Sunday, 11 June 2017

Honouring The Queen Of My Heart

     It may be my birthday today, but I feel my mother should be honoured. Without this remarkable woman, there would not have been me.
     It was not an easy pregnancy, but my mother valiantly carried me in her womb. She clung on resolutely, even when the obstetrician woefully announced that there was no heartbeat anymore.  She pleaded with him to hold off the dilation and curettage till after the weekend, and prayed fervently throughout the weekend. To the obstetrician's amazement, a faint heartbeat was detected. Needless to say, the abortion was called off and my mother successfully carried me to full term.
     My childhood years were spent with frequent visits to the family doctor as I was quite a sickly child. In fact, my parents used to joke that as a result of the monthly visits, the doctor had become somewhat like a godfather to me! I do not remember much about those visits but I do recall an aversion to the tongue depressor, which I would wildly wave off. But what I most vividly remember are those nights and days when my mother tirelessly sat with me, comforted me and nursed me back to health. There were times when the fever raged on, despite the medication, and my mother soothed me gently, trying hard to hide her worry. Then there were the days when the invalid was better but still not permitted to be up and about. To quell the restless child, my mother played games with me in bed, and taught me card games like "Angkat Turun" and "Fishing". I clearly remember waking up one afternoon, rather hazy from the sleep-induced fever, to be greeted with a rag doll that my mother had slipped out to buy as a surprise.
     Despite being a nurse by profession, my mother was my first teacher and continued to be my mentor throughout my years in school. She inculcated in me a love for reading, and spent a huge portion of her salary providing a library of books for me. In my primary years, she made me slave over arithmetic exercises, drilled me in ejaan (Malay spelling) and doled out English grammar exercises. By the time I entered secondary school, I was more independent as a learner, but my mother steadfastly sat with me to support me as I studied (and to nudge me awake whenever the head drooped towards the table).
     My mother was never stingy with her money but she was excellent in saving up. She feared that I would not be able to secure the course of my choice in a local university, and she had put away enough to send me to Australia. Fortunately, I was offered a government scholarship to do a twinning programme in KL and in the United Kingdom, and the rest is history.
     I consider myself immensely blessed to have this incredible woman as my mother. She is my pillar of strength, standing by me through thick and thin. She is my world of wisdom, imparting knowledge on everything from the ABCs up to cooking tips. She is my beacon of light, who gives me bountiful sound advice. She is my most devoted friend, whom I can depend on and who shares my darkest secrets. She is the loving sister that I have never had, who journeyed faithfully with me from Day 1 till forty two years on. She is my wonderful mother, the Queen of my Heart, whom I love with every fibre of my being.
     Mummy dearest, thank you for everything that you have done for me. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for everything that you are. I love you, Mummy.
Celebrating my birthday at Big Bad Wolf

Haagen Dazs for dessert


  1. What a wonderful write-up, Irene... Reading this brings back memories of my own mum, who endlessly loved and worried about her children even though we are already big adults and parents. To them, we are always their previous babies and they never stop loving us.....
    Happy Birthday to you, Irene!! God bless!!

    1. Thanks, Claire. Indeed, mum's are God's greatest gift to us.

  2. Happy belated birthday to you! Without our loving mothers, where would we be? Mothers are precious gems!

    1. Thanks, Nancy. Mothers are precious gems, no doubt about that!

  3. Sorry, to interrupt. May I know the rules of the card game “angkat turun”? We used to play it when young, but I couldn’t recall the rules. Please help.