Why God Made Mothers

WHY GOD MADE MOMS: Answers given by 2nd grade school children to the following questions:

Why did God make mothers?
1.  She’s the only one who knows where the scotch tape is.
2.  Mostly to clean the house.
3.  To help us out of there when we were getting born.

How did God make mothers?
1.  He used dirt, just like for the rest of us.
2.  Magic plus super powers and a lot of stirring.
3.  God made my mom just the same like he made me.  He just used bigger parts.

What ingredients are mothers made of?
1.  God makes mothers out of clouds and angel hair and everything nice in the world and one dab of mean.
2.  They had to get their start from men’s bones.  Then they mostly use string, I think.

Why did God give you your mother and not some other mom?
1.  We’re related.
2.  God knew she likes me a lot more than other people’s mom like me.

What kind of a little girl was your mom?
1.  My mom has always been my mom and none of that other stuff.
2.  I don’t know because I wasn’t there, but my guess would be pretty bossy.
3.  They say she used to be nice.

What did mom need to know about dad before she married him?
1.  His last name.
2.  She had to know his background.  Like is he a crook?  Does he get drunk on beer?
3.  Does he make at least $800 a year?  Did he say NO to drugs and YES to chores?

Why did your mom marry your dad?
1.  My dad makes the best spaghetti in the world.  And my mom eats a lot
2.  She got too old to do anything else with him.
3.  My grandma says that mom didn’t have her thinking cap on.

Who’s the boss at your house?
1.  Mom doesn’t want to be boss, but she has to because dad’s such a goof ball.
2.  Mom.  You can tell by room inspection.  She sees the stuff under the bed.
3.  I guess mom is, but only because she has a lot more to do than dad.

What’s the difference between moms and dads?
1.  Moms work at work and work at home and dads just go to work at work.
2.  Moms know how to talk to teachers without scaring them.
3.  Dads are taller and stronger, but moms have all the real power ’cause that’s who you got to ask if you want to sleep over at your friends.
4.  Moms have magic, they make you feel better without medicine.

What does your mom do in her spare time?
1.  Mothers don’t do spare time.
2.  To hear her tell it, she pays bills all day long.
3.  She doesn’t have spare time, but my dad says she has a lot of spare tires.

What would it take to make your mom perfect?
1.  On the inside she’s already perfect.  Outside, I think some kind of plastic surgery.
2.  Diet.  You know, her hair.  I’d diet, maybe blue.

If you could change one thing about your mom, what would it be?
1.  She has this weird thing about me keeping my room clean.  I’d get rid of that.
2.  I’d make my mom smarter.  Then she would know it was my sister who did it not me.
3.  I would like for her to get rid of those invisible eyes on the back of her head.

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They were such an important part of our lives, no?

The letters!

 I used to wait for letters from home when I was in college, and when I moved here in the mid-sixties it was such a wonderful part of the day to receive letters.

Remember Inland letters and Aerograms? We would always opt for those two forms of communication, just to avoid paying more postage if we were to write the letters on paper and put them in an envelope.

I remember, at first when I came here and was new to the western ways and highways, I would be sitting in the car reading a fresh aerogram that had arrived from home while M drove. We would stop at a stop light and I would continue to read the words out loud, until people in the back would alert us with blaring horns because the light had turned green! The cars would pass us and I used to hold up the aerogram to let them know that it was the letter from home! Like they cared! I would have a big smile on my face, and continue to read the letter several times before the end of the day.

I was searching for something in one of the drawers recently, and came across a stack of old letters, in envelopes and aerograms. Missives written in beautiful Urdu, by a pair of old hands. What love poured out of those words! Addressing their daughter, they would say such beautiful attributes like Meri Jaan Zakiah, (my life) meri lakht e jigar, (this sounds cheesy, but it translates to piece of liver, and is profound in its meaning, because liver is such an important organ in our bodies), or Quratul Aiyn (the peace and light of my eyes); I sat for hours reading each letter, kissing the writing of my dear parents, and hearing their voice in those words.

A couple of years back my nephew went for Hajj. I sent him a hand written letter congratulating him on the journey. He was so excited to get my letter, and called me right away to tell me how much he cherished getting a hand written letter.

How would we translate those feelings in an email, written in English to a daughter or son who do not know the beauty or the romance of the Urdu language. They would say—“yeewww mom, piece of your liver? Okay, please just send a text, why don’t you?!”

When my grandchildren see me reading Urdu or Farsi books, they are curious enough to ask what the script is all about. I try teaching them, but they forget and the attention span is not as good as a video they were watching some time back.

Regardless of whether the letters were written in Urdu or English, they were precious. I am so happy I saved them.

Now, like a fool I wait for the mail to arrive every day. Why? Why do I do that? Who is going to write a long letter to me and send it via USPS? All I get are letters from Obama, or Biden, recently I got one from Nancy Pelosi, and then I get flyers from car dealerships or insurance companies like AARP. Occasionally I get a small envelope with hand written address; I open it thinking that there is a neat message. All it would be a typed invitation to something, which I had to respond by email!! Wedding invitations also have taken to the internet.
So any more, I do not wait for the mail man. It is all in the past.

Soooo, about this package of old missives that I have from decades ago, I just don’t know what to do with them at this time in my life. I have kissed them, opened and laid them on my eyes, my heart whispering, “they touched these flimsy papers—they used the ink of their fountain pens on these sheets— and I try to feel the softness of their fingers as I caress the papers and the writing.

I shall continue to save them.

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I am such a Showoff!

A carpet of august clematis.

And finally the sunflowers. They are humongous.

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My Son in Law- 60th Birthday

Some of you have known about David my son in law. In 2013 he was diagnosed with metastatic prostate cancer. He was 49 years old. To say that the MD had not done regular PSA tests, or bothered to scan the reason for the back pain or the shoulder pain, would be an understatement. When we got the result of the MRI which was finally done and the results known, there was pall of devastation over our homes.
What I went through and what my darling daughter went through, is of course indescribable. The oncologist gave us a year at the most to enjoy his presence in the family.

Should I talk about prayers? The day and night of standing and trying to communicate with the Higher Power, crying, crying and more crying, asking Him to spare my daughter the agony of being without her husband. The devotion they had with each other was exemplary. How could my daughter with two small children manage her life? The kneeling, standing, prostrating, begging day and night of my prayers finally started helping.

Then a year passed, and we were grateful, then another year. He continued to get his PSA monitored by the oncologist. He was on a regimen of medications. My daughter was a great support, and Dave swore to have a positive attitude. Noah graduated from High School! One big milestone for Dave. He was able to attend the commencement exercises.

Gradually the years kept sliding by. He would begin to get back on the golf course  with my husband and my son. The first day he played golf (He used to be the city champion, and a scratch player), I had fallen on my prayer rug and cried my heart out with thanks for that moment.

Prayers continue, not just mine, but also of so many beautiful friends right here on WP who had him in their prayers and thoughts. The younger son Davis started school, and Noah went to a prestigious university for architectural engineering. He graduated with honors from there and got a position in Kansas City Missouri, and Dave attended the graduation with Saadia and Davis. We streamed it here while my tears of gratitude ran down my cheeks recounting the years of what he has been through.

This year Davis graduated Suma cum laud from High School.

The best part is, we celebrated Dave’s 60th birthday on Monday this week! I remember the oncologist laughing at me, when I had cried and said, “If only he would live to see his son graduate from school!” How great and mysterious are God’s ways! We celebrated Dave’s birthday, a decade and some after the diagnosis.

On Wednesday this week Davis started College at Illinois Wesleyan University, which is again a prestigious school. Dave and Saadia took him there and got him settled in his room.

Tears of thankfulness, my heart trembles at the mercy that is given us. I have no words to express the gratitude I feel for this blessing. Every day is a new day and every breath is a breath of thanksgiving.

Thought I would let you all know how Dave is doing. Please continue to keep him in your prayers if you are the praying kind.

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Came across this photo when I was searching for something else. This is the Pear tree in the back. A couple of winters ago, when the icicles just hung from every branch and twig.
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Photos from yesterday.

For some reason known only to this computer, I couldn’t post these photos yesterday when I posted the August Clematis. I had a couple other dishes of lentils and the mango dessert, and baklava. I forgot to take photos of those dishes. Anyway, This is what we had last night.

Shrimp Pulao.
Cod in tomato sauce and coriander.
Pepper chicken with potatoes.
Kofta and egg curry.
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August Clematis.

A couple of pictures of August Clematis.
Do you see the million buds on the vine? In a week they will all bloom, and bees will have a hay day. Their fragrance is similar to that of jasmine.
Had a couple of friends over for dinner tonight. Made shrimp pulao, chicken with potatoes, Fish in tomato sauce and egg and kofta curry. Had Baklava and Mango dessert. It was a fun evening.

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Root Canal

Have I told you how much I hate going to the dentist? Sure I have. I have wailed about it, and thrown temper tantrums on the pages of Xanga. I know a lot of you are also in my corner and do not like to go to the dentist’s office or sit in that “lounging chair”, and listen to the grating sound of the drill.

What is worse is having to get a root canal. Guess who went through one today! yup, your truly did. OMG! OMG! Couldn’t sleep at night thinking of the torture I was going to be going through, and the Xylocaine shots that I would have to suffer and the fact that I would have to keep the dang mouth open for such a long time, and of course the anxiety that comes with it.

Why am I such a wuss? I have been through major aches and pains and surgical procedures, but when it comes to the dentist, I am so silly. The dentist has to remind me to breathe every so often because I hold my breath. Anyway, today this super duper Harvard-trained specialist looked inside my mouth for an hour and a half, and drilled, and dug around, and scraped, and opened the calcified canals, and killed the nerves!
Actually, he was very good! Very very good. I was just a basket case. He knew what he was doing and explained the various steps in a very soothing voice. Why do I get so upset before going, is just beyond me.

The after effects of the wonky lips going north by northwest, the hideous smile, the water that spurts out when I rinse my mouth, are all too funny to recount. Anyway, I had my share of “torture” today. I am supposed to go back in a month for him to cement it up and clean or whatever it is he wants to do.

Young kid. Probably not much older than my grandson. His father was a dental student when I was working. He would help me do autopsies, and then he became a good dentist in a neighboring town. At the end of his summer internship with me, I paid him something, and he did not want to accept the check. He said he was grateful for the experience and learnt a lot and thought he would have had to pay me for teaching him. Such a sweet young man! And now his son is the local popular Endodontist! How sweet is that??!!

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Classified/Top Secret Files

America is abuzz with the classified and secret files that are found elsewhere, when they should have been in the White House. You think that Trump wasn’t aware that he could take them home with him? Just a thought! I will tell you the reason why.

The year was 1973. I was doing my residency in Surgical Pathology as a second year resident. Not a peon, but not much better than that. The first year residents and the interns are the true peons, who are taken advantage of and abused by the senior residents. Second year residents are not as badly off, but still, they go through a rough time. I did a lot of autopsies in my first year, about a hundred and ten and almost as many during my second year.
One such day I had two autopsies to do. I finished both and dictated everything on the first one. The second autopsy was on a man with a complicated history and physical. It was late in the day, and therefore I thought I will take the record (patient chart) home and look at it with leisure and write out the pertinent facts, and come Monday I would dictate it in the pathology office.

I finished my work over the weekend, was very happy with my accomplishment, and went to the hospital early on Monday morning with the said patient record and my notes. I entered the pathology department, and saw the administrator of the hospital, my director, several other pathologists along with rank and file of the hospital. I smiled at all of them and tried to edge my way into my cubicle.

I heard the chair of the department calling my name. I stopped in my track, and looked at him.
“Did you do the autopsies yesterday?”
I replied “yes”, and told him that I was going to dictate the report soon.
He asked, “Do you know where the chart is?”
Again, I said “yes, I have it with me here!”

Every one, every single person there, looked at me like I was an alien. Their mouths were open, and they all had this look of either relief or anger or what, I couldn’t say.

I was looking at all of them. Finally the Chairman said, “Did you know that a patient’s record cannot be taken out of the hospital?”
Now my mouth was open. “Really?” I asked. “No I did not know that. I took it home to study the chart so if need be, I could present it for Grand Rounds!”

OMG! There was such a cacophony of voices all at once, telling me that I had done a horrible mistake, and I could have been arrested blah blah blah. My heart was beating like the wings of a humming bird. I handed him the chart right away, and with a trembling voice told him, that I had no idea that was such an important issue, especially because the person was dead.

Well to make a long story short, every one, i mean every single “peon”, every doctor, every nurse knew what I had done. Talk about being embarrassed and ashamed. But, The chairman was so so so very kind to me. He sat down with me and explained how these documents are critical to a hospital setting, and they should never leave the hospital grounds. He knew that I was telling the truth and knew right away that it was an unforced error on my part.
So, having told this story, I wonder now, do I think Trump didn’t know that he should have taken things from the White House??

Naaaah! No way! I think he knew. That’s what I think.

Please note that this is not a political post. It is a story that I have been through. So don’t throw poisoned darts at me.

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MY garden, indoors and out,
Makes my heart sing.
These orchids, stand tall like
sentinels of inbred clan
forcing light of human grace
in buds on stems, and wilted blooms!©

These orchids love the front window, They bloomed in mid February, and have been going strong till now. In the last couple of weeks, I have noticed a few blooms getting dried and wilted.
But do you see the buds ? They are so ready to bloom even though there has been no hibernation of the plant as such. I am very happy and very excited. This is the first time I have seen this happen. I get excited for small things like this. makes my heart happy.
There is a small bud that I found this afternoon. On another plant of the same kind. I love this window as much as the orchids love it.


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