As her husband served far away, she stood her ground alone, bravely sheltering and nurturing her sons. Army life was adventurous taking her across the vast land of India. She embraced many cultures, won many hearts and toiled relentlessly for her family. Always protecting her sons from arguments that wives and husbands often have. Her sole purpose, tranquility in the family. And this she was a master at, till her last breath.
Her older son a rebel and her younger son a follower. She blended the right ingredients ensuring both turn out to be her best products to this world. And since I am the author, let me state, the younger one a shade better!!😊 Through the ups and downs of life, the one constant was her being a welcoming and generous host. Her kitchen, a magical place and every mouth fed, a devout fan.
Her biggest battle came later in life when cancer first hit her in 2010. Stage 4 breast cancer did not know it’s opponent well. This was Aruna Rajendran Menon. Both threw hard punches, one drew first blood but it was mom standing victorious as a survivor for 7 years. Then this stealthy, cunning cancer blind sided her, striking a second time in her lung fluid. Once again, she fought, she ducked and weaved, staggering but standing for another 3 years. Her body and mind weakened, this filthy cancer was back. This time she had little energy and the battle was short. We lost our mom on June 17, 2021 at 7 PM India time.
This journey of the last 11 years tested her the most. Many think of it as the worst of her life. I DISAGREE. Yes, it was not pretty, but it was during these years that mom, then a housewife of 47 years, started her Amul franchise. She ran this shop with the same dedication and love that she did her home. She went on to be lovingly known as “Amul Aunty” for the community at large! America also welcomed mom in 2014 and gave her beautiful memories to cherish till the end. Many friends from this distant land offered their heartfelt support and condolences for her loss…“Until next time” they say.
I never met Mother Teresa, but I sure did live with one. She always had this healing energy and a patient ear for everyone. Thoughts shared with her in confidence stayed with her and were never betrayed. I realized what a support she was to so many by the number of calls received on her phone by those who didn’t know she had passed. She touched many lives, in times of need and celebration. Each of these folks lost a friend, a guide and an inspiration.
Life, as I know it, will never be the same. Her void difficult to fill, her voice difficult to forget, her love never to be replaced.
My mom…a soldiers wife, a mother of two and a fierce opponent of cancer.
Love you mom…until next time.
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Watch video tribute: https://youtu.be/Akwx7_XoYmE