HAPPY MOTHER’s DAY
Happy Mother’s Day to all the Mothers. To the Mother’s to birth children, foster children, adopted children, rainbow children and the children that made it into our hearts and not to this earth. Happy Mother’s Day to the grandmothers, aunts, teachers, social workers and friends that play the role of a mother in any child’s life.
I am a wife, a friend, a daughter, an advocate and ally, a woman that has earned her place in the corporate world and most importantly I have been blessed and lucky in this lifetime to also become a mother. I am a mother to two creative, funny, loving and caring human beings. My older son Malik is just like any other 11 year old boy, into video games, building with legos and experimenting. My 7 year old Mikail is into anything that revolves around sports or getting outside. 11 years ago I became a mother. Looking back at 11 years of motherhood I have experienced every emotion humanly possible.
My journey of motherhood began when I was 17 years old. I found out I was pregnant half way through my senior year of high school. My parents belonged to a huge Sri Lankan Muslim community. Generations of Muslims; a background of traditional customs. Finding out I was pregnant was going to shake my parents world. Everything they knew was going to change; their circle, their faith, the life they envisioned for me, their marriage… their entire life.
3 months into my pregnancy I walked into an abortion clinic. In the steps I took into the clinic I stood there. Behind me I had my friends, ones I would keep for a lifetime and many that I would lose, my faith community, my life, my future, college, independence and freedom to become whomever I chose to be. In front of me was nothing but a blur. I had no clue how to imagine what my life would be. I had no clue what becoming a mother would entail, how hard motherhood would be; how rewarding or how uncertain, unjust and down right scary it would be.
And right where I was standing, I had the choice to make a decision as to choose where I would go. I had that moment in time to define my life. And then to decide the life of this unborn child. Before #prolife was a thing and before I even understood the meaning of pro-choice.
With an ultrasound and a heartbeat; I knew in my heart regardless of what unknowns were in front of me, I had already become a mother. Today those unknowns have become the very reason I wake up every morning. It has been the fuel to my fire, my aspirations and my inspiration. Becoming a young mother was my purpose in life and is my purpose every remaining day of my life. Protecting my children is the only job I have been given that I will give my complete and whole heart and soul to.
In the past 11 years I have watched Pro-Life marches, petitions to end abortions, the media spinnng every and any story in every which direction. I quickly learned my heart, and I knew for myself I stood for life. I stand for life for myself and any life I am blessed to bring to this world. As an advocate for women I know my heart only allows me to make that decision for myself. I became a mother the moment there were two heart beats in my body. It seems that heartbeat never left my body, it simply lives outside of my body.
These 11 years motherhood has brought me so much joy. To watch my child and then children grow into these beautiful beings right before my eyes. In the same breath my heart has broken and has been broken so many times into so many pieces seeing the things I have seen in this world since becoming a mother.
Quran – “And among His wonders is the creation of the heavens and the earth, and the diversity of your tongues and colors. For in this, behold, there are messages indeed for all who are possessed of innate knowledge!” Surah 30 Verse 22
This year, Mother’s Day hits a little harder. This has been by far been the hardest week that I have ever had as a mother. This week my career has put me in a place that may put physical distance between myself and my family. Miles and miles in between my marriage of just 5 months. Leaving my husband to become an even more pivotal part in my children’s lives. This week I have continued to pour my soul into fighting for immigrant refugee children. Fighting to show the value in their life and their right to live freely. This week I watched video footage of a 25 year old black man, hunted, shot and murdered. This week I have found myself worked up, crying, writing and angry at the world.
Then when I thought it could not get any harder, I told my 11 year old Black son once again that he will be treated unjustly, unfairly many times in his life. With tears in my tears and a dagger through my heart I looked at him and said, “I will protect you with every last breath in me, I would stand in front of 100 bullets for you but one day when I am not near and you find yourself facing hate, discriminitation, and unjust moments like this, hear my words; remember to stand tall. DO NOT run. You may be provoked, angered and physically harmed but DO NOT RUN. It doesn’t matter if it is during the day or night you stand. You pray hard and believe and hope that whomever you are facing finds a light to see value in your life. Pray hard that they see you first as a human being, sees you as a child of a mother, sees that our lives will never be the same without you in it, and then as a black child and one day as a black man. You don’t have options, you have only your life. This will be the cost of your life. DO NOT RUN.”
“He who justifies the wicked and he who condemns the righteous are both alike an abomination to the Lord.” Proverbs 17:15
My life has never been easy. Many of these parts of my life I have molded on my own. Many decisions I have made have been wrong ones. My children have never been one of those mistakes. I wish I was the one that chose to bring Malik to this earth but I was merely chosen to be the strong mother of my 11 year old black son, to remind anyone that is Pro-Life, that stands for life from conception to natural death stands for that regardless of race, gender or sexual orientation. You stand for justice, you stand for equality, you stand for mercy, for love for every child, every adult every being. Every single heartbeat.
Torah – “You shall not oppress a stranger for you know the feelings of the stranger having yourselves been strangers in the land of Egypt.” – Exodus 23:5
This Mother’s Day find what your heart aligns with. Look at your children, what conversations are you having them? What conversation are you blessed to not have with them. What are worries that keep you up at night. Are these worries that their life will be weighed upon?
A special Happy Mother’s Day to the mothers who put their children to bed not knowing if they will make it past political unrest in their home country’s to protect their children tomorrow. Those mothers making a long dangerous journey across many borders with their children in their arms to flee oppression. The mothers in detention centers wrapping their uncertain arms around their hungry children. A Happy Mother’s Day to the mothers sacrificing and working 2 or 3 jobs to put food on the table. A Happy Mothers Day to the mothers fighting poverty giving their every last breath to hoping their children have a different future. Happy Mothers Day to the abused mother trying her best to protect her child. And today a special Happy Mother’s Day to the mothers Burying their children. To the mothers whose children were brutally murdered to no fault of their own. Your child should be walking through your door with flowers, thanking you for the sacrifices you have made. Your child’s death will not be in vain. This Mother’s Day I celebrate you.
This world was unjust to you. I am sorry that today should be one of your most joyous days of the year and today you mourn your child. Your child should have returned home today. There are many ways in which I have lost hope in this world. I have not yet lost faith and hope in women and in mothers. We have not done our part yet. We have yet to change this world. Happy Mother’s Day.