Goodbye, Mom

My Mom.

Sarojini was her full first name. Saroj to family, and Gini to friends, my mom was definitely a firecracker. Unfortunately, her flame was snuffed at the very end of November, and I have been trying to process it since.

My first memories of my mom involve me laying in her lap, with her singing to me as she stroked my hair. While she would sing a variety of songs (she had a very soft and beautiful voice); “Hush, Little Baby” always sticks out in my mind (though “Que Sera Sera” and “The Happy Wanderer” follow closely behind). Music was always something important to my mom, and a lot of my musical taste was built based on artists like Neil Diamond and Elton John.

My mom used to work from home back then, and I would sit at the table next to her, doodling on surveys that she used for work. I would show her what I did, and she would always encourage me. This is where my love of art came from.

My mom had a strong belief in education. When I was older, she would use her teaching background to reinforce my knowledge when I came home from school. I didn’t always appreciate it at the time (as my friends were out playing while I was doing double homework) – but it certainly helped later on in my academic career. This is where my problem-solving came from.

Of course, as I got older, I developed my own ideas, and there was friction. A sly wit and strong principles made my mom a formidable woman – this led to more than a few arguments that I never had a chance to win. Though, in retrospect, I feel like she enjoyed when I did gain the upper hand (though she would never admit it). I certainly know where I got my stubbornness.

The years following, we grew apart, and then found our way back to each other several times. I regret my reactions during some of the conversations that we had during those years. I would lose patience because I didn’t think she was listening to me – but then, later on, it turns out that she always was. She always looked out for her children – each in our own way. This is where I learned about being a parent.

The last few years of her life flipped the roles, with my dad taking care of her because of her medical condition. The last six months were especially heartbreaking. It’s tough to see someone so strong brought to their knees in such a way. Shortly before her passing, she foretold her own death, and wanted to make peace with as many people as she could. She wanted to correct any misunderstandings and apologize for things that she might have said and done. It was a noble effort, and given her condition, the stress that this brought on couldn’t have been easy – yet she did it.

Though she had said that she was at peace (during that conversation with myself and my brothers), a week later I spoke to her and she told me that she was so scared. I tried my best to comfort her and let her know that we all loved her and that she needed to have courage. I didn’t know that would be the last conversation that I would have with her – but I’m glad that it was so positive. It ended with me telling her how much I loved her.

A few days later, I got word that she stopped responding to stimuli. I dropped what I was doing and rushed to the hospital. The doctor filled me in and my dad was a mess. Some difficult decisions were made, but we each got to say our goodbyes. Oddly, though her brain was functioning at a minimal level, she pulled me in and squeezed my hand, and mumbled something.

She always looked out for us, and gladly took new additions to the family under her wing. I miss my mom, and I wish that she didn’t have to suffer from the severe lung condition that ailed her in her final years. There is so much more that I want to say, but I’ll save that for when I speak to her in my dreams.

Goodbye Mom. I love you very much.

One Response

  1. So sorry for your loss, Jorge. Your mom sounds like an amazing woman and this is a beautiful tribute to her. Take care, my friend.

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