Updated: Dec 1, 2021
My mother is cleaning our bathroom as I sit comfortably on my bed with tea (that she made for me) by my side. She doesn't want my skin to get calloused, so she'll probably do the dishes too, after making sure I've had my dinner. And long after I'm asleep, she'll wind up her daily chores and get some shuteye, before waking up to do it all over again tomorrow.
Have you ever seen your mom while cooks? And I don't mean sat on the table and been on your phone while she works seen, I mean really seen. Have you ever observed how many times she got burnt? The number of times she cut her hand? The perspiration beads on her brow while she sautéd those vegetables? And when all was done, she still managed to bring you your plate, with stains on her clothes and a smile on her face.
Often, we don't know how to express our love and gratitude to those we hold closest. For instance, I for one cannot recall the last time I told my mother I loved her in earnest, can you? Maybe you gave her a card on Mother's Day, or maybe you made her lunch that one time she was sick. Or maybe, just maybe, like most of us, you took her for granted. Maybe you forgot that time she stayed up all night changing the cloth on your forehead when you were burning up. Or how she cancelled her trip to visit her parents because you had an exam the next week.
We take for granted, those streaks of white in her beautiful black locks. The ache in her arms after getting groceries of the house. That last helping of rice she served on our plate, claiming she was done. We take for granted, her spending her life away picking up after us, day after day after day, never once demanding a break from her devotion to the family she loves. So, let this serve as a reminder. Let this stop you from sneaking out at 2 in the morning to meet those friends and go to that club, so that "old-fashioned, orthodox" mom doesn't get that migraine in the morning when she finds you gone. Let this make you realise that every time she prays, it's for your safety, your health, your prosperity; that, her life, it's all about you.
And no, in case you were wondering, it's not my mum's birthday. In fact, she probably won't ever see this piece. I'd probably never tell her, that she is the strongest, most graceful woman I know. That, when she smiles at me, my universe is a better place. That, when I lay in her lap, the burdens of the world don't seem to weigh on me as much. And that's why, I won't tell you to hug your mom and tell her you love her. We're not capable of television-like declarations of adoration, are we? So, just do the next best thing.
The next time she calls, don't curse her for calling the tenth time that day. When she tells you to set the dinner plates, don't put on your headphones. When she excitedly comes to tell you the latest community gossip, don't be on your phone. Accept that Instagram request she sent you. Talk to her when you see her sitting alone, sipping her tea by herself. Make her laugh, make her laugh as much as you can. I can assure you, no sound is sweeter.
Remember, your mother is a goddess of her own measure, her heart contains entire galaxies. Be worthy of the sacrifices, the pain, the troubles she has endured for you.
Be worthy of her.