Threads in a tapestry, Part I
I am thinking I will start a series of posts about different people in my life, today's being the first. It would serve as a nice writing exercise for me. I am at my best when I write; at least I'd like to think so. And the best I can do of the free time I have these days is to spend it writing. My original motive being simply to write, I also recognize that this series could well be on its way to becoming some sort of an acknowledgement of the roles different people play in my life, considering I'll be writing about them. And if I am writing about them they must be definitely important to me, right? What I am implying here is that I might get a little emotional in the process. Take it as my way of warning. So I'll get on to business now without further delay.
The person that comes first to my mind is my mother. No surprise. I do not know what kind of a person I would be today if not for my mother. A very large part of what I am today I have her to thank for. She is not perfect or anything but she is who is she is: my mother. And that makes all the difference, if you know what I mean. I remember a time in my life when I felt like I hated her because she was behaving like an enemy in my eyes. The reason? She didn't approve of my friends and didn't want me hanging out with them. I couldn't see why she hated them so much. They weren't evil or anything. And I could make the right decisions, I told myself. While on the other hand, her concern was that they would have a bad influence on me. Of course all that seemed simply ridiculous to me then. This resulted in all sorts of tiffs between my mother and I, as you would expect. How passionately I would defend my friends. Similar disagreements still surface even today, now and then. But it's not the same, I've grown a bit since then you know. But I'm also not saying my mother was completely accurate in her assessment of my friends. You could say she was probably unable to see things as they really were as a result of her utter concern for my well-being. I know it was all done in good will. And with time I've realized she never really hated them; it was just the way I saw things. The friends I hung out with then have turned out to have pretty decent lives for themselves. I see their updates every now and then on Facebook.
Prior to all the drama regarding friends there was a time when everything that my mother said was to me unquestionable and right. She knew everything and I tried to follow whatever she said was right. My father wasn't around much those days. I think he was already working in Delhi, while we all were still in Manipur. So it was my mother and a couple of aunts who were raising us. I remember I used to be very scared of her spanking, so I did my best to avoid it. I think I was a pretty timid child. And yes, I've had a good amount of spanking in my life. It was a disciplinary action of sorts. But she was also the one I would run to whenever my sisters bullied me or whenever I had some reason for crying, whatever that was. She was the first person to introduce me to Jesus. All the Bible lessons she gave us, I'm sure they are registered somewhere in my brain. I cannot actually recollect the time I first heard the name of Jesus, but I'm certain it was from my mother's mouth. Things were simply such.
My mother loves to talk. I'm sure I inherited this trait from her. She also loves having friends around her, another one that has been faithfully carried down to me. She is a lively woman, a hard-worker, long-suffering, and she has a heart for the poor. But most of all what I appreciate about my mother is that she is a prayer warrior. This is where I see that she gets spiritual things in a way not everybody gets them. She has a servant heart and has surrendered or constantly seeks to surrender everything to Jesus, including her children. She often tells us that although she has birthed us there is absolutely nothing she can give us or can ensure for us. She has taught us complete reliance on God for all our needs because she has constantly shown that she relies on God to take care of her children. This is something that will stay with me, and hopefully with the rest of my siblings. And if I ever forget it I hope to be reminded of this posture of my mother's heart in some way or another always.
My mother is from a very humble background. Her father was a farmer who also served as a pastor a part of his life. She couldn't study as much as she would have liked because being the eldest she had to help out at the farm. She talks about her farming days sometimes, about how she would get jealous of the other villagers who would ride their animals on their way back from the farms at the end of the day. She could never ride her cows because they would never let her. The cows must have been extra sensitive, I guess. My mother also sometimes talks about how, considering this background, she had never in her wildest of dreams ever imagined that her children would get a good education from reputed schools and colleges in a big metropolitan city like Delhi, where good opportunities abound in comparison to the tiny insignificant village of Manipur where she hails from. "Who would've thought..", she says. No such thought ever occurred to her that one day she'd come to live in Delhi, have a family and a home here. The difference is of leaps and bounds, I see it. There is hardly any electricity supply in Makokching till this day. People take bath at the river, or at the village well. Most households make their living working on small farms they own. Education is negligible. Makokching, you would have figured, is my mother's village. So it is hard to not see her point when my mother says that she is abundantly blessed.
One of the most intimate things my mother has shared with us is about her relationship with God, about what she feels is her calling. It is simply to wait on God. My first thought was of how awful this life of waiting would be. But my mother embraces it fully and she is peaceful about it, and that amazes me. Beneath all her flaws, all the things that irk me about her, there is this aspect of her that I could never be able to emulate. I totally suck at waiting. And here is my mother, whose calling is to wait on God. You could imagine what this would do to me, a person who would simply want to die if waiting was all that she was asked to do. This makes my mother's life to me the ultimate life of sacrifice. I am extremely grateful to God for my mother. She has made many sacrifices for us, like any loving mother would do. She puts up with all my crap, and still remains the same. It is her love and prayers that have brought me where I am today; and I am in a good place. God bless my mother.
For the second post in the series go here.