Mother’s Day Minus Mummy

Last night, and again this morning, I reached for the phone to call my mother for Mother’s Day, and then it hit me. If someone does pick up the phone, it won’t be Mummy, because Mummy went home to be with the Lord last week.

It happened suddenly. She was admitted to the hospital on Sunday, May 2, and was gone on Wednesday morning. Over those three days I prayed she would live to see another Mother’s Day, and that I would get to see her once more in this life. Instead, she is celebrating Mother’s Day in heaven and I must bide my time.

I was in Phoenix for a conference when my sister messaged saying Mummy had been hospitalized. A few hours later the CT scan revealed that she had pneumonia, which even as a lay person I know is serious in the elderly.

As I drove back to LA on Monday, I prayed for healing, as I usually do when I hear someone is sick. Apart from desperately wanting to see my mother again, I felt that a miraculous healing would inspire faith in many. The Lord knows that India needs miracles in these dark days, as coronavirus has unleashed a fresh wave of fury in the land of my birth.

A man runs past the funeral pyres of coronavirus victims during a mass cremation in New Delhi, India. April 26, 2021 — REUTERS

When my father was dying of lung cancer in 2009, he kept asking to be taken home from the hospital. The doctors eventually acquiesced and he was discharged. Four days later, he died peacefully at home in his own bed.

When I heard that Mummy had passed away, I felt bad that she had not had the same privilege. She died on a hospital bed with an oxygen mask over her face. But earlier today, after I had shed fresh Mummy-shaped tears, the Holy Spirit gave me a revelation that lifted the regret in an instant.

The Holy Spirit reminded me that as a doctor Mummy had spent most of her professional life at hospital bedsides, watching people being born and die. The room in which she took her final breath was very familiar to her. Perhaps she wouldn’t have wanted it any other way.

In memory of a lovely lady who loved flowers. With thanks to Rabi and Franci Maharaj; Margaret Spencer; and Daniel Healy.

Mummy would change her Facebook profile photo every now and then. As it turns out, the last time she changed it was on the day I saw her for the last time: June 23, 2019.

I had been visiting for her 80th birthday, and my flight out of Mumbai was in the early hours of the 24th. I left Pune tearfully on the 23rd, hoping to visit her again in a year. But something terrible happened to the world in 2020 and the visit never happened.

I don’t know why Mummy chose a Mother’s Day image on June 23, because June 23 is nowhere near the occasion. Maybe she was being guided by God. For God, who knows the end from the beginning (Isaiah 46:10), knew that a Mother’s Day image would comfort me on my first Mother’s Day minus Mummy.

Her children rise up and call her blessed” (Proverbs 31:28).

A Hair-Raising Story

I don’t know how safe New Delhi’s bus stops are for women these days, but once upon a time they were about as safe as shark-infested waters are for scuba divers. This is because New Delhi’s bus stops were haunted by a breed of predatory fiend known as the chain snatcher. If you heard that a woman had had her gold chain snatched, you could safely assume that the crime had been committed at a bus stop. Continue reading