, her kindness and her always cheerful attitude and nature.
My Mother taught me some powerful lessons as we went through life together. I was always amazed by her ability to see the good in any situation regardless of the treatment she received. She did not have an easy life and even when her cup of peace came along from one of the most difficult times in her life, she bore no grudge.
I often argued with her about being too nice for her own good. And she would playfully say that no kindness goes waste. One thing is for sure – she smiled most of the time and kept me smiling too.
Perhaps the biggest thing I learned from her is seeing the lighter side of things.
I remember, during summer, we would get ants in the kitchen. To keep them from getting to the food, we would fill a large tray with water, place a stand in it and the food container on the stand. One day we stacked the containers in a hurry, and did not notice that it touched the edge of the tray, giving the ants a convenient bridge to reach the food. A couple of hours later, when we went into the kitchen to make some tea, imagine our shock to see a steady row of ants feasting on the food! I was about to disrupt it when my Mom held my hand, and said, no – don’t do that. They’ve worked so hard. Let them party! Then we both burst out laughing!
In 1995, Mom had a major freak accident. She fell from the second floor at her school – they were renovating and the staircase from the second floor had some loose steps. She slipped and landed directly on the ground floor. Luckily, she did not break anything, but the impact on her back was severe. She was advised by the doctor to go on complete bed rest for six months, which meant she had to quit school. She was upset. Then, the next day, she laughed and said she’d consider it early retirement and decided that she may as well enjoy the forced rest and started teaching children at home. This led to English speaking classes – something she always wanted to do! I learned that the best way to enjoy life is to embrace the situations life presents us with and make the best of it!
I inherited my Mom’s penchant for lists. I would always tease her about listing every little thing – like trimming nails, bathing, and other trivial stuff – and she’d say “it is the little things that matter. See how you feel when you do those things you usually do, and check them off your list. The motivation is priceless and keeps you going”. I am glad the habit stuck with me, helping me stay focused, and now Vidur lives by lists, too.
My Mom was a school teacher and her students adored her and it was not difficult to see why. She never had a harsh word for anyone. When I was old enough to understand, I discovered her secret. “Think twice before you speak” was her mantra. Especially to yourself, she said. She taught me positive self-talk. And most of all, she fed me the classic: Be remembered for being positive, not for saying something hurtful.
I am filled with Gratitude that I am her daughter.
A tribute to Mi.
Day 13 of the Blogging From A to Z Challenge
M for Mi.