On the face of it she’s just the average, humble homemaker with an ordinary, plain Jane life. In her quiet, unassuming way she is the backbone of her family.
She loves with a BIG heart and infinite capacity. She gives every single day, without selfish expectation. She doesn’t judge and criticize when they falter. She overlooks, forgives, corrects and forgets. She rarely grumbles. She takes charge when its in her control and uncomplainingly accepts when it isn’t. She doesn’t often opine. She listens & absorbs. They sometimes think she’s too soft, too non-confrontational….maybe even a fence-sitter. Truth is, she shows greater resilience through her silence than they do by ‘having a voice’. And it doesn’t matter to her that they don’t get it. She gets it. When they rant about their ‘complicated’ lives, she is generous in her empathy & support because she went through hell and back. She understands their pain even when it is disproportionately small compared to her own. Her simple, almost naive demeanour will sometimes falsely lead you into believing that you protect her. But when the going gets tough, it is she who protects you.
I hear she was breathtakingly beautiful as a young woman. Even today, her charm and radiance shine through the few wilted black & white photographs from her erstwhile days. A ruthless accident and a serious prolonged illness have perhaps eroded some conventional definitions of beauty from her face, but she is to me (and indeed to the entire family) even more beautiful, more charming and more precious than she’s ever been.
Her entire life sums itself up in the one single line of advice she once passingly gave me – “Give from your heart, not from your pocket, else you will never have enough to give to someone else.”
Yes…on the face of it she’s just the average, humble homemaker with an ordinary, plain Jane life. In her quiet, unassuming way she is ‘Di’ to my mother, ‘ma’ to her children, a nurturer to many and ‘amma’ to me. Only me. An ‘amma’ who is and always will be non-substitutable.