I remember my mother. I remember her clearly, I remember everything about her. My mother passed away when I was only 11; she lost her battle to cancer when she was only 35 years old. Many times it breaks my heart that most of the memories of my mother are related to hospitals, doctors, and worst of all, the day she died. I do, however, remember her; her smile, the way she talked, her jokes, and above all, the way she looked at me. My mother was my friend for the short time we lived together.
My father is one of my best friends. He lives thousands of miles away, and yet I can pick up the phone and call him whenever I need. He supports me in every possible manner. I recall my father when I was young; he was always fun to be around. My sister and I would walk in from school and tell him all about our day, and he would tell us stories about the countries he visited, and that he wants both of us to be “great people” when we grow up. He is the perfect father.
“He beat him for the simplest reasons, he ridiculed him in front of everybody, he left marks on his body that disappeared by time, but those on his soul remained forever”
A little while back I read a viral status on Facebook; a letter from a son to his deceased father. At first glance, I was really appalled by the fact that the writer was happy his father died, but then I continued to read. This father broke his child at every chance he got. He beat him for the simplest reasons, he ridiculed him in front of everybody, he left marks on his body that disappeared by time, but those on his soul remained forever. The writer spoke with pride that everything his father worked for never happened. He broke his heart, but never broke him. Now, he is successful, he has a career, he has a social life, he is happy. Above all, happy that his father is not around to see all that success and claim even the tiniest part of it for himself.
“How many times did I yell at them because I came back from work really tired and could not stand the noise they made?”
The status shocked me for a while. It was really strange for me to see an example like this. I thought for a while, how would I want my children to remember me? I started breaking down the last six years I spent with my son, and five with my daughter. How many times did I yell at them because I came back from work really tired and could not stand the noise they made? How many times did I ground them for the simplest things; thinking I am being a good mother? Above all, all these times they cried and I let them be, because I won’t be threatened by a few tears and children forget anyways, don’t they?
“Children do not forget, they ignore.”
Yes, I never beat them to death; yes, I never mocked them in front of people; yes, we do have our shares of laughter, hugs and fun, but children do not forget. I sat my son down and I asked him, “Hamza, what do you like about your mama?” With the utmost innocence in the world he replied I love you mama, because you give me all the things I like, but I hate you because I can not watch as much cartoon as I want. Children do not forget, they ignore.
How do I want my children to remember me? For sure I would like them to recall the fun times we had together. My smile, and my jokes and above all the way I looked at them, like I do with my mother. I always want my children to remember that I was their support, their go-to person when sad and when happy, I want them to remember I was their friend.
“I wish that they would completely forget my frown, my screams, and all those times I put them in the naughty corner”
Deep down, I wish that they would completely forget my frown, my screams, and all those times I put them in the naughty corner. However, if they don’t, I want them to remember how sorry I was, and how heartbroken I was doing that, and all the nights I stayed up crying because I let them sleep when they were sad. I really hope that they remember that I only meant well, and that every time I said no, or yelled at them I was only thinking of their best interest. I have faith that my children will forget all the time I had to leave them and go to work, and remember that I only did this to be able to give them the life they lived, and that if I had the choice I would have never left them for a minute alone. I want my children to recall how hard my husband and I worked to put them in their schools, and take them to all these countries we went to.
“I hope one day when I am long gone, my children sit their children down and tell them all about me and how they have wished to become half the woman I was”
I hope that one day when I am long gone my children will look at my pictures and smile. For I have lived a long happy life with them, where I always knew what they wanted to say before they utter a word. I felt their hearts, and my heart broke every time one of them shed a tear. I always want my children to be proud that I was their mother. Like me, I hope one day when I am long gone, my children sit their children down and tell them all about me and how they have wished to become half the woman I was. I wish from the bottom of my heart that the legacy I leave for my children is a legacy of love, faith, hope, dedication, and above all, friendship.
A mother, a wife, a survivor and the Egyptian Fatonista