Dear Mom,

I’m writing this on a Saturday late early morning, with my teeth unbrushed, breakfast not taken…you can imagine.  It’s a Mother’s Day weekend, and usually, just as what I’ve done annually eversince I’ve been away from home, I would have taken a bus ride home or ask Ko to fetch me so that we could both give you a surprise at the doorstep.

Alas, I’m one week away from my finals, and I still have work to do til next week – I’m sorry I cannot come home to be with you on this special weekend although I do miss you, Dad, my little pillow and my beanbag very much.

I’ve been thinking a lot recently.

I thought of…

…the times you would punish me each time I told a lie, and the scary look you had whenever you saw right through me.

…the times when you would make me memorize the multiplication table and reciting it by heart.

…the times when you would panic at every small issue and how much it irked me.

…the times you would make me go to sleep or threaten me to sleep with Lucky (our dog) outside.

…the times when you would pressure me about my studies and pushing me to do better.

…the times when you would correct my grammatical errors on the spot, even if it means embarrassing me.

…the times when you would enroll me for piano lessons even though I had no interest in classical music.

…the times when you would want me to wear a skirt or a dress and we end up arguing about it.

…the times when you would tell us how to behave in front of others even though we didn’t understand why we should.

…the times you would relentlessly warn me about the religion I’ve chosen, and teaching me how to balance between religion and tradition.

Then I thought deeper.

And it occurred to me that,

…telling a lie became one of the hardest tasks in my life, and telling the truth became much easier.  And I realize it is a skill that many people would love to have, and you gave it to me ever since the day I could speak.

…I did not suffer Math like most my peers did in high school, and have scored up to Dad’s expectations most of the time.

…you only panic at the things that involve your family.  And how fortunate we are to be on the Number One on your list.

…it is because you were so tired from work, and from the multiple bedtime stories sessions that never seem to end.  You would read to me over and over just because I asked you to, and then you will allow me to read it over and over because I want to.  And then sometimes I’d ask you to sing me songs, and wondered why you never chose to become a singer with your heavenly voice.

…you were once a brilliant student.  And you had a chance to further your studies.  But due to family obligations, you had to give it up.  You never wanted the same for your children.

…my proficiency in English has taken me to great heights I never thought I’d be in.  Presentations and public speaking are now a breeze for me, much to the envy of my peers.

…I love music more than any other form of entertainment.  And I can make music with my fingers, and you also supported me when I wanted to learn the guitar.

…you never really made me do it.  Because you understood.

…I never have to worry about carrying myself in public.  There are courses on social etiquette for adults, but they are things I’ve learned since I was five.

…because I could find that balance, I could relate to a lot of people who are in the same situation as me.  People do not regard me as a fanatic, and they are willing to come to me if ever they want to know more.

And I thought even more about…

…the times when you would wake up early in the morning before 6 to prepare breakfast for me and fetch me to school.  And because it was too early for you to go into your office, you sleep in the car until the right time comes.

…the times when you would come home from work all tired, but you continue with your duty as a wife with all the chores and making sure we have our dinner on time.

…the times when you would personally come and fetch me home on Fridays even though you have to rush to your office after that, and buying me good lunch every time.

…the times when you would painstakingly quilt beautiful things for us with your hands and strained eyesight.

…the times that you still want to buy me expensive things even though you are no longer working, and how disappointed you would be whenever I said no.  I just want to let you know that it will be my turn next, to get you the things you want because I love you like that.

There are days when I would be angry at Life.  When things didn’t go my way, or when it throws too much crap at me.  And then I think, what if all I’ve mentioned above did not happen? It would’ve sucked even more.

I guess I just want to say, a big THANK YOU to you, mom.

Because of you, life becomes a little easier to live.

I love you, and Happy Mother’s Day.

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Author’s note:  24 hours after this was published, I realized Mother’s Day isn’t til next week.  But that doesn’t change the content anyway.  🙂