This Father’s Day, I choose to celebrate my mom

Published: June 21, 2015
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I saw in her the resilience of a woman who had made up her mind to never strike out. PHOTO: REUTERS

If you are fortunate enough, you will grow up with two supportive parents and live a happy, fulfilling life under their guidance and watchful eye. If you are even more blessed, you will be raised by one strong, courageous woman, who stands by you regardless of what the world has to say. 

That woman is my mother.

There are two sentiments in life I never want associated with me: pity and hatred. Why? Because my mother never introduced me to them and her judgment is one I will not question. So today, as I write this piece and dedicate it to the woman I owe, quite literally, my life to, be assured that it is not to gain sympathy. It is simply to tell my story which would be insipid and so very incomplete without her.

Having lost our father at a very young age, my siblings and I were thrown into a life of confusion, despair and inescapable distress, as is natural. It was too soon, and it was not fair. No one had warned us for the life that lay ahead, but, as time moved on and the reality of the situation sunk in, I saw in front of me a woman I had never seen before.

A woman unaffected by the world’s pointing fingers, unnecessary whispers and crude comments. I saw in my mother a woman who knew that this life had thrown her a rude curve ball, and although unprepared, she would need to move on, not for herself, but for the children that she held so near and dear to her.

I saw in her the resilience of a woman who had made up her mind to never strike out.

For years now, I have seen my mother support us in every way possible. She is determined, if not outspoken. She is brave, if not fierce. Her silent reserve and will power to see through the best and worst of us is more often than not mistaken for her weakness.

See, the problem with people is that they always need someone to talk about, and a single woman managing to raise three not so bratty children was an easy, soft, target. Their problem with my mother was that she trusted her children too much. Her loyalty to her children, as ridiculous as it sounds, was, and perhaps still is, the reason behind people’s discontent.

But my mother never let them get to her.

She stood by us.

She stood by us through thick and thin, celebrating our wins, motivating and steering us out of our losses, proudly supporting us come what may.

She never backed down.

She took on the world for us and with us, valiantly replacing the emptiness in our lives with strength, love and resolution. My mother, so patient, calm and affectionate, became both parents for three young, unguarded children, and never once did she flinch at the magnitude of this responsibility; never once did she express her loneliness; never once did she put herself before us; never once did she go against us.

This Father’s Day, while the world pays tribute to all the amazing fathers of this world, I choose to celebrate the parent who continues to fight for me every day. I choose to honour the parent who sacrificed everything for me and my siblings. I choose to acknowledge the strength and courage of a woman who rose above all criticism to raise successful, spirited children. I choose to recognise my closest friend and her unmatched strength; this Father’s Day, I choose to celebrate my mom.

Zehra Kamal

Zehra Kamal

An avid reader, keen writer, political enthusiast and cricket aficionado with a Bachelors in International Development Studies from the University of Guelph, Canada. She tweets @zehra_kamal

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

  • Parvez

    I liked the way you support your mother and what you have written…….but I’m confused as to why connect this with fathers and Father’s Day ? Fathers are good guys too, they may be a bit aloof, stupid at times, awkward and unable to communicate well but most of them are good at heart…… I got the impression that you’re ‘ putting down ‘ the father.Recommend

  • Iftikhar Ali
  • ajay gupta

    come again? u are more blessed if raised by a single mom? than two supportive parents? Understand your feelings as father’s day messages are being bombarded around you, but dont get so carried away that you make a father redundant!Recommend

  • Husain Shabbir

    I could easily relate my life this article. Very well written.Recommend

  • Jehanzeb Mahar

    So you are more blessed than me because I live with both my parents! Stupid article. Didn’t you find any other day for praising your mom?Recommend

  • Custard_Pie_In_Your_Face

    So who’s stopping single mothers from being celebrated on Mothers day?

    Or is mothers day for the celebration of single fathers?Recommend

  • Custard_Pie_In_Your_Face

    So who’s stopping single mothers from being celebrated on Mothers day?

    Or is mothers day for the celebration of single fathers?Recommend

  • Adnan

    I understand that your mother raised you on her own but let this not take away the importance of fathers and the wonderful role they play in our lives. We have a mother’s day. Let there be a fathers’ day as well. They deserve it.Recommend

  • Adnan

    I understand that your mother raised you on her own but let this not take away the importance of fathers and the wonderful role they play in our lives. We have a mother’s day. Let there be a fathers’ day as well. They deserve it.Recommend

  • UvWx Yz

    Seriously what was I reading. If your father left, you have no right to put others in your place to neglect their father’s importance and love.Recommend

  • rem

    I pray for both of my parents during my prayers five times a day. I have something better than mom/dad days.Recommend

  • Karachiwala

    i would have appreciated your writing if it was written on mothers day or with any other day relations. Although i understand where are you coming from, but this world has become so much of WOMEN’s right, mothers love..that at some point Father figure has been left useless.

    Each and Every mother love its child! no matter her child be a Hero or villain to this world. But a father love is hard to achieve.

    please for god sake, leave the father day alone… its just one day for men to celebrate!Recommend

  • Custard_Pie_In_Your_Face

    That was beautiful.

    If she pursues a career as a pilot she will of course have done so despite the evil patriarchy trying to prevent her from doing so.Recommend

  • Nabiha

    Excellent article … Wonderfully written and expressed. Some of the comments made here are so ridiculous because they obviously don’t get it … The writer here is in no way putting down the importance and love of fathers , the only point she is trying to make is that her mother had to raise her kids as a mother and a father .. So she just wants to acknowledge that and celebrate her mom on Farhers day as well since her mother played that role and played it well … So next time please try to understsnd what the writer is actually expressing before making ridiculous comments !! Recommend

  • Rubina Zahid

    You didn’t understand the article at all. Recommend

  • Rubina Zahid

    How silly you are,she is supporting her mom as she was there for her as a father too.Recommend

  • Jehanzeb Mahar

    Then congrats to you for understanding itRecommend