An ode to Stepmothers

Today she is no more 😒 Thanks to the 🦠

This year I have heard 50+ death news from my second circle, third circle and larger community. This is the first time I am grieving a death in my inner circle. The texture of the pain is very different. The emotions are ineffable.

I have been jogging the memory lane all day. All stepmothers are vilified, thanks to fairytales 😒

Let me give you a different account of my stepmother. Though she was not my mother in a biological sense she was a mother in a heart-felt sense. She took care of me when my real mother was away (long story). She fed me just like her children. She made me sleep along with her children. She laughed with me the same way as a mother would do. She fought with me the same way she fights with her own children. It was too good to be true.

The society always had a poisonous look on its face. It kept asking me how am i tortured? what trauma I was going through? how much weight I have lost? how I was thrown in a dungeon? I just couldn't understand any of their questions. Irrespective of my answers they spoke their narratives but here is the truth. I was safe. I was comfortable. I was taken care. I was fed well. I was loved equally. I was treated like a child by a mother. She was not my stepmother but my mother indeed.

While the entire society and family drama was on, the connect we had could neither be described nor understood. We thought about each other all along our life. When I became a true adult, I met her and told her, irrespective of everything else, you are a mother in my heart and I don't want to ever forget that this lifetime.

We laughed. We cried. We cooked. We ate together. For the first time without any fear of society I called her "amma" and I told her "this" karma is over. I am standing on my foot and expressing the love I have for you. I want you to know this, in this lifetime. We shouldn't hit the grave without this being clear between us. We both felt a sigh of relief. We exchanged gifts. A heavy burden we both carried drifted away and we lived happily ever after like a mother and daughter would do.

I could have spent more time is the only regret. I didn't know the virus will take her away from all of us this soon. All children are empty at heart today and we don't know how to even grieve.

Pain creates art and here is something I brewed today as an ode to all loving stepmothers out there.

You didn't carry me inside your womb but you did carry me with all your heart;
You didn't have to be my mother but you did choose to be one;
You didn't bother my foreground but you nourished my background;
You didn't ask for any reciprocation but you always reciprocated love;
You didn't have to change the stereotype but you did change the very definition;
You didn't have to take care of me but you did care for me without any ask;
You are not a stepmother but just another mother ❣️

πŸ₯‚ to stepmothers!

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