I have written this post several times in my head, and until today, thought that is where it would remain. I had started to think of this post as many one sided conversations, I would add something interesting to it, something that I had seen in real life that would remind me of Ammu…it doesn’t take much to remind me of a person who had so many different passions in life…books, literature, education, teaching, travels, family, friends, charity work, cooking, religion, sunrise and sunsets, the list goes on 🙂
My regular followers would know how much I enjoy partaking in weekly photo challenges, usually colour themes that fit well with my travel writing. Lately I have been feeling the need to get these one sided conversations in my head on paper (blog), but still found it too personal to share. This week’s Daily Posts Photo Challenge– Gone but not forgotten – felt like the right place to do it.
This week, on the 11th of December, marks 10 years that my mother has been gone. 10 years ago she spent a lovely summer with my sister in America, healthy and happy. She came back end August, started being unwell, got diagnosed with Systametic Lupus Erythematosus, started treatment and within 3 months and 11 days, she had left us. The Circle of Life could not have been demonstrated to me more dramatically then during this period when I discovered I am to become a mother for the first time, at the same time when I lost my own mother.
10 years have gone, we have all grieved…over time the raw pain has subsided, but the moments of sadness and emptiness left by her passing will remain always. This year in particular is hard and my mind is a whirlwind of emotions as just three weeks ago we celebrated 10 years of marriage, only to be followed by the harsh realization that my Ammu has been gone for 10 years as well.
To quote one of her personal favourites – (she had many quotes!) This Too shall Pass… The sad feelings will pass and I will spend more time remembering and laughing over all the wonderful times and memories we have spent together as a family. I will remember in AWE how she managed a full time career teaching English at University, her being president of Zonta Club doing charity work for the empowerment of girls and women, her very active social life surrounded by friends and family, supporting so many people, and above all – how all that never interfered with her 100 percent presence in our lives growing up – dropping and picking us up from school, baking and cooking, homework times, mother daughter conversations on our bed, and how can I forget the travels we did! All over India, Singapore, Thailand, Nepal, Bangladesh, and the wonderful long months of summers in the USA.
My children are at an age where I have strong memories of being that age, between 6 and 9, and most of what I remember from then (am sure the pictures help too!) are the holidays we took as a family. It makes me very happy to be able to do that with my own children, spending moments, building memories and experiences all over the world. I look forward to going back to Bangladesh and looking at all our travels with my parents when we were young.
Ammu would be so happy to see what wonderful readers my own children are, how they devour books, how their teachers can’t sing their praise enough..she would be so happy to know that they are kind and well mannered, social and friendly, just as she was, just as she and Abbu had taught us to be. She would be happy to see that Shama has her love for cooking and baking( as well as her very strong determined personality!) She would dote on Shahaar as she did her nephews, she had a soft spot for baby boys 🙂 I look at her good friends pictures with their grandchildren, and can’t help feeling pangs of envy….Ammu would have thrived at the role of being a grandmother, and she would have been ace at it…just as she was with everything else she has accomplished in life.
To quote her again – (she was the queen of inspirational quote books, ‘chicken soup for the soul’ books, Reader Digest inspiration true stories) – she was always counting her blessings 🙂
I am forever grateful for the 26 years of my life that I had with her, I am grateful that I had such a strong, inspirational and loving mother, I had someone I could turn to with all my needs, I am grateful to have had a role model who encouraged me to reach for the stars!
I am grateful for all the childhood and young adult memories, all the fun holidays, the peaceful days at home, the hectic social events, the love of books and travels and desire for doing charity work that she has passed on to me, love of Shakespeare and literature…every time I visit the beautiful English countryside, see medieval castles, walk through the moors of the Peak District that inspired stories such as Wuthering Heights and other works by the Bronte Sisters, I am happy to experience all this for her..she would have so loved England, the home of all her favourite writers!
I am grateful I have my sister and my father, I am grateful for all the love and support we continue to receive from family and all her friends through the difficult times we faced the last two years. I am grateful for my own family and the life, full of love, laughter, travel and adventures that we have created for ourselves.
This blog was started to document our overland journey from England to Bangladesh, but as life happens when you are making other plans – everything has changed and now we are moving to New Zealand for a year!
Through this blog I have discovered how much I enjoy expressing my thoughts, experiences and stories in writing. From all the positive feedback and encouragement I have received, I guess I am not doing such a bad job either 😉 Ammu would be happy to know I have picked up her passion for writing as well! I end this with a line from one of her last emails to me ‘You are always in my thoughts and prayers. Always remember .babu, if not physically, I’ll BE THERE FOR YOU spiritually. Anytime of the day or night, you just close your eyes and think of me.’