Hail Mother Every Day, Not Just on Mother’s Day

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It was mother’s day and as is the habit with our generation, I went to my mother’s room early in the morning to give her a mother’s day card but in reality to wake her  up for a mother-daughter selfie (because how can our mother’s day be  complete without posting a selfie about it on all our social media handles). Sometimes I think that even though social media was supposed to bring us closer, it has done the very opposite. It has only turned us into pompous fools.But that debate is for another day. Coming back to what I had to say, as I went to wake up my mother and ask her for a selfie (even though it was a holiday and her only day of the week when she gets to sleep in and rest her tired body), my mom mumbled something in her sleep and turned to face towards me. My hand was only half way out and realising that she was in a deep sleep, I pulled it back. My selfie could wait. Why not let her sleep a bit more, I thought. I don’t know whether it was her peaceful face or the fact that no one in the house was up yet but, I decided to sit by her bedside for a few minutes (I rarely do that because mornings in my house are all about hustling and leaving before we get late).

 Looking at her serene face, I realised that it had developed quite a few wrinkles. I could also see the small grey hairs cascading her face. Her hand which was lying on her pillow and reminded me of my little sister (she must have picked up the habit from my mom) was also wrinkled and rough from constantly working day and night. Her wrist had a small burn mark on it. When did that happen? Looking closely, I noticed several other small burns and cuts on her fingers, the kind you get from ironing and cooking. I saw how rough her feet had become. There was almost no part of her which didn’t show signs of sacrifice. In dedicating her life to make our lives comfortable, she had completely neglected her comfort. Rather that crying over cuts and burns, she bore them patiently so that we wouldn’t have to compromise on our comforts.

Looking at her sleeping, I was suddenly reminded of the endless sacrifices she had made for us. She had raised us all alone, in a society where everyone is only concerned about how to pull you down. She had spent whatever she earned to provide us with a good education. She had faced every storm with strength just to protect us and keep us safe. All my life she had never even once complained about anything. I had very recently got a job and spent my evenings complaining about how tired I was but, my mom, who has been working for all the 20 years of my life, has never complained. She comes after what must be a long and tiring day and directly goes into the kitchen to prepare us meals. She cleans, cooks, washesand irons all by herself. Even if we offer to help(which I admit isn’t quite often), she always say, “You must be tired. Go and lie down a little. I will manage on my own.” 

I was reminded of the countless times, she had given up her joys and pleasures so that we wouldn’t have to give up ours. My granny once told me that my mom loved chocolates but today if we have a chocolate, she says she doesn’t like eating chocolates and lets us have her share too. I realised that her sacrifices were endless and giving her a mere card wasn’t going to suffice. So what do I buy her, an expensive gift (I could afford that now thanks to my well-paying job)? What did she want to buy? I raked and raked my brains but couldn’t think of anything or even a time when my mother had expressed her desire to buy anything for herself? I realised that her life revolved around us-what things we needed, what things we wanted, what we wanted to eat, what we wanted to wear. Everything was only about us. Never once had my mother done anything for herself. She pampered us every day and what did we do in return- make her a mother’s day card once a year and neglect her for the rest. I realised that we spend, even the day that we dedicate to our mothers, updating our social media handles with selfies and wishes for our mothers instead of actually spending it with our mothers. Is that how a mother’s day should be celebrated? Why do we need acknowledgements from our online friends, most of whom we never meet in real life? Why do we need to tell the world that we love our mothers? Shouldn’t we always know that and shouldn’t we always shower them with love and appreciation?

While I sat there, lost in my own thoughts and overcome with guilt, I noticed that the blanket had slipped away from my mother’s bed and was on the floor. How long had it been lying there? Why hadn’t I noticed it when I came in? The lying blanket that I hadn’t noticed, like so many other things that we hardly notice because we feel they aren’t as important, made me realise how I neglected the everyday sacrifices that my mother made for me and my siblings. I picked up the blanket and lay it slowly on my mother. I kissed her (something that I haven’t done in years) and whispered I love you, mom and before leaving the room carefully so that her sleep wouldn’t be disturbed, I vowed to never take her for granted again. I didn’t need a special day to make her feel special. I could do that every day, just like she does. I could spend time with her, help her whenever I can and show her how important she is. I looked at her once more before closing the door and promised myself that this would be the last time I celebrated mother’s day in the same clichéd way that everyone does. From now on every day would be a mother’s day for my mother. She deserved to be appreciated every single moment. She deserved to be made feel special all the time because she was special. She deserved to be cherished and loved every day, just like she cherished and loved every one of us.

 

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