Lesson In Prayer From My Mother
Posted by Neeti S W on Nov 22, 2017
As kids, I remember how we siblings (me and my younger two sisters) used ask so many questions to Mom and she relentlessly used answer without any grudge.
Mom, our first teacher, was always sincere in answering the questions we asked not in a childish way to put us off but for us to think more deeply. In that age, she was a complete encyclopedia for us with all her supportive patience.
I remember one day very vividly while walking on the street, we heard a siren of an ambulance pass by. Mom paused, while I tried to pull her to walk ahead, but she just was still, as if anchored for that moment. After sometime I asked her what she was doing at that moment and her answer ceased me for a while. She replied, "Whenever you hear the siren of an ambulance, just take a few seconds to pray for the patient inside who is suffering and pray that the family too gets the strength to tide over the situation."
I was thoroughly confused, and asked her, "How can we pray for somebody whom we don’t even know!"
She immediately replied, "That does not matter. You just pray sincerely and leave the rest to the Universe. It's the Power of Prayer that knows where to reach "
At that tender age, she had sown something which stayed in my heart till date.
A few months back Mom was diagnosed with bone cancer.
For 8 months, we sisters' took the best care we could for her at home, but then the time came when things were out of our hands. We had to shift her to the palliative care. She was sinking because every bone in her body was paining. When she reasoned the unbearable pain we explained to he that we were shifting her to a better place, where her pain will be reduced.
Although tired, she said, "I feel like dressing up. :) I should not look like a sick patient when I get admitted." Her spirit was upbeat as always.
We agreed. By the time she was ready, the ambulance was at our doorstep. She was laid on the stretcher and was zoomed away in the ambulance. I accompanied her to the palliative care. The ambulance negotiated through the traffic with its loud siren on for nearly one hour. Mom kept saying, "Ask the driver to go slow. I can’t take the pain." And I kept assuring her yes we are just a few minutes closer to the care centre.
By the time we reached the palliative care, Mom slipped into a semi-coma stage as her pain aggravated due to the jerks in the ambulance.
That night Mom and I were alone in the room as she lay there breathing at a slow pace. Just a little past midnight, I could not sleep, so I tried to check my emails on my mobile phone.
I saw Sheetal’s email in the inbox. It read:
Prayers for your mother, Meenaxi maa, continue to pour in from different corners of the world from friends known and unknown, yet deeply connected at the level of heart...
Here is a beautiful Sufi gift from family at the dargah where sacred prayers and music is on-going for 114 days. When our friends Kamyar and Seda, heard about how your mother resonated with our group prayers, they felt inspired to dedicate a prayer for Meenaxi maa too.
I sank into the bed, tears flowing, watching Mom. Everything had come a full circle.
While Mom was in the ambulance, some unknown folks were praying for her somewhere far away in some dargah in Turkey:
“Power of prayer," I heard her whisper.
I just sunk into the bed the whole night awake thinking about the "accurate timing" of the "returns" that come our way.
Just a couple of days back Sheetal had posted a request on our Prayer for Social Change project, and it truly had rippled far and wide.
After a couple days, my mother passed away peacefully, without pain or suffering. But even today, my heart is indebted with immense gratitude to each one known and unknown who prayed and stood by our family in so many ways, offering their little gifts in the form of bhajans (prayers), by just sitting next to Mom holding her hand, to folks far and near simply being in silence, offering prayers to her and each kind soul at the palliative care unit, taking care of her with kids' gloves.
As Brother David says, "Putting love in whatever you do is prayer. Life and Love are flowing through each one of us and we are all praying without even knowing it."
As the Good Old Book says, "So I say to you, keep on asking, and it will be given you; keep on seeking, and you will find; keep on knocking, and it will be opened to you. For everyone asking receives, and everyone seeking finds, and to everyone knocking, it will be opened."