Mary was a Housewife – The word commonly used in many countries to describe a stay at home married woman. A 24 X 7 job. No holidays. No salary and most of the time no appreciation.
Strangely Mary didn’t seem to mind any of it. Not at all.
There was never a day in summer or winter when Mary was ‘free’. She was always wrapped up in something or another. The multiple activities, which made up her long day were varied in nature and yet there was always some sort of a routine. The lovely Mary went about executing this routine like a purposeful warrior in a battlefield. Just like an unpredictable war zone, no day within the walls of her home, was alike. Each day brought with it a different set of challanges.
Despite being engulfed in constantly changing factors such as familial circumstances, moods of people around her, external influences and her own human limitations; Mary rose each morning like the bright sun rises to shine above the darkness. Spreading comfort all around. She did not, for a moment let her energy or her effort submit to the cancer that was silently eating away at her from within.
It was almost as though she and the disease she was suffering from, were daring each other to see, who made it to the finish line first!
The terminal illness must have realized that it was up against a tough opponent. Doctors too, were baffled by how Mary would simply refuse the stronger treatment they advised. Her own wisdom and common sense had made Mary a mini – doctor of sorts. Mary, the warrior gave cancer a formidable fight for as long as she could and up until the end, lived her life better than modern medicine predicted she would!
Mary was the epitome of warmth and welcome; her large-hearted gestures and never say die attitude made her find a permanent place in the hearts of many. She had ardent fans across religious and socio-economic lines. From the milkman to the town celebrity whoever came to know her, adored her. She would earn their love and loyalty for life. The doors of her home were always open and inviting for all.
There were of course as there always are, a handful of people who perhaps quietly hoped that Mary’s resilience would give way soon. Fortunately they were far outnumbered by the ones who prayed for her miraculous recovery. The heartfelt wishes of those who cared for her, combined with her own strong will to live on for her family, most especially her grandchild, helped Mary’s resolve. She tightened her grip with as much strength as she could, over life’s fleeting moments.
Mary wasn’t ready to give up on her home just yet. Absolutely not! Note here, the use of the word HOME. Yes, it was the welfare of her home, the continuity of its most perfect functioning and NOT the longevity of her own life that consumed Mary’s thoughts.
Her home was her Kingdom. Her family her Crown.
Mary had spent a lifetime making her Kingdom shine and her Crown sparkle. Brick by brick, with tireless effort she had built her little world. Cementing it with selfless love, since the moment she had stepped into it as a committed bride, forty years ago; where she had become a devoted mom and now a doting grandmother.
It is perhaps, not a choice of life that ALL women have the luxury of making; due to either their own circumstances or their own ability. It is most certainly not an easy life and hence not everyone’s cup of tea! Those who do decide to don the hat of a housewife, give up all of themselves and more to their homes and the people in it. Their warm presence can be felt, in the cold bricks of their homes even long after they are gone. Mary was one of them.
Yes Mary was a housewife – A true Homemaker. A never to be forgotten Real Life Hero.
Urvashi Kumar Trikha
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