It’s International Women’s Day today. It’s to commemorate contributions.
It’s to call attention to issues of relevance that need attention.
It’s also, my mom and dad’s (Mumma, Daddy) anniversary.
After my Dad died, a number of family members and community members came up to me and talked about how my Dad was an advocate. In a community and a culture not known for advocating for women’s rights, he not only advocated, he simply believed. To him anything other than equality, was not only injustice, it was inconceivable.
I had a friend who after college happened to work for my Dad. She told me that he treated her with the love one would have for a daughter, and the respect one would have for a boss. She was a friend of mine; degrees of people directly removed from my Dad, but he was there for her before he knew our connection. He did this for our cousins. He did this for friends. He did this for people in our community. There was no show and there was no soapbox and there was no pulpit.
He just did. Because not doing, was not an option. It was unfathomable.
The strength of conviction here, started with my Mom. Mom made him realize that his expectations of people would never compare to what she showed him was possible.
When she came to the US, Daddy submerged and immersed her in life. It was hard. Daddy was hard. Because he believed in her. And held her to the highest standards and expectations. Of what she was capable of around the house. With us as children. In the community. With our extended family. With, his mom. Yes. Daddy helped my mom grow, change, adapt, evolve.
But I think if we look back on it, well, she changed him way more. He said as much. Especially toward the end of his life, he said as much. Her work had so outpaced his expectations he found himself humbled. And then, dependent. Daddy changed, evolved, grew as a result of my mom. I know for certain that for the nearly 50 years they were together, the reason he believed so strongly in equality and in all the women he came across — was because of my Mom. We’ll never be able to measure, what was set first. His expectations. Or her achievements well beyond those expectations. What I know, is that they built, and they climbed, and they scaled. They also created momentum.
Three years after his death, I see my mom, still climbing, still scaling. He’s not here to set new expectations and new possibilities. So she does it for him. “What would your Dad have expected of me?”
She sets it. Gets back into her own position. And then, she continues to scale past them.
Happy Anniversary, Mumma and Daddy. #iamgrateful and #iamthankful for all the expectations you set, all the possibilities you showed us were real, and all the examples you set, scaling past both. Mumma, Renu Bhatt I love you. And I’m so happy I got to see your face today. I am also proud of you. We are proud of you. And we’re celebrating.
Today we celebrate the best gifts you’ve given to one another.
His gift: His expectations, grand, wonderful, tremendous, expectations of you and what you make possible.
Your gift: That you keep climbing, keep scaling, keep growing beyond the highest expectation he could imagine. Still proving to him that you’re the one who sets the standard for what’s possible. I mean hell, Mumma, you even got him to dance. https://www.facebook.com/…/pcb…/10102269266643264