Dear Ma, I’m Afraid I Might Never Be Like You







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Dear Ma,

Remember when dad refused to sign my answer sheet? I dreaded going back to class and you were the one who let me off with a warning that I have to do well next time. It was not the first or the last time you helped me out of a pickle. You, and only you are the one who’s seen me at my best and at my worst. You were the person I came running to when I won and you were the one who came running to me every time I shut out the world to wallow and sulk. Come what may, you have always been there.




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You were relentless in not giving up on me. Your patience surprises and scares me at the same time. 

I made life miserable for you, particularly during my pre-teens. I thought I knew best about everything. Be it clothes, people or studies. It became a busy phase where my friends, my life and my choices were all that mattered. I was so rebellious, there were so many arguments, but you never bailed out on me. You would kiss me Goodnight, even if I went to bed after slamming the door on you. How you held on to me and never gave up, I wouldn’t know. And I don’t think I ever will.


I have been always your first priority and I still don’t know how to put another person before myself.

My comfort was judged by your discomfort. If you felt cold at night, you would come in to check if I was warm, if you were hungry, you made sure I had eaten my food on time and yet after every argument, I’d punish you by going to bed without dinner. Nothing deterred you from making sure that I was comfortable. I remember coming back from school and finding food ready on the table even when you were burning with fever. All I do when I’m ill is whine and complain, how are you this giving?

You would bend the rules for me, how could you keep my happiness above everything? 

You were not a lenient parent, but you loved me so much more than the rules you had laid down. You were my buffer. Each time I knew that dad won’t give in, I came to you. Somehow, with you on my side, I knew he would cave, and he almost always did. There have been times you have said no to things, but changed your mind. Your love for me was too much for your rules to get in the way, I guess.

With you on my side, I knew nothing could break me.

It’s simply a given. You’ll probably never know about the strength that I derive from you. The simple knowledge of the fact that you’re there is enough for me to get through life. There is so much solace in the fact that I will always have your arms to run into. I took it for granted while growing up, but now when I’m away from you, it’s the one thing I wish I could come home to.

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You are an overflowing reservoir of love. You have set a benchmark that is way too high for me to get past. I will never be the kind, forgiving person that you are. I do not even have the courage to try. Someday I will find a gesture extravagant enough to show you what a fabulous woman you are. Until then, I will keep telling you how much I love you because words are all I have.


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