Mother’s Day is a special time of the year for me. My mother transitioned on May 5th 2006 – just a few days before Mother’s Day.
Do I really ever not think of my mother? Not really. She is never far from my thoughts. I’d like to think that my mother and I had a very special relationship.
As I was growing up, I thought my mother was absolutely perfect in every way. She was my best friend and the final authority on all questions that came to my mind.
I think I learnt a lot more from observing her life than from actually talking to her – important to know because that must be how my children are learning from me.
There are many facets of my mother’s personality that I could comment on, but today I want to tell you about her power of focus – in more general terms this might be referred to as stubbornness!
The fact is, my mother never ever took “No” for an answer. If she wanted something, no one could stand in her way – it was a done deal. My mother made miracles happen. From her, I learnt the very important lesson: “nothing is impossible”. She used to say “where there is a will, there is a way” and I think she really lived by that motto.
Let me give you an example of how she made things happen.
I had just completed grade ten with a humanities concentration. My parents and my grandparents wanted me to go to med school. The system in Karachi is such that secondary school education is till grade ten and from there you seek admission to a community college where you complete grades eleven and twelve. Students who graduate with a science focus can at this stage pick whether they wish to focus on engineering or medicine, and humanities students continue in that stream.
My mother had made up her mind. I was to go to med school. Therefore, it was necessary that I register for pre-med. How could this be? I was a humanities graduate. We talked about it. I was quite sure that there was no way I could get into pre-med as I hadn’t got any sciences or math – important pre-requisites for admission. They would have to be blind to do otherwise.
“Do as I say” my mother said with that tone in her voice that meant – if you speak now, expect the worst later. I went along. I was embarrassed actually. I was thinking, Oh my God! I am about to make a terrible impression on the teaching faculty here and I haven’t even been admitted yet. And I thought, I wish mom would listen, the prof at the window is going to tell us we’re at the wrong place, of course, she is not going to admit me to the pre-med program when I am coming from humanities – it’s not possible. And then we'll lose our place in the line and have to start all over again.
My mother grabbed the application form from my hands and thrust it at the prof. "Pre-medical please", she said. The prof reviewed my application. She looked over my transcript. She bent over a register and wrote my name in it. Stamped the application form with the admitted stamp. Handed it to my mother and directed her to the window for fees payment.
Can you imagine me standing there with my mouth hanging open in dis-belief? Well, I was. I couldn’t believe that this had just happened – that I was now a pre-med student. Surely, the administration would detect the mistake they had made before classes started and I would be told to go to humanities – to safety? Wishful thinking! I graduated with a pre-med high school diploma after two very excrutiatingly long years after which physics and chemistry still didn’t make sense. But at least I knew one thing for sure – nothing was impossible. If you wanted it enough, the most intelligent people in the world would be blinded into letting you have what you wanted. Pure wanting from a place of powerful love, and total belief that you could have things your way. She allowed it and it happened. Her wanting was so strong that the administration of this college (that had a reputation for being one of the best in the country) was blinded to the trick she pulled on them! Truely, when you believe and you want and allow, nothing can stand in your way. That day my mother parted the waters just like Moses.
Anything is possible.
Did I become a doctor? No. I learnt from the best (my mom). I learnt that if you really wanted something nothing could stand in your way not even your mom!
Happy Mother's Day Everyone!