I don’t know where to begin so I’ll start out with two simple words- thank you.
Thank you for everything you have done from day one, as a wife and a mother. But specifically, thank you for your commitment to us during Ramadan.
I recall the early mornings you would wake us up for suhur. You would be sure to work very quietly in the kitchen so that you don’t disturb our deep sleep, and wake us up only after the food was beautifully arranged on the table. You would come back to our rooms and call on us gently many, many times- for we were so lazy and wouldn’t get up from the first time. The variety of food that you would prepare ranged from fruit to warm drinks to soft meats. You would even place a Flintstones vitamin (the flavors we preferred!) next to each of our plates. Everything would smell and look appetizing, yet you still took the honor upon yourself to slice, stuff, and peel whatever it was we wanted to eat. Honestly, all that was left was for you to do was hand-feed us. We were like seven toddlers (including dad!) sitting on the table around you- who I barely recall eating. After suhur, you would just ask that we clear off the table, make wudu, pray fajer, and go back to bed. You would stay awake…sometimes I would hear you cleaning up in the kitchen and other times I would hear you reading Quran- to which I would peacefully fall asleep on.
I remember you preparing iftar so early in the day still. You would ask us what we each were craving and you’d make sure you cook at least one thing from each of our “lists”. You would spend endless hours in the kitchen and only ask from us that we set up the table and clear it off at the end. And oh what a deal we would make of that task! Aside from your bountiful spread of foods on the dinner table- which was bound to end up with left overs (for which you would have the following day, because of course we requested new cravings), you would have delicious desserts baking freshly as we ate. At the time, it felt to me as though you had a magic wand that you would wave and in an instant we would have everything that we wanted in front of us. Right now, though, I know that there was no magic wand. Rather, there was an amazing mother who I can never thank enough.
Dear mama, I am now a wife. And I am now a mother. And I am now the one who prepares suhur and iftar during the month of Ramadan in my home. All while I fast, mind you. I put my family before myself. Seeing them break their fast and satisfy their hunger or thirst satisfies me to a point where I no longer feel the need to eat or drink. It is not easy having the job of a wife and a mother during the month of Ramadan, and so again I thank you. It is not easy, but it is truly a blessing. May Allah grant you, and the wives and mothers like you, the highest janna and bless you with all goodness always.
Thank you, mama.
Hoda is a wife and a mother to a stillborn daughter in heaven and a one year old son. She is an elementary public school teacher and lives in Virginia.