She was always in the second place. Eventually, she came in third, fourth and then fifth.
That’s my mother. With my father and the three of us siblings to take care of, she always put everyone first before herself. Since my childhood, I’ve seen the self-sacrifice of motherhood as demonstrated by my mother.
Today, I want to share this tribute to my mother as Mother’s Day is approaching. My beloved mother is the woman who has given me life, unconditional love, thrust, support and my most cherished human values.
When I was growing up, she was always there for me, being a mother, wife and homemaker. My earliest childhood memory of her is when she was learning to ride a bicycle, and then she fell badly hurting her knees and legs. It happened when I was five years old. She learnt to ride a bicycle so that she can fetch me to the kindergarten.
My father owned a small grocery business when we were young. My mother helped him out during the day. She also stayed up late and woke up in the wee hours in the morning to sew clothes, just to make some extra income for the family.
Both of them worked very hard to make ends meet. Life was very tough for us back then.
During my primary school days, when my schoolmates were talking about vacations during school holidays, my siblings and I could only helped out in my father’s grocery store. We didn’t have money to go on vacations.
Many times, I told Little Edison that he is so lucky to have been to the Disneyland twice. When I was a kid, I didn’t have a chance to go on an overseas vacation, even not many locally, because my parents couldn’t afford it.
When I stepped into Secondary One, that was the year when my father’s business collapsed and we were in debt. The only survival chance was for him to work overseas so that he can earn more money from the exchange rates to pay-off his debts. And so he did. From there on, we lived in a rented house because my father sold almost everything that he owned before he left.
As soon as he left, my mother lived in immense pressure. Debt collectors came knocking at our door, neighbours gossiped about us, and relatives distanced themselves from us. She had to take care of us and my aging grandmother all by herself. The saddest thing is my grandmother didn’t get a chance to see my father again when she passed away due to lung cancer after that.
I remember once I heard my mother saying, “If not because of my three lovely children, I would have run away.” That sentence still lingers in my mind till now. I could never understand how much she has suffered in those years.
Another unforgettable memory of my mother is when she pawned the remaining bits of her jewellery so that she can give me some allowances during my first year in university. To my mother, her children is always more important than anything else in the world.
If you ask me what is the proudest thing that I’ve ever did for my mother, I would say it’s not my university degree, but a house I bought for her eight years ago. With some initial savings, my brother and I bought a nice two-storey terrace house in my hometown for my parents to stay.
For years, they have been staying in a rented house. So you can imagine their happiness when they can finally stay in a house of their own after so many years of hard works. It’s a very beautiful and comfortable house, I would say. It has four bedrooms, each come with an attached bathroom. That was the first property that I owned, before I can even buy a house for myself in Singapore.
I mustered a lot of courage to write this post because every time when I think of our past, my eyes are soaked in tears. Our situation is much better now but I can never forget the hardship that we’ve been through. We’re no longer in debt, that’s the most beautiful thing that has ever happened to us.
My mother, now 58, continues to be a loving presence in my life. She lives in Malaysia and I am in Singapore, we often spend quality time chatting on the phone. Although I don’t get to see her often, but every time when I visit her, she makes a special effort to cook my favourite dishes.
In the years to come, I hope that she will be blessed with good health and happiness.
Happy Mother’s Day, Mum! You will always be the best mother in my heart!