For the last 12 long years, Susana Trimarco has led a tireless search for her daughter Marita Veron, who was kidnapped on 3rd April, 2002, presumably by a dominant human trafficking organization. At a time when the hapless families of such victims could do nothing but rely on the law and the police to find their loved ones, Susana went out of her way to look for her child. She dressed as a prostitute and visited brothels, fended off threats and false clues generated to deceive her and even founded the institution Fundación María de los Ángeles to rescue kidnapped Argentinian girls. The irony is that while her efforts have brought back thousands of kidnapped people and even prompted a change in the Argentine legislation, she is yet to be reunited with her own daughter. As an undaunted Susana searches for her daughter even today, I can hear the mothers across the world thanking her and silently cheering her on.
Mother’s Day officially turns 100 this year, and as I’d expected, there was another riotous celebration of consumerism filled with cards, gifts, and brunches, not to mention the deluge of love and appreciation splashed across social media.
However, Anna Jarvis, the original founder of Mother’s Day, had envisioned a very different idea of what this day’s celebration would be. For her, it was the day to celebrate your mother – the best you’ve ever known – spend time with her, thanking her for all she’d done; thus emphasizing on “Mother’s Day”, rather than the plural “Mothers’ Day”. It is ironical that the woman, who spent a considerable chunk of her inheritance fervently trying to return the day to its roots, had to die in a state of dementia, penniless in a sanatorium in 1948. This, even though she could have profited from the commercial turn Mother’s Day celebrations had taken during those times.
A mother’s love
It is the strongest of souls who do the most extraordinary of things. At a time when even her husband gave up hope and left her side in her relentless and single minded pursuit – what she now says is her life’s goal – Susana holds on.
Hers is not the only case. History is filled with the tales of bravery of those mothers who did more than anybody else could, all for their children. American athlete and Olympic champion Wilma Rudolph wore a brace on her left leg due to infantile paralysis and her mother was told that her child would never walk again. In those perilous times when medical care was only for the whites and the hospital for blacks was more than 70 km away, Wilma’s mother carried her every day to the hospital for two years. In the later years when Wilma gained fame for being the fastest woman in the world during the 60s, she always recalled that her mother told her she would walk, and that she believed in her mother.
One of the nicest things that parents do and that children take for granted is the financial support that parents provide until children realize what they want to do. In the case of famous Irish playwright G.B. Shaw, his mother, who’d been disinherited for marrying his father, kept him going with free housing/allowance till he turned 40, when he became one of the major writers of the 20th century. Imagine if she hadn’t done that! In this day and age where most of us are dependent on our parents till we turn 20, we should probably be thanking Lucinda Elizabeth Shaw and our parents for all they’ve done for us.
Yesterday, today, tomorrow – and Always
One of the most hilarious and yet perfectly true memes to hit the internet is the one where you ask mom anything and everything, right from books to food, and all you ask dad is “Where’s mom?”. Until the time we are familiar with the ways of the world, and even after that, we are completely dependent on our mothers for everything. And day after day, year after year, moms take care of us and the entire household, asking for nothing in return, because that is how the natural state of motherhood is.
Situations might have changed, but the mothers of yesterday, today and tomorrow were, are and will remain the same – unswervingly strong. As a father passes away, a mother holds the family together and gives her children everything they need, with them having nothing to complain about. As a child is taken in for a major operation, a mother waits outside the operation room, strong and silent, even as inner demons plague her mind. A career-oriented mother puts her career on the back burner, wanting to be part of her child’s life and not have the child brought up by anyone else. Calling mothers unsung heroes would probably be a huge understatement.
As my mom constantly tells me, the “job” of a mother today is an unpaid, thankless one. Anything and everything that moms do is taken for granted, and deep within me, I know she is probably true. Today, take the opportunity to be thankful to have that abyss in your life at the bottom of which you will always find love, happiness and, most importantly, forgiveness. I sincerely hope that the generation of the years to come understands how important their mothers are in their lives, because she is how things begin – she is how they begin.