My Mom And The Impossible Me
All of us were raised by amazing moms – single (moms) or otherwise – and despite the setback, we were growing up nicely. We are as good as the (good) guy next to us.
Regardless, relationship between us and our mothers can be tricky and complicated to describe.
Granted my relationship with Mom hasn’t been easy. We almost at loggerhead on daily basis. Since I was a small girl, I remember getting into arguments with her often. And my late Dad would pull me aside and comforted me by telling me not to mind my Mom. Until the next argument…and the next…
When I was around nine to 11 years old I used to argue with Mom a lot and every time it happened, feeling pissed, I just packed my belonging ( a few clothes plus my school books into my schoolbag and quietly crept toward my grandparents’ house which was only five steps away (lol).
And my Mom would pretend that she didn’t see any of this. I guess my other siblings also pretended not to notice that this rebellious sister was “running away from home” again! Oh No! Hahaha…
Then a few hours later, once my hotheadedness cool and calmed down, I would creep back to home. Again, my Mom and family pretended that they didn’t see anything. Life was back to normal again until the next fights.
Being a tomboy, I was running around mixing with the boys my age, fishing, cycling, swimming in the streams around the kampung and without failed would end up angering Mom when I returned home with muddy clothes.
Worse still, I would make her scream in exasperation, while chasing me around the house with a big stick, when I accidentally (or sometimes, intentionally) dropped my baby brother to the ground just like that. Why? Because I was tired babysitting him and I wanted to play with my friends and not being saddled with young baby in my arms.
But through it all I studied hard to make Mom and Dad proud. And proud they did with my achievements at school.
Being illiterate, Mom didn’t want any of her kids to end up like her. Unable to write and read, she worked hard to provide us the best possible way. Working as rubber tapers, and six kids to feed and clothe, she and Dad would take odd jobs in between for extra income. And to raise six of us the best they could so we all would have much better future.
Beyond her bright smiles and outgoing nature, Mom went through horrible heartaches. Not just once but five times. Among six surviving children, Mom lost five (of her children) in unfortunate miscarriages and still-born. Mom is indeed a superwoman.
Then I moved to city when I was 17 to further my study. It was the first time I was living apart from my family.
My Mom and Dad were beaming with pride when they came (they chartered a car from my kampung to UiTM, Shah Alam, Selangor) to attend on my graduation day. I remember their happy faces seeing me with scroll in hands. Despite my rebellious nature, I only have one aim when I was growing up. To make Mom and Dad happy and proud. And that day when I received my degree, I knew I did just that.
Soon after, with my new job as a journalist, I was so engrossed with my newly found world then. Without realising it, I was taking them and their unconditional love for granted. I have become the selfish daughter. I have forgotten my parents’ sacrifices. I was “forever too busy” to visit them. To the extent that Mom took three and half hours bus ride to KL to visit me, her wayward daughter, because she missed me. Only to arrive in KL with swollen feet and fever.
Adam’s birth was the turning point in my selfishness in regards of my relationship with Mom. With his presence, Adam brought me back to the reality, to my roots that I have abandoned for 13 years, and ultimately to Mom and Dad.
And for the next 16 years, Mom was looking after Adam wonderfully as I was only being able to be home on weekends only. I am sure she went through endless sleepless nights (on my behalf) raising Adam. Not only looking after the small Adam, Mom was also taking care of my Dad who suffered from stroke at that time.
Mom is not perfect but she’s the best Mom I could ever hoped for. She has been there for me and Adam.
And now, I am given a precious second chance to live with Mom again. Me at my late 40s and Mom is way in her 80s. But trust me, it isn’t that smooth-sailing. There were a couple of incidents that triggered that “running away” mode in me. Lol.
But this time, a lot older and a bit wiser (I hope), plus, there’s the most sensible, easy-going 17-year-old Adam in between us, I guess I must learn to tame my hotheadedness and stubbornness streak in me…
And watching her in tears now whenever I questioned (with raised voice) her words or when my siblings did something uncalled for and hurt her feelings, I pray hard that I will learn to soften my approach and to be able (and try my best) to make her smile, even a tiny bit and hopefully happy with my presence again (plus and minus my rebellious, stubbornness, hotheadedness and the likes…) A