Mother’s Day was never a big deal. It was like any other day. The date came and it went. Without so much as a whisper of celebration. Why? Simply because we didn’t know that such a date existed when we were growing up.
I am not even sure how and when we started making it a thing. By “a thing” I am not talking huge Sunday brunches waiting in line for hours before you get seated or massive parties thrown in honor of our favorite woman, or expensive gifts or even outrageous meals. For us, it just meant calling and wishing Mummy, a very happy her day, a Mother’s Day.
Back in 2004, Mother’s Day and my mother’s birthday were just a day apart. She was visiting me in Memphis and I met her at the airport with two balloons, one wishing her a Happy Birthday, and another one wishing Happy Mother’s Day.
Every year, since that year, Mummy has ALWAYS remembered this special day on Mother’s Day and very, very fondly, and with a beautiful smile adorning her childlike excitement about that day, recalled everything about the moment she saw me walking into the airport’s arrival area holding two balloons (where she and Papa were waiting by the baggage carousel). If she felt a little embarrassed holding balloons and getting pictures taken (sadly, those pictures were printed as hard copies and the ones below are the only ones I have now) at the airport, she seemed to have forgotten it. She only remembered how loved, excited, and happy she felt at the unexpectedness of balloons. Simple things.
Who will recall that day this year? Who will make me feel happy about having made my mother so happy that day?
This year, I have no mom to call. I have no one to tell me the story of the two balloons. I have one less person wishing me a Happy Mother’s Day in return. Since I became a mother in 2014, Mummy always wished me the same wish I made her. Oh Mummy….I miss you so much.
I live with your memories now. We all do.
I want to pick up phone, call you, hear your familiar voice which would be so happy to hear my own at the other end. After the mutual wishing, you would rattle on and on about things you did and didn’t do that day, mundane everyday things; people you met, wanted to meet or didn’t meet; events that happened to random people I have never known nor care to know; you would have told me about who called you and what they said and didn’t say; and I would ask you how you were doing and you would have stoically pretended that you were fine, “chalta hai” you would say, never betraying your resilience once.
What do I want for Mother’s Day, more than anything?
To go back in time.
To hug you more. To kiss you more. To appreciate you and tell you just how much.
I love you, Mummy. Happy Your Day.