I hope you know that I was always on your side, Mom.
I am sorry I didn’t show it more.
I hope you know that I was always on your side, Mom.
I am sorry I didn’t show it more.
There’s a song I really like by an artist named Labrinth. The song is called Jealous. The lyrics talks about being jealous of how the rain falls on this person’s skin and how the wind blows through her clothes. The male singer is probably referring to a female partner he lost or never had but wanted.
He sings with such a deep expression and emotion that I feel it. But my thoughts of jealousy don’t go towards a guy. Instead, it is a jealousy towards whoever you might be around now. Those who get you up close and personal to you. Those who you might be working with or enjoying heaven with or laughing and learning with, or loving or teaching.
Because I know what that love is about and what a great teacher you are. I know how your touch and caring and nurturing feels. And anyone who gets to experience it now is very lucky. I know this from experience. It’s not that I don’t want you to be happy wherever you are. Of course I do. And I know that you will be deeply affecting any souls that get the chance to cross your path.
And of course I know you will forever influence my life. I hope that our souls are still very much connected. But I’m going to let my human, earthly, smaller mind get in the way for a bit and just complain that it’s not the same as having you right here where I can see you or touch you or smile and laugh with you and hear your voice. I guess it’s not supposed to be the same.
At first, I think I worried that maybe you might be jealous of the rain and wind and life that is around me, or around your grandchildren or your son or the rest of your family, because you can’t join us in these experiences as we grow. I mean, you can’t join us physically. And that makes me sad for you. I don’t want you to feel like you are missing out or that we ever forget about you. We don’t. Truly, we don’t.
But then I also know that you were never one to want anything less than the best for all of us. You wanted to give and give and give. So jealousy towards us doesn’t really seem in your nature at all. You are the type of person that would just be happy for our happiness.
It’s hard for me to be happy without you though, Mom. It’s hard for me to be happy without feeling your happiness, I think is the more important part of all of this.
I am jealous of the people, especially the daughters, who get to call their moms and hear their voices on the other line. I’m jealous of the little girls who hold their mother’s hand as they walk down the street, or feel their mother’s touch on their face or their foreheads.
I am so jealous of the mothers and daughters who go on trips together, or go shopping together, or sit and drink tea together. I am jealous of any people who still have the opportunity to apologise to their mothers if they have said something that might have been hurtful. I am jealous of those who when they call out to their moms get an answer back.
Sometimes I stare incessantly at kids and their mothers, or even adults and their mothers. And I watch all the little nuances between them- the smiles, the tears, the hugs and love and connection. And I yearn to get even a little bit of that back. Even writing that causes my throat to close up a bit as my emotions just build up inside of me. It hurts so much to not be able to go to your home and see your cute face opening the door to greet me.
I am jealous of the girl I was when I was younger, the one who was able to sit on your lap, and lay next to you, and be cradled and rocked by you, and picked up from school by you. The girl who had her lunches made by her mom. The girl who enjoyed her mom’s scrambled eggs and grilled cheese sandwiches. The girl who got to wake up to her mom’s face and warmth.
I am jealous of the girl who had her adult years with you The girl who could always just go to Mom’s place when she needed anything, especially when she just needed to be accepted for exactly who she was, without having to prove or do anything special. The girl who was special because of her mom. The girl who had a mom who made her feel so special.
I am jealous of the woman I became who, when she needed to apologize or right a wrong with her mom, could do so whenever she wanted. I am jealous of this woman who had her mom’s forgiveness, sweetness, compassion and strength around her always. That simplicity in living and loving that made her know exactly what was important in her life.
And then I realize I am jealous of myself. That the time I had with you has passed and I wish so much to have it back. But I need to recognize that I was so lucky to have had it at all. 40 years of it. It sounds like such a long time. But it feels like it went by too fast.
I can’t be jealous of what I already have, can I? Maybe others can be jealous of me, because I had you, for those forty years. And you made me who I am today. Everything that is beautiful about me came from my beautiful mother. That is not something to be jealous about, but to be so proud of I’m trying to remember that, Mom.
I just miss you so much. And Mother’s Day is coming up. How do you celebrate a day dedicated to a woman who is no longer here with me physically but who gave me anything and everything I could have possibly wanted? and didn’t even know I wanted.
Mother’s Day is not a day, is it? It’s a lifetime. A miracle. Beyond one lifetime. It’s an energy. An everlasting love. An eternal love. A magic that I was so lucky to experience.
Thank you, Mommy. You are my everything. Always and forever.
I still have really bad nightmares about you. I had one just this morning. You weren’t happy, and I also now feel like you’re not happy with me. I don’t know why. I don’t know why I feel this way or dream these things. It really hurts my heart and makes the morning and getting up so confusing and heartbreaking.
I wish I had a sign that you were okay, and that you were also more than okay with me.
Sorry I am having these thoughts. It feels sad, like I am changing our relationship now somehow. I know we were very close. I know that you loved me so dearly and sweetly, like no one else could. And I loved and still love you with all my heart and soul. I just can’t figure out what this bad feeling is, where it is coming from, and how to shake it off or fix it.
I will try to concentrate on my morning prayers to you, which are still going, even now, four years later. The lines or questions have grown a little more. I realized I had more to ask of you and the universe. I hope you don’t mind. Here it goes:
What are we going to do today?
Where are we going to go?
What are we going to do?
What are we going to say?
What are we going to believe?
What are we going to achieved?
What are we going to have the courage for?
Who are we going to help?
Who are we going to inspire?
What are we going to give away?
What are we going to hang on to?
What are we going to cherish?
What are we going to choose?
What are we going to stand up for?
What are we going to cry over?
What are we going to laugh through?
What are we going to create?
What are we going to paint?
What are we going to sing?
What are we going to dance?
What are we going to write about?
What are we going to dream?
What are we going to read?
What are we going to practise?
What are we going to play?
What are we going to perform?
Who are we going to date?
Who are we not going to date?
Who are we going to kiss?
Who are we not going to kiss?
Who are we going to love?
Who are we going to let love us?
What are we going to teach?
What are we going to learn?
And one I just made up: What are we going to pray for?
I always start my morning prayer with you. Before all these questions, I ask God and the Universe to take care of you. It goes like this. I say these words as soon as I wake up and before I am even out of bed:
Thank you for waking me up for another day
Please take care of my mom, please take care of my mom, please take care of my mom.
Then I name all the people in the family individually who I am, or we were, closest to. And I ask that they be taken cared of.
And then I end off with Please take care of my mom, please take care of my mom, please take care of my mom, again.
I’ll be saying this prayer until I am with you again, Mom.
God Bless You, as you would always say.
I miss you so much.
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.
I ended up going to Khane yesterday. The funny thing is that I wasn’t planning to go, but guess what? The dance studio I really like to go to is only a few steps away from downtown Khane, literally.
I arrived at the studio earlier than I thought I would, and I had about half an hour before my class. So I walked into Khane just after first Du’a had started. And I sat downstairs, near the door, so I could make a quick getaway.
I know that sounds bad. It’s not that I wanted to get out of there, or that I didn’t enjoy any of it. But I have to take baby steps in getting into going there regularly, so I don’t overwhelm myself. And I didn’t want to be late for dance class.
This is the second time I have done this- gone into Khane before class. I go in dressed very casually, but it works just fine at Drake. I like that non-pretentiousness about the Khane in downtown. It’s a nice feeling too, to not put any pressure on myself to have to sit upstairs in the prayer hall. I just sit on the chairs downstairs, and end up sitting next to interesting people who either have little babies, or are unable to get up the stairs as easily, or maybe, like me, they like to sit away from the rest of the crowd.
Yesterday, there was a man who sat next to me with the cutest little girl. She was clinging on to him with her tiny little hands, and her little feet were all warm and cosy, covered up in the most adorable pink slippers/socks. I just kept thinking about how you would have loved to play with her. Little kids always made your face light up. And kids seemed to like you too.
There was also this older man sitting closer to the door. When he came in, he took off this thick woolen toque with a kind of native print on it. And under the toque, he had a very bald, shiny head.
I also noticed younger girls come in- in their teens and twenties. And some of them wore beautiful beige or black heels, while others were in comfy runners. Some had perfectly streaked hair- gold and deep browns and reds highlighting their heads. While others had nose rings or jeans on. I loved the variety of people and outfits that walked through. There was no set way of what you should look like or how dressy or not you had to be. The feeling was just come as you are. And that’s what I did.
You would have been proud of me, Mom. I didn’t cry once during the Du’as this time. I did think of you every moment I was in there, more than I already do each day. And that is a lot, trust me. But I tried to just soak in the details of what was around me, just be in the moment, rather than getting down on myself for not concentrating or not sticking it out until the end. Oh yeah, I kind of left in mid tasbih, I guess you could call it? See, I don’t even know the terms. I think it might have been Chandraat yesterday, because everything was more delayed and more involved than a usual khane day. And I could have sworn they said something about Chandraat majilis in one of the announcements, but again, I could totally be wrong. I haven’t been keeping up on what is happening on which day.
I felt badly for leaving before it was done, but I was glad I went at all. And I think that is what I am going to keep in mind- the small steps I take to just surround myself with a little bit of that spiritual peace amidst the surroundings of the faith I grew up in. It did take dance to get me there. And you, I’m sure. But if it wasn’t for my dance class being so close, and being at such an optimum time for me to get to khane quickly beforehand, I would probably not have been there.
It seemed silly for me NOT to go, the way the universe planned it like this. Dance Me Free. That’s the name of my blog. Dance is even bringing me spiritual freedom, bringing me close to our place of prayer, giving me more incentive to sit with “my peeople” -haha!- (too funny, because anyone who knows me knows that “my people” are not restricted by any race, religion, colour or culture. I am so fascinated by diversity and multiculturalism. But, you get what I mean, I think) and connect with your strong beliefs. To connect with you.
Who knew that Dance would bring me more spirituality not just from its healing and its powerful movement of energy, but also bringing me back to my childhood place of prayer.
Although I was a little late for class, I am sure that something about the peace and prayers that I spent in during that half an hour at Khane, somehow got me more connected and at peace in my dance class, in my dancing, definitely in my body, and in the moment.
I told the owners of the dance studio that you, my mother, probably is thanking them for choosing that location for a studio. For helping me to find my way back “home” in some sense.
Thank you, Mom. You were and always will be my home. So really, I am just always trying to find my way back to you and your spirit. I will try to still be open to allowing Khane to be one of the avenues that will get me there.
Every word, every book,
Every step, every trip,
Every page, every story,
Every Sunday morning.
Every bite, every taste,
Every flower, every gaze,
Every giggle, every tear.
Everything comes back to you, Mom.
Every song makes me think of you- especially the ones about love or loss.
This one in particular, these days:
“Over and over, the only truth,
Everything comes back to you,
Everything comes back to you.”
~ Niall Horan
Happy Birthday, Mom!!! You are the best mom ever!
A- Always real
I – Intuitive and generous
L – Likes tea and cookies…
A- Acts cute and small but is unbelievably courageous and strong
Thank you for being my mother, father, friend and one of the most amazing teachers, especially when it comes to matters of the heart, I have ever had. Love you Mom! #MomsTheWorld #BestMoms #ILoveMyMom
I wrote that message above, on my Facebook status, exactly three years ago. It was March 16th, 2014. Your birthday of course.
Facebook often sends these ‘memories’, of messages we post in the past, to remind us of what we saw as important to us and what we were thinking years ago. Maybe to even make us see the change in us?
But I am in shock over how much has changed since then. It was only three measly years ago. But back then, I had EVERYTHING, and I didn’t even realize it. I had everything, because I had you. And I had no idea that that was going to be the last of your birthdays I was ever going to spend with you. I had no idea that one, or two, or now three years since then, I would never be able to wish you a happy birthday in person again.
That fills me with tears and heartache and sorrow so deep that I feel ashamed of having taken life especially life with you, for granted. I wish I could have those moments back that I didn’t realize would be gone forever. I wish I could be feeding you cake right now the way you used to to us when we were younger.
Mom, where did the time go? Why did it happen the way it did? Without any warning, without any signs, or maybe it was more that there were signs but it was without any awareness, on my part. I should have listened and noticed and helped more. I should have made it obvious that you were my number one priority, because that’s how I felt inside. I just know I didn’t show it enough.
You are still my number one, Mom. I made sure to wish you a happy birthday at exactly 12am last night, like you did on the last birthday of mine that you were around for. And I am really trying to honour you by holding my head up high and doing things to make you proud of me, to have you know that I am not going to have this life you gave me to me go to waste. And that I am so proud to have had (or can I still say just ‘have’?) you as a mother. I want this day of yours- what would have been your 79th birthday- to be celebrated and cherished because your life and love and presence in this world deserves to be celebrated an cherished.
But it’s hard mom. I’m sad. More sad than I ever thought I could be. How strange it is to be so grateful for having a mom like you, for being able to spend all the years that I did with you, and for having the sweetest memories of you in my heart. But to also have so much pain from it- knowing that you are no here anymore. I know I shouldn’t say it like that. I know I need to believe you are here, just in another way. But you know what I mean. You went through it too with Mama. It’s crushing to our hearts when our Mothers are not here for us to hold hands with or see smiling or hear their voices say our name. No one else says it like you.
I would do anything to hear you tell me to remember to eat, or to put my coat on, or to ask me a hundred times if I want more food, even when I was full, the way you used to.
I texted you today, Mom. I texted you at your old phone number. The message said, Happy Birthday, Mommy. And then there was a teary face, a pink heart with two stars shining on it, and a birthday cake with three candles on it -imogee symbols I chose to put next to the text. I just wanted to send you a message somehow. Not through the air or in my head. But in some real way like I might have in the past. I don’t know if anyone else has that number now. I don’t know where the text went if it did go anywhere. But I haven’t deleted your number off of my phone. I just don’t have the heart to. Maybe I never will.
I also posted a cover photo on my Facebook page that says Happy Birthday, Mom on it- with a cupcake and one candle. One candle for my number one- my Mom. You will always be my number one Mom. Don’t you ever doubt that. And my profile picture is a photo of that Generation to Generation frame I had given you- that you put up in entrance in your apartment. Now it’s on my kitchen wall.
I went to Shoppers the other day, and bought this teddy bear and chocolates. Sorry, I ate the chocolates pretty quick. But if you were here, I would have given them to you. The teddy bear and an old Christmas snowglobe I found at Shoppers as well is also for you. Thank you for all the sweetest little gifts you used to buy me from there as well (that’s the shawl you used to wear almost every day- behind the cushion and the teddy bear).
It’s sad that even those memories are tainted now. Shoppers was one of our favorites- because really, it was one of your favorite places to pick up cutesy things. But it was also the last place you went to, ever, before you were gone. And I associate it with that sad ache of imagining you walking home from there and falling at the end of your walk. And it kills me to think and know I wasn’t there for you.
So much happiness- birthdays, chocolates, teddy bears, shopping, laughing, cake, smiles and love- mixed with so much sadness- death, falls, pain, emptiness, tears and heartache.
I don’t know what to do with it all, Mom. All I can do is take one day at a time, and live in it and face it- sometimes crying, sometimes smiling. All I can do is be honest with my feelings and stay as authentic as you made me.
All I can do is be grateful for this day- your birthday. The day that the best thing that ever happened to me came into this world- my mother. All I can do is to know I was lucky enough to spend all the birthdays that I did have with you.
I just wish you had more. I wish that now, birthdays in heaven are truly blissful and full of peace and love for you. No pain, no fear, no suffering. Not even a hint of it. Just a truly HAPPY birthday, with lots of cake – your favorite kind that you made all the time (buy maybe now you and Mama can make it together again and SHE can feed you a piece? :-)).
And lots of warm, soothing chai, and endless peace. That is my birthday wish for you. That you are full of peace, love joy and wrapped in your mother’s loving arms. I know that’s where I wish I was right now. But in the meantime, I will live this life the best I can to honour my angel mother.
Happy Birthday, Mom. Sorry for the tears. But I just miss you terribly.