8 Lifelong Lessons My Mother Left Me With To Help Me Live

Posted: May 12, 2016

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These beautiful lessons from a mother to a daughter stay on even after her passing. 

My mom’s name was Hawaumma which means the first woman in someone’s life and hell yeah, indeed she was. I have previously written of her heart-warming love story with my dad, and what it taught me about life.

She was the warmest person I have ever come across. She knew me and I am sure she is the only person who knew me in and out.  I remember that day when she first fell crashing on the floor; I was in my 6th standard and it was the year 2000. I had just woken up when suddenly, I saw her falling down.

She was rushed to the hospital and then the reports came that she was suffering from Rheumatoid Arthritis – a chronic progressive disease causing inflammation in the joints and resulting in painful deformity and immobility, especially in the fingers, wrists, feet, and ankles. Since then till 17th July 2011 when she left us all here alone, I have seen her go through immense pain and suffering.

I am happy she is way far from all that suffering and pain and I am sure she is having fun up there. I have learnt a million things from her that I carry in my heart every single day. The many promises that I have made to her keep me going strong. And some of them are what I want to share with you all.

#1 Believe in yourself

She always knew exactly what she wanted to do. When everyone discouraged her, she did what she knew was right in her head and her heart. She told me, “Believe in yourself and one day the world will believe in you”.

#2 Family is where love begins and ends

No matter how successful you become, how many friends you make, how many people come and go in your life – your family will always be there for you and more specifically your parents. They may scold you, ground you, be rude to you but they will have your good at heart.

#3 Never say no unless you have tried it

I have seen her preparing for her Post Graduation exam at the age of 45 years and setting an example that age is just a number. The good part is whenever you failed you would know what not to do again or how to do it differently.

#4 Value people who stand by you during your bad times

My mom had so many friends and she always valued them and treated them as family. In fact all my moms’ friends are more like my family than my extended relatives. She was always there for them and so were they for her. Its not in the good times that you show friendship but at times when everybody leaves you and you still have people backing you up -those are the people you should cherish forever.

#5 Do things that make you happy

My entire childhood I was busy getting trained in classical dance and performing stage shows. And she always stood by me since she knew that made me happy. And seeing her child happy was what made her happy in return. I know days when it was hard for her to even stand up on her own but she would come all the way in that pain to see me perform on the stage and would just say one thing  – “All my pain just vanishes when I see you on that big stage and people clapping for you. All my pain vanishes when you make me proud”. She always told me to pursue all those hobbies that bring happiness within me. Work is something you have to do to earn your bread, but things that make you happy should never stop. My dancing and writing come from her.

#6 Forgive and more importantly, forget 

I am the kind of person who always forgives easily but its very hard for me to forget those people. My mom asked me what was the point of not letting go. What is the point in forgiving and not forgetting? You only harm yourself doing that. One who forgives and one who forgets is much more bigger a person than the one who asks for forgiveness. I have seen so many people do wrong to her and yet she would love them respect them and treat them like her own. She said love can conquer the world and she did mean it.

#7 You would know how well you have done as a person on your funeral day

I always laughed at this as a kid; I would question her as to how one would know (not being alive) and she would just smile and tell me, you are a kid now, one day you will understand. I remember the day when her last rituals were being done and the number of people who had turned up to see her. I felt as if I was some celebrity’s daughter for a second because I had only seen this in the movies or in the news when some famous person passed away. Even weeks after she left there were so many people coming home to pay their condolences. All her students, colleagues and every person whose life she touched just by her presence came to give her a farewell. And that is the day I knew that when I leave this world I would want to go like this with so many people around me.

#8 There is never a tomorrow unless there is a today

There were days when i would not talk to her because I would be caught up with work or be out with friends exploring the new independent life that I had as a career woman. I would plan to call mom tomorrow and then the tomorrow never came. I remember when I was leaving for a birthday party celebration, it was almost a week since I had spoken to her, and more because she was unable to talk during the last days. I would always insist to dad, “Its okay, I’ll talk to her tomorrow.”

We partied hard, came back and crashed into bed. I wake up in the morning and I see calls from dad and relatives asking me and my brother who stayed in the same city to come home right away since mom was in the ICU. After reaching Port Blair,  I remember getting down at the airport waiting for dad to come pick us up but we didn’t turn towards the hospital road; instead we reach home. I remember getting down the car and seeing people all lined up around the corner of our street. When I entered the house, I saw her there in the living room lying in peace with her eyes closed forever. I knew she was gone forever.

And the number of things that came to my mind still haunt me. All those times when I spoke to her in a loud voice, every time I did something which made her angry or disappointed her, every such incident which gave her pain, all those times when I saw “mom calling” on the mobile screen and I would put it on mute – I had lost my chance of rectifying those mistakes. I would never get to tell her how much I loved her and how proud a daughter I was. I would never get a tomorrow. All I had was a today when I should have done things and I didn’t.

So this is to all of you and me – make time for your loved ones, make that 5 minutes in your life to call up the people who love you so unconditionally. Make it a point to call up your parents and tell them how much you love them and how proud a son or daughter you are. Call up those friends who were with you when even your family didn’t understand you. Call up your sibling who fought for you with parents and stood by you, who was your first friend.

“If tears could build a stairway, and memories a lane.I would walk right up to Heaven and bring you back again. No farewell words were spoken, No time to say Goodbye. You were gone before I knew it, and only God knows why. My heart still aches with sadness, and secret tears still flow. What it meant to love you – No one can ever know.” – Author unknown

A version of the same was published previously at the author’s blog 

Thank you graphic via Shutterstock

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2 Comments


  1. That line in ur writing that the number of times you had put the mobile on silent haunts me, I used to do that too but after reading your post I make sure I pick my parents call even if I am busy and let them know that I will call back. You write so well.keep going .

    • Thank you so much Vamsi.. it means a lot if I am able to touch anyone’s life through my words. Thanks a ton once again !!! Please do read my other posts as well. Would really be overwhelmed.
      -Sneha

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