I Remember

Me & My Mom – Easter, 2019

Today is Mother’s Day in the United States. For the first time ever as a mom I am neither with any of my children or with my own mom. I have hungrily devoured messages, emails, and phone calls that are filled with love and words of affirmation of this amazing and difficult task called ‘being a mom’. In honor of my own mom, who I am fortunate enough to still have on this planet, I post this piece that I wrote a number of years ago. 

To My Mom

I remember sleeping on the rooftop of our house in Ratodero. We would wake at dawn when we heard the call to prayer from the nearby mosque and despite your maternal pleadings, we couldn’t go back to sleep.

I remember being tucked into bed at night, you would read me a story, kiss me, and then sit by my bedside and sing. It’s what I missed the most in boarding school.

I remember that first trip on the train party. In my memory I had just turned seven years old and we were in Hyderabad. I cried tears from my soul the entire way to the station. As the train pulled out, I stopped crying and you began. I never saw your tears and it wasn’t until later that I heard about them.

I remember you never let anyone call me chubby, even when I was.

I remember our fights. Stone-faced cold I could be to my mother. And I think I may have been the child that could bring on your fiery temper better than the others. I remember your forgiveness. Sometimes I think we both thought the fights would continue forever, but we were wrong.

I remember the picture you hung on our wall, a snow scene of New England, reminder of your home so far away from the desert of Sindh. It wasn’t until I became an adult that I realized that there must have been times when you missed your home so much that it hurt.

I remember seeing you every morning. No matter how early I got up, you were up earlier, praying and reading your Bible, strength of your soul.

I remember your presence in the first couple of weeks of me becoming a mom. Your common sense wisdom was a gift.

And I remember the first time I realize that you were aging. I fought it. Because if you were aging it meant there would come one day when you would no longer be available to talk to and ask questions of; to pray for me, my marriage, my children.

But you are still here and still speak into my life. So today I remember that I want to Thank You publicly and privately, from my heart.

Happy Mother’s Day. On this day it’s good to remember.

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20 thoughts on “I Remember

  1. Lovely and meaningful tribute to your mom, Marilyn. Happy Mother’s Day to both of you! I’m writing here awash — literally and figuratively — in memories of my own mom. Her deep compassion for all creatures, great and small, and her abiding faith are the timeless lessons of my life. I miss her every day, think of her every day, but believe with all my soul that her love endures beyond her death to reach me still. No one was a greater teacher for me. I am so thankful that she was my mom.


    1. Cathy – I loved reading this comment. We passed by a funeral home in Belmont the other day and I said to Cliff “I just feel like that’s where Cathy’s mom’s funeral was held”. It brought back memories of when I first met you and your mom was starting to struggle. Thanks for adding your memories to mine through this comment.


  2. I especially love the memory of the your New England snow scene, as I can so relate to that! We had a snow-capped Mt. Chocorua hanging on ours, and when my parents gave that to Jessica and Jarrett for their wedding present, I was profoundly touched.


    1. I love that your parents gave it to Jessica and Jarrett. It was probably one of those times where you wished you could help your kids understand the full meaning of the picture. Did you also have a “Christ is the unseen guest at every meal” plaque? Most of us in Pakistan did long with these lacy weighted coverings for the sugar and milk so flies couldn’t get it. Such memories and the whole picture of my parents missing their home took a long time to get through to me.


      1. I really did try, but I don’t even think I even fully realized myself until I saw how emotional they were giving them the painting.

        We did not have the plaque!! I knew you Pakistan MK’s were more spiritual than us MK’s!


  3. Lovely! I think many of us can recall those differing seasons and some not so fondly (I too gave my mother a horrible time when I was 16 and a bit beyond) but all a part of the tapestry of our lives. Your mother sounds like a mom even now young moms aspire to be. I believe, you too, are leaving a legacy of a mother’s love and most likely not just to those who you carried in your womb 9 months, but to many along your journey as well. Don’t we as nurses sometimes “mother” our patients, as well? There is not a more appropriate gift to give her than your words of thanks and love. happy Mother’s Day to you, Marilyn and your mother, Polly.


    1. I feel like you know my mom through the book! Thank you for your interest and support. It means so much to me. And yes, I think the good and the bad are all a part of the journey. Hard to think of it in the midst of tears and yelling but it’s a good reminder of the grace of forgiveness. Happy Mother’s Day to you! Are you spending it with one or a couple of the kids? Thinking of your daughter so far away.


      1. My local son and daughter in law along with their sweet daughter made lunch for us and a couple from church. We skyped with our daughter in Prague so she got to see her niece and all the rest of us. It was delightful And I am finding great joy in seeing the golf finches out at the thistle feeder (to which one son said “you are acting like an old person” :-) ).


      2. need to proof read before hitting post! I meant “gold finches” lol Don’t know if finches golf?


    2. We skyped with my son and daughter-in-law in Chicago – so fun. I’ve just sent a message to my daughter in Egypt that I want to skype with her as well. It reminded me that we have this great tool available and don’t use it enough.


    1. Thank you so much Sophie :) My mom just friended your mom on Facebook :) Made me laugh! I guess it’s a little like seeing each other on end of term at Boarding school!


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