it was not until my visit home last Christmas that i realized how much sacrifice a mother makes in letting her children go. until then, going away, both for studies and work, has always been an entry to a new world - with all the thrill and excitement making me too blind to notice the sad cry and deep sorrow hidden in my mom's eyes.
this time however things were different. it was a full house with all but one of her seventeen member family gathered under a single roof, a roof that otherwise silently cries out for inhabitants. and for two long weeks, it was just food, fun, and fervor for us grown ups; and quarrels and make ups for the little ones. we all wished time stood still in that little house of ours with nobody ever having to return to the real world. but like all things mortal - and there is nothing worldly that is immortal - there came the time for the dream to end; and for the harsh reality to once again steal us away from our beloved mother's lap. i had a few more days of leave, and thus it was i, alone with my parents and not so little youngest sister.
its these very few days that opened my eyes to a mother's heart. a heart that is so tender, yet so strong. a heart that every single mother have so successfully hidden away from the rest of the world. a heart that we, the children (esp. us men), will never learn to appreciate. a heart that would do anything and everything to hold on to us, yet lets us go because her well-wishes outweigh her love for us. and above all, a heart that will always be there for us - no matter what.
i pray Allah gives all mothers strength to persevere, and that their gone away children grow up to be men and women whom the whole world are proud of.