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My Mom Lost Her Maayka After Her Parents Passed Away; Would I Too Once Married?

The new daughters-in-law didn't like us, many felt that my uncles and aunts had preferred us over their own grandchildren, and my mom decided that we shouldn't trouble them.

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The new daughters-in-law didn’t like us, many felt that my uncles and aunts had preferred us over their own grandchildren, and my mom decided that we shouldn’t trouble them.

My mother came from a big family, 4 elder brothers and 2 elder sisters. Being the youngest there was an age difference of 18 years between her eldest brother and her, so you can understand that her nieces and nephews were just a little younger, and they all called her didi (sister) rather than aunt.

When my mom was a teenager, my grandmother died, and my mom was raised by her sisters and later her sister-in-laws. There were problems; just like in every home, no one wants to take responsibility of a motherless child, but my uncles and aunts did not do that. Well, except for one uncle. He and his wife and moved out soon after marriage, and they never took part in the family (not even now).

My other uncles and aunts raised my mother together, educated her, and when she became ‘of marriageable age’, they started looked for a good match for her.

Then my mom got married

The wedding arrangements and even the kanyadaan was done by my eldest uncle and aunt, even though my grandfather was alive. My grandfather said, “After loosing Maya (my grandma), I never looked at her, you raised her, so you deserve to do this as well.” And so they did; all the rituals were done by her brothers, sisters-in-law, sisters and brothers-in-law.

Even after her marriage my mom would visit her maternal home once a year for few days, maybe for a festival or some occasion and the relation continued.

A few years later, my mommy became pregnant, it was a complicated one and after 2 miscarriages my parents were already broken, but my mom’s sister, sister-in-law and my paternal grandmother came along and stayed with her until the end of her pregnancy, and my aunt stayed until I turned a month old. My mother never says it, but I know what she went through and how everyone stood by her and helped her.

These days when people say that relationships with sister-in-laws are so bad, I keep thinking of my aunts.

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After me for my brother too they did the same, every year they would come for either of our birthdays, we would visit their home during summer vacations. Most of my cousins got married and time passed.

A house divided

But just like everything in life, “change is the only constant“. My maternal grandfather died, the brothers decided to divide the property and everyone built a new home. Now in place of one maternal home, there were 4 (the old house and 3 new ones of each of my uncles).

That was the last summer vacation we spent there, because after that we could only go by invitation, only for weddings or other functions.

The new daughters-in-law (wives of my cousins, so my sisters in law) didn’t like us, many felt that my uncles and aunt gave us more preference than their own grandchildren, and my mom decided that we shouldn’t trouble them.

My parents kept attending functions whenever we got invites, but we didn’t go, mostly because of our exams, or college, and then jobs and maybe even because of the behaviour of my sisters-in-law.

It wasn’t quite the same at my wedding

That was 20 years ago.

Five years ago when I was getting married, my mom invited all of them, with family. My mom’s both sisters came with family, but none of my uncles or aunts came, my eldest uncle though sent his son, who did all the rituals, but no one else came. Both my grandmothers were dead and there was no one to tell my mom about the rituals; luckily my mom’s sisters did everything, but that day I truly felt that my lost my maternal family!

But this hit my mom the worst, she had grown up without a mother her whole life, but on my wedding day it actually hit her. They all had their reasons, but luckily some of my cousins didn’t ditch us and they turned up for the wedding and took care of all the fun and masti!

That made me worried that I would lose my maayka too…

We do still talk occasionally, but that love we had is gone, and it’s not like I blame anyone, it was just life coming in the way and everyone having their own things happening. My mom still keeps checking up on them, sending gifts, goes to attend events when they invite, after all that is the only maayka she has left.

But it made me wonder, would my maayka also end after my parents? My brother loves me, he has stood by me through thick and thin, helped me in convincing my parents when I wanted to go abroad for work rather than settle down, he helped me up whenever I felt low. And even now I can call him any time of the day and talk just to feel happy.

But when he gets married, would all of this end? I asked him that last month!

And he gave us the biggest surprise of our lives, he started talking with my uncles, aunts and cousins, and revived all connections. Next year when my brother gets married they all are coming here to be a part of it. My aunts have promised me that now I have 3 maternal homes other than my mom’s.

And this time I am not making the same mistake again; I will keep these relations alive and whenever I have kids, I am going to teach them to respect every relationship!

Image source: Nikhil Patil from Getty Images Free for Canva Pro

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