Don’t wait till Mother’s Day to tell your mother you love her

Published: May 14, 2017

A Pakistani woman carries her son as she walk on a street in Islamabad on May 13, 2012, on Mother's Day. PHOTO: AFP

Standing helplessly beside my father’s bed, I watched as he breathed his last breath while holding my mother’s hand. My mother was devastated at that point in time but she was still strong. She was strong enough to reassure us that she will guide us through these tough times; strong enough to ensure us that she will be there for any obstacle we would ever have to face this point onwards. Time has proven that my confidence and trust in my mother was spot on.

She is a remarkable lady with spiritual abilities; she always remained composed throughout everything and never let us down. She was taking religious classes for the last four years as she was an eager learner but those came to a sudden halt when she fell sick.

Last year, my mother suffered a brain haemorrhage and she’s been in a coma ever since. Even though she is bed-ridden, she has managed to keep all her children united. And although she is immobile and not able to speak, I believe she continues to guide us in our lives.

My mother is an exceptional personality, she’s mastered all roles in life, be it of a wife, mother, mother-in-law, sister and daughter. Ammi is unwell these days and we’re accustomed to guests visiting our place quite regularly to check up on her. No matter how good our hosting skills may be, they can never be up to par with my mother’s skills. All our guests reminisce the customary way my mother used to look after guests.

I was diagnosed with asthma at the age of six, and believe me when I say my mother’s presence and love gave me more relief than the medicine did. My mother and I are extremely close, so close that she knows how I am feeling just by looking at me.

Her love for my family is unwavering. She was always full of praises for my wife and daughters. Last year, my family and I took a trip to Islamabad in order to attend a wedding. When I shared pictures of the wedding with my mother, all she did was praise and compliment my wife and daughters. She has a heart of gold; she would always give my wife spending money when she used to travel to meet my in-laws. How could one not love and respect such a woman?

Ammi’s attributes are indescribable, and up until last year, I could not imagine a life without her. But life had something else in store for us. I feel completely helpless when I see her bed-ridden because she has always been larger than life for me and still is.

During the good old days, we used to spend hours talking to each other about various topics, ranging from politics, religion, sports, to drama. But now, I miss her laughter and I miss talking to her – there’s a void which I can’t seem to fill.

At a certain age, parents, especially mothers, become dependent on their children, as is the cycle of life. My mother, on the other hand, is another story altogether. She was financially and physically independent up until she fell sick, and in reality, I was dependent on her till last year.

Although we don’t celebrate Mother’s Day as such, I distinctly remember how she was beaming when my brother, who lives abroad, sent her flowers on Mother’s Day.

Last year on Mother’s Day, my mother was admitted in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU), where she was fighting for her life. Thankfully, she fought strongly and came out a tougher person.

Ammi is one of the most positive individuals I have ever come across. I believe it is this positivity and inner strength which allowed her to fight her illness. At the moment, she is in a coma and doctors have lost all hope. But I haven’t and I won’t. Miracles do happen and I am sure she will return to her healthy self, with her smiling face, reassuring us that all is well. But while she is bed-ridden, I can’t help but miss her.

Currently, all my cherished and prized moments seem meaningless without my mother.

While I dearly miss each moment I spent with my mother, I feel sorry for those children who barely spend time with their parents even though they are alive and healthy. Old age homes in Karachi are at full capacity and I can’t bring myself to understand how children can leave their parents, especially aged mothers, at the mercy of others.

A recently elderly widowed lady lives alone in my neighbourhood because her son moved abroad in search of greener pastures. What breaks my heart though is how she still prays ardently for her son’s health and success. And this is exactly what motherhood is all about, always putting one’s children first and praying for them, irrespective of their behaviour.

Although I am close to my mother, and my siblings and I have showered her with immense love and respect, I still wonder if I did enough for her and if I should have asked for her forgiveness before she was taken into surgery last year. If my mother does not come out of her coma, I am sure this thought will nag me till my last breath. But I am helpless now and can only hope my mother has forgiven me for whenever I let her down.

I want to take this opportunity to humbly request everyone to love and respect their parents while they are alive, because life is unpredictable and nobody knows how long they’ll be around. Cherish them, because they cherish you.

Don’t restrict Mother’s Day to one particular day; rather continue celebrating it all year round. Mother’s Day shouldn’t be about one day or one moment, because our mother’s shower us with infinite love every single day, and we should give back equally, if not more. For all those who serve their mothers, they will surely reap immense rewards, not only in this world, but in the hereafter as well.

Khurram Zia Khan

Khurram Zia Khan

The writer is the media manager of Asiatic Public Relations and tweets @KhurramZiaKhan (twitter.com/KhurramZiaKhan)

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.

  • Afreen Jaffery

    I am so sorry to hear that.. Your mother is certainly a very endearing and charming lady..May Allah give her speedy recovery!! Stay strong.. She is there with you and watching out for you even when she is in this conditionRecommend

  • Shafiq Ul Hasan

    So heart-touching. I wish your mother healthy and speedy recover and yes MIRACLES DO HAPPEN and soon a MIRACLE will happen. Stay strong. May Allah give you strength.Recommend

  • Hassaan Naeem

    Khurram, as beautiful as a piece should be about Kaukab Aunty. What a lady she has been, though a mother, but a ‘father figure’ for all of you brothers and sisters. A loving lady, a passionate host, most adorable Yaya!

    May Allah grant her early recovery with healthy life, AmeenRecommend

  • Hina Safdar

    May God bless her with health. Ameen. She surely has raised a gentleman in you. Stay blessed Sir. Recommend

  • IBN E ASHFAQ

    For all those who serve their mothers, they will surely reap immense rewards, not only in this world, but in the hereafter as well.
    Everyday should be mother’s day………..Our heavens lie under her feet said Muhammad Rasul Allah (peace be upon him)…………..We should focus on the sayings of our beloved prophet and forget about this capitalist CRAP called MOTHERS’ DAY to increase their sale………..the most precious gift that you can give your mother is your TIME………which is not available in the capitalist market…….Recommend