You have always had one complain which is that I have written about Abbu so many times on the blog but never about you. So here you go.
Whenever I think of myself, my identity and personality, I always go back to you. The beliefs that I hold so strongly and so close to my heart, are there because of you. You might not see it. But I can.
I used to come home from school, sit on the kitchen counter in Azizia while you made roti, and tell you all about my day. There were times when I was frustrated, confused and just plain mad at the world. Through it all, you would listen, you would give me your advice and say, ‘Sumaica, you have to decide what you think is best.’ You taught me to make decisions. You taught me to be bold, confident, believe in myself and just go for it.
You have been my biggest support system. You have been there for me, every single step of the day. There were times when we didn’t agree on certain matters, times when I argued with you. Even then you made sure I knew that I could always count on you. I have never heard you say that you cannot do this. If I wanted to do something, you said, ‘Come on, you can do it.’ Even if I didn’t believe in myself at the time, I would end up believing it.
Ever since I was a little girl, I wore the most unusual clothes because you made them. On my birthday in grade 2, while I was distributing candy wearing my favourite black dress, a teacher specifically asked me where I shopped for my dress. When I told her that you made it, she asked for your no so that she could get a copy of it. Then on every get together, Eid, school party or Farewell, we used to take out all the un-stitched clothes, put our brains together and then you would sow my clothes in a day. I love that we still do that. I love that you made me tough while keeping the girly girl in me satisfied.
Abbu was away a lot of the time, while we were growing up. And I hated that. I hated that he missed so many of my important occasions. What I forgot is that you were ALWAYS there. No matter what happened, I would always find you standing two steps behind me, making sure that I succeed.
I don’t know how you did it. How you got so much strength and patience to not only deal with life but be the best mother that you could be.
I am sorry. I am sorry for undermining your decisions, for questioning your choices, for not believing in you. I am sorry for raising my voice with you. I am sorry for not helping out around the house. I am sorry for all the times that you lost your confidence because of me.
I want you to know that you are hands down the most confident person I know. Your are brave. You take action where others think. You make things happen. You stand up for what you believe in. You kick butt if someone ever messes up with your kids.
I was in 9th grade, when a girl (who was a family friend) transferred to my school but in a different section. Knowing that I knew her, my friends teased her a bit. Later I made them apologize to her and welcome her to the school.
The next day, you got a two hour phone call from her mother, screaming because me and my friends had been horrible to her precious daughter. And I had no manners etc. That women literally shouted at you for hours. I was standing right there, you didn’t ask me once whether what she was saying was true.
You simply said, ‘I know my daughter didn’t do anything wrong. And if she doesn’t want to be friends with your daughter than I cannot force her.’ You gave her a shut up call. You were mad for days. You kept saying, how dare she say something about my daughter. Despite Abbu and me trying, you never talked to that women again.
That was the day I knew that you trusted me. You trusted a 14 year old over a 40 year old.
I was unstoppable after that. Those four years of high school, I did everything. I wrote poems, articles, read as many books as I could get my hands on, got amazing grades, then got really bad grades and finally managed to get admission in one of the best schools.
It was all because of the confidence and upbringing that you gave me. Over the years, you have taught me so much. I wouldn’t be wrong to say that you have taught me all of it. You have been a part of my life not just as a mother but as my best friend as well. Abbu was a part of it, but let me tell you, you were the true artist.
I am proud of you, of the battles you fought on a daily basis. I might not understand all of your choices in life but I respect them.
Thank you for doing all that. I will never be able to repay everything that you did for me as a kid and you continue to do. But know that you are an inspiration of what a person can truly be.
Lastly, I love you. With all my heart and soul, I love you.
Happy Birthday ! May this day be as bright and fun as you have made my life. May you have the best in life, today and always.
With love, hugs and ‘Chummas’,
Your one and only daughter.