Happy Mother’s Day to my dearest family and friends- may you enjoy the love that is expressed especially on this day, but is there every day!
My Mother’s Day celebrations started last weekend, as our twins Sheema and Sonia had a trip planned for this weekend, so Eric brought a cake to share for all of us. It was a special Mother’s Day for Sonia, as it is her first Mother’s Day too! It was a good idea also, as Ramadan had not started, so we enjoyed tea and cake on the sunny deck. Most Muslim mothers won’t be getting breakfast in bed, as my daughter-in-law Amna usually gets, as daytime eating is on hold for a month…..a great discipline for our hearts and souls indeed although it postpones celebrations, as we humans cannot celebrate without food!
As I enjoy all the loving messages I get from my kids and their spouses, I realize that they do not really need to tell me how much they love me. They show it to me all the time through their actions, big and small, material and non-material. Just their being around me is a blessing and a gift, whether it is talking with Sheema every day, or hanging out with Sonia and Eric before their trip, or hanging out with Mona and Arif and kiddos yesterday on the single sunny day this week or hanging out with Amna and kiddos last night at the Tariq Memorial Charitable Fundraiser (Reza was on call, but will see him tonight). When I look at them as mothers, I think how fierce they are in their mothering determined to do the very best for their kids- despite careers and other obligations or challenge- and certainly taking the art of motherhood a notch up with each generation!
Their existence as healthy, happy, productive, loving and kind people is a mother’s biggest gift. My sister Sabah- godmother to all four of our children- calls me supermom and super grandma, and reminds me to enjoy the rewards of all the hard work of raising children. Sometimes I think I was not all there for them when they were very young when my career and activism was peaking. So I make it a point to spend more time with them and their children, which I suppose earns me that title!
I am so grateful that my own mother, Akhtar Farooq, turned 90 recently, and we continue to receive the blessings of her presence. She modeled self-sacrifice, hard work, patience, strength, persistence, resilience and learning, as she brought us up in different continents and cultures. And she is fortunate too to have some of us close by, especially my sister Sabah who has created a loving home environment for her despite her stroke impact.
Fortunately, the Quran also reminds us how important respect of parents is, and especially the role of a mother – it is said that heaven is at a mother’s feet. So the spirit of Mother’s Day is with us all year around, and becomes a fountain of love that spreads more love. May all mothers be safe and live in peace around the world- may we build a more humane society where they never have to worry about food, clothing and shelter for their children, Ameen.