Cross Connections: The Most Wonderful Person in my Life

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I dedicate this article to my late Mother-In-Law — the most wonderful person in my life, whom I remember and thank every day for all the patience and perseverance she has shown. 

My daughter says, “Mom, you’re the best cook in the world”. The moment I feel happy at her words, I inwardly thank one noble soul who has patiently and passionately passed on her legacy to her daughter-in-law; the now transformed best Mom my daughter knows.

Yes…September 5th, 1997. I still vividly remember this day when she came to see me along with her son. I was hardly 22 then and had a scary image of a MIL, influenced by the accounts from friends who had married before me.  But the small lady from Tenkasi town (Tirunelveli district of Tamil Nadu), who had dealt with seven marriages in the family before ours, was surprisingly naïve. The tender way she looked at me, her smiling face and the innocent questions she asked caught my mind and soul more than her son.

And for the next 16 years, we have had beautiful moments, quarrels and petty fights… of course all that happens between any two individuals. Her patience, perseverance and mature outlook on life and relationships wore any disagreements down eventually.

If at all I know something about homemaking today, it is because of her. 15 years of my carefree professional and personal life has been possible because of her. With no complaints/frowns, no expectations but with extra care and responsibility, she ran the home.

Today she is no more. I feel her absence every minute. Every small household chore — right from cooking, washing, cleaning, to the lighting of the lamp to pray — remind me of her…

Till the end in her death-bed, she greeted every family member with her trademark smile and blessed every one. We were all surprised at the way she very graciously accepted death with no fear — which remains a challenge to many karma yogis too.  How can an innocent lady who knows nothing other than her family, face Death with such courage and readiness?  Stumped with this question in mind, we paid the last tribute to her.  Having lived long, she was completely satisfied with life and had prepared herself for the inevitable part — the final journey.

Last but definitely not the least, I should thank my father-in-law who treated every one of his daughters-in-law like his own daughters.  I do not remember him saying one wrong word to us.  He always ensured that every family member was treated on par with each other, including children.  He was an expert in making wonderful sweets and savories; and I treasure the few years I was able to join them in the preparation of their recipes.

How can I forget to mention my husband who contributed by never taking sides and always making the right judgment during our quarrels?  He is a man who has the skill to balance between his mother and wife without compromising on justice.

Very few get a chance to live with good people — especially with good in-laws. If you are one of them, treasure these times intensely.  Inexperience, ignorance, imbalance between work pressure and life’s cravings may lead us to ignore the elderly.  But all they expect in return is some time, a kind word and hug from you; and they will take care of the rest.

Accepting them with an open mind and treating them with respect will bring much more happiness to the family.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Geetha lives in Chennai with her husband and her two sweet children. She was with Cognizant for a long time and has now taken a break for the benefit of her children. A homemaker now, Geetha loves cooking, reading magazines and is now trying her hand at writing too. As a student, Geetha used to write poems in Tamil and completely enjoyed the creativity part of it. She is happy to be part of SiyaWoman's group of writers!

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