Monday, May 15, 2006

Remembering My Mum

My mum was very stern. She used to pinch us under the table when we told on her (to my grandma, her mum). She used to scold us (for our carelessness) when we informed her we'd hurt ourselves, before treating our injuries. She used to cane us, when we were younger, and got naughty. My mum was a good cook. She baked, and cooked, and could whip up a feast for my father's big entertainment parties. She made all kinds of Chinese new year cookies, roasted her own roast pork and char siu. She made all the dishes my dad still misses after all these years. My mum was a very nice person. She did a lot of charity sales. She helped out a lot in church. My mum was a good daughter. She spent twice a week with my grandparents, bringing them for movies, meals and visiting friends. She spent hours on the phone with my grandma, talking about anything under the sun. She brought them for holidays. My mum loved kids. She was a kindergarten teacher, and a principal, without pay. She baby sat for friends' kids, for free. My mum was an animal lover. She cared for all the strays I brought home. She let the kittens sleep on her belly while she watched TV. My mum and my dad made a loving couple. They fought, quarreled, but they had their arms around each other when they went shopping. My dad never remarried because he still misses my mum. My mum was how my mum should be. She gave me advice on my relationships, left me alone to decide for things. She nursed my heart breaks with me, brought me to Australia to 'forget about things'. She chauffeured me to work. She bought me Taiwanese children story books, Japanese pop cassettes, Esprit clothes when she went traveling with my dad, she knew I love them. My mum was a considerate mum and daughter. She had cancer of the kidney, had a surgery to remove one of her kidneys, went for chemotherapy. She kept her situation from us, her four children and her parents, for seven years, She only had my father informed. My mum was a strong believer of Christ. She went to church every morning. She said the rosary upon waking and before sleeping. She abstained from meat (except sea food) every Friday. She went for pilgrimage tours. She said her faith helped her endure her cancer, she said she felt no pain in all her treatments. My mum left early. She had a relapse and we were finally informed of her illness, and within 3 days, she passed on, without us having time to react. She had not seen any of her grandchildren. None of her grandchildren has experienced her love. My grandma was immensely sad. She refused to come to our home, the memory of my mum was too hard to bear. She refused to speak to my dad, blaming him for not telling her any earlier. She refused to stay healthy; she bathed in sadness; she joined my mum 3 years later; fulfilling my mum's wishes, she was baptised before she left the world. After being a mum myself, I realised what both these women had done for us, caring for us, loving us. It's a shame I only knew this so much later. And I have not reciprocated the love the way I should. It's a loss for Zara, as she cannot experience the love of a maternal grandma, the way I did. Remembering them on Mother's Day, and my mum's upcoming 13th year death anniversary.


Fannie said...

I had tears welling up in my eyes as I read...

Very touching...Mommy are always the best they are...

They are forever so accomdating, forgiving and selfless to their kids and the grandkids...

A belated Mothers' Day to you, Agnes! :)

may said...

I love your Mom. she sounds like a wonderful, beautiful person.

Happy Mother's Day, dear.

L B said...

Dear Agnes,

Happy Mamma's Day... It's good to remember all that your Mom is.. Zara will know too, via you.

blurblur said...

You have a wonderful and strong mum, Agnes..

I'm sure Zara will know about her grandma through you, and she'll be proud of her, just like you..

Happy Mother's Day to you..

geetha said...

"She is a wonderful woman.. with a wonderful daughter."

Through you Zara will learn about her grandma, the great lady in your life.

Happy Mother's Day to you..

Jesslyn said...

I am sure u set your mum as your idiol, and be a good mum to Zara too!
I am still trying to be a good mum!

Happy Mother's Day to u too!

domestic rat said...

I'm envious for I never got that close to my mom, perhaps also the reason why I do not feel so much about motherhood. :(

Happy Belated Mother's Day to you!

Zara's Mama said...

Yes, mummy is always the greatest! It's never the same w/out a mummy..
I just feel a pity my mother being one who liked kids so much didn't get to see any of her grand kids and the grandkids didn't get to know her.

She is.. although I didn't realise it until now. :P
You know sometimes you take things for granted when they are around you..

Dear LB,
Thank you..
Yes.. I should let Zara experiance her through my memory huh?

Blurblur, Geetha,
Yes, I definitely need to let Zara know about her maternal grandma. I always find maternal grandma and paternal grandma are very different. Paternal grandmas are always full of critics, while maternal grandmas are always full of compassion and love.
Maybe I'm buyous. :P

Actually she's not my idol la.. my idol is my grandma.. :P My mum is very much like my grandma in a lot of ways.. but I didnt' realise until it was too late loh. *sigh*

Domestic Rat,
Hey, it's not too late to try to be close to your mum. :P

sesame said...

This is such a wonderful post. It brought tears to me too. Especially because I feel particularly happy these two weeks cos after two years of rift, my mum reciprocated my show of concern for her again.

Thank you for sharing such a beautiful piece with us.

shoppingmum said...

It's very touching, I can almost see your mum from how you wrote about her. Even if she left earlier, but she's still staying in your heart, and Zara will know her from you.
That's why I try my best to spend time with my mum and MIL, while they're still healthy. I can't imagine what life will be without them.

See Fei said...
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See Fei said...

she must left a legacy of good deed for you to remember her so vividly!!

Samm said...

I'm so touches by your post. I'm lucky my parents are still around for me to love and to love me and all those around me. We must always cherish them when they are still around.

Happy Mother's Day.

Potential Mom said...

wow....tears coming out..!! uhuhuuhuh... :'(

aVieo0o said...

make me cry cry..

Cocka Doodle said...

She was truly a remarkable mother. Bless her soul.

King's wife said...

Things will be so much different if Mum was still around ya?

mom2ashley said...

very nucely said. i'm sure they are smiling in heaven...

mama bok said...

Happy mother's day to you .. my dear..! Your mom would be so proud of you .. the way you are with Zara right now.. :) Her legacy and everything good.. that you are right now.. lives in you..!

Simple American said...

Wow you did this post so quick!

Your mom is truly a remarkable woman. She is so loving even in her discipline.

This is a great memoir that Zara can discover someday. Then you can share the memory and it will be like the three generations of women are together.

Tracy said...

U had a very wonderful mom. U are so proud of her and she would be proud of u too. No worries, I'm sure the love has been passed down from her to u to love Zara.

wHOisBaBy said...

Happy Belated Mother's Day.

It is a wonderful post about your mum. I am touched by your story because I can feel the same emotion going through you when you were writing this. My mom passed on 7 years back and everytime I tried to write up something about her, it made me very sad and shed a few tears.

Vien said...

It is such a nice tribute to your mom. :)

jazzmint said...

very touchy feely post

Helen said...

Your mother is indeed a remarkable woman. Grief not, for she is now together in the company of the Lord. :-)

This is very touching.

Sabrina said...

Your mom reminds me of my mom as well. Her 6th death annivesary is coming soon. She's only seen my sis's eldest daughter and she's only a half daughter to her. She nvr has the chance to see keith at all. I guess maybe she's seen him in heaven before GOD send him to me.

Sue said...

I got goose pimples just reading this... I'm sure they're looking down from heaven and keeping all of you safe...


that's beautiful...make me want to cry too.

you see the future thru' your children and your children see the past thru' you.

Allyfeel said...

Happy mother's day to you. Such a beautiful mother you have there. You will have to share with zara what lovely grandma she has.

Zara's Mama said...

Glad you are having a better relationship with your mum now.
Seize the day.. cherish the moments, don't wait till too late.

Yes. Can see you have a very good relationship with your mum.. It's also good that Justin and Isabelle have maternal grandma to love and pamper them.

See Fei,
It's a shame I only know about this now..
If only I knew earlier.

Yes, we should always cherish moments with them, and not wait till too late.
Happy Mother's Day to you too.

Potential Mom,
Hee hee.. so you must be more kwai kwai loi to your mother ok?

*wipe wipe tears*

Thank you.. (for once, you didn't say anything bad woh)

King's Wife,
Yeah loh.. if lou-ma-ji still around, she can jaga all our kids.. ngiak ngiak ngiak.. :P

Hey, I always envy you have a wonderful mum, and Ashley has a doting grandma..
It's really nice to still have your own mum around when you have kids.

Thank you mamabok..

Simple American,
Yeah.. I hope I'll be able to share those memories with Zara.

I hope so too..
Sometimes I wonder if Zara might be a reincarnation of my mum.. but we are Christian.. shouldn't belive in this. :P

Didn't do anything when she was alive.. so just trying to remember her, and hope Zara will read this one day too. :)
I wasn't very close with my mum, but I should have.
Regrets. :(

Vien, Jasmine,
Thank you.

No grief liao.. just remembering her. :)

That's very well said. And maybe they are guarding over our kids too even after we've delivered them.

aiyo.. why got goose pimples?

Two Little Fellas,
Wow.. I like your phrase.. Never thought about it that way, but it definitely make sense.

Yeah loh.. too bad she can't experiance her fun loving ways loh..
But when she's older and can understand.. I'll definitely share with Zara all the memories I have with my mum.

AsleyLee said...

Your mum is great!
I wonder how she kept the secret for 7 yrs, i really can feel how weary was it to keep the secret from her beloved's kids.

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