A Letter - Things I Wish I Could Say to My Mother Sooner
by Urwashee Saxena
I hope you’re alright and as you’re reading this letter, I know the first thing you want to do is find your spectacles. Don’t bother, they’re probably on your head already. See, at this moment I know you, just like you know me. Throughout my life, you’d taken many leaps towards understanding me, trust me I know I’m not an easy child. This is the reason I could share everything with you so easily.
But mom, there are some things I wish I could tell you sooner. Out of all those uncomfortable things I could share with you, the toughest that I couldn’t share were the easiest ones. Some of these things I didn’t even realize until I became a mother myself. With this letter, I want to share them all with you. This could be a long read. You might enjoy it better with your favorite masala ginger tea.
Mom, I’m sorry!
Let’s begin with the heaviest things first. I want to apologize to you for not being an easy child. I used to forget to call you for days. I couldn’t make enough time for you because I was always busy with my friends. I’m sorry for all those days when I took you for granted. In my teenage days, I couldn’t even realize what were you going through, just to provide me the freedom you never had.
Seeing dreams was a dream for you once, but you always believed in my dreams, no matter how stupid they sounded. You didn’t get to do whatever you want, but you always made sure I go out there and see this world with my own eyes. You were the first feminist I knew when feminism didn’t even exist for me. I am sorry I didn’t realize all the sacrifices that you had made just to provide a better world to me. But now I can see them all. And I want to tell you that:
I’m Proud of You
When I look back into the past, I see you as a revolutionary. You have always been a little bit ahead of your time. You played every role to near perfection. I have seen you being a daughter, a wife, daughter-in-law, a mother, and a friend. You are close to everyone in the family. You talk to everyone. You know everyone, who they are, how they are, how different they are from each other. But still, you manage to keep them all together and happy.
How you do it all is beyond my imagination. So, I’m proud of you for playing all these roles and still being you. I have a question at the moment.
How come I have never heard about your dreams?
You always encourage me to achieve whatever I want in my life. Even in my failures, you are the one who is more motivated than me. You have always been supportive of my dreams. But how come I have never heard about your dreams. You must have some dreams for your own, right? Everyone does. I know conditions weren’t good back then but why don’t you ever talk about your ambitions.
Someday, let’s get together on a tea date, and let’s talk about your dreams. You will tell me, honestly, about your dreams, and I will tell you how together we can still achieve them. It’s not too late, like you always say to me.
Thank you for being the person I needed the most. Thank you for being there for me. I knew you always didn’t understand what I was going through, but you were always there. And sometimes being there makes the biggest difference. No matter what happened in my life, I have always found you rooting for me. When I was questioning myself, you had faith in me. And that’s all that I needed at that time.
How could you manage to do all that? What experiences have made you this tough, yet so soft?
You’re stronger than you think you are
Take a look back in your life. There’s no other can endure what you have endured in your entire life. You weren’t born to fit in a life like that so you created your own life. And it will always inspire me to become a better person. I don’t know why do they belittle the title housewife because the strongest woman I know is a housewife. That’s you, mom.
Whenever I face challenging situations in my life, I look up to you and I see a woman who didn’t know anything about giving up. You are the source of my motivation.
Mom, you’re gorgeous
I know you’re always concerned about your looks. But trust me, if I had a dollar for every time someone confused you for my sister, I could buy a sapphire necklace for you. You look amazing. And I’m not telling you because you like compliments. I’m telling you because you deserve this. I still remember the red saree that you wore on your 25th anniversary, dad was smiling from ear to ear the whole time. That day, I looked at you and thought, my mom is the most beautiful woman in the whole wide world.
Ahem, I would take half of the credit for the makeup that I did for you.
Now, we switch places
Yes, now I will be the mom and you will be my daughter. I will show you the modern world. I will teach you how to use a smartphone, click selfies, and use emojis in chats. I will help you to understand the internet lingo. And trust me, you don’t have to apologize for asking me how to post an Instagram story. I’m always there for you, like you were, for me.
Take a break
You’ve been fighting your entire life. Whenever I saw you, I saw you fighting, from situations, from yourself, from the world. But now, there’s no need. You have won, mom. It’s time to relax and look at what you have earned so far. Slow down a little bit and enjoy this life more. There’s more to life than responsibilities and duties. Figure out by yourself. Explore the world that you couldn’t yet.
Talk about old days, tell me the stories you never told. How was your childhood, who were your friends back then? What did they call you when you were younger? What are your funniest memories from your childhood? Tell me everything. Because, in your whole life, you lived for everyone but yourself. You were there for everyone but yourself. Take a break, mom. Live a little. It isn’t selfish to live for yourself.
I’ve got your back
I know I used to go days without calling you, missed many family functions, and couldn’t attend a couple of festivals. But now, I promise, I will always be there for you. You can always find a friend in me, a friend you needed but didn’t have. In the next stage of your life, you will need a friend, and you can always count on me. After all, I have learned from the best.
Mom, I know you’re not good at asking for help. But I can tell you one thing, asking for your help in my childhood is the best thing that I have done so far. I may be busy with my life or family, you know right, whenever you need me, I’m always there for you.
I love you, Mom
Yes, everyone says this to their mom. But this simplest thing was the toughest thing for me to say to you. Sharing everything with you was easy for me but telling how much I appreciate your efforts and how much I love you were the toughest things for me. I wanted to say a couple of times but I couldn’t.
If I try to count all the reasons for which I love you, I wouldn’t be able to count them all. But here, my unsuccessful attempt to sum up everything. Mom, you are the first person to tell me what it feels like to be a woman. Because of you, I am proud of being a woman. You showed me the values of family and friends. You taught me to choose my friends, how to lead, how to be independent, how to cook, and how to help those who are in need.
You are the reason behind the woman I am today. Because of you, I love the woman I have become. Everything I am today is because of you.
In the end, I just want to say that I am lucky that I have you as a mother. I aspire to be a mother like you.
Thank you for everything, mom.
I Love You