Happy birthday darling Ammi
Ammi would have been 74 today had she not passed away almost seven years ago after an extremely prolonged illness during which she was so patient and so thoughtful of other people’s needs, that she often made us forget how ill she really was.
I know every child thinks that their mother is the greatest person on earth, but my mother really was. She was the kindest of souls, the most unselfish person I have ever known or will ever know; she was a happy individual despite having had quite a tough childhood; she always saw the best in everyone and would somehow look deep beneath the surface to find something good about whoever she met. If someone did something to hurt her or cause her pain, she would find an excuse for that person’s behaviour and would instantly forgive them.
And as for us, her immediately family, we were her life. Being around us was what made her happy. She didn’t need anything else. Whenever any of us asked her what we could get for her from whichever city we travelled to, she would say she didn’t need anything, that she had everything she could ever want.
Ammi had a wonderful sense of humour and a ready smile that could cheer you up on the dreariest of days. Although she was always there as a mother to cater to our every need, physical or emotional, as we were growing up, she was at the same time a friend, a buddy, a confidante – someone you could say anything to without the fear of being judged.
She taught us to find joy in the smallest things. She taught us what unselfish love truly is. She showed us through example how being gentle, kind, compassionate and generous with ones feelings was the best way to live ones life. Her heart cried for the sufferings of humanity – war, disease, poverty – and if she could have, she would have alleviated all the pain she saw around her.
And I remember again how Ammi and Abbaji always celebrated their birthdays together (or at least we insisted on a celebration). So at midnight on January 5, they would both cut one cake and we would sing Happy Birthday, and then they would open their presents and complain about the money we had “wasted” on everything. They didn’t really need anything, they said. I guess that is the way parents are. They work hard to give their kids everything they could possibly need or want, but when it comes to their own needs and desires, they consider it unimportant and unnecessary.
Happy Birthday Ammi. We love you and miss you so much. You were the best mama in the world and we hope we remembered to tell you often enough how special you were and what a difference you made to our lives. On this, your special day, I hope you are having a whale of a party up in the heavens. We feel your absence every moment of every day but we continue to feel your presence in whatever we do. We know you watch over us from the heavens even now and the memory of your smile and the sound of your laughter, still warms our hearts.
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