Fred Rai Guest Contributor
As a small boy I learned that two people oversaw my care, and one was my mother.
I didn’t like her very much at an early age as she had a peculiar way of caring about me.
In kindergarten, joining in an exercise with all the other children, I made a pin cushion card for her for Mother’s Day. I took great pride in creating the heart-shaped gift, though I admit I had some help from my teacher.
On Mother’s Day, I awoke early and leaped into my parents room. I was radiating a child’s smile as I presented my heart-exposed gift. I leapt into my parents bed and brought out the masterpiece I created, exclaiming “Happy Mother’s Day Mum, I LOVE YOU!”
The reply I got back is etched in my mind and soul. She looked at my masterpiece and said, “What’s this?”
She gave me a hug and placed it aside without much more. With such a response, I didn’t feel she appreciated the time and care I put Into the masterpiece I had so lovingly crafted just for her.
I didn’t celebrate Mother’s Day ever again until I met my son’s mother and we had our own son.
Over the years, I came to understand that my mother had a mental illness that she carried all my years as a boy and even now into my manhood.
The years put things into perspective.
I love my mum. She is the only one I will have. And now in my graying bearded days I do similar acts of giving, as I did as a child.
I ring into her room and say “I LOVE YOU MUM” knowing I may not get a reply back, even thought I can’t help but still desire a response.
It is after all my commitment to my late father that I would take care of his wife, my mother, Harbhajan, with all of her scars and her idiosyncrasies and yes smiles.
At times, I’ll do a quick tickle of her feet, and her smiles are the returned gifts of love, the responses I had desired for so long.
She is my mum after all and I do love her for bringing me into this world, just as I love my son’s mum for being so kind and caring to my son.
I may not always get what I wish. However, I know I can choose to appreciate what I can and receive what is available.
I can choose wisely.
Happy Mother’s Day Harbhajan.