A young man had recently got married to the girl of his choice. The boy’s mother had initially expressed her disapproval of the match, for she did not feel that the girl was the right one for her son, but seeing that her son was too much in love, she gave her consent. The young bride never got along with her mother-in-law, right from day one. But the old mother tried her best to adjust to keep peace in the house. One day the young bride told her husband, “I cannot stand the way your old mother clears her throat all day. I can not stand the smell of her body when she sits with us. She is always interfering with my routine. Let us shift to another house. I cannot live with her any longer.”
The boy tried very hard to reason out with his wife. But she would not listen. The old mother overheard all this and called her son aside, “It’s a common thing son. She is young and wants you for herself alone. You should make your home in another place. At least she’ll be happy.” The son argued, “No, mother. I cannot leave you alone at this age. Who will look after you?” But the mother insisted, “For my sake, son. Do it for my sake.”
So the young couple moved to another place leaving the old mother to fend for herself. One day the couple had an argument over a trivial matter and the wife said, “You don’t love me. You love your mother. That’s why you’re always fighting with me.” The man said, “No darling, I love you. I’d do anything for you.” “Anything?” she asked. “Sure, anything for you, my love!” he affirmed. “Then get me the heart of your mother,” she said defiantly. He was shocked, “How can I get you my mother’s heart? Are you crazy! Ask me for something else. This is impossible.” But the wife said, “No, just the heart; I want the heart, or I’ll kill myself.” The man loved his wife too much, so he went to his mother’s house. He hid behind the curtain with a sharp knife in his pocket, waiting for her to go to sleep, so that he could slit her breast and carve out her heart. She sat up till late, writing a letter. Eventually, she got up and drew aside the curtains to let the moonlight seep in. Instead she saw her son and exclaimed, “Oh! My son! It’s so wonderful to see you. I was writing a letter to you. I’m so happy you have come to see me.” The son broke down and told his mother just what he had come for. She smiled softly and said, “That’s not difficult son, just take my heart and go.” So saying, she snatched the dagger from the son’s hand and stabbed herself. The son was beside himself with grief. But he decided that there was no point in letting his mother’s sacrifice, go in vain. So, he carved out her heart from her chest and held it in his hand. He started walking towards his house in the dark of the night. On the way he stumbled upon a stone on the footpath and fell down. The mother’s heart, that was in his hand, slipped and fell on the road. A voice came from it, “Oh! My son! Are you alright? I hope you did not hurt yourself?”
That is a mother’s heart! It knows only how to love her child. It knows only to give, give and give; it knows not the meaning of ‘take’. The mother-child relationship is the purest relationship in the world. A mother is the only entity in the world that knows the meaning of the term, ‘unconditional love’.
Dear reader, take this opportunity to reflect upon how much love your mother has showered upon you. If she is still alive, tell her that you realize it and value it; she will surely value the acknowledgement!