She rocked my world: in all my time with her, away from her and now without her.
As hard as this is to write, it had to be written.For this day too has come ..
To describe one’s mother in a few paragraphs is all but a futile attempt ; how can a few words fully capture a life time of love, sacrifice and more love? What I loved most was that to Amma, her universe was not limited to her children and her husband: it ensconced her siblings and their families, her husband’s closest and farthest family, all her friends and all the less fortunate people who managed to cross her path, with the same circle of love as it did her near and dear ones. She was as an equal champion of a friend in deepest trouble as she was of me, her daughter or her son. A strong willed woman and often opinionated, she stood her ground, on anything she thought was important, no matter who the person or what the circumstances were.
And she did it with such equanimity and quiet confidence. She gave her love, time , affection, counsel and compassion to the world around her. In generous servings; topped with a smile, wrapped in jokes and a twinkle in her warm eyes.
After nearly 5 years of battle with cancer and the way it took her away from us finally,I thought I would be a bitter person. Strangely enough, I am not. Heartbroken ,yes, at having lost my pillar of strength for the rest of my life, but not bitter. For I saw in that struggle two things that I haven’t seen much in the world: Grace and Hope. Grace in accepting all the pain,suffering,discomfort that was unceremoniously thrown her way till the very end; with a beautiful smile on her face. Her smile lifted us up ,constantly, from what would have been the darkest last few years of her life and the most painful ones of ours. She converted adversities into opportunities,setbacks into rememberable milestones.We weren’t her strength, she was ours. She was our rallying point. Her Grace steadied us in our battle with her disease.
And Hope that rainbows succeed a rainy day and that everything is possible when you have faith. A deeply spiritual but not often religious person, her growing and unshakeable faith surpassed that of many and shone through in her last year: and it is due to that she died the most peaceful of deaths, given her prognosis. She believed in a happy tomorrow, and lived the present in the most true sense of the word: childlike, jubilant and thankful. Every minute was carpe diem for her. It was so powerful that despite the severity of her illness and the abundance of statistics, all of us had charted out a full life ahead with her, strewn with happenings and non-happenings. Her Hope sucked us into a vortex of calm amidst the brewing storm and this Hope gives us courage for the road ahead, especially without her.
Flying in hoping to see her before she died, my father so beautifully told us to look for her among the clouds for there she would be: an angel. We already had, once we knew she left us. Where else would she be?
Umma(kisses),my Amma. Watch over us, our guardian angel.