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Things That Mama Taught Us




Kindness and sharing

Our mother came from a household that took in visitors and where folks did come and seek help. We were told that grandma would always cook a little bit extra because “we would never want people who come to our house to be without food” Yes… The Manshoor Ahmad-Sabirin household believed that no one goes hungry in this house :) “Thou shalt be fed”

Love of cooking and sense of family/community

Being that we are still in the month of Ramadan, I love to tell this story.  There used to be this family tradition which sadly is not carried anymore, (someday it’d be back). Each Saturday in Ramadan, as children child we’d remember rotating each of our aunts and uncle's house (it did include ours) for a huge family break fast, Iftar and we’d pray together, hang after that. That made quite an impact positively, to us as children. 

Strength, Independence and emotional resilience

Mama lost her dad at the tender age of 10. Stress and worrying about raising 8 children did take a huge toll on Nenek’s (Nana’s) mental health.In the hands of others, Mama was subjected to if seen by today’s observations and standards to be emotional, physical and psychological abuse.

She persevered and essentially raised herself with the grace of God. Made calls that she may have regretted but at the time she felt was best for her.In the workforce by the age of 16/17,  a young woman in her 20’s driving her own Mini Minor, single,  living on her own, having her own life in an Asian Culture in the mid 50’s, early 60’s, she is a  pioneer in her own life and rising above what is around her and was she was told she amounted to be. By the time mama met papa in1968,she already had two cars of her own, a Mini Minor and then she moved on to a FIAT Coupe. 


Coming from where she did and going through what she’d been through, she constantly reminded us of having a sense of gratitude. She always says “ I look at where my life was and where I am now, and what I have now...I will always be grateful...I would never imagine THIS for me:.  She taught us no matter how bad things may seem for you, understand and see there are others that are less fortunate than you , as much as there will always be people that are better than you. As long as you are the best you can be, that is more than alright.

Our sense of style (whatever that may be) 

On a lighter note, as children for a few brief years Mama has dressed us the same. For better or worse, I know it did not bother us as much growing up.  We are always given the cutest outfits, on trend but not overly trendy. Call it cute classics if you will. Got to admit, looking back at all our childhood pictures, we don’t cringe as much.  It still looks cute and stands the test of time. ;) Talking about how we were dressed.  Till today our choices have always leaned more towards “ “Just don’t over do don’t want to regret it”. Simple with some semblance of sophistication. 

Everything is figureoutable

Because of her...she did not  say this as such, but she did live by this. Whatever was in front of her, big or small, she never really panicked, she dealt with things head on, she problem-solved. She taught us this. Life raising  two young girls was never easy, she was a working mother and we were latchkey kids. She always managed to pull thru and rarely complain about raising us kids. 

For the love, support and strength you taught us ...that you showed… Just wanted to say...Mama ..To all mothers…to all the wonderful dads that pull double duty as mothers  We love and appreciate you.

Life is short and yes can get real testy, there is no denying it.  Appreciate the ones who love you and show them that, tell them that. You do not want to regret your life and love. 

Happy Mother’s Day.

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