By Sonya Rehman
Over the past few weeks I met two beautiful girls with holes in their hearts the size of craters. Mothers, lost, mothers, taken away, tragedy, pain, like child-birth, I felt but half a human in their presence. Their endurance and resilience made me feel such an utter sense of shame. Because there’s no shame greater than weeping for the insignificant, in the presence of real, real, loss. There’s no grief, no test, greater than the test, offered without your consent, when your shoulders are enough, just enough to shoulder the burden of loss, and at times, not enough, too tender…too tender to cradle the loss of a loved one. Loss, like a babe in arms, nurtured, lest faces are forgotten, memories have a funny way of slipping from the recesses of the mind, slipping, like water, surrounding, fading, gone, gone. Craters in hearts, yet moving forward, reaching forward, and swiftly, oh but for a warm hand, a mother’s hand, a familiar hand…warmth, fire, nurture. Mother Nurture.
Mothers, who cradled, mothers, in their complete sweetness, mothers, allowing you to take them for granted, so utterly, completely, mothers, carved from the sun, meetha nawalas from soft hands, the best nawalas…ama, just continue feeding me. Your love is never-ending.
Fast cars, new city. One, sat on my lumpy blue couch, a picture of soft serenity. “Don’t you ever open your curtains?” she asked. “No, I’m afraid people would look in.” As the words spilled from my mouth, I suddenly felt so eccentric. And she pulled the curtains apart, wide, warm, warm, sunshine, spilling over us, sisters of past strife, no inhibitions, let the sun in, she mocked. I laughed. Okay. Such a motherly thing to do, I thought. Stray, stray girl, she can’t stop running, beautiful girl. “I’m so proud of you,” she said, getting into a cab. A friend-mother, carrying her mother in that heart-shaped crater.
The other, last night, we re-connected after a year. She drove fast, but talked faster. We laughed, so free, free, her metallic ring, glinting red from highway lights, free, so free, the artist with her heart running wild, reaching faster, backwards, to a memory that left her reeling. Backwards, forwards, woman-child, another beauty. Old enough, yet not quite. Ami ka saya, covering half her high-cheekboned face. Downtown. A late night walk. Two cigarettes. Girls of the earth, girls carrying legacies of queens. Warm smoke, after so long, happy, carefree, loss managed well, stunning, in all of its entirety. Happy we’re able to feel. Jaded optimists.
This is late, but, happy mother’s day, ma, happy mother’s day, to those without – it’ll get better. Be alchemists, create more beauty in Her legacy. Your mothers are carrying you, petals at your feet. You are loved.