A rock of strength and unshakable faith are probably the 2 things that describe my mom. As a girl who was born in a small village in Kerala with values and ideas as conservative and orthodox as it can get, married a man who believed in living life king-size, it wasn't easy. She has changed to accommodate a lot of the world outside her little village. I being her eldest have been a witness to her life, their life and 2 different philosophies of life at work. My Dad's philosophy was " Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?" and my mom's is "Go to the ant, you sluggard; consider its ways and be wise!". You see.
Mom was our rock. We could bring any kind of bad news home and let it off our chest knowing well my mom can handle it. That wasn't the case with my Dad, he was way too sentimental. When I flunked one year of my graduation, the first thing I did was get on my bicycle and speed home. Once I told them, she gave me her dose and then went on to say things like ofcourse its not the end of the road and stuff. My Dad did not say a word and had an asthama stroke that night. He was admitted to the hospital for a couple of days. He did not talk to me for almost a month. Admist all this my mom went on talking to me about what next, attending to dad, getting the 3 of us to run home-hospital with food, talking to the doctor, more to the mallu nurse, cooking and all the other 1000 things that stay-at-home mom's do. She was rock solid and unfazed. When she was worried , she would share it with us but we could see she was strong.
She is a women of faith. Her strength is in her prayers. That I also guess runs in her family. They(I mean the whole of my mom's family) pray like people who have had that realization that faith can move mountains in their personal lives. They are people who have faced show-stoppers in life, like no rains would mean no harvest, like debts running higher that one can fathom, like life altering/threatening illness, situations like dooms-day and have come out not only unscathed but better each time. They are not loud but pray silently in the confines of their homes and rooms. I have been a witness to a few of such situations & so I am a believer too. The little faith I have in the good lord comes from my mom.
Mom is full of practical advise and proverbs. We could actually have a whole argument by just exchanging proverbs for proverbs. We learnt that from dad, what do you think they were doing with such 2 extreme philosophies. She can be persistent if she chooses, like she can keep saying "oil your hair" 1643 times or untill you actually oil your hair. She has this attitude about life that, things that need to be done now , should be done now. Its of no use if you do it a day or a week or a month latter. So when my sis was home post-preg and her regime included mutton soup in the 3rd week and because no one was available around that time to get it, she went to the mutton shop, generally where ladies do not go and bought and continued my sis's post preg regime as required. That is her mantra. If she thinks her help today will make a difference to anybody she will do it, and will not harp about how she can not because of x y or z reasons. She doesn't believe in confrontation, she believes things will get sorted out with time. She believes, the less you talk, the less crap you churn out. She reads and she still has about 3 mag subscriptions to her name. She also has this very annoying habit of trying to find something positive in everything that has absolutely gone wrong or about somebody we totally abhor. It is very annoying most times but we have just learned to ignore it with time.
With her looking after the peapod, I have no worries about the peapod. Our outlook of life are the same and so that leaves me peaceful in every way.
She turned 61 on the 17th and I pray for a healthy happy life for her. She was supposed to be in Goa for her birthday but the swine flu ruined our plans. We have an another plan in place, lets see if that works. My cousin sis surprised her with a gold bangle. She was thrilled to be getting it from the youngest kid in the family.
That smile on her face, the laughter in her voice is very very reassuring.