Saturday, August 11, 2007

Happy Birthday , Dearest Mother

Today is my mother's 81 st birthday, ( 29/6) but I am far away from her. How I wish I could join my brothers' and sisters' families in sharing her birthday.

Few weeks back I was watching a TV programme where the participants were all women. The topic was - which woman influenced her the most during her formative years? Actresses, models, politicians etc? I stopped a moment and wondered what would be my answer?

My answer was the same as the ladies in the show - their Mother!

I began to think - yes, we have a lot of male idols all through our formative years, but to be honest, we can only have our Mother as our sole role model in life.

Today I feel my mother is above all mothers. She is not only our mother, she has been a mother to many who were not her own children!

She has weathered a lot of ups and downs. She had a lot of dreams - some came true, some did not. Still she stands above others because she can keep understanding us , her children and keep up with our pace!

Her life story is just like one of Pearl.S. Buck's stories.

So colourful, full of struggles and yet all the time she courageously carries the loads and patiently moulded us on how to become a good human being.

My mother is like all mothers, a very good home maker, her house is always neat and clean .

But my mother is always ahead of her time. She would drive the car and take us out to the park every evening and expose to us to the beauty of nature. ( This was during the fifties when most men did not know how to drive!)

She would take lots of good photographs with her camera and explain to us the art of composition. ( that too, during the fifties.)

She is a very good cook and would love cooking for any one who will savour her food!

She is a very good dress maker. She would emphasise the technique on how to cut a good collar and sleeve.

She is good and fast in knitting. I remember - besides making sweaters for us, she would knit some socks and hand gloves for her father. She is a very good daughter, she would love her parents without any conditions.

She is a very good sister to her siblings.The way she loves her brothers and sisters set an example to us how to love our siblings

She is a very good nurse. There were numerous occasions when she would not sleep and stay up whole night for her children. And we sure were a bunch of sickly children!

She is a very good wife who shared her husband's happiness and hardships.

She is a very good teacher. I remember how she spent one afternoon till sunset in teaching me how to learn the abacus I must have been dull! Whatever, I remember the usage of the abacus the way my mother tought me only, not my teacher's teachings.

She writes beautiful calligraphy and her letters written to us read like a literature.

She is a very good business woman always keeping her words and deal with honesty. She is a very good Samaritan too.

She is a serious follower of Lord Buddha, yet she allows us to find our own faith.

I, especially felt proud to have a mother who is educated and a perfect person. I know today what ever I am , it's because of her influences on me.

I remember when we were young, after the Chinese New Year, she would pack her bags and go for her yearly pilgrimage -

Sravasti ( her favorite site ) and various other places on the pilgrimage route.

When she came back from her trip, she would bring home some strange stones and tell us, "these are meteorites ( from the shooting stars" I cannot say if it was right or wrong. We would be very excited, but did not value those stones and do not have any of them today. Whatever, I guess my fondness for collecting pebbles and stones are definitely due to this romantic exposure from her!! That makes the shooting stars look more beautiful to me.

I dreamt of becoming an artist , due to my listening to all her stories that she'd share with her cousins every Sunday. Oh! I can go on writing about her non-stop.

I guess I'll just tell her I know she loves me the most...

For all through, she knew what I liked and what I didn't like.

She would complain about the noise being too loud when I'd listen to The Beatles, worried I would be rebellious like them, and yet she would buy me an imported Beatles's LP when she came upon it!! Mom, that record is "The Magical Mystery Tour."

She knows who was my favorite movie star - Peter O'Toole.

She knows what I like to eat - Ham Choi ( preserved Mustard leaves) and Tofu

She knows I never like to grow up! So she will always get me those kiddish T-shirts!

She knows I am lazy, and she will go on forgiving me for my shortcomings.

I can go on and on...

I am sure my siblings will not agree with me that my Mom loves me most, for they do feel she loves each and every one of them most.

That's what makes my mother to be the best.

Today, even though she is a Parkinson's patient, she keeps her grace and maintains her beautiful look just like when she was 18 years old.

Mom I... No, WE love you. We want to be strong like you and have the wisdom like yours to enable us to become a good parent to our children too!

Happy Birthday Mom. You are 18, not 81.

...and you are as beautiful as ever!


Julie Ardery said...

What a beautiful tribute! May I wish your mother also happy birthday and congratulations on raising a daughter of such wit, talent, intelligence and sensitivity.

(Especially loved hearing about the "shooting stars"! and all this woman did to encourage your many talents and open-mindedness)

And all the warm family pictures!

May she enjoy many more happy birthdays

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