The firsts are always painful, and so is the first of the rains without mom around. The finality of it hurts the most, no one to wait for me, no more of the unique preparations she used to make, no more also of the seasonal illnesses that afflicted her unfailingly and limited her movements every year (which is for the best).
One of my favourite monsoon memories from childhood is of returning post classes walking along shining streets that reflected light strewing the paths with a million stars or diamonds based on how you looked at it or valued most. Those were dreamy days, also full of pain and the sense of foreboding that monsoon always characterised for me. Growing up, seeing my mom in pain I always imagined she would pass away in the monsoon. But instead she went in the winter, four days post my birthday, the day she helped me enter the world.