Mother's Day letter from Sundus Shaker Saleh, an Iraqi single mother

Posted by CODEPINK Staff

Dear American Mother,

I wish you a good morning, if you are reading this in the morning, and I wish you a good evening if you are reading this in the evening.

I am an Arab, eastern mother from Iraq. Today, I stand before you and share with you your day and give you my warmest regards. I may be far away physically, but my spirit is with you and I imagine myself sitting beside you.

Allow me to first start off with sending you greetings on this day, before my emotions take over my words, because I want to win your heart and express to you my most sincere feeling: allow me to wish you a very happy Mother’s Day, and blessed returns, wherever you may be, whether in your home or anywhere around the world.

Allow me to give you this letter, to hear it if you are around, or to read it if you are not. In Arabic, the word “mother” is made of four letters; they might be small in number, but they are large in who they describe and great in what they mean.

To you I say, every mother is a home, every mother is a home, every mother is a home. And the Creator (almighty) was the first to discover and learn your value and how important you are to all humanity. He created Eve and sent her down to earth to complete a noble message of motherhood and be proud of her children and their children after that for many generations after.

For you, oh, American mother, this earth you walk over lightly like the raindrops fall over it and turn it green, may a heart never learn to be far from meeting you, and you have in my heart a memory of a day in the future to meet you.

And once again, I remind you and say every mother is a home, and if a woman was not a home then we all would be orphans in this world.

And I know, someone else will ask me this question: Do you have any children? Which one is your favorite? And my answer is yes, I have five children, four boys and a daughter and they are all dear to my heart, each and every one of them. I love the youngest until he grows older, the ill until he is healed and the traveler until he returns home. And my daughter, she stands for all that a woman is and a mother would be proud of.

I always remind my children of this: never forget an eye that stayed up the night watching you sleep soundly and safely, and never neglect a soul that exists to protect you. I ask you to never desert what lies in your chest, beating with love, never tires from loving and once you ignore it a mother’s heart bleeds with pain. If you know where your heart is you will know where the love is.

I know that one day an American mother will ask me: Is your mother still around? And how much do you love her? And to that I answer yes! I do have a mother and I love her very much. I love the ocean because it is as deep as my mother’s love, I love the mountain because it stands proud like my mother, I love the sun because its rays shine from my mother, I love the moon because it glows like my mother. Yes, I love this life because my mother brought me to it, that’s who my mother is and that’s the kind of love she gave and taught me.

I miss my mother dearly, and she lives far away from me. I miss her warmth and compassion and how I miss throwing myself in her arms and share with her my worries and what sorrows I have lived through, and she in return hears me, comforts me and gives me advice and I follow it to the word!

This war that was brought on us tore me and my mother apart, it drifted me away from her, but she is always near to me in my heart and I will always long for that day she and I will be together again soon. For our hearts are homes, homes that carry hopes ended with disappointments and dreams that never saw the light. In our hearts there is nothing left but the sighs of longing to be reunited again.

I ask from you, oh American mother, to pray that I will be with my mother again, for my son to return home to me and for every mother that got separated from her child to be with them again like the sweet grains of sugar that melts in the love and compassion of their mothers, like the sun that shines after a long, dark night.

I thank you for your love and your passion, and I thank you for allowing me the opportunity to address you on this day, and I conclude my words by asking all mothers to hold her children and embrace them warmly after she returns home from celebrating her day, for that warm embrace is what true love lies. For the love that a mother’s heart is occupied with her children’s love.

I thank you once again and I wish you many happy returns on your day. And if I live long enough, I pray that I will be celebrating your day with you in person with all my heart.

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