Tuesday, 14 April 2009

Dove



Shaune whipped out the zoom lens tonight to get a close-up of this pregnant mama Robin. I've been trying to get Deaglan to notice the different birds that come into our yard. It paid off because he squealed with recognition when he saw her land on our deck.

There were also some doves in our small garden snacking on something - Shaune hopes not his garlic shoots which have started to make an appearance.

It made me think about my birth mother. Her name was Cobu. I don't remember her face all that well - it's been just over 30 years since I last saw it. It was the night that my sister and I had our very first ride in a car.

By that time, our mother, Cobu had been living in the streets with our two baby sisters surviving by cooking meals for people in exchange for scraps of food to feed her babies. Our father had kicked her out of the little mud hut telling her she had to take the babies and leave us two older girls with him to help out. She had allegedly been unfaithful to him. That's what he told all of the neighbours. That's what I believed for a long time.

Our family was extremely poor, my father pulled a rickshaw for a living, and we were Muslim. After she left, we rarely saw our mother. I remember feeling angry at her for not coming back. I was so young. A few times one of her brothers would come and take us to her when our father wasn't around. I remember pleading with her to come home or at least take us with her. It must have been so hard for her to hear us cry.

Then one day she had us brought to her again. This time she took us to a place where a Canadian woman fed us. This woman was either a missionary or a social worker and she told my mother that there was a place she could take my sister and me. A place where we would be safe, clothed and fed. My mother knew that we had not been eating, she knew that we had been begging on the streets, and she knew that she had to do something. I don't think it happened that day but soon after we were again brought to that place. This time we were bathed and given clothes. There are so many details about this that I remember because the experience was so fresh and different from what we had been living...and it was the last time I ever saw Cobu.

My older sister and I were taken to an orphanage in Dhaka (a two day boat ride away). We never saw or heard from our mother again. Once in the orphanage we were adopted within several months and flown to Canada.

I never appreciated her life as much as when I had my own child. It's clear to me that the reason our father exiled her from our home was because she kept giving birth to daughters. The shame that it brought to him he put on her by telling everyone including us that she was unfaithful. I can't imagine the courage it took to find a way to save our lives, to give us up because it would give us a better life than the one we were living.

When I saw the pregnant mama Robin tonight and the snacking doves I thought about her. I thought about her while I fed my baby, while I read him a story, while I bathed him and rocked him to sleep. I thought about how her name Cobu means dove in Bengali.

25 comments:

Natalie said...

A beautiful little mama robin. :D

What a sad story of your life! What happenend to your mother???

Love and hugs to you.xx♥

septembermom said...

Kim, your story is so moving, heroic and touching. As a young girl, you went through so much. Thank you for sharing this part of your life with us. Those last lines about your thinking of Cobu could make me cry. So beautifully written. Your mother's heart reaching out to your birth mother's heart in a way.

Kim, thanks for your kind comment on today's post. I'm feeling better about things now. Hopefully, my son's problems on the block will get better.

Vivienne said...

How brave you are to send such a personal story out into Blog-Land, and how fortunate we are who get to read it.

Oh my gosh, thank you for sharing.

naperville mom said...

Oh this so heartfelt indeed, this sharing Cobu with all of us here...Really would love to know more about her, and you:)

T Rex Mom said...

Beautiful posting. I sense your mother really loved you. Thank you for sharing this touching post with us.

Kat said...

You are such a strong woman for sharing that incredible story. I can feel the love of your mother through your words.

Anonymous said...

What an incredible story...it brought tears to my eyes.

Heather said...

Cobu sounds like a very brave woman - to give you up so you could have a better life.
Your story made me cry. It's amazing to me the things we learn about each other out here on these blogs. We read about each other's day-to-day lives with so little knowledge of where the other actually came from. Thank you for the beautiful insight to you life. :)

Crystal Jigsaw said...

This is absolutely beautiful, Kim. You tell your story with such pride for your mother.

CJ xx

Shaune McNamara said...

That was beautiful Kim. What a story and though I have heard it before, the way you wrote it here choked me up.
Love Shaune

Jen said...

Kim, what a story. While we all may be living similar lives on the surface, everyone gets there through their own personal journey, and some are so much harder (different?) than others. Thank you for sharing & reminding me of all that I have to be grateful for.

drollgirl said...

your story is heartbreaking. i feel for you, your sister and your mother. i wish someday you could find her, as i know it would be amazing to reconnect and let her meet your family.

Wendy said...

wow, i am feeling chills as i type this. thankyou for sharing. it is amazing what your mom did for you and your sister. she is a strong woman and so are you. have you tried to find her?

Funnyrunner said...

Oh my goodness! What a story! It's lovely to "meet" you in the blogosphere.

Take good care of your little angel (and the big one, too).

Sara Moriarty-delaFuente said...

You are very brave for sharing this. I am honored to know this about you. Sending you love and hugs.

Oh, and i popped over to your hubby's blog. Looks like he is an incredible chef. My hubby is an excellent cook as well. His mother is Italian and his father from Spain, and my husband manages to incorporate both in his cooking.

~Sara

Gerri said...

Oh, how beautiful. As I sit here crying in awe of your and your Mother's strength, I pray that she found peace in her faith. Faith that she was sending her girls on a journey to great possibilities. much love

david mcmahon said...

Crystal Jigsaw sent me here. I really enjoyed my first visit to your blog, and the many nuances of your writing.

I speak fluent Bengali too - and the local dialect in my first novel is all my own work, with no translator involved.

jinksy said...

A beautiful example of how great a mother's love can be...

Margaret's Ramblings said...

What a deep and abiding love your mother had for you. I only hope she knew that her sacrifice gave you and your sister the life she hoped for. God bless you.

Margaret

Sniffles and Smiles said...

Your story is one of great love and sacrifice...your mother beautiful...her legacy of love carries on through you...and you retell your story with tremendous skill and sensitivity! Congrats of POTD! It is well-deserved! Kudos to you!

Elizabeth Bradley said...

How good of you to share the story of your brave mother and your impressions as a small child and what you have grown to understand as an adult with a dependent child of your own. I cried.

Ameena said...

I had no idea you are from Bangladesh! What an amazing story Kim. Truly, you have overcome so much already! I can't imagine how you do it and I will admire you forever for doing it.

Rach (DonutsMama) said...

This was so beautiful and heartbreaking. My heart aches for Cobu and the decision she had to make.

BusyBump said...

Kim, I found your blog through BlogHer. You are a beautiful writer. This story of your childhood and your birth mother brought tears to my eyes. What a truly amazing story.

Emmy said...

I just keep clicking link after link your blog as wow- your story just floors me. I really do forget how good I have things sometimes and forget what so many have gone through. Thank you for sharing. And your mother was so extremely strong.

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