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Sunday, November 7, 2010

My mum

             My mum, where can I start, where shall I start to blog about my mum, which is long overdue. From the beginning of course.

             My mum came from humble beginnings. Her dad was a Portuguese from Malacca, Malaysia and her mum was a Chinese. My grandparents brought up two girls and things were not easy as my grandfather was a fisherman in his youth and it was hard making a living and raising a family.

             When my mum was 12, she fell from a stairs and fractured her left lower leg.  She had to be hospitalised but the government hospitals then were not well equipped.  It was rather unfortunate her leg was infected with pus and she had to have surgery done and after surgery was done, she was hospitalised for a year and the net result was that she walked with a slight limp.

              Mum's childhood was not easy and she started working when she was 18 and took over the role of bread winner. She worked hard and every month she made it a point to save a little bit for a rainy day. I remember she told me that it was then the Japanese Occupation and things got quite bad where food was expensive. She worked in the government and those days they used to get a ration of rice and occasionally, pork.  I also remember her telling me that on one occasion when she received a ration of rice and pork, she brought back very happy and thinking that the next day they could have a feast and when she got home the next day she was disappointed that her mum sold the pork to get some money to buy some groceries.

               Mum met my dad who was also in the service and my dad was a good ballroom dancer and it was really admirable that when they were dancing, one would hardly think that my mum walked with a slight limp and they even won a Silver in a local dance competition in the Tango.

                 My parents got married and mum carried on looking after her parents and sister.  When my mum retired, dad had then died earlier, she took the opportunity to go for tours around the world and the place she loved the best was Europe.  It was also fortunate that when she was in Rome, she managed to see Pope John Paul II. My mum was a prayerful person and after she retired she usually attend the daily 6.30 a.m. Mass Service with her BEC Church friends; never missing a Mass if possible and reciting the daily Rosary.

                Two years after retirement she had cancer of the left lung and had to surgery done to remove half of her left lung. The surgery lasted seven long hours and she never used to complain to any of the surgeons or nursing staff about the pain, which was immense, I could only stand by and watch her suffering quietly. Then there was a remission of three years. Then the cancer attacked again this time her heart. Again she had to go for surgery where they removed the affected area. Once again the senseless pain and the long climb to a short lived remission of another three years. The third time it affected her limp nodes and this time there was no hope. Mum came back home and her sister took care of her. One evening I received a call from my Aunty asking me to come back quickly as my mum was slipping away. Both my hubby and myself rushed home, mum was sleeping in the hall, I rushed quickly to take her prayer book and started reciting from there and I could see tears from from her eyes, it was as though she was happy that I remembered to pray from this particular book.  She waited for me to come back and not long after that, she passed away to a place where there is no more pain for her. I know my mum would be with the Angels and Saints, singing and paying Homage to Our Lord.

                             Till my next post, xoxo, Ophelia


Sen Hon said...

Your mum reminds me of my own in her suffering in the last years of her life where she also had cancer. First of the breast, and was in remission for 3 odd years and then had another attack; this time in her liver, which was fortunately, quick with regards to her suffering. She never complained much of her pain and even though she lost her hair, she'd sport many different wigs that showed the strength of her character.

Ophelia said...

Sen, lovely to catch you here. My mum was quite the woman and mother, never complained much of her pain and always seeking solace in her daily Rosary prayers. Sorry to hear your mum had cancer too and it is sometimes quite "painful" standing helpless and seeing them suffer :( but the best thing you have Sen, is beautiful Memories of Her that cannot fade even with time. May their souls rest in peace. God bless.

ilene said...

Let's treasure the wonderful memories of our loved ones who have departed to a much more happier place. A place where they no longer suffer in pain but showered with joyous blessings. Your mum is so fortunate to be so near to the Pope!

Ophelia said...

Hi Ilene thanks for stopping by. Yes we should be happy that our loved ones are no longer suffering but instead are with the Lord in the heavenly abode and yes too she was so fortunate to be so near to the Pope.