Sentiments on Mother’s Day

I’m not a big fan of Mother’s day celebrations, the reason being, I’ve never got much love from my mother despite longing for it so very much. Hence, I never felt excited or happy reflecting on my relationship with my mother, on this day or any other day. We didn’t share anything special or magical or motherly enough worth talking about.

I’m writing this post today because I decided to be thankful this Mother’s day for what I do have, my mother-in-law, the one that comes closest to one’s own mother. It’s only over the last two years that we’ve actually bonded, thanks to my kids. I’m blessed to say I have a wonderful woman as my mother-in-law. I’ve heard so many stories of women being harassed by their MIL after marriage. But my case is completely different. My MIL is so chilled out, so patient and so level-headed that she amazes me. I’m truly blessed to have her in my life.

She has more concern over me and my well being than what my biological mother has ever had. I guess it all boils down to who raised them and how. My MIL’s mother, Naomi was another sweet woman. I’ve heard so many stories about her from my MIL and I couldn’t help feel a bit unfortunate to have not met her in person. My MIL’s entire family is sweet and decent. They were raised that way. My MIL’s mom was the go to person in her locality, in Nagercoil for all issues that people faced because Naomi paati would have a fair solution to all of them and was very trustworthy. She was highly respected in her community. She is what one could call a virtuous woman. She attended to the needs of her children, trained them to be hard working and proactive, and served her community at the same time.

Last June, I got a chance to meet a lot of my MIL’s relatives when we went for my husband’s cousin’s daughter’s wedding. It was a very pleasant experience. It was nice to know my husband’s side of the family, and I felt it was my responsibility as a parent to keep my kids connected with both sides of the family, paternal and maternal.

I never understood the relationship between kids and their grandparents until I watched up close the strong bond my MIL shared with my kids. My kids can’t live without her. Not even for a day. My son is entirely dependent on her. The first thing he does in the morning as soon as he wakes up is go look for her. She takes great care of my kids. She’s the only reason I can confidently walk out of my home because I know my kids are in safe hands.

My MIL is also a wonderful cook, and a lot of the stuff I make at home has been taught to me by her. She has a wealth of information when it comes to cooking. We’ve always enjoyed her cooking when we visited Chennai. We still love her cooking, but she can’t do much as she’s getting older and weaker.

My MIL is also very brave. Something I truly admire in her. I wish I had her confidence. She’s not easily anxious or agitated and tries to take practical steps towards resolving issues, whether it’s with the kids or otherwise.

Not everyone is as lucky as me to have a best friend in a mother-in-law. Ever since she started staying with us to help with our kids, we’ve spent at least half an hour talking daily over the phone on days we’ve stayed away. I can share anything with her, and though we don’t see eye to eye on everything, we’ve agreed to disagree. We have an amicable relationship, which makes my life a breeze.

Above all else, I treasure the relationship my children share with my MIL. It’s just too precious! I remember days when I’ve cried because my kids didn’t get grandparents’ love or bonding. Well, God’s making up for that now. May all our relationships grow stronger and deeper. Happy Mother’s Day to my Mom, aka MIL. I love you and praise God for bringing you into my life! Thank you for all that you do for our family. We will always be indebted to you. I wish all the women in the world had MILs like you.


Childhood Incidents #6

I remember this one time when I was in primary school and I was walking along the corridor and suddenly everything went black. I then remember being seated and lying my head down on a desk and being splashed with water by someone while gaining back my vision and consciousness.

When I came home and told my parents, it was taken very lightly. They said, “Oh, so you fainted.” It didn’t startle them or alarm them. They simply said I’m weak. I don’t remember anything being done to prevent it, and I went to school as usual.

I only think of this often because I realize the way I’m always on top of my kids’ health issues (and there is no deficiency of such issues given the time and age we live in). I’ve suffered dire consequences because I’ve prioritized their health over mine. So I always wonder how my parents were so relaxed, especially my mother.

I often feel sympathy for my childhood self. I didn’t get what I rightfully deserved as a young girl. Nothing can soothe these deep wounds which I carry within me. All I can do is try and be the best mother I can be for my children till my last breath.


Nagercoil Diaries – Day 9, Final Day

I was crazy to even think of it but I was hoping we could go see Lemur Beach in the morning. But that was highly unlikely. We had a tonne of stuff to pack and it was not going to be easy. Things were strewn all over the home, upstairs, downstairs and everywhere. It would be a great task to gather everything into one single place and get it packed but we were going to have to do it. My husband went out to buy some stuff to take back to Chennai. It was a very slow day. One by one we were doing all the stuff we had to before we left. We washed some of the dirty clothes early in the morning so that they would dry off before we could pack them up.

The packing kept going on and on, I was kind of exhausted and couldn’t do much. Till we had to leave to the bus station we were packing and we were running late. We loaded everything into the car and were on our way and were hoping we could make it on time to the bus station. We boarded the bus exactly as it was about to leave the bus station at 8:30 PM. The driver wasn’t amused. Our luggage had to be loaded at another pick-up point, which is where my husband boarded the bus. With the little ones I’ve got so accustomed to being late for every thing so the drivers annoyed attitude didn’t bother me one bit.

The kids were so excited to ride in a bus. This was their first experience. It was a sleeper bus so there was no option of sitting. The kids all settled down in the upper berth while we lay down in the lower one. They slept off instantly. For a while I was trying to look outside through the window to see if I could recognize the places the bus was stopping at. But then it was so dark, that it was pointless even trying to do it. Such journeys remind me of my younger years when we would often travel to mom’s village and back. It was a tiring night. I ate a bit from the food (boiled egg) I had packed and retired for the day. Thus ended our super duper trip to Nagercoil, the place that captivated my heart at first sight.


Nagercoil Diaries – Day 8

This was a very slow day. We were very tired from the previous day’s venture and the need to start packing for our trip back was looming over our heads. We hadn’t booked our tickets yet mainly because there were no seats available on trains or buses and flights were too expensive. But we had to leave Nagercoil by tomorrow as my husband had to rejoin office soon.

One of our friend’s dad had come home with a huge jackfruit for us to take back to Chennai. Luckily we told him about our plight of not being able to get tickets back home and he helped us secure tickets on a sleeper bus for the next day. One issue was sorted.

In my mind, I was still longing to visit at least one place that I had missed out in the last few days. One of the beaches, Lemur beach, that people had recommended came to mind. I was trying to find a way to squeeze in that one place into our itinerary, but I knew I was aiming for the stars.

The rest of the morning went in relaxing and having our breakfast. One of my husband’s cousin invited us to go out with him for lunch. In the evening we had to go to Pothys to exchange some stuff I had picked up accidentally, last time we went shopping. We got ready for lunch and headed out by around 1 PM. My husband’s cousin picked us up and we headed to a nice area with a multicuisine restaurant. The dining area was in the topmost floor. It had a nice view of Nagercoil. How lush and green the place was. Never in my life had I seen a place more greener that this. We all ordered food and had a lovely lunch with our cousin. He offered to drop us at Pothys. We reached Pothys at around 3:30 PM. We didn’t know how time flew by, but by the time we were done at Pothys it was almost past 6 PM and I knew we wouldn’t be able to make it to the beach. I was a bit upset.

We finished shopping and then headed to the bride’s mom’s home to say farewell to them as we wound up our small trip to nagercoil. We spent some time chatting with them. The kids were playing. We then had dinner. They ordered some ice cream for the kids. We all enjoyed the ice cream and then took leave. By the time we reached home it was very late and we decided to get to sleep as soon as we could because the next day was a very long one.


The Last Cord!

After so many years of pain, confusion, trauma, arguments and restlessness, it has finally come to an end. My mother is no more. Did I grieve? Yes, I did! I grieved the mother my mind always assumed it had. The loving, doting mother. In reality, no matter how much I loved her and my heart ached for her, she was incapable of receiving my love and bestowing the same love upon me. Nonetheless, it was painful to see her body lie lifeless. Tears flowed. I had least expected her to leave so soon. In my heart, I had finally placed her in a decent and safe place and my hope was to see her alive the next time I visited Chennai. Instead, I had to go to Chennai to arrange her funeral and burial. That was one thing I couldn’t come to terms with.

When I visited her last, I took all my kids with me so she could see them and send us off happily. Instead, she cried and cried to be taken out of the cancer hospice and to be sent to her father’s family, her sisters. Her mind was troubled. No matter how much I was there for her, she only yearned for her siblings. There was nothing I could do to fulfil that wish for her because for her father’s family, my mom’s welfare, was the least of their concerns. One of her sister’s family actually volunteered to take her into their home and told us how much they’ll need every month and demanded we put some jewels on her before sending her there. Three days later, they called us and said that her sister didn’t want her there and refused to take her in. I realized that there was no genuine concern whatsoever. I felt sad for not being able to keep her in dad’s home. Just as I was making arrangements to move her downstairs, she fell and couldn’t get up for almost 12 hours. She was soaked in her own urine by the time I reached home. That’s when I decided that she needs a dignified end.

I’m glad her life ended in a dignified manner. She may not have had the people she wanted around, but she was surrounded by people who served her with their heart and soul. I’ll ever be thankful to the sisters at Jeevodaya Cancer Hospice for their selfless care and efforts to keep mom as comfortable as possible till her last breath. They are truly angels.

Her death also leads to the end of all my ties with her family. The last cord that connected us has been cut. I saw them at the funeral. I’ve never felt so disconnected as I did then. They knew where she was for the last few months, and yet they did not go visit her. The ones who had volunteered to take her into their home had all the details of where she was put up. Yet not a stir. I found that attitude brutal. My mom was all alone, with not even a soul to visit her over the last four months. The hospice was shocked that not even one soul came to visit her during her stay there. I simply had to tell them that I had no one. There was nothing to say, nothing to smile about, nothing to feel, just numbness when I looked at my mom’s family. A void so deep it could engulf me. What a miserable death these relationships have died! All because I had to spew out the truth at all costs. I had covered it up for too long because I was so confused. When it was all clear, letting it out released my mind from those pangs.

Many days, my heart has ached for the generous time that had been wasted with the wrong people while the least amount of time was spent with valuable ones. But my mom’s mind was stuck in a loop. Despite her family’s behaviour, she always wanted to return to them. She just couldn’t think in any other way. Now, all I feel for my mother is sympathy. Sympathy for the way her mind and spirit was always troubled throughout her lifetime. Who knew what kind of troubled childhood she had? Who knew if she had undergone any form of physical or emotional abuse as a child? Who knew what turned her into who she was with dad and me? Something was surely amiss, but we’ll never know. More than her physical rest, I was happy that her spirit and mind are resting calmly.

An era has ended. No one remains from my childhood. My dad is gone, now so has my mom. I’m kind of blank in my mind. I walked into the home where they spent the last part of their lives. It was a stark reminder of them, their faces. I couldn’t stand there for more than five minutes. I was shattered, broken, and agitated. It was all over, one half of my life is done and dusted and there I stood finding it difficult to move on.

One fact every human being must understand is that everything comes to an end, whether it is good or bad, beautiful or ugly, constructive or destructive. Nothing can stop time. Everything around is temporary. The most priceless thing on earth is inner peace and a sense of satisfaction of having done the right thing. I gave my mother a dignified end, and I’m so glad I was able to do so.

Goodbye, mum! I miss the mum I always thought I had in you. I hope you’ve finally found the peace you didn’t have on earth. God bless your soul!