We do not always convey emotions via speech and when feelings are not spoken, many times, they go unnoticed. It has been six months since I came back from the USA and it took me five months to be aware of my mother’s unspoken saddens.
My mother became sixty this March. Although, she does not have young children to take care of she still wakes up early and does house chores daily. However, since I came back, I noticed she does rigid house chores even more than she used to when she was younger. Her daily routine is as follows: She wakes up at 7:30 am, drinks her coffee then go to the kitchen. Even in the evening, she manages to find something to do to make her busy.
I used to tell her that she does not need to clean this or that. I keep telling her to sit and relax. I was wrong. Luckily, I managed to interpret her unspoken emotions. She needed to keep herself busy because she does not want to think of what makes her sad. She has not seen her ill 80 something mother for more than three years and any of her sisters and brothers. My mother used to travel to Damascus twice a year and sometimes more. Even at the beginning of the Syrian War, she used to go.
I understand how my mother feels; I used to have this feeling. The intense fear of not seeing a parent before they pass away. Everybody deals with his emotions on his way. My mother chose to keep herself busy by doing house chores. I wish she can sit and relax more but then I know if she does, she will cry.
Almost all my cousins in Syria fled the country. They went to Turkey, Egypt, UK, France, Libya and any other country that will allow them to stay. This year, Mother’s Day will not be as happy as it used to be for my cousins’ mothers. Moreover, the devastating news is no one knows when these mothers will be able to see their children.
Separation is difficult but the best Mother’s Day gift for these mothers is to know that their sons, daughters and their families are safe even if they are far and apart from them.
Tomorrow 21st of March is Mother’s Day in the Arab world. A region that has been devastated by many wars and has not seen happiness for a long, long time. A region that forces fathers to test their fatherhood and mothers to test their motherhood to their limits. And for some others to test their faith or whatever left of it.
For me, this March is the best in the past twelve years. This March, I will be celebrating Mother’s Day with my mother and the family. Not only my mother and I have our birthdays on March but we also share the same birth date.
HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY and a wonderful SPRING!