On this Thanksgiving day (I am not American but I love this festivity), I express my eternal gratitude to my late mother who not only brought me into the world, but also defined my character as a person and continue to guide me even after 25 years that she is physically no more.
“If you can’t do good, don’t be mean to anyone” was her advice when I was growing up as a child. I would complain about my peers and how I planned to retaliate and won’t be taking things lying down. She never allowed me to do fight back. “If it’s okay that others are bad to you, it is fine with us. That doesn’t make you any less.”
She had a magnetic character and positivism that attracted people around her to listen to her stories, jokes and wits as they went about with their hard labour at the farm. The air would be filled with laughter wherever she was and she never seemed to have one bad day. That’s not because we had everything. In fact we were poor – very poor, that at times we had to resort to taking food loans (known as kindru) from richer neighbours. She always protected us from poverty and more than that, from poor thinking. “We are descendants of great lamas and kings. This is just a temporary hiccup,” She reassured us. She never wanted us to grow up as losers and whiners. In fact much later I learnt that our family were once rich and powerful.
She always protected us from poverty and more than that, from poor thinking.
She suffered a long terminal disease and when she was told about it, she replied, “It’s fine. All my children are grown up now and can fend for themselves. Actually we are almost there. Few things to tune up and then I will decide when to go. So Choeken Gyalpo (Lord of Death), please don’t make a big deal out of it,” She joked. She smiled and made all the other people in the hospital laugh till her last day. When it was time she told up my aunt back in our village to make sure that the funeral tent was new and had the 8 lucky signs. She told another distant aunt not to miss her cremation.
I have always tried to live like her, which gives me strength to move on from the toughest days – and not to let power or success get on my head.
People don’t go – unless they die in your heart.