Even though I have only known mum for a few years, it’s only through recently that I got to know her better. Words which I would use to describe mum – a spiritually strong person (a devoted Christian) who is devoted to her family, serious but calm (never jokes around), caring nature (always looking out for others and meeting others needs rather than her own needs – selfless), one that would speak boldly and would never hide her own opinions in heart and very family orientated.
I’m always touched by her constant love and care for both Pandabear and myself. I remember every time we go on holidays and when we return, she would always pack me bags of goodies (her home cooked frozen meals and the essential items – milk, bread and fruits). She would always say “these frozen meals so that you don’t have to go out and buy since you have to work the next day’. Her attention to detail and her care really touches me. Every time I go and visit mum she would pack enough food that will at least last me a whole week – they are not just any particular food but food, which Pandabear and I love. She would say “I got you some mung beans from the Chinese shop cos I know you love them” or “I got some fuji apples for Pandabear cos I know he only eats fuji apple”. She would go through every single item in the grocery bag with special instructions on how to heat up her frozen meals. I’m very thankful to have a mother in law who is not only a great cook but also someone who would always looks out for her family. It is one of her many qualities that I admire and respect about mum.
When she’s out shopping she would purchase something for us as well, she is a great stewardship when it comes to money. I’m always surprised that she’s able to buy things that are on sale and yet of a high quality – she always buys the best product for her kids. I would ask her “where did you buy this mum, it’s beautiful?” she would always reply “Just from K-Mart very cheap but good quality you can use it anytime”. When ever Pandabear and I have fights, she would always comfort me but ask me to have patience with Pandabear she would always say to me “Pandabear has a stressful job, try not to upset him otherwise he might make mistake at his job”. There are times that I’m upset with what mum says –she always speaks from her heart without reserving anything – doesn’t beat around the bush! But then when I reflect upon it, it’s because she loves and cares for her children very much. She only wants what’s best for her children.
I love going back home for meals, mum’s talent lies in cooking – she’s able to replicate any restaurant dishes without googling the recipes online – something that I admire about her. – ie the 8 treasure duck which she manage to replicate. Every time I go back home she’ll cook up a storm in the kitchen. She would do everything herself and refuse any help. Even when she burns herself with oil I would say to her “Mum you burned yourself have you applied any medication on it? Must be painful..”She would reply to me “Never mind lah, I just use colgate it’s great for burns and I don’t feel the pain anymore, if you ever burn yourself just apply some colgate!” I’m so touched that she would go into the extent and trouble of deep frying stuff (My favourite food – her famous egg plant and spring rolls). I hate deep frying stuff because it’s not only time consuming but also troublesome but Mum just does it without a second thought.
I must admit there are times that Mum and I have small conflict or misunderstanding, since we both have strong and dominant personalities but her love and care for us always touches me. She always expresses her love in action and not in words. She often cares for our spiritual wellbeing, she would pass me Stuart Olyott’s sermons and ask me to listen with Pandabear and constantly reminds us to pray and read God’s word. Times when I complain to her that Pandabear isn’t reading or praying with me and I always have to initiate, he should be the head of the family!! She would always comfort me and say, “He’s got a stressful job, just pray for him and ask God to work in his heart. He’s better than a lot of men already…” She would never say anything to criticise her own children and would always fend for them.
Even till the end when she was diagnosed with leukaemia, her courage and faithfulness in the Lord truly touches me. She never blames God for allowing her to have leukaemia even though she has suffered tremendously she would always say “There is sin in mankind and that’s why sickness falls upon us”. Her love and care never stops even when she was unwell. She would continue to buy goodies for us and continue to cook for us even though her physical health begins to deteriorate :_(. My visits to the hospital has been a tremendous blessing to me as I have always had the fear of going to hospitals due to my past experience with my dad’s cancer treatment. But every time I visit mum, she has greatly encouraged me with her ever strong fighting spirit and the determination to get well. She never complains of any pain even though I know how much pain and suffering she’s going through. She never puts on a long and sad face but would always say, “I’m feeling fine, mood is fine and I’ll be going home soon. How are you Maryann?” Even when she goes through many courses of chemo treatments, her fighting spirit never fails.
I’m deeply saddened that I’m not able to spend more time on earth with mum but I’m also comforted that she’s in a better place now in heaven where there is no more tears and suffering and I will see her once again in heaven. Thank God for the hope that He has given us. Psalm 145:9 – The LORD is good to all: and his tender mercies are over all his works. Psalm 116:15 Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of his saints. Mum has indeed fight a good battle till the end and I will miss her very much. She will always have that special place in our heart and never be forgotten. I wish I had the courage to say to her face to face on earth “I love you mum”…however it’s never too late till we meet in heaven again…
Lovingly in the Lord,