It’s Mothers’ Day in Malaysia tomorrow, and there are two mothers in my life.
My mother was born in Pahang 72 years ago, second of 8 siblings. She became a teacher and while teaching in a town called Mentekab, met my father who was, I think, the District Special Branch Officer based in Temerloh. They got married on 22nd June 1961 (yes, it would be their 50th wedding anniversary next month). Hours after getting married, my father went back to jungle-bashing with the Jungle Squad (predecessors of the Police Field Force, now known as the General Operations Force) in his fight against the communist terrorists there.
That was the kind of life she had, mostly on her own, going to school to teach, while my father went about serving the country, defending its people. She would drive herself to the hospital to deliver her children, most of the time my father was away on duty; and she was also alone when my elder sister passed away at the Kuala Lumpur General Hospital. I don’t think the present-generation of mothers would make it going through 10 percent of what she had to go through being the wife of a police officer back then.
Her teachers’ training college mates would remember her as tomboy-like; she would play pranks on male and female fellow trainees alike, climbing trees to catch snakes and throw them at her friends. She was a gymnast and a diver (not scuba), and played golf and badminton well into her 60s until her damaged knees prevented her from being active in sports forever.
The other mother in my life was born slightly over 36 years ago (I cannot write this as 37 because she would say she was born in late December). When I first met her, she was already a single mother with three children. It was in the month of Ramadhan and she was busy making hampers to be sold to customers, something she had a choice not to do, but did anyway for extra income. She had previously endured countless abuse and beatings during her
10-year 7-year marriage, and continued to endure physical and mental abuse by her then ex-husband, until I literally and physically put a stop to it. Two years after meeting her, I married her, not because it was the right thing to do, but it was right in every way.
My mother enjoys gardening while my wife enjoys cooking. Both have the same passion – eating. I learnt a lot about fine dining from my wife. For me, food is food no matter what form they come in and how they are presented. Both, literally had to bring up their children mostly without the support of their husband back then. My father was busy doing his duty, while my wife’s ex was busy playing Playstation.
No, I am not about to fan the two mothers here in this posting. I just want them to know that all their efforts and sacrifices are greatly appreciated, and I love them both very much.
Happy Mothers’ Day to the two mothers in my life.