Rukhsana Rahman

My mother was unwaveringly dedicated to us, not an easy task when my father moved us from country to country in pursuit of a better life. Thinking back, it baffles me that she followed my dad by train from India to Pakistan and then Pakistan to England, this time with a toddler, never mind the numerous times within the city of Karachi (6 times in 10 years, to be exact), from Pakistan to Zambia and finally to the USA. I never saw her fret over anything during those intercity or transcontinental moves.

Having moved a lot, I lost out on the love and support of doting grandparents who would impart generational wisdom. Fortunately, many other women of different faiths became my ‘teachers.’ My best friend Priti’s mom modeled unconditional love, and I became an honorary member of their family. Our friend Isobel Seubert, who insisted on being an adoptive grandmother for our three adopted kids, and my husband’s best friend Anil’s mother were two of the kindest and most generous souls I had in my life.

Then there was the wise Esther Lovett, who helped raise my kids. Being from a large family and having raised her own kids, she taught me to be less inquisitive. Her motto is “Sometimes the less I know, the better”. Betty Davis, my caring neighbor from across the street and fellow walker, became a friend who gave me unconditional love and respect, in Betty’s eyes I could do no wrong. Guddo Khala (Urdu for Aunty) gently guided me back to my faith.

And, of course, Mary Furlong put me on a pedestal, sometimes making me feel like I was walking on water. All but one are gone now, leaving me wanting to be just like them ‘when I grow up.’

Rukhsana Rahman, pictured here, is longtime supporter of the YWCA of Gettysburg & Adams County and a former member of the Board of Directors. 

Translate »