Happy Birthday, Mommy

Happy-Birthday-Mom-Quotes

Dear Mom,

I feel silly or sad or unsure whether to use the word happy when wishing you a birthday. Can I even wish you a birthday if you are now in the spirit world? I guess it’s just a way for me to honour your birth. To tell you and the universe how blessed I am to have been your daughter. To tell your mother and father how grateful I am that they came together and had you, and especially that your mother gave birth to you.

I was at the cemetery on the date of your five years of passing- February 20th of this year. There were birds – big huge geese- all over, especially around that little stream that lies under the willow tree near where your gravestone is. It was a beautiful scene. It seemed more like you in terms of how much you liked ducks and geese and birds. How much both you and Mama liked them. They seemed to have just made that little area their home. And turned it into more of a peaceful, sanctuary type of feeling as they relaxed and bathed in the sun.

I left you ten red roses. I took the other two to Mama’s grave. It was easier for me to find hers this time. I counted around 11 by 11 gravestones from one corner of her area and it worked. It was maybe something like 13 by 11 spots in the end, but still. Easy to remember since I believein 11:11’s so much more now since you have passed away. I have to. It’s one of those magic moments I feel blessed to experience “by surprise” throughout my day- either on the clock, on an apartment building, or even on taxi cabs. I heard that in India, the taxi drivers count on a picture of Ganesh for good luck, and helpin removing obstacles, along their drives.

I guess in Vancouver, although there are many Indian taxi drivers, they don’t need any extra god figures. They have 1111’s written all over them- because that’s the digit that fills up the end of the taxi phone numbers. Who knows if they notice, but I do.

I took more note of the numbers on Mama’s gravestone. 1918. I don’t know why I never noticed it before. Well, actually, it took me long enough to find her gravestone after so many years, so that could be partly why. But I guess I was focusing more on the date when she actually passed away- 1987- rather than the date she was born in my previous visits.

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1918. Wow! Mama was only 20 years old when she had you? I just wrote a message to Nargis Aunty about that, just needing someone to confirm. I also told Nargis Aunty that it is amazing to me how much the women and mothers did and went through in our family. You are all like Superwoman. I don’t know how you did it. How Mama did all she did. I could barely figure out one day at a time when I was 20, and even that was going terriby wrong on some days. I can barely figure myself now at this age more than 20 years later.

Superwomen, I tell you. But you are the most super of super women that I have ever know and will ever know. Remember when your eldest grandaughter learned the word “saro” (as in nice or good) from you? And then one day, you gave her some food- was it a samosa or some seero from Khane? And you asked her, “Saro ai?” (is it good?) And she replied “Super saro!!!” with so much enthusiasm.

You couldn’t stop laughing and smiling. I could feel your heart and soul smiling at that moment and any other times you thought of that. I am going off on tangents here. Maybe this could be a topic for a whole other blog/letter to you.

But my point is that there was one superwoman who had you. And I am forever grateful to her. And you, my mother, my angel my favorite superwoman, supermother, super being that ever existed, I don’t know what I did to ever get to be your daughter. But I am super, super grateful for it.

I love you, Mommy. Happy Birthday.

I will see if I can find some cake to have for you today, and a good cup of tea. And mostly, I hope you are enjoying your own cake and pot of tea with you and your supermom.

My birthday wish, and every wish I make is always the same- that you are well taken cared of. That you are fully of joy and peace.

Love Tas

Navroz Mubarak

Dear Mom,

Guess where I went AFTER dance class this time, instead of before? Khane! Yes, I know I said it’s only a few steps away from my zouk class, but I usually would drive out to the zouk social after, if I have the energy to do any dance.  But you know what I danced instead last night? You’ll never believe it. Rasra!!!

No really! You don’t believe me, do you? Or maybe you do, because you were there somehow in spirit and were the reason I even got the urge to do it?

I did tell everyone that I was joining the rasra circle for you, my mom.  It’s true. And I was with a whole bunch of boody mas- older women. And men, too. But mom, some of these women can dance!!! How do they keep it up for so long? I was exhausted after just a couple of songs. But these women in their 60’s and even older were just going on and on and on. And with a LOT of energy!

That dance takes a lot of cardio. Man. I had my zouk class before then, but we move in a less jumpy way. This rasra stuff was definitely taking my breath, or pumping my heart. And when you do it properly, it really works your calves. Who knew?

This older woman in front of me was trying to teach me, because I seriously felt, and obviously looked, lost when I first joined them.  And because I am a dancer, I wanted to not just get through, but also do some impressive turns and get the feet in rhythm and all of that. It looks easier than it is, for sure.  But I tried to get some spins in there to see if you might feel that energy, if you might be able to feel the reverberations of it. Of me sharing it with you.

I am sorry I didn’t have sherbet. You know I never really liked that stuff. Maybe without the nuts and stuff. I like stuff a little plain. I did have cake though. Just for you.  It was not as good as your cake though. No one’s ever will be. But that’s okay.  Yours and you will always be my favorite. Nothing can compare.

So yeah, if you haven’t already guessed, I went out there because it was Kushiali- December 31st.  They had a cake to celebrate Hazar Imam’s birthday. My friend and I were laughing because the candles weren’t being blown out. We were a bit worried that they would just let them die down on their own on the cake.

I don’t know many people at all in that Khane. I felt out of place, to be honest. Not in a non-welcoming way.  But just in a “what am I doing here?” way.  And then I remembered- I am celebrating for my mom.  I am sorry I didn’t celebrate Navroz enough with you,  Mom. I just never resonated with it. I felt disconnected from it. But I see now that it would have just kept us more connected. Given us more of an excuse to share more memories together.

But now I cannot bring back those days. I cannot turn back time to change the opportunities that I missed. All I can do is celebrate them with you in another way now.  I hope you can feel it, somehow. I hope you know that if I had the chance again, I would get out and have cake and do some rasra rounds with you, and even have sherbet. Anything to spend more time with and around my mom. Now I can only hope that you are surrounding me in another way.

Love you, Mom.

Navroz Mubarak.