Brand building through storytelling

My Mother – Rakieh Mourtada

Rakieh M

In memory of Rakieh Mourtada, April 21, 1935 to June 3, 1990.

I see my mother every day. In the hazel eyes of the woman beside me on the subway. In the auburn hair of the lady dining at the restaurant table adjacent to mine. In the lightly wrinkled hands of the grocery clerk as she hands me my change.

I look for my mom wherever I go. She died 17 years ago. I was 14 years old. She was 55, a healthy, active woman, who one summer day lay down on the couch for a quick rest and never got up. A heart attack, out of the clear blue sky, forced her last breath. The first person I knew in the world, the person I knew best, was suddenly gone.

I resented my girlfriends when they complained about their moms. At least you have one, always on the tip of my tongue. I felt jealous of my older sisters, both fully grown women when she died, for having more time with her than I did. I was even mad at my sweet, dear mother for leaving me.

All these years later, my anger at the world has dissolved. In its place is an emptiness, a sense of profound loss, that I know is simply a part of who I am.

I wonder now what my mother, a woman who had been married for a decade and had borne my three siblings by the time she was my age, would think of me. Her youngest child, unmarried at 31, a professional woman in a city she never knew. Had she lived, I?m not sure who I?d have become.

I look for my mother in the faces of strangers every day. But the moments I see her best, most vivid and true, are when I look in the mirror.

Posted by Rasha Mourtada

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