Saturday, May 10, 2014

Stranger in Bangkok's Mother's Day Tribute

When I look back at my childhood and the relationship with my mom, for some reason, bad memories will surface first, every single time.

My clearest memories of growing up with her are visions of her raging at my brother at the dining table for not doing well in school (even though he always got first in class in Primary School), beating me with a cane until the cane broke into two, then when I breathed a sigh of relief, she tore off the shorter half of the cane and continued her beating with what she had left in her hand, all because I got 90 for a Chinese test. The most traumatic one was when I cried when I knew I got second in class and did not dare to go home, spending the entire afternoon sitting at the bottom of the flight of steps leading up to my apartment in distress, contemplating how to explain my utter failure.

So yes, this is my mum, Lucy the Angel, who filled my childhood memories with horrifying images and nothing much else. 

However, through all these, something prevailed, even though she has never said it to me in my face.


My dad is from a different era, he concentrated on fulfilling his own set of duties for the family, which he did admirably, but as a result, he was seldom around during the time I was growing up. My parents' relationship was also not the most cordial one, so my mum pinned her efforts and hopes fully on her children.

Amidst the unforgettable instances of horror, there were things she did everyday that I probably took for granted and became blind to, the chores, the sending me to and from school, the food (that completely shaped my cooking style today), the laundry, the dishes etc. When I was sick, even the slightest moan in my sleep would wake her up (from her room, no less) and tender loving care would follow till I was nurtured back to perfect condition.

She always wanted the best for us, and wanted us to be the best. Though much of the time, her version of best differs greatly from ours, it did not take away the fact that all her life, she had been punching above her weight to ensure we punched above ours. Many times, I had the feeling that she was living her life purely for us, to the point I feel that she would die for us if necessary.

Thank you Mum, for showing me what sacrificial love is, and for doing everything to make sure I became the best person I could. 

Thank you too, for forcing me to get braces which put my teeth behind bars for 6 years so that I could look decent enough to get a wife (I got my girlfriend barely a year after I took my braces off).

Sorry for being away in Bangkok all the time and thank you for your understanding.

Happy Mother's Day, have a good one in Perth celebrating my cousin's wedding.

Love you.

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