Tuesday, May 12, 2015

To Ma, With Love

This Mother's Day, I dedicate this article To Ma, With Love

I have never taken a school bus before. I remember envying my neighbours boarding that bright yellow tank which had ‘BAS SEKOLAH’ boldly spelled in black on it. As they chugged their way to school, I threw my bags into my mother’s car and unwillingly buckled my seatbelt. The driver always wondered why this child was so unhappy to go to school in an air-conditioned Nissan.

Being a kid, I never understood why my mother did not work. I did not seem to like the idea of my mother not arriving in a suit on my report card day or not having my mother’s office to talk about. When most of my friends were sweltering in bas sekolahs from school, I arrived home half an hour earlier than my friends, washed and fed with steaming home-cooked food. But still, I longed to be home alone with a maid or eat catered food just because I wanted to be like my other friends. This is an example of my utter imbecility. In retrospect, if I had a kid like yours truely, I would have already given her up for adoption!

My mother decided to be a stay-home mum since I was conceived. She is the first person I met when I knew how to open my eyes, my first friend and my first teacher. She never leaves my sister and I unattended. She is always there during our cute years and errr… not-so-cute years =P

Mama always had solutions to my schooling woes. During those days, I was always able to attend extra-curricular activities and tuition classes. While my classmates had to fuss about transport arrangements every time there was an extra class, all this little high-achiever had to do was to tell her mum. Every freckle on my mother’s skin is the price she paid for driving me to afternoon classes. When young, I was surprised at how easy it is to relate anything to my mother. She knows all of my friends and oh, who does not know the friendly Aunty Hooi. This was before I found out that she made an effort to remember them and to listen to all my stories even if it meant using toothpicks to pry her eyes open. I know she is not the only mother who prepares healthy recess meals for her daughter but only she (and daddy-Papa, you have to wait for Father’s Day) is willing to put such love in my Tupperware.

Mama and I in Bali
It was not until recently when I started to handle my own finances, that I feel the pinch of living in the city. It made me wonder in awe how my parents could manage to raise my sister and I without letting us feel any lesser than other children. When there is one parent less earning, Hasbro and GUESS Kids could not be options. My mother always has a clever way to make us understand. At the most average of incomes, my mother could still manage to send us for piano lessons, speech and drama classes and holiday courses. Now that I have grown up, I realized it was all at the expense of her facial sessions and Louis Vuittons.
Mama loves to be among flowers
Mama is the most selfless person I have ever known. She always thinks on my behalf first. I remember having to be overseas during Mother’s Day one year. When this daughter had the cheek to ask about missing the celebration, she insists that it would not be an issue and totally gave her permission for me to be away as I was rarely with my boyfriend. Upon hearing that, I decided to immediately return. Mama's forgiving heart is vast. If there was a test to demonstrate unconditional love, mama would have scored 200%

Mama is naturally jovial and has her playful side
She also imparts advice to me not only on how to survive as a woman but also to the extent of being a good daughter to my future mother-in-law. How many mothers are willing to prep her daughter to be daughter to another family? Her generosity and candour disarm me all the time. Her most distinct advice to her children is to “do your part”. This advice will embed in me until the end of time. Through her rich experiences, she evidently proves that as long as we have done our part and responsibility, we can live with our heads up and unthreatened by others’ doings or sayings. Do our part so that we do not live in regret and hypocrisy. Whenever I am lost, I would wonder what my mother would have done because she is not only wise but a kind being. She never judges me and therefore I can run to her in any circumstance. Mama…how long more can I run to you? If I could, I would make you live with me forever.

Mama and I
Mama has always been the beacon of my life and will always be. I will always hold her words as talisman in my life. She will always be the coolest mother in the world and the person who loves me most (aside from Papa). Her love and sacrifice for the family is unrivaled and she deserves much more than my repayment to her as mortal offspring. Mama, I love you.