Mummy never left me;
She smiles at me through the framed photo on my shelf;
She watches me through my grandson Omar’s oval eyes;
I feel her hair when my granddaughter Asha brushes against my cheek;
I look up to catch her appraising eye when I try on a new dress;
She startles me at what I just said. Mummy used to say that;
I hear her voice when I slouch in my chair, “Sit up straight, shoulders back;”
As I bend to take in the fragrance of the fresh blooms of spring, I feel her kneel beside me;
Was that Mummy’s flair for design I recognized when my son Saqib sketched his dream house?
Why is it that when my son Asim entertains me with his chatter, I feel I never left her side?
Is it her refined manner I see in Asha serving pretend-tea from her toy tea-set?
Was that her smile I just saw flash across my granddaughter Laila’s face?
And how did my six-year old granddaughter Sofia get to be so meticulous?
Pouring steaming chai, I hold up the floral china teapot, this is something Mummy would have picked;
I look up at my wedding portrait on the wall, wearing the gharara she designed, remembering how it felt in my hands when she first showed it to me;
I see her fingers at work on the needlepoint tapestry on the wall above my bed, a young man serenading his love;
Laila and I bake a cake—Mummy’s recipe; I show her how to use knitting needles, and one day I will teach her to sew –what Mummy taught me; and I will tell my grandchildren the stories Mummy told me.
She is everywhere in my life, and always will be.
Happy birthday, Mummy.
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