Mother's Day: A single parent, a cancer survivor, and a scuba diver at 52 - this mother has set the bar really high
It’s not easy having a beautiful, highly motivated mother who looks half her age. Especially since you know people are secretly comparing you (her only child) to her and wondering what went wrong.
Like all mothers, my mum is a superhero in disguise. Being a single mother throughout, she’s had plenty to deal with. Unfortunately, she wasn’t blessed with an academically astute child who brought home all the laurels. I was a bit of a pain when it came to academics, and it didn’t definitely make things easy for her.
I’m sure a lot of parents reading this would connect. With two parents it’s a nightmare, but handling a brat alone? In hindsight, I know it must have been terribly difficult. She did more than just brave it through, she succeeded. I have a great job, so that’s proof enough I suppose?
Being a single parent and bringing up a child who was not academically inclined was not all that she had on her plate. She had to combat cancer too.
In June 2017, she was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. A battle that took an entire year and a lot of strength. But amazingly, thanks to her athlete-grade discipline for fitness all her life, she recovered much before the doctors anticipated. To top that, a few months later, she learned scuba diving at the age of 52. A severe knee problem, chemotherapy, and a massive surgery had nothing on her! Her determination, discipline, and mental strength is something I only aspire to have.
She’s now training to become a Pilates trainer and an aqua-aerobics instructor as well. She has raised the bar too high but I am super proud of her.
As does any child, you learn a lot from observing your mother. Mine has taught me a whole lot so far. The older I get, the more profound these learnings get. This is what I learnt from my mother.
That age really is just a number
When most women her age are talking about brisk walks in the park or a light swim, my mother is setting out to become an aqua-fitness trainer at age 52. Finally giving Milind Soman some competition.
You often hear stories about how some people are able to beat their chronological age with a much younger biological age. But it’s quite something when your own mother is the embodiment of that spirit. For it leaves no scope for excuses when you look at her journey. One can’t complain or wallow in self-pity as the years rack up.
There are so many people around us who have been through so much more but still get back up to fight. No matter their age or ability.
There will always be speed bumps on your journey, but determination is all you need.
Life will throw a number of tough situations at you, but it’s really how you perceive it and how you choose to act on it that matters. Through her actions, my mother has taught me that no one is going to help you with your life but yourself.
Mentally and physically, we limit ourselves from so many things. If you’re willing to accept the difficulties and fight through it, there’s nothing that can stop you. It’s important not to question ‘Why me?’ Accept whatever life throws at you, work around it and allow yourself to grow as a person. Just get down to it.
The importance of selflessness
If there’s one thing the word ‘mother’ is synonymous with, it’s selflessness. In an increasingly superficial world where people present their best versions of themselves on social media and don’t really care too deeply about others, selflessness has become an endangered virtue.
To put your needs and difficulties aside for someone else is one of the hardest things to do in the harsh world we live in.
A mother never thinks twice about dropping everything to help her child, regardless of the personal sacrifice. If we all did a little bit more selflessly for each other even a few times a week, the world would be a better place. It’s something we see mothers do every day but forget to emulate.
Happiness is a decision you make
At any given point in our lives, there are plenty of things that can bring us down. Be it health, finances, relationships, or any other important tenet of our lives, something always seems to need fixing. Many of us give in to the misery and find our current situation dreary. You may then pick up a self-help book or two about how to stay positive and bring about a change in your life.
I say that’s rubbish. All you need to do is look to your mother. Regardless of the difficulties she’d be facing, she’d do it all with a smile on her face. She’d look forward to sharing happy moments with her children or her family. All you get from your mum is pure unadulterated happiness. The elixir of life.
So to all the mothers out there, spreading joy and affection, a big thank you. For without your gentle and compassionate way, the world would be a much harsher place. You give us all the love we need, a shoulder to cry on when the times are rough and you are our compass to keep us going when we are lost. You are perfect as you are.
And mum - a happy Mother’s day to the most gorgeous soul on the planet.