My Beloved Daughter….

My two elder children celebrate what we now call ‘milestone’ birthdays this year…my lovely daughter today! A very dear fellow blogger, after reading the post dedicated to my son’s milestone celebration, asked what constitutes a ‘milestone’ age….a very valid and relevant question in this age of quantifying days, events and emotions into Hallmark occasions…often relegating to the back burner the true essence of such celebrations…

For a mother, birthdays are special days of the heart…purely because looking out from the eyes and heart of a mother, whilst Traveling down memory lane…every child of hers’ birthday is a ‘milestone’ celebration! A celebration of awe…honor…joy…fun…comfort…strength…support…care…pride…consideration…above all, Love! A celebration of the varied and rich tapestry of life and living…of rich and joy filled moments shared together…culminating in a day such as this…as an appreciation of the fullness of human happiness in the security of our love! The journey of motherhood, with all it’s ups and downs…it’s highs and lows…the magic…the angst…the fun…the fears…the love…the laughter…all comes together with the peace of looking out and seeing them exactly where they are supposed to be…firmly ensconced in the space they have carved out for themselves! This is the ultimate joy and pride…the humility and thankfulness…yes…birthdays are poignant reminders of this…milestone birthdays perhaps a little more…

My daughter…my eldest…celebrates one such milestone age today…blessedly happy in the circle of love of her parents and  siblings…her own beautiful family….her extended family and her family of friends! In my  mind’s eye I can still vividly picture my serious little girl…she who has now blossomed into a  young woman of substance…her gentle vulnerability, humaneness and compassion being the cornerstone of this beauty, strength and independence…surrounded by the Good Lord’s blessings and grace…her gentle and winning ways…the strength and support of a loving life partner…understanding and giving due deference and balance to the blessings and power of the Divine has all helped her on this journey of hers…all of this whilst keeping pace with her own young ones on the threshold of adulthood…doing it all with an ease, energy and grace that leaves me in awe…

The pride at seeing you fulfill all your roles to such loving excellence makes my heart sing Saamia! This comes with the prayer that God draw you near Him…richly bless you always…and shelter you at all times in His loving care…help you conquer the many horizons still out there…live your dreams and achieve all your milestones and more! With a special prayer that your beautiful self and smile will continue to bring love and sunshine to all who love and surround you…and help radiate your life always with it’s unaffected goodness and love…amen!

Happy Birthday Saamia…

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A Son’s Milestone Birthday…

Some favorite lines of mine from poems about sons are from A Soldiers Prayer for his Son by Gen Douglas MacArthur and Abraham Lincoln’s My Son…both these poems are poignantly definitive and have always resonated with Prayers for Children as also the prayer that I have been able to truly help my Children walk through life with the inner strength and integrity to do the right thing…knowing that nobody is going to know you did it or not! These cherished lines are from a treasured poem plaque my eldest once gave me
…sometimes when I think of Mom
I think of what she Took
She took a child and taught it how
To live this life with pride
She took the hands that longed to hold…
Her child and not let go
Used them to push her child along
The way to thrive and grow….

My two elder Children are celebrating what we now call…’milestone’ birthdays this year…my eldest son celebrates his today…and even though for me all their days are such…my thoughts go back to search…recall…review…tear over…reminiscence…with awe and a deeply felt sense of pure happiness at the wonder that has been my life as my children’s mother! This journey has been one of such incredibly powerful experiences in all aspects of my being…that it is by far my life’s greatest joy and blessing and gives me a sense of ‘non pareil’ accomplishment…and although I do believe that ‘having a child is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body’…often in far away lands…my children are all truly the joyous mainstays of my life…

Seeing this beloved son of mine live his life in a matrix of the search for excellence in all he does has been a learning experience for me too…his focus…commitment…hard work…humility…strength…choices…faith….accompanied by a compassionate and loving heart…has made mine sing so very  often…seeing some of his goals coming to fruition, specially now at such an opportune time in his life, makes my heart swell with pride and thankfulness…above all, his gentle concern…care…and love for all of us has truly been the icing on the cake…Khalil Gibran said….your living is determined not so much by what life brings to you, as by the attitude you bring to life…Not so much by what happens to you, as by the way your mind looks at what happens to you…I feel so very thankful to the Good Lord that you have understood this Usman…and pray you will always work to being the best that the Good Lord meant for you to be…believeing that the ultimate Wisdom of God is greater than ours and that we have to trust Him to guide and help us…Amen!

Happy Birthday Son…I feel so very blessed to have a son like you and in the language of your generation…you rock my world…

A Celebratory Finale…

The better part of the last month has been spent quite literally in a celebratory finale of 2011…an overflow of the magic of being surrounded by love and loved ones…as my elder son wrote in his last blog post of  the year…I wouldn’t trade places with anyone else at this moment in time…my heart sings at reading these words of his…words I totally empathize with and relate to…words that make me proud…

I  dream of hearing just such words from all the beloved children in my life…most of whom were with me in this celebratory finale, those that were not were sorely missed…I dream of having such reunions more frequently…I dream of this bonhomie and loving relationship being a constant in their lives when we are no longer with them…I dream of welcoming their spouses into this circle of ties of the heart…I dream of telling their children stories of these memories and their magical charisma as I do with the grandchildren I have. Our lives are ruled by constants that survive time and space…universal truths, the rest is pure fantasy…I dream of positive constants in their lives to give them strength…understanding…compassion…endless joys! As they all return to their lands of residence, I dream they realize that the ultimate constant is God…that the joys that come from Him must not be confused and overwhelmed  by trite commercialism that passes for measures of happiness…

I dream that the coming year will be one of positive change for my country…I dream of leadership in the realm of ideas…I dream they will realistically translate into a sustained journey to taking back ownership of the only place that many of us always want to call ‘home’…I dream that despots in garbs of freedom stop defending religious bigotry, marginalisation, intolerance and bias  in forked tongues and under the mantles of  feigned and insincere sounding stands…I dream of peace and compassion for people across the world…I dream we understand and embrace  that across borders and races we share a common human denominator…I am a dreamer as also an optimist…I dream of seeing my dreams bear fruition…

In this celebratory time of bidding adieu to the year past and ushering in the new, we also celebrated my youngest son’s birthday with a host of loved ones and friends from all over and blissfully, all three of my children present…his relaxed and laid back style does not reflect his inner determination but definitely adds to his very gentle, lovable, humorous and generous spirit…I dream that this much loved free spirit of mine will realize all his dreams and aspirations and continue to be a source of much joy and cheerfulness…the icing on the cake this time was the inclusion of my precious granddaughter in our celebrations…her wholesome ingenue innocence is a joy to be around and truly  adds to my dreams of unwavering belief for even better times in years to come…as always the Good Lord’s blessings make me reiterate very humbly and gratefully…truly my cup runneth over…

Wishing you all a very Happy New Year…

The Roller Coaster of Life…

The last week has been a roller coaster ride of life…with the dips overtaking the highs…but so is life…and it is often at times like these that we seriously take time out to think of all the taken-for-granted blessings of life! My father, a fount of wisdom, was wont to remind us gently that we were all standing in line en route to our Common Destination, with none of us aware of the order of this queue ! This last week threw a few curved balls in the realization of the order of who were in this line, en route to meet our Maker! As always at such occasions, we are a little shaken at the renewed awareness of our mortality, at the finality of death…with this great and undisputed truth and reality almost always catching us on the back foot, so to speak…in spite of ourselves and faith…

The realization of the comfort zone of our traditions is most reassuring…  enveloping us in the warmth and tender care of words…love…numbers…strength and support and carries us through the initial pain, easing the grief and giving consolation, strength and hope…definitive emotions to carry us through…the process of renewal of faith is further strengthened in Celebrating Memories and so the Good Lord’s grace begins to help us back…allowing our memories to color our being with a sense of comfort and inner peace…

It is His grace and generosity that even times like these are interspersed with the highs of life! A gathering of family…peace and thankfulness at seeing the new generation converge and take responsibility in times of need whilst embracing connective tissues…the joy and elation at having two of my children back home for a bit…one of them thankfully well on the road to recovery after an unfortunate injury…the weather change bringing much needed relief…a family holiday in the pipeline…happy reminders of the incredible color palette of life…humbling reminders of universal truths…

Simply put…

Sometimes…nay…quite often my children say something so thought provoking, in such a simple manner that it takes my breath away…in the first instance at the renewed realization that they are by the Good Lord’s grace all grown up, astute, intelligent, wise in ways mothers are often surprised at, above all, most thankfully humane, with the added quality at their being able to put things in perspective so simply! This surprise is often followed by great joy and pride…so thank you all for having done that many a time even though I may not have told you…I have benefitted from it in so many ways unbeknown to all of you…God bless you…

The last such bit of a ‘simply put’ thought was concerning this blog…it has been of help almost in an unexpected way!  Often we lose track of our own narrative by giving in to the perceived and expected one! We are responsible for all the energy that we create for ourselves and hence we are also responsible for all the energy we bring into our space…for which we need to, not only take ownership but we also need to take pride in the space itself, without giving into the maintenance of a fantasy which we are subjected to on a regular basis. The maintenance of fantasy is fanned quite blatantly and insidiously through the media, advertising, peer pressure…and the holies of all holy…what will people say!

We indulge in this in the face of an unending and relentless barrage directed towards maintaining the fantasy…forgetting that the inherent dichotomy of fantasy is the maintaining of the unrealistic…it exists because the desire must be perpetually out of reach…desire supports fantastic fantasies! Getting caught up in this leads us away from the real purpose of life…which is the achieving of God’s Grace above all…we are exactly where we are meant to be…the manifestations of God are all around us…there are no coincidences…only and always…just the Grace of God…

Goodbyes…

Is it just me or are our children always saying Goodbye to fly off to distant shores! And again…is it just me or do we never get used to this? The tug at your heart at seeing them leave ‘home’ certainly never gets easier…I used to think and hope that it would get easier with time…it does not…you just learn to handle it better! In this ‘ Global Village’ we live in, this migrational trend is a commonplace scenario and in my part of the world, we are the first generation to experience the huge scale of this migratory phenomena in our ‘global village’ world…this is another ‘fact of life’ we have to get used to…it is not easy!

My first child got married and left home for the other side of the world almost eighteen years ago…seems a lifetime ago! I was overwhelmed by conflicting emotions and having my younger two still with me was a blessing! The beginnings of the ’empty nest’ syndrome had been initiated! Admittedly having children still at home made it easier…but easy is relative! When my second child left home, he was physically nearer and trips back home from college were more frequent…it was not easy…it was not getting easier! When my youngest left…the cycle of the ’empty nest’ syndrome was complete and I forced myself to constantly remember the words a dear friend had said to me ‘imagine how you would feel if you could not afford them these opportunities’! It was not easy…but I tried to keep this in mind and thanked the Good Lord for the blessing of Faith and the strength therein, amongst His innumerable other blessings! It was not always easy…it still isn’t!

Now, with their choices of residence in foreign climes…the children and theirs come and go…the joy of their comings is often equal to the heavy heart at their leaving! The realization that this pain is part and parcel of the fabric of motherhood has now been accepted…the conscious acknowledgement of the Good Lord’s generosity in all these ‘comings and goings’ is a constant! The prayer for their happiness…well being…safety…resilience…is ongoing…as is the prayer that their worlds are always blessed with good health, joy, peace and plenty…as well as the prayer that our collective memories of times spent together are always vivid with the colors of love and happiness so bright that irrespective of the layers of time, they will always come up blazingly vivid in their recollection of the ties of love and connectivity to family and ‘home’!

Happy Birthday Son…

It is my older son’s birthday today…I am on a transatlantic flight and although when I alight at my destination, it will still be his birthday for me…it will not be so for him…our lives seem almost surreal at times they have changed so much…but the one aspect…connection…link that is irrefutable and unchangeable…is the connective tissue of the mother to the child! There is a sort of magic that happens when you have a child…and through varying stages…ages…times…when the magic is not always so readily on tap…it is never really too far below the surface to tap into…motherhood has a special gene for this…the Good Lord be praised…

As mothers, our lives rarely follow a straight path…for obvious and natural reasons sometimes…but the discovery of self through your children is a journey of great learning…development…and unparalleled joy…interrupted often…but a ride worth every moment of it’s duration…finding oneself in the sandpits is often…playing the par course…but the journey is one of such incredible love…joy…fun…laughter…tears…angst…humility…pride…up to a day like this, when you can write about it with your head held high…thankful for the blessing of being able to say with bursting joy and pride…humility and thankfulness…This is my son!

The unparalleled joy of seeing a child exactly where he is supposed to be…be in harmony with his heart and universal truths…be able to remake himself and his goals with the passage of time and experience…be ready to explore and learn the power and depth of personal strengths…to have the insight to accept and understand the power of prayer in the development of character…to wisely use his heart and the Divine as a source of real power…is a blessing par excellence!

The prayer is that he will always be able to understand and accept his calling as opposed to fame…continue this path of discovery whilst maintaining dignity of choice…share his calling and gifts in the help of others…understand that we are the sum of the wisdom of the Divine and ancients, and be able to embrace this wisdom…sagacity…values…whilst taking responsibility for his own special positive energy that is his space…continue to develop and hone his innate goodness…and always continue to be the source of joy and pride he has always been…the prayer above all is, that he is able to use his God given gifts to propel himself to be the best that the Good Lord meant for him to be…always…Amen…

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