“But there’s a story behind everything. How a picture got on a wall. How a scar got on your face. Sometimes the stories are simple, and sometimes they are hard and heartbreaking. But behind all your stories is always your mother’s story, because hers is where yours begin.”
― Mitch Albom, For One More Day
Once when I was in my high school, some of my classmates asked me who my best friend was. Without any idea about the social effect of what I was about to say, I shrieked “My Mom.” Everyone laughed and thought of me as a strange kid from there on. Looking back at this episode after many years, I still stand by my statement. Anyone who knows me personally will know that my mom is my biggest fan and my ultimate best friend. She’s the only person who actually cares about what is going on in my life, loves me even when I’m being a complete antagonist and hangs onto every word that I speak. My mom truly is a living hero -a hero that outmatches all heroes I have ever read about in comic books. It may seem like an overstatement, but I have never seen a mother as selfless as mine. She has always put her kids first and not once did she think for herself. She’s lost people she’s loved and for this reason, she keeps reminding us to love everyone I come across, because they are never guaranteed to be there tomorrow. She has seen many gray skies and she has never shed a tear in front of me for the fear that I might feel dispirited. She has nursed and raised six wonderful kids who faithfully live by the values she’s taught us. She keeps reminding us not to complain, but to be thankful and to acknowledge the infinitesimal things that complete Life. She navigated the uneven phases of my teenage years as best as she could, making me see the importance of self-discipline and the stability of being there when things went wrong.
When I was in my elementary school, she would tell me and my sister not to grow up too fast, whilst braiding our hair and getting us ready for school. Back then, I didn’t what she meant because I wanted to do what big girls did, but as I grew, I realised that in order to do big-girl things, I would require big-girl emotions and big girl decision making. “I didn’t want you to grow up because as you leave each stage, I would lose a bit of who you were. Now, you no longer cling to my mechala and no longer need me so much that I can’t sneak away for a time alone. I sometimes wished for the time to pass and it did and now, it’s gone. You are so much older today than yesterday and time is not slowing down” – these are the words my mother would say. I always feel as though I’m run over by a mack truck of emotions whenever she’d tell me how big and independent I’ve grown. But deep down, I know that the woman I am today is only because of the woman that my mom was, is, and always will be. I am who I am because of the amazing woman who raised me. It’s when I move on in my life, into the world made for adults and not children, that I see everything she does, have done, and will continue to do for me, until the world separates the two of us only in physical terms. She’s taught me so much about how to be independent, how to be strong, how to seize the obstacles in front of me head on, and to never shrink when I’m afraid or I’ve lost. I will never be able to repay her for the beautiful life she has given me, but as we move into the next chapter of our lives together, I can only promise to try and rival the love she has provided so selflessly for me – she never let me down in making me feel anything less than perfect.
For the endless tissues and handkerchiefs, for forcing me to eat something, for not judging me for being sixteen and thinking my life was over, for reminding me now as well, that it isn’t over yet, for your words of encouragement, the hugs that helped mend many broken hearts, and answering the phone at 2am whenever I was away and couldn’t handle something – THANK YOU!
I could never have become the strong woman I am without you. I could have never learned to respect myself without the respect I have for you. I could never have learned to care for people without absorbing it from you. I could never have done half of the things in my life without you guiding me, and even whenever you’re not with me, your voice of reason sit on my shoulder directing me. I haven’t told you how grateful I am to you, for showing me the world and for giving yours up just to do this for me. I haven’t told you that I didn’t understand sacrifice until I grew up and heard your story. I haven’t told you that I didn’t know what bravery was until I knew that you embodied it. You, mom, are the main reason I never give up on my dreams. You are amazing and this is dedicated to you with words of absolute thank you. I know that growing up I didn’t realise all that you did for me. But as I get older, my appreciation and admiration towards you will continue to grow tremendously.