my father’s family & my mother. she’s the pretty lady standing in the centre.
my mother is a pure kl girl. unlike my father, who only stepped onto malaysian shores when he turned 10, she and her family have been in kl for countless generations. she grew up downtown, worked around the city for most of her life, married my father in a restaurant right next to sogo and, save for the years she spent in the various countries where my father studied or worked, hardly ventured out of kl.
my mother is a daddy’s girl. although my grandpa was likely to have favoured my aunt over her, due to my aunt’s resemblance to my late grandmother who died of typhoid fever at age 21, my mother’s the one who inherited my grandpa’s eurasian-like good looks, long-suffering personality and incredibly strong character. she is a listener who is also blessed with the talent of discernment, making her one of the most sensitive people i know.
my mother is a martyr for her family. she took on the full force of the complications of having a stepmother and half-siblings, she raised my aunts and uncles together with my father, she bit her tongue while others lashed theirs and she held her head high even when the very people she sacrificed so much for turned against her.
my mother may not be the confidante portrayed in movies, nor does she bake cookies and kiss boo-boos away. while she did keep night-long vigils by my bed when i got sick as a child and she keeps food warm for me now when i come home from uni, the best thing she’s ever done is never hiding her history from me and my sister. she never sugar-coats her stories and she always makes sure that we learn from her experiences so we won’t commit the same mistakes she did.
when i become a mother myself, i can only pray that i’ll do half as good a job with my children as my mother has done with me and my sister.
happy mother’s day, mummy.