All love begins and ends there.
There is nothing like a mother’s love. Life does, in fact, begin there and given that I recently lost my mother, much has come to an end. This piece has been difficult for me to write for many reasons, but mostly because I worried that my words would not give her justice. But, here I try.
My mother was the reason I started this blog—its purpose was to share her lessons and wisdom in the hopes of making life for those that come across it better. I am working hard to live up to her fine example, but she made it look easy. I am clearly a work in progress and not having her guiding light has left me with a great void. My mother was described as a saint and a priestess by many because of her purity of heart. When I heard these descriptions of her by those who knew her well and others who just knew her through me, I realized what an impact she made on everyone she touched directly and indirectly. And, they were right—she operated on a higher power. She was a woman of great faith and courage. She made the impossible seem possible, and kindness and compassion look effortless. What she exemplified is so difficult for most of us to carry out day in and day out. She did not have to try to be good, she just was good. We all falter with even the best of intentions and perhaps my mother did too, but that is not what I saw.
I saw someone who came from very little, but always made room to give more. Her desire to help others in need was the forefront of her being. She was filled with immense love with everything she did and everyone with whom she interacted. She only wanted the best for others and would often forsake her own needs and desires to see those around her happy. She was a true angel. Although she would have smiled for being described as such, she possessed humility in its purest form.
In India, her family took in children while they likely struggled to provide for their own. Her desire to help was bred at an early age and ultimately became the fiber of her being. She left her country to move to Africa in the hopes of starting a new life full of hope and prosperity. They worked hard and did well, but then our family was exiled and had to start over once again, leaving everything behind. We came to America with nothing and a few years after arriving, my father became disabled. Many people would have complained and turned bitter after so many unfortunate events, but she never played that card. She always worked to improve her circumstances. She cared for my father devotedly and joyously every day until his last breath—over six decades of genuine love and loyalty. Plus, there were even more personal hardships she encountered that challenged her in ways one cannot imagine. Yet, she stayed steadfast in her positive mindset, sense of gratitude and desire to give more of herself. She got to a place of acceptance, understanding, forgiveness and compassion that was extraordinary and unlike most people. She was an exalted one. Adversity came in many different forms and phases, but she never lost her joyousness and optimism. It has been said that intense suffering is necessary because it allows for compassion. Compassion she had in abundance, perhaps lending to the strong connections she made with others.
There are people that have received more notoriety and recognition for their immense contributions, but my mom was revered for her unassuming way within her quiet life. I equate her caliber to the likes of Mother Teresa or Gandhi—authentic, devoted, selflessness, faithful, peaceful, and unifying. I imagine we know of other heroes in our lives that inspire and amaze us by their simple every day acts. Our challenge is to celebrate their contributions and sacrifices. For me, the most poignant example remains my mother.
There are many layers to a person. I do not think I even know the extent of my mother’s depth, love and kindness. It is showing up in the stories people share and in my own reflections and memories of her. I cannot unpack everything she taught me in this post as her lessons are too far reaching, and it would be impossible to uncover them all at once.
For now, I wanted to publicly express how proud and appreciative I am that she was my mother. What a immense privilege it was for me to learn from her and have her example to live my life. My dear friend mentioned that loved ones cannot see us in sadness, they only come when we are joyful. That must be the reason to get to a better place. And, so I will just to get closer to her.
She was my compass and I feel lost without her. Like she always seemed to do, I too will find my way. I hope that in doing so, I will be able to teach as much as I was taught. My life-long journey for enlightenment and improvement will inevitably come with many bumps and detours, but I will put her teachings into practice to honor her and offer more goodness into the world.
With that, I would say take every moment and opportunity to express your gratitude to those you love. And if you are feeling devoid of love, come here because there is nothing like a mother’s love—and I have so much of hers to give.