If Only ...... Reflections of a Mother

girl in pinstriped shirt kissing the woman's forehead

" If I were damned if body & soul, I know whose prayers would make me whole, Mother o' mine, O mother 0' mine " 

"Rudyard Kipling"

Mother - that selfless, ever-loving, undemanding person has all the good wishes and prayers for her child. No matter how old a mother is, she watches over her children like only god can, sometimes god's ways can be questioned but not a mother's. Even her middle-aged children are constantly being advised whether they like it or not. More than often we resent it because we think that we are grown up enough and surely we are above that age when we have to be taught what is right or wrong. When their children are concerned mothers do not think with their mind; they think with their heart - without any discrimination - with tremendous feeling of love.  

How much we take our mothers for granted!  This realisation dawned on me only when I lost my mother a few months back - a terrible personal tragedy, which is hard to forget.  When I saw her lying on the life support system, so helpless, so weak  - the person who was my strength was now totally devoid of all her strength - my heart went out to her - all the moments of my childhood & growing up years came flashing back. 

How I wished she would wake up and be there beside me - even without saying anything - her mere presence made me so secured and cocooned like a bird in her nest. Now when she is gone I long for that caress - those hugs - those loving hands forever on my back - her tremendous support whenever I needed it. She would instinctively know those moments of my needs, my pain. 

woman standing beside girl during daytimeHow i wish I had given her a lot more hugs, why didn't I tell her again and again how much I loved her - How Abhishek, my son while boarding the plane onto his journey to the UK for higher studies kept saying  - "if today Nanima was alive she would be so happy for me". There are so many things unsaid and undone - but those are the only wishful thoughts which would never be fulfilled now .....

To quote a few lines I read somewhere that touched my heart  "Take my advice should your respect and love to her now. Hurt anyone you choose but never your mother. The day she departs from this world that will mark the end of your experience with true selfless love. You will be left only with the memories, nostalgia and pain. As you become more and more involved with your life even that memory will fade till ...... till you yourself become a mother. Then you would realise how she bore the discomfort of carrying you for nine months, excruciating pain bringing you to this world, spent sleepless nights feeding you, she nursed your fevers, cooked only what you liked forgetting her own, her whole world was you till the end of her life. So treat her with kindness now when she is still there ---------- older, fragile and more sensitive to hurts. "

No matter what the provocation or reason, never ever belittle her, never raise your voice with her and never ever question her love for you, for her love for you is unique it is selfless and forever forgiving. If you want to say anything to Ma, say it now - make amends for something you have done - or what you should not have done - give her a hug and say sorry and ask to be forgiven. If you want to tell her that you love her - say it now - do not leave it for tomorrow. For tomorrow never comes .......... and you will be left repenting  "If Only" 


This article was written by Anju Behl and was published in The Camellia Tea Planters' In-House Club Magazine for the Apr - June 2014 edition.  

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