The Madre Unit


So it’s Mother’s Day today.

I have yet to go and get something special for mommy dearest – be it some kind of cutesy trinket or even a simple bouquet-so what do I do?

I could call Mom and wish her Happy Mother’s Day. I’m staring at the phone right now as I’m typing this sentence. Hmm?

I continue to stare at the phone and ask myself, do I call her and what do I say? ‘Hey Mom, Happy Mother’s Day!!" I love you!!!"

That would be a bit over-the-top coming from me. I mean, she knows I love her right? I know I don’t say it that often, but I’m sure she knows. And besides, just telling her wouldn’t be enough. She may beam inside, but wouldn’t it truly matter more if I actually showed her I loved her instead of relying on easy platitudes?

I send my Mom a quick e-mail with a wish for a Happy Mother’s Day.

There, I’ve wished her but in a way that’s more me?none of the showy lovey-doveyness?.Perhaps she will be surprised.

While I wait for her response, I’m prodded to reflect on the woman that takes first place in my life and my relationship with her.

Ah, my Mom. The madre unit, as I sometimes call her over e-mail. I think I know her very well. And yet, I’m still getting to know her. Every revelation is just as inspiring.

The more I prod her during times of easy conversation, I learn so much about her daily challenges and past struggles, right from her days growing up in the quiet, lush village of Kinnigoli, to her times as a teenager in Mangalore and Bombay, followed by nearly three whirlwind decades in the desert wonder of Dubai.


With every anecdote, I marvel at her tenacity, strength, and patience. I appreciate her wisdom and hope. I am humbled by her ability to forgive. I wonder, if it were me in her shoes, would I be able to consistently exhibit her virtues with such automatic ease? Am I really a true friend to my mother and most importantly, a true daughter?

The more she reveals to me, the richer our relationship becomes. Growing silently during our aimless conversations over the phone, in the car, at the dining table, around the house?our friendship and camaraderie continues to bloom. 

Let me tell you how vital it is for each one of us to commit ourselves to developing our relationships with our mothers just as much, if not more, than we do our peers. I revel in the various nuances yielded by this beautiful friendship and can now rely on a more mature appreciation and understanding of my mother.

I am unbelievably blessed to have a mom who loves me ceaselessly and without question, who forgives me my flaws and yet challenges me to scale new heights in whatever project I set myself to. What my mom cultivated in me was an understanding of the value of working tirelessly for what you love, regardless of reward. I am awed by her capacity for sacrifice and compromise. I delight that she consciously sustains a close and nurturing relationship with me without being domineering or controlling. I find silent assurance in her hope in the goodness of humanity and silent humor in her ever-present paranoia.

My inbox pings. It’s Mom. She replies: ‘somebody told me that it was Mother’s Day here?so I was wondering if you knew it?thank you"

I love you Mom.

But you already know that.

I guess I’ll make dinner tonight?

Author: Natasha DSouza- USA