White Days

I finally feel I might have reached a point where I am prepared to go to bed. Today the world outside is all white. I like white days. I love the snow. It reminds me of Christmas.

Christmas was not the traditional kind in my household. I was raised Muslim and Christmas had no significance for us. But, it was probably the only time I could spend the entire day with my mother without a time constraint.

I remember sitting on our huge bed, warmly sandwiched between my grandmother and my mother. My little feet under the quilts, watching some Indian movie on the TV, while my mom and grandmother would chat away about distant relatives, marriages happening across the seven seas etc. It was a good time of my childhood. It was filled with the warmth of not one but two mothers. It makes me so nostalgic when I sit by my window and see the snow outside. Those times when I was little and had the most caring of people to look over my young self. Sitting in the middle of two women while they worked their delicate fingers on a pile of pine nuts. They were the perfect alternate to the roasted chalghozay they’d get in Pakistan. Today, when I reach my hand out, there is no more warmth by my side. My grandmother is not in my life anymore. It hurts my heart so much when I think of the day I decided to come to college, and how she told me that she will die while I am out there somewhere. She was right, and that’s exactly what happened. All I have to live by today is how I made sure I went home for the entire summer before the fall she passed away, and every visit I made to her is plastered in my memory permanently.

Then there’s my mother, who is so far away from me. In my heart I know that my time with her is limited, and the thought of it breaks my heart day in and day out. There is slight fear, but not of losing her. Instead it is the fear of moving on in life with regret. Regret that maybe I would turn a blind eye to the one person who is the light and love of my entire life. I find it very hard to live with this feeling, and as the days go by, it becomes more and more important for me to give my mother as many days as I can manage.

We decide what is important in our lives. We decide what the odds of everything are. We are the ones who then have to live with our decisions. So yes, they are better off made consciously. I can’t afford to be one more person who lives on in life knowing she didn’t care enough for her mother once she got to college and made a life of her own. My mother never forgot me, and I won’t forget her either. I hope I see many nights with her where I sit by her side, cracking pine nuts and laughing at the little things that happen here and there. One day, they won’t happen anymore. There won’t be any pile of pine nuts, and there will be no warmth in your bed to make up for the one you have lost.

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