Tuesday, October 03, 2006
Something About Mom
I may sound like a Mama's boy, but being Asian and a Muslim, filial piety is the utmost virtue one can have. No amount of repayment is surmountable the love and kindness they have showered on us during our growing years and even now.
I just love my parents, love them dearly.
Being the third last child in the family, I do not really get to know them until I left the "nest" to build a life with my own family.
So spending time with them during outings, sit-down lunches and dinners really give me the time and opportunity to get to know them well.
Well enough to know the things they went through, the hardship, the joy, the better-sweet experiences when they start to reminisce.
I learn a lot from their life's lessons which sometime reflects the current predicament I have, sometimes the devil in me... and that motivates me and keeps me in positive mind to tackle it, face it upfront.
With every time spent, every tiny detail known, I learn to appreciate them even more. My love for them deepens and I can never take them for granted.
Just two Saturdays ago, an outing with them at Esplanade and Marina Bay, I go to know a bit about her childhood, before the 2nd World War...
"Is that Clifford Pier?" Mom, pointing her finger to the vacant landing steps of the pier.
"Yes, but now it is closed for conservation and will be turned to a leisure spot with the building of IR at Marina Bay" I answered as I pointed to Marina East across the bay.
Mom just nodded and was recollecting her memories from the old times, "You know... when I was about 5 or 6 years old, you grandfather used to take me for a sampan ride around this waters."
Sampan being a small row boat in Malay language.
"This is the first time I step onto this place since then" she said, looking out to the bay.
Wow! Sixty over years and she returned to her happy childhood place before the Japanese bombed Singapore and occupied it.
She lost grandmother during the occupation when she was just eight. Staying with relatives after relatives most of her growing-up years, while her grandfather was out at sea for months at a time.
"If not for you, I would not have remembered that fun time I had with you grandfather." She looked at me with a grateful smile carved in her face.
I just melted, but somehow did not show my emotions, instead just snapping picture away.
With a little smile casted, Dad was quiet. Yet looking very far in his thoughts as he soaked-up the afternoon sea breeze. Dad is the person who does not speak much. I just wonder what childhood stories had the place evoked in his mind.
I did not know it was that sentimental a place for Mom, but I guess I will never know Dad's story for now.
I just love the place because it is a tranquil spot to be in the afternoon, when the sun is blocked my the Shanton Way skyscrapers, leaving the place cool and breezy and quiet.
That day's casual outing, I felt, has rewarded me greatly when I was able to make my Mom so happy. Rekindled fond memories with her father, a man I hardly knew as I was too little when he passed on.
The place made Dad left his worries behind for the time at least. For the first time in a long while I got to see him in such a totally relaxed mood.
Three of us just stood there and were quiet for quite a long while... so tranquil... our minds so rested.