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.