Sunday, May 12, 2013

Motherhood Is Not a Gender

My Facebook timeline is flooded with my beautiful friends posing with their more-beautiful mothers. I wouldn't want to classify my reactions to these lovely photos as those mixed with an inexplicable tinge of loss, or void, or any other such negative.

It's just that growing up exactly half my life without my mother, I have kind of forgotten how it feels to have one.

Of course, there are memories, some amazingly endearing and funny ones, but I have to stress all my faculties a lot if I want to remember how she smelt, or her voice, or how her touch felt. The process of recalling those physical memories is so intricate, time consuming and often painful, that I leave those at a safe distance most of the times.

In these 14 years, though, I have discovered how life makes up for one profound loss by infinite, disguised, daily gifts. Most of all, I have learned that motherhood has nothing to do with gender, or relationship, or age of the person who fills up as your mother.

Sometimes, the person may not even know he/she is being trusted with the priced emotional crown of foster motherhood. But, it's best to keep these secret associations to yourself. I don't know how many people I would freak out if I would tell them that for a split second, they became the mother I irreversibly lost.

My father fit in the role of a mother effortlessly. My grandmother then thought it wise to become the (very) stern father figure. If it were my father's turn to leave us unexpectedly that morning, I am sure my gentle mother would have overnight morphed into the man of the house just as well. For friends who have lost both their parents pretty young, God has more than compensated in His mysterious ways in the form of one kindness or the other.

Yes, I miss my mother. But honest to God, I must admit that I cannot imagine how life were to be if she were still around. Some things are not meant to be. The sooner you accept the losses that God orders, the easier it is to discover his hidden scheme of things.

-Gauri Gharpure
May 12, 2013

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