Wow! It is April 15…and Day 13 of the #AtoZChallenge. And I am thrilled the letter for the day is M. Why? Because April 15 is my Mom’s birthday – and Mother of Mine seems the perfect choice for today.
My Mother was my mentor, my best friend (still is) and my inspiration. My coffee mate. My Angel. In spite of a hard life, she always smiled and encouraged. She was always kind and loving and ever ready to help others. Even through her illness during the last years of her life, she tried her best to be active and positive.
My Mother was something else. Nice to a fault. I’d always get a bit mad at her for insisting on looking at only the good aspect of everything. She was married at 13. She had me when she was barely 18. My father, who migrated to the United States, never returned to us, insisting he had only one life to live, and would live it the way he wanted. And so – after some pretty horrible times at her in-laws’ in Delhi, mom and I came back to her mother’s place in Mumbai.
Thus began a much better time for us – Mom completed her schooling and opted for a career in teaching, with the support of her own school teachers (she and I went to the same school – Little Flowers, Andheri, Mumbai – and we also had the same teacher, who was also my Godmother). Life wasn’t easy and it was only in the nineties that Mom acquired her post graduation degrees – when I also got my MBA degree. What wonderful times we had, studying together!
After a teaching career spanning almost forty years as a school teacher, headmistress and school principal, she had a major accident in 1994, after which I forced her to quit working and encouraged her to start her own little school, which she did and enjoyed running.
After I married in Feb 1997, my husband insisted Mom should live with us – and so began another phase in our life. Vidur was born in 1997. Then followed a glorious 12 years for mom. Mom loved kids – and having her very own grandson was all she could ask for, she said. She spoilt him silly, but also taught him excellent values.
During the last four years of her life her health failed, but somehow she bravely coped. When she was rushed to the hospital on Feb 3, 2010 with a collapsed lung, she was still thinking about us, Vidur and various little mundane things. She wanted to wait in the ground floor, because she didn’t want to inconvenience the hospital staff, making them carry her down. After five days of full life support, on Feb 8, 2010, at 10.45 am, she breathed her last.
Everyone associated with her remembers her with love. As per her last wish, we donated her body to St Johns Medical College, Bangalore. She didn’t believe in ‘last rites’ and thought they were just crap, and insisted that when she was gone, we should focus on the living and needy. “Why waste money on useless rituals for the dead?” was her feeling. We are actively carrying out her wishes.
I always find it very hard to think of my mother as ‘old’ or ‘elderly’. Whenever anyone referred to her that way, it felt like they were referring to someone else. It is probably because we practically grew up together, strengthening our bond into far more than the mother-daughter to friends. I often told her that if there was another birth, she’d better be my daughter.
There is no doubt at all that her soul watches over us, with love.
Some words of wisdom by my Mom from her diary:
About keeping a journal:
“Diary writing is far more than a way of exorcising one’s unhappiness. The effect is extraordinary. Distanced on paper, troubles shrink to their true size. You can regard them objectively and see how temporary they are”
About the joy of letter-writing:
“When spoken words failed, written words kept us close”
“Books support us in our solitude and keep us from being a burden to ourselves”
She encouraged me to..
Collect Moments, Not Things
Here’s one of her favorite songs…one I have sung to her many times..
Mother of Mine
By Jimmy Osmond…enjoy!
Vidya, Lots of love and tight hugs coming your way. I had goosebumps reading your mother’s exceptional story. She was a brave lady and you both were lucky to have each other in your lives.Keep writing and making her smile.
I know how much you miss your Mom, and we share this one great loss together, as we’ve so often talked about losing our Moms. There are no words at times, and Moms certainly are the best – nothing can replace them – no one at all. 🙂
Miss my Mom too, though know that like my Mom, yours too is always beside you – lihe your guardian angel. 🙂
Harleena Singh recently posted…7 Top Signs That Your Spouse Might Be Having An Affair
What an inspiration woman. You are a blessed daughter Vidya. Her wisdom words about reading are indeed very encouraging. It is really our mothers who make us what we become. What an amazing relationship.
yamini recently posted…Law of The Karmic Account
An Vidya! Your mom is an inspiration. Her tale left me with tears in my eyes. And having seen you, I know that she must have been an awesome parent despite the challenges she faced in her life. Truly, what a story! I lost my mom on April 11th and look back at her with deep love. Like you mentioned, my mother was worrying about my younger brother who was unmarried when she was very sick. Just 52 when she passed away! They really do dwell in their kids and grandkids. Mothers are selfless souls. I know now that I am a mother how deep the love between a mother and a child is. Sad that she wasn’t around to see my children. A lovely lovely post that melted my heart. Hugs to you!
Rachna recently posted…Post for Film Annex: Women’s empowerment in Afghanistan
Good choice. Great tribute. Lovely illustration. My own mother, who passed away a few years ago, was a wonderful role model too.
Joy V. Smith recently posted…M is for mule
I love this tribute to your mother, and best friend. How amazing and wonderful that you studied together. Sounds like you are filled with good memories.
Visiting from AtoZ
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Bows to your Mom ! 😀
hitchy recently posted…M for Machhli – The most famous tigress in India and perhaps the world…
aah Vidya. May her soul RIP ! We refuse to believe that our parents are aging. When my cousins say that I just think they shud get eye sight checked. I find my mom always young !
This post terrifies me as death is inevitable. On the other hand I was glad to read this as reading ur and ur mom’s kinship was fascinating…
May you evolve in to a more wonderful lady
afshan recently posted…“Man who was no less than a soldier!”
Thats such a inspiring story! A bigg hug to u Vidya!
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N i Just realized u hv recommended my blog… Am proud or what 🙂
What a beautiful relationship!
Shail recently posted…Photographic equipment ~ a tag
Your Mom was truly a Hero and we rarely get to meet people like her. A true inspiration. I love this wonderful song and grew up listening to it.Enjoyed it.
What a tribute to your courageous and inspiring Mom, Vidya, and I recognize so much of her in you! Her words of wisdom are sheer gold. I will give mine a huge hug from you especially today. And big bear hugs to you, dear friend!
Barbara recently posted…What Does A Market Have In Common With Marketing?
Your mom is so inspiring! A big hug to you!!
Incidentally, we got married in the same month and same year! 🙂
Shilpa Garg recently posted…M is for… Memories
What a beautiful story Vidya… and what a beautiful smile your mother had! I lost my mother 30 years ago, and I still miss her, too. I don’t remember much about her, as I was quite young when she died. Fragments here and there. I remember her making soup for some reason. I wish I could remember her voice…
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What a beautiful tribute to your Mom. Thank you for sharing her amazing life story with us.
I always love to read what you write about your mother! She was truly a woman of great wisdom and gratitude and you were blessed to be a daughter of hers!
Lori Gosselin recently posted…Are You Changing the World?
Vidya, beautiful tribute to your mom. Indeed, she was a woman of courage. Accept my best wishes for her birthday. I am sure she is watching over you and must be so proud of you.
Naina recently posted…Magical Monsoon and Delhi
This post touched me in many ways than I can say. My father passed away on feb 5, 2010 and I’m yet to come to terms with it. Losing that one parent you love most is the most devastating thing that can happen.
Nevertheless, you are lucky to have spent such wonderful time with her. She seems like a wonderful role-model.
Nandana recently posted…Mom and Me
Thanks for sharing more about your mother. Mom’s are great and they are hard to lose. i lost mine 5 years ago in May. now i think about all those talks we had until 2 in the morning when i would go visit her on the weekends.
I to believe they do keep watching over us.
Thanks again for sharing.,
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She is a true inspiration and way ahead of her times. Even me and my mom shared the same kind of bond. It is void hard to fill.
What an amazing, inspiring person! Truly a woman of substance.
Roshni recently posted…Blogging from A to Z April Challenge: M is for…
Beautiful and inspiring vidya ! this truly touched my heart, thanks for sharing, your mother was a courageous and very optimistic person – I enjoyed reading your blog today, thanks for sharing ! brought memories of my mom, whom i lost nine years ago.
I had read this lovely post in the other blog of yours and even though this is the second time I am reading it …I feel the same lump in my throat …Vidya my friend you are truly blessed 🙂
sridevi recently posted…N for Nightscape
Your bond with your Mom was and still is amazing! I never had a bond with my mom and I so envy anyone who does. Beautiful post!
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