Every mom has an art gallery or a collection box. The walls of the gallery could be a refrigerator or steel cupboard, or a pin-up cork board. Then again, the collection box could be a humble plastic bag or a small box, both of which have pride of place in her wardrobe or cupboard.
Every mom carefully preserves her own gallery and collection box. Why? Because they contain works of art and gifts from her children – cards for her birthday, mom’s day cards, doodles and squiggles, thank you notes or stick figure drawings. The collection boxes probably contain sea shells, pebbles from the road, hand-made earrings, a paper rocket, a sweet poem, an old photo and many, many such wonderful things.
These are rare treasures indeed that bring back snapshots of the children’s growing up years, and the crazy passage of time.
Where did that child go, who drew stickman families, where did that girl go who hand-stitched clothes for her dolls, where did that boy go who played with trucks all the time…!
My collection box has pebbles, bracelets, earrings and many cards and drawings. My refrigerator overflows with drawings of animals and ‘mom I love you’ slips.
What about you? What’s in your mom gallery? Would love to know.
The inspiration for this post comes from a comment made by one of my blogging friends (dancingpalmtrees) on one of my blogs. Thank you so much for the inspiration).
This is an old post…it is now six years since my Dad passed away. Felt like re-posting.
It is six years since my Dad passed away. He was there one moment, and gone the next. Initial shock gave way to denial, and then a gradual acceptance; because this is the only truth, that whatever our journeys are, whatever our desires and goals, we all have to go some day.
Time, as they say, is the best healer. We learn to move on by getting sucked back into the vortex of our lives.
But memories of my Dad tug at me from time to time. In bits and pieces, as audio files when I hear his voice, sometimes as movies, as I playback some incident from my childhood, sometimes in newspaper articles, sometimes in the words of another writer, I see my Dad.
My Dad, who used to hold my sister’s and my hands in each of his, as he dropped us at the bus stand, whistling to a small colorful bird that use to sit atop the electrical cables across the road. My Dad would call out, and the bird would answer in return. This was an important part of our morning routine.
My Dad, who taught us how to file a piece of paper by folding it just right, who insisted that we learn to type at an early age, who sketched my grand mom and aunt, sitting where he was, who meticulously copied quotations that he liked from magazines and newspapers into his spiral-bound notebooks, who took us on long walks and listened to our non-stop chattering patiently.
My Dad, a man of few words, with his fantastic sense of humour and lop-sided smile, a loving son who ensured that his mom’s supply of lozenges was always well-stocked, who spent time with his home-ridden sister to show how much he cared for her, who helped my mom around the house and whose punctuality put clocks to shame!
My Dad, who held a candle near the sewing machine, one whole night, when there was a power cut, as my mother sewed a dress for my school concert, with the monsoon winds howling under the door and rain lashing away at the windows.
My Dad, who taught us to love literature and music, who taught us to articulate ourselves clearly when we spoke or wrote.
My Dad, who taught us by example that it is not from money or material things, but from love and family that happiness is created and sustained.
My Dad, who respected every choice I ever made, and was always there to hug me, when things did not go as planned, who made coffee for me as I studied late into the night.
My Dad in his black blazer, going to work; trying his hand at cooking after retirement, humming under his breath, cleaning ‘this & that’ and chiding us gently, “A place for everything and everything in its place”.
My Dad, who I now see in myself, in my need to write, who I see in my son, as he uses his pencil to sketch, who I see in my sister’s walk and in my mom’s talk, as she has unconsciously picked up some of his mannerisms over the years.
His memories are beautifully woven into the fabric of our lives, forming patterns that connect us to him, in what we do, in how we walk and in how we try to live up to our fullest potential, because that was the only dream he had for each of us.
I am a night owl. I am at my best only after sundown. Waking up early in the morning is a huge challenge, more so because I read late into the night. It doesn’t help any when other members of your family are early, chirpy birds. Grrrrrrrr…….!
Last week, we had a mid-week holiday and that meant I could sleep-in. I snuggled deeper into my quilt. I could sense that the rest of my family was up and bustling, but I was not going to wake up. No way.
I must have fallen into a deep sleep, when I heard my son’s shrill voice, “Mom, mom…wake up, wake up.”
I said, “Shhhhhh…go away.”
But talk about persistence. He kept on calling out, and started shaking me.
When I could take it no more, I opened an eye and snapped with irritation, “WHAT?”
I struggled to sit up and my son said, “Mom, see golden dust…isn’t it beautiful.”
The blinds were open just a little bit, and through that gap, the first golden rays of sunlight were streaming in.
Despite the rude awakening I could only smile at his excitement.
If I had seen this on my own, I would have pulled the blinds shut and gone right back to sleep. But, thanks to my son, I sat up and watched the golden rays streaming in, making the floor glow. Little particles danced with joy, as my son moved his hand in and out of the ray of light.
I was nearly awake. A strong cup of coffee was all it took to help me take on the day.
It was a dehydrating Sunday, as we spent most of the morning outdoors. It was extremely hot and humid, and we got back home limp and drained.
With no energy to rustle-up even a basic meal, we opted to order-in.
It was a welcome change, and we sat around munching away, as our drained batteries slowly came back to life.
As we ate, I remembered something funny that happened a couple of years ago, when my mom visited us.
While my mom was with us, one evening, we ordered-in food for dinner. My mom was amazed at how fast the food delivery happened, and how efficiently the food was packaged.
As we enjoyed our meal, my mom remarked about how times had changed with fast food culture.
She watched the ease with which one could order food from the smartphone. When the delivery boy brought the food, he also requested us to fill-in a small survey questionnaire on customer satisfaction and food preferences. All this happened on his smartphone!
My mom then said, “How times have changed. There were times when we would eat out, maybe once a month, and ordered-in only rarely. The world is so busy now that people prefer to order-in food most of the time. Maybe in future, when my grandchildren grow up and order-in food, there may be an option on the order form which asks –
Do you want to be fed – Yes or No?
And if one clicked yes, the delivery boy would not only deliver the food but also feed the customer, while the customer would continue his/her work without interruption.”
I remembered this and laughed out aloud. When my kids asked me why, I recounted this incident.
In my heart, I prayed that the children would grow up in a world that would not get so crazily busy that they would forget simple joys like eating food, and spending time with family.