My mom is the most amazing mom. I have always thought of writing about her but really I don't know where to begin. She is an icon of strength, thoughtfulness, zen, love,bravery, chivalry , everything. I really pale in comparison to my mom. She is courageous, at 65 she is the ringleader at most of the places that we have stayed at: Ipoh, ara damansara, Taman desa, , Singapore. She has a knack for making friends because of her don't-be-a-stuckup attitude. Whenever she makes a trip back to Ipoh she will buy car load of taugeh and heongpeng to distribute them to the neighborhood. I used to find it a real bother but then I realize it takes a lot of thought and generosity that I guess I could never measure up to.
Andrew once sAid to me that I should get cooking lessons dorm my mom so that the legacy doesn't end. My mom cooks up a storm everyday! She has a way of being creative so she would throw in a few surprises every now and then. On the table you will not only find my dad and mine and my sister's favorite dish but also andrew's and my bil's. It can be quite a feat, add on my nephew's and doing that every day. But she bulldozes on with enthusiasm and drive. She does all the marketing alone because we would just slow her down, and even a cousin of my bil saw her once at the market and applauded her powerful arms! Yeah, we are a bunch of lame ninnys compared to her.
Perhaps it was her upbringing. Slaughtering chickens at the age of 10 and taking care of my uncle when she was still a kid. She told me she took my uncle to register for school when she was 9 or 10. And would cycle to deliver his lunch to him. I dunno if it's a hainanese thing or not, but my mom really takes care other family, her cousins and etc etc. My mom keeps close to her cousins till today, often the one driving them to seremban, Melaka etc on a day trip. Right now, my mom is in Singapore because and uncle was diagnosed with cancer and she is helping out my aunt cooking and doing banking for him. Shen she arrives this morning ( 5 hours bus ride, mind you) she is off gallivanting
with a cousin and meeting some friends for lunch. Sometimes even hearing her programme for the day is exhausting. Here is a woman who went to Ipoh, then to betong Thailand to the communist camp for a dinner and stayed overnight before heading back to kl the next day.
Just last week was the tangling festival and my mom just by word of mouth and her pulling the crowd around ara damansara, organized one of the biggest one I have ever attended. She got a few old aunties to commit to bringing their grandchildren and food so the night was set and we saw about 100+ people turned up for the event. My sister's neighbor told me that they thought it would be cancelled because it was raining and the plan was to have it at the two big badminton court at the playground, but lo and behold, she caught my mom sweeping the water off the badminton court with a steady broom alone not wanting the kids to slip and also for the candles to stick on the floor. Amazing right. I justhada potluck at work in which it took me few weeks to get people to buying food whilst my mom only took 1 weekend to organize one. Haha!
The way I described my mom you probably think she is must be just other auntie. But she was also a teacher. Her methods are quite unorthodox so I grew up with troubled cousins being sent to my mom for training. Yeah a cousin of mine was sent from Sri petaling all, the way to Ipoh for a good 4 years to whip him to shape. And never once did she whack him although I certainly instigated it haha! Me and my twin were sent to the church, cathedism classes, temple etc, wanting us to get exposure to different religion. When I was about 4 yrs old, my house had 10 people ; an Indian man who was my dad's former student, and 2 children of my mom's friend from teluk intan, and the 6 of us plus my grandma. U can imagine how chaotic life was. To date the Indian man always tells me my mom is his half -sister. In a way she probably thought us about sharing and racism in a very surreal way.
My niece and nephew are very attached to her. Her devotion and because of the flurry of activities that my mom always carry with her, the kids I would say have a great childhood, always surrounded by friends and doing a mix of traditional activities and modern ones that my sisters would provide. They are both free spirits as my mom tend to let them be not wanting to suppress them.
I hope I can be half as good as her.