My Mother became both -mother and father after I lost my Papa.
It is said that Daughters are closer and are better connected to their fathers. I always was very close to Papa and aspired to become like him when I grow up.I wrote a post on Ten Reasons why I want to be like my father. Though, lot of people who know me say that I resemble him in looks and the way I work – also need to mention here that I am carrying forward his legacy and business he built over 3 decades. Papa was a visionary, giving, caring and full of love.
Talking about my mother, she made sure everything is in place- gave us a clean home, good food, she was the reason of our family bonding and took extra care of her daughters. She was quiet, calm and carefree who knew she has her husband by her side always to fall back upon.
She was always a traditional and conventional mother who being mother of two always worried about her daughters’ future. She would be extra cautious when either of us went out to play, go for tuitions or visit friends’ place. She was very strict when it came to our studies, we sisters were the most organized in our big joint family.
In the year 2005, When Papa passed away all of sudden, I could see my mummy taking a rebirth. She was no more the same, her life actually took a U-turn and she took charge of everything automatically. At that time, she was a mother to 21 and 16 year old daughters. As far as I remember, I did not see her grieving my father’s loss in front of us ( I am sure in closed doors on her own , she was a weak young widow who did not know where to go and what to do).
She became both Father and Mother to us and I applaud her for playing both roles beautifully.
She became the pillar of support for us and only thought about her life and her daughters ahead without bothering what others had to say or what others felt of her.
Few qualities of her that I could highlight here which all the mothers out there have but somewhere hidden in them.
Taking Charge : For one who was always at the back seat , took charge and came in driver’s seat automagically without much efforts. She handled her Finances and inheritance money in a very systematic and organized way. She took charge and started to plan for her future goals – younger daughter’s marriage, her own retirement corpus and emergency fund planning. A lot of family members / acquaintances came and gave different set of advices considering she was naive in this, however she managed to do it by taking her independent decisions by understanding what is Right or Wrong for her.
Focused Decision making:My father had established Financial advisory business over 3 decades,Traditionally it is taken over by son in the family. I did not have a brother to carry forward the legacy. Mummy came forward and suggested that she and I will be taking forward from here. She had never taken interest in what and how Papa used to do business. I was of 21 years of age with Finance degree here and one year into marriage with 3 months old Hargun to take care of.
She gave everything she could, she faced all the obstacles and hurdles, sailed through all the challenges that came and nothing came in her way to stop her from doing what she had to. She wanted that papa’s name should be carried forward through this.
Open minded Mother : From a traditional/ conventional mother, she became open minded and now lot of things stopped bothering her. I can clearly tell this from the difference I can see when I was in college in 2001 before Papa and my sister was in college in 2007 after Papa.
During my college days, she was very particular about my timings, I should come back home on time and I got the phone also on the very first day of college so that she and I are connected all the time. She was uncomfortable even when I wore capris ( Yes capris- 3/4 pants, not even shorts).
When my sister came to college, she did not have to go through what I had gone through – strong surveillance 🙂 Reason behind this was she realized the space has to be given to the kids and this made us closer to her.
Self sacrifice : She always kept interest of her daughters over and above her own interest. This is inherent in all the mothers I believe. Both of us sisters are married with kids and settled well in their families, till date also she keeps our interest over an above her own. She knows when we need her and she is there even before we ask for it.
Strong Hearted: She was the one who was very weak hearted. She cried for few months when I was married off saying it will be difficult for her to live without me, so sweet of her:) She used to get very emotional when I went to see her.
Also, she use to worry unnecessarily for lot of things- aisa ho gaya toh, waisa ho gaya toh. – all ifs and buts.
I never thought that she would handle things so maturely and become strong hearted after Papa. She stopped worrying and started to live life as it came. She became a lot more patient.
She had two choices – either to sit back and grieve and feel handicapped or to take charge and move forward independently. She chose the latter . In the deepest of my heart, I know the journey and path was not an easy one for her, but she kept fighting and moving forward .
And this is my mother’s journey from being a passenger to the Driver . I pray to almighty for her good health and good life 🙂
About the author: Gurleen Kaur Tikku is a Financial Consultant and devotes her time to her company www.hareepatti.com. She has done her Bachelors in Finance and Investment Analysis(BFIA) from College of Business Studies(CBS, Delhi) and MBA from IMT, Ghaziabad. She can be Contacted at [email protected]