Friday, May 09, 2008
To Grandmothers, Mothers and Mothers-in-law
With Mother's Day coming up on Sunday, what better time to pen my memories and experiences with the older female generation. As most know and would agree, mothers are an integral part of our lives, they've shaped us into who we are today and are still and will continue to strive for our best, no matter how ever old we grow. I still see my Ammamma (grandmother) play an active part in my mother's life and how attached the two of them are. A maternal instinct, mother country, mother nature etc. are all expressions that are used to attach the feminine attributes that a mother posseses with other things.
While everyone has individual experiences with their mother, my experiences with my mother are special to me. Being an only child, all my mother's dreams have always centered around me. I was raised by my mother's parents (grandparents) a lot, during my early years (which is quite common coming from India)and also until college etc. hence, I share a unqiue relationship with Thatha and Ammamma, as well. My mother was a working woman, who strived hard to balance the pressures of work and home life. She worked for almost 20 years in the insurance industry, was well respected and loved by her colleagues (fondly known as "BJ" at her office). During her career, she studied and passed several insurance exams to her credit. All this was while I was in school, she made sure I was well taken care of when she worked and never made me feel neglected. I would always find a hotpack full of food when I came home from school in the afternoons and of course, she would also wake up in the mornings and pack me a different lunch/snack for school. My mom took voluntary retirement (VRS) when I was in college to be with me, before I decided to apply for graduate school in the US after my undergrad. Those were some of the best times when I would find her at home with a hot tiffin after I came home from college.
There are many traits in my mom, that I haven't inherited, but admire whole-heartedly. I love her sense of humor (she can be funny at times), her smell (she always, always smells great), and the way she keeps her life busy and meaningful. She can get hooked to stock trading sometimes and pursues her passion. She is very religious and has the discipline to do pujas, say slokams etc. I love her studious nature, even now, if she sets her heart upon writing an exam, she will succeed. I wish that rubbed off more on me ):
Moving on to mothers-in-law, they come in all shapes and sizes and make interesting personalities to study. We have the good types and the not so good types, again it depends on our perspective as to how we view them. I can't help but like the mother-in-law "Marie" in my favorite Everybody loves Raymond and watch the sparks between her and the daughter-in-law Debra. While, my mother-in-law and I don't have sparks like that, we sure do have something nice and different.
To all grandmothers, mothers and mothers-in-law, let mother's day not be the only time when you are remembered and talked about and thank you all that you do.
Grandmothers are mothers who are grand
Grandmothers are mothers who are grand,
Restoring the sense that our most precious things
Are those that do not change much over time.
No love of childhood is more sublime,
Demanding little, giving on demand,
More inclined than most to grant the wings
On which we fly off to enchanted lands.
Though grandmothers must serve as second mothers,
Helping out with young and restless hearts,
Each has all the patience wisdom brings,
Remembering our passions more than others,
Soothing us with old and well-honed arts.
By: By Joanna Fuchs
How did you find the energy, Mom
To do all the things you did,
To be teacher, nurse and counselor
To me, when I was a kid.
How did you do it all, Mom,
Be a chauffeur, cook and friend,
Yet find time to be a playmate,
I just can’t comprehend.
I see now it was love, Mom
That made you come whenever I'd call,
Your inexhaustible love, Mom
And I thank you for it all.
By: By Joanna Fuchs
Some mother-in-laws are possessive;
Their child they still want to own.
My mother-in-law’s love is like sunlight;
On both of us it shone.
Some mother-in-laws put you down;
They think you’re not good enough.
My mother-in-law shows approval,
Affection, and other good stuff.
Some mother-in-laws interfere;
They think that they know best.
My mother-in-law lets us be;
She’s better than the rest.
And so I just want to thank you
For being who you are;
As a mother-in-law, you’re a star!