Friday, May 7, 2010

Mothers day

In 1979 my mother and her sister were sitting in a milkshake bar in a small town called Ernakulam in Southern India. My father, a pig hunting, farm roaming salt of the earth type clapped eyes on her and that was that. My existence was a sealed deal. They were married within three months.

Bessy was supposed to have an arranged marriage and the communty was in uproar. The woman gossiped, sighed loudly and cursed the heavens (all the while secretely enjoying the juiciness of the scandal), the men smacked their foreheads in exasperation and indulged in heated debates accompanied by whiskey and late night cards. My stubborn mother stuck to her guns and gained the eventual support of her mother. This was all that mattered.

When they tied the knot a 1300 year old heritage was broken. In 700AD, 60 families from Syria made the voyage to India where they set up a new life. This community, called Canaanites, married strictly within the 60 families keeping the bloodline pure Syrian. Books were kept recording every birth, death and marriage and mum can track her lineage back 1300 years. My brother and I were wiped clean from the books and her heritage was snubbed out from the community forever.

After travelling through Europe mum moved to New Zealand with dad. With her family oceans away, unusual customs and climate and not a single friend but my father, it must have been lonely. She has built an amazing life for herself and the made the most of every opportunity given to her. Bess now has her MBA, manages a veternary and biomedical faculty at a university, cooks the best meals I have ever tasted and most importantly, leaves any boyfriend of mine quaking in their boots with her sassiness.

Happy mother day! x

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