All throughout my 30 plus years of existence, I would always hear people saying how lucky I am to have her as my mother or how they wished their mom was like mine. If I remember it right, I was only 5 years old back then when it was first said to me. It was mentioned by my playmate and I never really put much thought on it, I thought every mother was like my mom. It was when I got older when I understood what people were saying about her. She wasn't just kind and caring to her family, she was with everybody.
Being the eldest, I think I got spoiled by my parents when I was younger. Even though this was the case, my mom has her ways of 'tricking' me to do the things the way she wants me to. One of the most common problem that parents have is to make their children eat healthy. I was a very picky eater when I was younger but I remember how my mom magically transformed me. She would prepare Mah Khut Tung (pork bone soup) with Chinese cabbage, potatoes and carrots.
While eating, she grabbed a chuck of pork bone and told me that it looked like Twin Popsies, my favorite popsicle treat. Being curious and gullible, I got hold of the pork bone, started to gnaw and suck on the bone imagining it was really a popsicle. She would proceed to cut small square pieces of cabbage, telling me it looks, tastes and feels like eating Juicy Fruit Gum. She would also tell me that carrots are sweet as candies, I believed her and ate everything in my bowl. After that eventful night, I would always look forward to meals when my mom prepares the Mah Khut Tung. Right now, I practically will eat anything edible, a foodie and it was all because of my mom!
|Mom at Age 7....ain't she so cute?!?
Thru stories of relatives and friends, it was flattering to know how our mom was so proud of us, her three sons. We all had our share of compliments on how we all grew up to be kind, generous and responsible. My mom deserves all the credit, it was because of her how we all grew up to be this way. Being the only woman at home, it wasn't an easy task to raise three boys, make that four including our dad. My brothers would always joke around how kawawa (pitiful) our mom is for not having a daughter. Whenever there was an occasion, mom would wear her dress, model it in front of us and asked for our fashion opinions. Mom would go thru three to five sets of clothes until we gave our thumbs up. But it doesn't stop there, her shoes and bag would be the next agenda, accessories and jewelry would be the last. There were even times that she would even ask us to zip her dress up from behind.
|Mom and her four Boys
Whenever someone asks me what my mom does for a living, I always proudly say that she has the most noble job in the world. Being a teacher for more than 30 years, she wasn't just our mom but she was also a mother to her hundreds and maybe thousand of students. She's no ordinary teacher, it was inspiring to hear stories on how she touched and made a big difference in the lives of her students. I would hear countless number of stories on how thankful they were because my mom became their teacher...
"Your mom was so patient in teaching my son".
"My son will always remember Mrs.Cheng".
"If it wasn't for Tsai Lao Sh, Auntie Sally, Mrs.Cheng......I wouldn't have learned Chinese".
To her teaching is not her profession but her passion. Among the three of us, no one followed her footsteps but one thing is for sure, I definitely got the love of being around with kids from her.
|Mom with some of her Kiddos
|These are just some of the many Awards that my mom got from being a Teacher
My mom is a wanderlust, She loves to travel whenever there's an opportunity to do so. She has been to different local and Asian destinations. When she came back from her last trip in Singapore, I asked her how she liked the country. I'd always remember the look of happiness on her face when she told me how much she enjoyed it . During that time, I saw myself in her, she had the same look as mine whenever I get back from a trip. Sadly, I never got to travel with my mom. Maybe next time mom, maybe next time.
If I were to describe my mom in one word, it would be selfless. She always thought of other people first before herself. She is someone you don't need to ask for help because she will always be the first to be there in times of need. My mom would always make an effort to visit or help out someone even if it was obvious that she was tired. My brothers and I have often told her that she should think of herself first but more often than not she always put us and other people's priorities first. As I've been told by her friends and our relatives, this selfless trait of hers is what they will remember her by.
As we mourn and grieve for the passing of my mom, I'm sure that amazing and inspiring stories will still be told about her. A couple of hours before my mom decided to move on, she told me. "I'm already satisfied with my life". Ma,,,I apologize for being selfish and telling you that you shouldn't think that way. Though it will be hard for us to live our lives without you around, I'll try to accept the last words you told me. Ma you should be satisfied, you've done enough goodness, you've touched people's lives, you've proved that unconditional love does exist and you've been a perfect mother to us. I'll miss you ma!!! We all will! Thank you! I love you!!! I'll forever be honored to be called your son.
|Rest in Peace Ma. (1946 - 2015)