Then there was another time in my life when I thought my mom was totally cramping my style.
It wasn’t until many many years later that I realized that she is just another normal human being, capable of making the wrong decisions, and are often-times misunderstood.
Orphaned at a very young age, my mom was raised by her eldest brother who, despite treating her well, had caused her to lose her harta pusaka entirely. Yet my mother had never once blamed him for the loss and she remained devoted to him till his last days.
Before she turned 20, my mom married a young widower and businessman with a very promising future – my dad, and was blessed with 5 children. Alas, the orphan girl finally found some happiness of her own.
Then my dad died when she was 35.
I do not remember or even know how she picked up the pieces and moved on, but I know that she managed to do just that and brought up her kids well.
As a single mother, obstacles and challenges were aplenty, including fitnah (slander) that follows the stigma of being a single mother in our society, a typical malaise that exists till today.
I remember the days when I came home from school and saw my mom sobbing in the kitchen. She would hide her face from me and pretended nothing happened. I learned much later that some very nasty lies had been spread about her by some jealous individuals, causing her many sleepless nights and a lot of humiliation. Being so young, I wasn’t able to do anything at all save for wishing that I could wring those people’s necks and kick their sorry asses to Padang Besar for all the heartaches they had caused my mom.
But, as cliché as it sounds, the truth prevailed in the end. Being an all around nice person, my mom has many friends who supported her and stood up for her. So she persevered, and she won the battle.
A lot of things that have happened to her throughout her life have shaped her into who she is today. Strong, independent, bossy, pushy and very critical of others, these are the traits that clash with me so violently.
I can’t say that she is the best mother in the whole world. And quite frankly, I can’t say I am the best daughter in the world either. We both have our differences. I have always found it difficult to see eye to eye with her on a lot of things. Many a time, I just feel like screaming my lungs out in frustration everytime I talk to her. But in the end, I am just the child to whom the mother would yell “Because I am your mother and I said so!”. So I would hold back my tongue and play along, and then go back to doing things my way when she’s not looking.
Despite all her imperfections, my mother is indeed a strong and independent woman, and as much as I hated it, I have to admit that I am very much like her in a lot of ways (although in me, it is considered stubborn and recalcitrant).
That aside, she is who she is, and nothing can change that. And if I can choose another mother from a long list of very fabulous women, I would still choose her and no one else.
She is my mother, and simply for that, she is special.
Happy Mother’s Day, Mom.