“God could not be everywhere. So he made Mothers”
Today marks twelve years without you. I never even imagined that there would be a day when you would not be around, but life had different plans. I am grateful I am your daughter.
Thank you for . . .
1. Teaching me that when I am upset or worried, there’s nothing like a bit of rigorous housework to zap the worry and get the adrenalin flowing with positive expectations.
2. Constantly being cheerful to the point of being annoying, but winning with your encouragement, because who can keep sulking with so much love being showered on them?
3. Always supporting me, no matter how stupid my intentions. Yeah, I am thinking of that time, and that one, and that one…and… uh. Never mind.
4. Letting me make mistakes without saying I told you so. Nah, you did tell me you told me so, but not in those exact words. A look and that smile were enough to make me feel sheepish. I am grateful because you made sure I learned from those mistakes.
5. Seeing the humor in tense situations and lightening it up with your uncontrollable laughter. The situation didn’t look so tense after that and we were more focused on resolving it.
6. Advising me to be kind and considerate, no matter what, and showing constantly by example, even if I didn’t always follow your advice, claiming that I was human, except you proved you were simply more human than I.
7. Being right about so many things that I didn’t realize back then. If I knew then what I know now…
8. Showing me that regret is useless and urging me to never postpone a good deed, for we know not what tomorrow may bring. Case in point — sudden death.
9. Always pushing me forward to be proactive. I believe you are responsible for the person I am today.
10. Never once coming down on me heavily for those late nights out when I promised I would be home early. You always welcomed me home with a smile, made me drink a glass of milk and sleep…and tackled me in the morning after we enjoyed our coffee. Ah, I love how you grounded me!
11. The countless delicious coffees we shared, no matter how broke we were. So what if we watered them down, they tasted great because of the love.
12. Making sure I always ate well, because you believed a satisfied tummy keeps everyone in a better mood and gives them a better perspective. You are so right.
13. Teaching me that no matter how I felt, I should never scrimp on self-care — as in eating on time and fulfilling my responsibilities. I didn’t always follow that advice, but I know now more than ever — and you know you always said it was better late than never
14. Believing in never holding grudges even with those who were cruel to you and insisting that retaliation is NOT the way unless it was with kindness. I am sorry I sometimes disagreed….I am still sorry I can’t help feeling some anger, but I control it well.
15. Showing how strong you were through your kindness. People thought you were soft, but we knew better. You couldn’t stand the injustice of speaking ill about those that were absent.
16. Never hesitating to step forward to help someone in need, whether it was a roadside accident or a stranger who needed help. You are a shining example of selflessness.
17. Telling me that you would always be there for me, no matter what. You may have gone physically, but you live in my heart.
18. Being a most amazing grandmother to your grandson, who adores you and worships you. He and I are so lucky, far luckier than we’ll ever know.
19. Being a Mom to Sury, who still can’t get over your consistent kindness.
20. Never being afraid to speak your mind even if you knew that the consequences would be less than desirable.
21. Being a wonderful teacher to millions of kids, some of whom still remember you with joy
22. Teaching me that less can also be more. The most important things in life are not…things. It is about the people we love, the relationships we build, and the memories we gather, that make us smile.
23. Having such a big heart — and the courage to say “If I were to die this moment, I would die happy because I have everything I want”
24. Proving that a chronic illness need not stop someone from living a meaningful life. Only you could have continued to go about the kitchen making rotis two days after surgery. You had tubes coming out of your side and draining into a bag, which you camouflaged with a pretty mirrored red bag hanging on your arm.
25. Making me believe I could do anything I set my mind to. Will power fuels us, action propels us. And then, of course, the results delight us. Usually.
26. Cajoling me to take those leaps that transformed my life for the better. You actually believed that if I could dream it, I could achieve it. I feel sheepish about teasing you for quoting a proverb or quote for every situation, little realizing that it subconsciously worked towards making me the mentally positive person I am today — and also making me a quote junkie in the process!
27. Convincing me that everyone we meet, no matter what their status in life, is a human being with feelings and hurts and rejoices just like everyone else. So maybe some people are a little harder. Or softer. Human, nevertheless.
28. Constantly advising me to stop carrying around things I no longer needed in my life, even though I didn’t always listen. And I am living to regret it, but learning really quickly what you meant.
29. Making me understand that guilt is a useless feeling when I bring it upon myself — and for making me realize that NOW is the best time. Not that it stopped me from procrastinating….but still! Lesson learned
30. Influencing me in my role as a mother — tolerant, patient and responsive, and most of all, loving. And the impromptu stories you always had up your sleeve. I don’t know how you did it!
31. Teaching me that there’s no such thing as loving my child too much. I know the value of that today!
32. Encouraging me to write…so much that I now do it for a living and love it. I owe the training to you from childhood up. Poems and essays of our experiences and trips. Priceless.
33. Being the best-dressed person I know, and making me develop a crazy love for clothes. Retail therapy works! I am glad you insisted that being dressed well always makes a difference to our moods, and the perception of others. Sure, what’s inside counts, but it is the outside that people see first!
34. Advising me never to hold back when I want to do good.
35. Teaching me never to feed my ego so much that it stopped me from doing the right thing.
36. Showing me that there is no shame in saying sorry even when we’re not in the wrong. If it made a big difference to someone and dissolved the situation, it is worth it. It doesn’t mean we’re letting them get away with it, it means we have the bigger heart.
37. Forgiving me always, and teaching me never to go to bed angry or bearing grudges.
38. Teaching me the power of making lists — which is probably why I find it easiest to express myself through one.
39. Giving me the gift of life, and giving others the gift of your life when you wished to donate your body to medical research.
40. Insisting that we veto expensive rituals and rites when you passed away; instead, spend the money on the needy and living. We listened and set up ongoing contributions to our local welfare homes.
41. Showing me that no matter how little we have, there’s always enough to share and insisting that we’ll always get more than we give…it doesn’t have to be from the same source.
42. Encouraging me in my choices, preferences — and being tolerant and supportive. Oh, but I’ll never forget the look on your face when you first listened to the lyrics of some of Prince’s songs!
43. Being kind to my friends. I know I made bad choices sometimes, but you respected my feelings until I saw the light.
44. Teaching me to respect everyone and see everyone as equal. I remember how you made it a point to celebrate festivals by giving gifts to the public workers in our area because they couldn’t afford things.
45. Cultivating the habit in me to carry something to giveaway each time I stepped out. What a wonderful way to declutter!
46. Wanting to rejoice and celebrate the smallest things. I am grinning thinking of those ants! Who has a party for ants? You, of course!
47. Encouraging me to write a gratitude journal — I will be eternally grateful for this practice. It transformed my life and keeps me sane.
48. Never compromising on cuddle time with me, with your grandson, and for treating your son-in-law like your son. He appreciates it very much almost on a daily basis.
49. Instilling the belief in me that Home IS where the heart is. Our altar IS our temple, work IS worship
50. Teaching me to clean up after every meal. An empty sink is always better than a full sink. And infinitely more pleasing to come back to! I am sorry I don’t always do this. Sigh, but I am trying to!
51. Believing that Change is a fabulous constant. People who get places are the ones that keep moving, yeah. And not to settle for contentment.
52. Never hesitating to step in and help just about anyone with anything — unexpected guests? No problem. Need someone to stay in the hospital with the sick? No problem. Quick coaching before exams? No problem. And all without expectations!
53. Showing an always positive attitude in spite of all the curve balls life loved to throw at you.
54. The love for reading. Oh, how I miss our fights over who’ll read it first!
55. The appreciation for everything — no matter how little.
56. Being always ready to try any recipe right away, and making it far more delicious. And thank you for teaching me never to follow a recipe exactly as it is, and for making me see the therapeutic value of cooking!
57. Telling me to trust my intuition, no matter what. You promised me that it always felt better even if it was wrong. You were right. Better to be responsible for our own mistakes, really!
58. Watching all the crime shows and movies with me. Oh, but we loved a court scene to death. Literally, sometimes.
59. For the joyful celebration of every occasion and festival and even those that we had nothing to do with. For shifting dates to suit days when the family was present because dates are not important, people are!
60. Your gorgeous smile permanently floats in my consciousness. I miss it so much.
61. Your wild laughter and crazy sense of humor, and ability to come up with amazingly hilarious stuff that kept us laughing long after you’d said them!
62. Your unabashed tendency to shed tears — you just believed in letting them flow. I see the logic. No wonder you were always cheerful and honest with your emotions
63. Believing in me and trusting me, for subtly building my self-confidence and self-esteem even when I didn’t trust or believe in myself.
64. Being you. Can’t imagine you any other way, even though I secretly thought you were too good to be true. You were too good. And true.
Thank you for loving me unconditionally!
Above all, thank you for giving me my first coffee — and millions of coffees after that! I love you, I miss you.
Thank you so much for reading! Thanks to Trista Signe Ainsworth for this beautiful publication and for publishing my work.
Read this beautiful thank you note by Lucia Landini to her girlfriends.
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