My dear global family,

It has been 20 days since the day my mom has left this planet to go to Heaven.

Losing a parent is such an outlandish feeling, like somebody took an important piece of your soul and left you figuring it out without any hints on how to move on. It is when breathing becomes so unfamiliar that you have no idea if you still belong. It is an impossible pain, however it makes you stronger, because it is the only choice you have…

I know my mom would want me to keep on smiling and move forward with the sense of purpose towards the greatness she has breathed into me.

The week before my mom has passed away, we had a profound conversation on the importance of finding the purpose of being here on Earth and discovering the gifts that each of us has to make this world a better place. I asked my mom, what she thinks her gift was to this world; she looked at me with her kind eyes and said “It is you!” she said, she believes in me, and she knows no matter what kind of challenges might be ahead, she is firm in the belief that I will be great.

Therefore, I am choosing to be patient, I choosing to be grateful for the time I was able to spent with my mom, I am choosing to celebrate each day as a promise to carry the legacy of my mom in all I do, I am choosing to continue making a difference for mothers, fathers, and children the world over, I am choosing to live each day with an open heart and an open mind.

The day my mom has passed away, on the International Day of Peace, I was getting ready for my meeting with the Russian President Putin, and my mom was so proud and excited. It was already hard for her to move and talk, but as I came to her room in the morning, she was in a lot of pain, but she found strength to extend her hands to me … as I kissed them, she said “Do not cry: it is all going to be great,” she held my hands, I looked at her eyes and they were full of courage, pride, kindness, perseverance, and warmth. If only I knew it would be the last time I see her, I would hold her hands forever …

My mom has given me the birth on Earth Day and left this planet on the International Day of Peace, and that’s how she will be remembered: peaceful and kind, a beautiful spiritual being who has blessed us with her human experience, small person with the huge heart, and of course as the mother who has experienced incomprehensible challenges to raise us, her children, and taught us to be always responsible for the space we are holding on Earth …

Mom, your heart beats in my heart! I love you and I really really miss you!!!!

Disclaimer: this beautiful piece was a speech delivered by a friend, Sayid Abdullaev, at the Farewell Party of UNESCO Chair International Regional Training Programme: A Global Intergenerational Forum in Bangkok, Thailand, November 10, 2012. You can find more about him here Sayid Abdullaev