“Am I a good mother?” This question paused in my ears. To be honest, I was a little surprised by my mom’s question. I talk to my mom everyday on the phone. And our conversations are generally about the mundane. It’s a flurry of how are you’s, what are you doing today, can I talk to my granddaughter when she comes home from school. So when she posed this question to me yesterday, it required me to stop and wonder how many of us have conveyed what picture we have of our loved ones.
Throughout the day, the question hung around mom in my mind. I wanted to reach out over the phone and give her a deep hug, one that she feels in her marrow. I realized I’ve spent so much time talking and missing my father, that in the last few years, I’ve failed to convey to my mom how I picture her. My mom is quiet, but when she laughs others can feel it. She’s endured crisis in her own life, ones that I won’t talk about here, but through it she’s always remained graceful and steady. A single important lesson she’s taught me: always always be the better person. Forgive. Let things go. Give people the benefit of the doubt. I am guilty of taking that advice for granted, but in some ways through her, I’ve learned to try harder to be loving and kind. My mom is something of an automatic in my life. In my heart and mind, she will always be with me. As much as I love my father, I believe I’ve got an internal compass that reflects so much of my mom. I’ve never said this to her directly, only because I just assumed she knew. I think all of us have a private picture of our loved ones, what we really feel about them, but because we may take things for granted we only have these kinds of conversations when we know time is short.
This past year, for the first time, I made her hot rotis, an Indian bread that is staple of most meals. When she put a few bites in her mouth, she looked at me and uttered the words, ” I am so proud of you Rudri.” I felt the validation of her compliment. And I want her to know this too. Mom, I am proud of you. For all the big things and little things. For afterschool snacks when I got home, conversations where you comforted me, and every moment that you made me feel important, even when others weren’t willing to do so.
And the answer to your question: Yes. Picture this mom, without you and the lessons you’ve taught, I would be less. I love you.
This piece is part of Momalom’s Five for Five Series. This is my response to the prompt pictures.