With mom at a wedding in 2011

My other mother…

She was known by many names… Jyotsna, Mummy, Bhabhi, Jyotsna di, JD, Jyotsni, Mami, Mother India. However, “Mother India” truly describes her and those who knew her well, know exactly what I mean.

She is the heart and soul of the family. She kept family and friends together and happy through her many ways — small and large. She had two kids biologically but, figuratively, she mothered many many more! As she leaves us today, she is leaving a large hole in our lives — a hole she filled with laughter, happiness, kindness, fun, food, warmth, love, affection, and many things that are just hard to put in words.

To her last breath, she smiled as hard as she could and remained as strong as she could be. She didn’t utter a word of pain as she didn’t want others to suffer and know she was in pain. That’s just her personality.

When I first met her close to 20 years ago, she immediately struck me as a unique person. I thought to myself, “can this person be real?” Over the years as I knew her, I truly felt and experienced her love and care, and realized she is very REAL.

About 4 years ago, when she was diagnosed with primary progressive aphasia, I didn’t know what that meant. I’m sure even she didn’t realize what was happening to her, but through the years as her condition worsened, she kept a smile on her face. I missed talking to and confiding in her and wondered why she was ignoring me…but couldn’t really blame her.

Today I mourn her loss, but I also celebrate her life! She brought the world to life, she impacted hundreds of people with her kindness , she made everyone around her a better person. An amazing mother, wife, daughter, mother-in-law, aunt, grandma — she is everyone’s favorite! She is Jyotsna!