Saturday 26 September 2009


There was no reason for God to take my mother away from us that early in her life. No reason at all. She prays, she loved us unconditionaliy and in as far as I know, had not been unkind or malicious to others. This was a decent human being who deserve to have lived longer and enjoy her family longer – her grandchildren…everything …she had so much to live for. And God took her away so soon. Why?

No do not tell me that the good die young. That God needed her more then us. That she is in a better place.I   find that impossible to understand.…and then there is that ‘cover all’ statement…God works in mysterious ways…yes mysterious alright. When you cannot expliain something that HE has done the ‘mysterious ways’ explaination covers everything.

I remembered when I had my falling out with my father … was mother who told me to go and make my peace with my Father. She told me to kneel before my father, kiss his feet and ask for his forgiveness. I did so because my mother told me so and because that was the right thing to do. When again I became estranged from the family she came to visit us. She wanted to see her grand daughter Terrina, our daughter, once more before we left for Australia…and now with my own grand children, I know what she went through not being able to see her joy. She was accepting of so many situations. Situations that I would never tolerate but my mother had the wisdom to understand that people will be themselves simply because they do not know better. I remember my tirade against her about the existence of God..she stood her ground and ask me to take stock of my situation. I could not. But no matter what I did she was there for me – unconditional love.

My father, her husband, was important to her. People were important to her. People, many years after her passing and many years after my father was gone, still tells me that they came to our house for visits to see her.

My mother was the fabric that held us all togather. After she left us Hari Raya no longer had any significance for me. I stopped acknowledging Ramadan and Hari Raya completely and still does until now. The weekend would mean more to me then Hari Raya. My brothers and sisters started to unravel – we fell apart slowly but surely after mother left us. Father was never himself ever again. He withdrew within himself unable to be warm to me and my family. I accepet the way he was because that was the way my father had been all his life. But we love him still.

I replaced my mother with my family. My wife and my children Terrina and Zack, was my life….and with the coming of my grand daughter Isabel, I turned full circle and now know and feel all that my parent must have felt for me. Love, affection and a great deal of concern that all willl be well with me – as I wish for mine.

I never saw her angry or upset…when things are not to her liking I see a look of pain and saddness on her face  - mostly saddness…no malice.

There were two songs she would request that I play on the piano in those days when I would still do so. La Cumpasita  - a tango number and Patah Hati  - a malay song about a broken heart..and then I grew up and stupidily thought that playing the piano for my mother was somethng I did not want to do any more. Now when I play those songs for myself I can picture her going about the house doing her work while listening to me. ..and always her smile shines through all those years even if she is no longer with us. 

I have seen images of my mother when she was just married.  Just her, my father and me in my mother’s arms - the three of us – and how beautiful and radiant she was. No wonder my father fell in love with her and married his first cousin. I can just imagine them first meeting at a family get togather and then falling in love as they meet again and again at these get together…and that love was undiminished until she died and left my father alone. If I had learn anything it was to try and treat my wife the way I saw my father treat his. They did things together and I tire sometimes of hearing them say the same things everytime we come back from a trip however short…"ITS GREAT TO BE HOME’…true love passed the test of time and tells you what is most important in life – each other.

When mother left us I sometimes wonder how father would cope. He did not. I did not see him enjoy the simple things in life anymore – tea with mother, sitting in the verandah talking, going on holidays by the sea, Hari Raya and family get togathers. No more the simple pleaures in life that does not cost much but brings us all togather. We still loved father dearly but I am sure, like us, he must have some bitterness at the taking of his love – I am sure he could not understand why it had to happen.

If there is anything of my mother that will haunt me it will be her ability to be so accepting of everything….it will haunt me because it took me until I was close to being 60 before I begin to see her wisdom. I use to think that she was not able to stand up to anybody for things that are important to her but now my stage of life, I understand that it was not that she would not stand up for her own beliefs but that she was able to accept people for what they are…I miss her. I miss my Father.


  1. Hi HH,

    We older people tend to get a bit emotional as we grow older.

    I too miss my parents.


  2. Terrina...I love you and miss you all terribly.