I Didn't Know How Much My Mother Meant To Me Until She Was Hospitalized

I Didn't Know How Much My Mother Meant To Me Until She Was Hospitalized

We take our parents for granted, but never realize what we have until they're gone.
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I never knew how much my mother meant to me, until I saw her lying in a hospital bed with tubes surrounding her, a neck brace choking her as she struggled to say “I love you."

As a generation, we generally have little to no respect for our parents. I grew up loving my mother and my father, equally, but once the teenage angst hit, they were pretty much screwed. I began to isolate myself and push my mother away. I would say rude things to her without a care in the world.

However, once I saw her so broken, so cracked on the edges and so beaten my heart instantly broke.

She had damaged her vertebrae, and she had to have surgery to repair the damage. She had plates set in between three vertebrae, and she had two bulging disks in her back removed.

She warned me before her surgery that she would be in a lot of pain, that she wouldn't be able to talk much. I pretended to be strong, I hid my anxious state and smiled and nodded at her.

I always have her to text when things go wrong, she always texts me no matter what time it is. I look over to my phone, hoping maybe she sent a message my way. However, I know she's in that hospital bed asleep.

I guess I finally realized how much my mother has sacrificed for me. She carried me in the womb for nine months, skipped work to take care of me many of times, she taught me life lessons and supported me throughout my childhood.

She always stood behind the scene of my passions. She worked her ass off to make ends meet, just to see me perform at that football game or see me sing in that one musical.

She is absolutely wonderful, beautiful, breathtaking. And for some reason, until this very moment, I could not see it.

Starting from whenever I was a child, she would always let me know how beautiful I was. She would let me know that I was very special to her, and she would always ensure I was happy.

Looking back, I feel guilty for never appreciating it.

As teenagers and young adults, we always feel as if our parents (mostly mothers) are on our backs. That their little "where are you going in that"s and "who are you going with, where are you going"s are the most annoying thing ever. But all they are doing is caring about us.

Why is it that whenever they treat us with love and support, we reply in annoyance?

My mother is the best thing that has ever happened to me. She is my best friend, my everything, and I literally would not be here without her.

Mom, if you're reading this (and I know you are because you obsess over my articles), thank you for being the best mother a girl could ask for. I know you think you've messed up, I know you think that you're a terrible mother, I know you down yourself so much. You are the perfect mother to me and my brothers. I love you more than words could ever describe.

Cover Image Credit: Keribeth Thompson

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An Open Letter To The Fatherless Girl On Father's Day

So this father's day, be proud of the person you are and still try your hardest to celebrate.

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Father's Day, it comes around every year. It is a nationally celebrated holiday and people plan parties surrounding this day, but some do not think about those who do not have a dad. Maybe you have an estranged relationship, maybe he walked out, maybe you guys are fighting, maybe you never met him, or maybe he passed away. It will be okay. Trust me, this will be my eleventh Father's Day without a dad, and yes they have gotten easier.

My dad passed away back in 2008, so I strive everyday to make him proud and even though he is not here I will still celebrate him on Father's Day. He was the dad that every little girl would want.

For those who lost their dad's, this is for you:

Live each day for him, celebrate him on Father's Day. For however long he was in your life, he shaped you into the person that you are today. Yes there is now a piece of you missing on this day and everyone wants to post a picture of their dad and makes you miss yours even more. But celebrate him, celebrate his life, celebrate his legacy. But it also a celebration for all the father figures that came into your life to help you grow up and give that advice that you needed to hear.

But I also understand that not everyone has a great relationship with their dad, so this is for you:

Celebrate those who have helped you get to where you are today. Life can't be perfect and just know whatever your situation may be, it made you stronger. It taught you to fight for what you want. It taught you to be independent and strong. Celebrate with your friend's dad who probably helped you in a time when you really needed it.

There might be some jealousy as you see people posting and talking about gifts they are getting for their dad. I get it, but just know it will be okay and this is only one day out of the whole year. But also do not forget to thank to all of the father figures that helped throughout the years. So this father's day, be proud of the person you are and still try your hardest to celebrate.

Cover Image Credit:

Jordyn

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We Need To Stop Treating Arranged Marriages Like Business Deals

We need to stop treating marriages like business deals where the groom gets dowry in exchange for his willingness to marry and the bride gets a husband in exchange for dowry.

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When I was thirteen years old, I spent my summer break at my cousin sister's place. She spilled steaming hot tea all over her thigh leaving a huge burn scar. The first thing my aunt said to her was "What would your future husband think about that scar? You should have been more careful." My cousin was just fourteen.

Growing up, we are made to believe that marriage is the most important thing in a woman's life and is going to be her biggest achievement. I thought it was hideous how we were made to believe this and pressurized to get married in fear of what society would think until I realized just how hideous the process of an arranged marriage itself is.

According to an IPSOS survey conducted in 2013, 74% of Indian marriages are arranged. Being the youngest sibling and cousin, I watched a lot of my older family members and relatives getting arranged marriages. Having spent most of my life in India, I have witnessed no other marriages than arranged marriages. It is funny to me how people have a checklist of superficial expectations like stereotypical beauty standards and unrealistic salary expectations. From publishing ads like "In search of a slim, tall, fair, very beautiful, homely girl who knows how to cook and sew" in the newspaper, the process of finding a groom or bride through an arranged marriage couldn't be more misogynistic and sexist.

Surrounded by all this, I penned down a poem in hope that we would stop treating marriages like business deals where the groom gets dowry in exchange for his willingness to marry and the bride gets a husband in exchange for dowry.

I

The glass bangles on her wrist jingled as she placed a plate of laddoos in front of the guests,

She wondered if this was the family that would finally pass her parents' tests.

"Oh! She is as fair as milk" the boy's mother exclaimed,

Her cheeks flushed to the color of scarlet under her dupatta as trained.

"He is too short" to her mother, he didn't appeal,

The deal wasn't sealed.

II

When no suitable match was found, the search was still profound.

"Hush," the girl's mother whispered "Don't tell them about the burn on the leg of the bride"

"What man will marry her once he finds?"

Another man arrived, tall, fair, and handsome- he was perfect,

Except that huge mole on his cheek which left him imperfect.

"The mole doesn't complement his face" to her aunt, he didn't appeal,

The deal wasn't sealed.

III

Still no luck in finding a groom,

Her father placed a matrimonial ad.

"Searching for a suitable groom, engineer or doctor, 25, fair, slim, vegetarian, no disabilities" the ad read,

The ad was published in multiple newspapers so that she could finally be wed.

Another boy arrived, but this time the tables turned,

"What? She can't cook?" the boy's mother was left concerned

"Oh, what a shame" to his parents' she didn't appeal,

The deal wasn't sealed.

IV

When everything had been tried, a Jyotish was consulted,

Vastu remedies for delay in marriage he suggested.

"Fast for sixteen consecutive days, the kitchen shouldn't be in the southwest."

Yet another boy arrived, tall, fair, slim, no moles- he seemed the best,

With everything from their checklist of expectations checked, everyone seemed to be impressed.

"But his earnings are so less," her father was left depressed.

To nobody he appealed,

The deal still wasn't sealed.

V

The number of grooms decreased as her age increased,

The girl walked in with a plate of laddoos, but this time from the southeast.

"Oh my god, the bride can't cook," the boy's mother noticed,

Thankfully the burn on her leg went unnoticed.

Double the dowry was demanded,

Her father's savings made sure the groom's family didn't leave empty-handed,

The girl's mother approved the boy, so did her mother's mother,

And her uncle, his wife, and their daughter

Even to the distant relatives, he appealed,

The deal was finally sealed.

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