My cousin came today from Alor Setar, mom’s hometown. This cousin of mine is very close to my mom. Mom will call her to talk about her problems. Imagine that, she never talks to us. But I believe the real reason is because we don’t want to talk to her. Do you talk to your mother?
Cousin informed that approximately 6 months ago, mom found out that there was something in her brain. It was actually detected by the Chinese sen-sei, doctors that my mom trusts. She was asked to go for a scan. Cousin asked her to go, to which mom promised she would.
Last November, mom made a trip back to Alor Setar, her first trip back in a long time. Cousin said she visited all her old friends and told my cousin that she should not cry if she goes away. My cousin was suspicious, and asked about the brain scan. Mom didn’t go for the scan, she said she was busy. She said she will do it after CNY.
Indeed, mom is a busy woman. If you think working 8 or 10 hours a day is hectic. Try spending a day looking after a (singular) house. I swept the floor and did 2 round of laundry today. Trust me, it’s
Back to mom, she told cousin that if she was to have a stroke, she would rather die. She would rather leave us behind, than to stay behind and be a burden. I believe that is the reason why she never went for a scan. How many of us will scream for a MC as the slightest headache? How many of us cowards will jump straight to the specialist’s doorstep at the sight of bleeding? Plenty I suppose.
But for courageous people in this world, namely mothers, that might not be the case. Mom was one of those courageous souls. She knew she will be going soon. And she left these messages with my cousin:
1. She wants a cremation;
2. She wants an altar in the house and a joss stick a day;
3. She set aside some money to get a necklace for my sister, to be worn when she gets married;
4. She set aside some money to get a necklace for Julia;
5. Dad should do some housework so that his brain get some exercise; and
6. If she was to go away, her biggest concern would be my wedding and my sis wedding.
After knowing all these, I realised something…
Mom bought a new washing machine this year, a new stove too. Of course, no one will be able to cook better food with that stove in this house besides her. Mom also told me that washing detergent and groceries are bought on a need to buy basis, not on a routine. The signs were all there, we never saw it coming. No wonder she went back to Alor Setar to see all her old friends.
I think mom also did made a comment about her having severe headaches and asked me “what to do?”. My reply to her was simple and irresponsible … “go see a doctor”. It should been… “let me take you to a doctor”.
Mothers will forever think for the best of her family. She will sacrifice all that she has just to make her children happy. Most mothers are like that. Does your mother show any out-of-the-norm sign? I am not trying to scare you, that’s not my intention. My intention would be to have you talk to your mom more. No matter how much you hate her, you will love her for the rest of your life. I know it’s easier said that done. But you better do it when she is still alive.
It was not meant to be a surprise to all. Those times when mom said we took her for granted, and we never appreciate her, and that when the day comes when we want to take her out and make her happy, she might be gone… it was not a passing comment. It was a warning we failed to see. And now, we will have to live with it.
p/s: Perfect timing, the alarm rang, the 3rd round of laundry is done. Time to hang the clothes.