– This article below – I wrote during the wee hours of the morning, just a few days before the passing of my beloved Mum several weeks ago. The contents were meant to tickle and to bring a smile to our faces. But, with the advent of her demise, I was unsure if it was fitting to have it posted so soon after her death. After much thought, I decided to go ahead and have it posted now.
Because I feel the need to rejoice with pride, to have had a mother such as she: one who had opinions, one who had inspired me to never be afraid to speak up and let my thoughts be known. She spoke HER truth – it mattered little to her if the world did not share her opinions. I shall always treasure that lesson.
This article is dedicated to my dear Mum with my gratitude and admiration for the honest and fearless woman she was.
My thoughts are a little maudlin tonight. I am comfortably ensconced in my giant armchair, propped up by a heap of soft tender cushions…a boring book lying unread on my lap…my scattered thoughts intermittently drifting in and out of reminiscences of my life…my Mum…my kids…a couple of friends…and David’s transition.
My Mum has fallen asleep on the bed beside me…I’ve been taking care of her during the past months. While I gaze with tenderness upon her aged and wrinkled face, I am writing this.
She is almost a century old and has been bed-ridden for a number of years. But that does not prevent her from continuing to be the blazing ball of fire she has always been. Though often fretful and suffering from sudden lapses of memory now, she still possesses a fiery energy enough to maintain her domineering role as the matriarch of the family. She is still as sharp and piercing as a needle during her “good” days and has still the ability to outdo me in an argument. But of course I often give in to her out of respect and to keep the old dame happy.
So what has my Mum got to do with our David?
Is she a drooling fangirl? No. Listening to music has never been one of her habits. She is more of a cooking-good-Hakka-food-you-guys-come-and-eat-and let-me-fill-your-plate-more-than-you-can-eat sort of person.
If she had not blatantly expressed her wondrously distorted opinion about David with reference to me, she would not be inspiring this story tonight – a story which I secretly find hilarious. However, one must take it with a loadful of humour. And humour is something we have to resort to when news of David is scarce.
I know for sure that my Mum would be happily smug to know that she is getting instant internet fame and is the centre of our attention. But, if she reads this post, I would not put it beyond her to make a stern retort: “You people have nothing else better to do izzit!” But I’m also certain that, deep inside her, she would be glowing with self-pride for being the star in this story.
So let’s have a little harmless amusement at my dear Mum’s expense…..as well as mine.
I went to see her one day to tell her that I was going away for a few days to Manila to attend a concert.
As she is very much short of hearing, our conversation was carried out rather loudly, which made the exchange rather theatrical.
Mum: A concert?….Going all that way to a concert? David Ar-chu-la? YOUR David Ar-chu-la?
(My eardrums sort of rattled…..)
Me: Yes Mum…..MY David Archula.
Mum: Hm…he is a good singer…
((Ah..she has good taste…it sort of runs in the family…)
Me: He is, isn’t he, Mum!
(Excited for some David-conversation)
Mum: Not bad. But Perry Como was better.
Mum: You wouldn’t know…you’re too caught up with this David Ar-chu-la!
Me: Because he is the best!
Mum: (sizing me up)….you think he is cute don’t you? You think I don’t know.
(Yes Mummy sweetie, you know everything….)
Me: Yes I suppose I think he is cute…
(Honesty is the best policy….especially when you have a Mum as sharp as mine)
Mum: But I’m telling you…..he is too young for you!
(Spilled some coffee on my toes)
Mum: Too young for you to go scampering (yes she used that word) and running after him halfway round the world all the way so far fly away to another country just to see him open his mouth and jump on the stage and sing a few songs!
(Wait till I tell her that I plan to go to the US one day)
Me: Not running after him la Mum!
(OH MOTHER !!!)
Mum: I am telling you ….you should settle down…have some children….settle down….behave yourself……
(I am misbehaving?…..when?…..)
Me: But I already have 2 daughters Mum. Don’t you remember?
(it’s the sudden loss of memory again)
Mum: You have 2 daughters? I didn’t know that?
(Hey Mum, you just saw them yesterday!)
Mum; (paused to think) ..Then you must give your David Ar-chu-la to your daughters. You are too old for him! He doesn’t want you!…….I’m telling you……..(her favourite line)
Me: He is not mine to give, Mum. I don’t own him. I just like his singing.
(Of course I didn’t want to tell her that I like staring at him too….why remind her of my “sinful misbehaviour?)
Mum: Hhmmmph…..I don’t believe you. You are lying……I can see it in your eyes……I’m telling you……mutter….mutter……mutter…
My Mum lets out a sneeze in her sleep and jolts me from my thoughts. I pull her blanket closer to her ailing body and gently stroke her face.
Dear, restless Mum, I know her well – she was reluctant to see me leave and go off on my own somewhere without taking her.
It has been a tender, nostalgic few hours with my Mum lying beside me, looking every inch the delightfully fearless woman that she has always been.
I give my soft, comforting cushions a warm 2-armed hug.
Life, sometimes, feels really good.
Do you guys have any real-life stories to share too?