From her hands

This is the rattan school bag I used. I see this type of bag again yesterday morning [Sat 17 Dec 2016] on a corner where Hang Kasturi Street and Kampung Kuli Street meet.

Photograph of

Simmering eggs yolk and the sugar mix, she stirred slowly and gently the pot of paste over selected charcoal which provided the flame.

The heat must not be too high or too low, to make sure her home-made kaya jam taste well. Great patience was written all over her face. It was not the first time she made the jam, but surely from her expression, the first simmering of kaya jam must be tough for her.

She used no preservative nor artificial coloring, yet the kaya paste is durable without refrigeration.

In order to see why she was so attentive to the pot where she stirred and stirred, I would climb onto a chair. The pot of kaya was enough to last over a week on the breakfast table. I learned how to scoop the paste from the pot so that what remained in the pot stayed fresh and neat. Usually, I swept thick onto the Sunshine-bread we bought the previous evening from roti-seller who carted to our kampung.

She would wrap the loaf of bread slices with its wax-paper so that the slices stayed soft till next morning. She would keep vigilant on my morning routine so that nothing was left out before I headed to school. As she observed her son enjoying his cup of Milo, she would swiftly removed the kaya pot and the loaf to the food-cupboard.

She was not put to school when young and though she had no idea of education, she made sure her son reached school with confidence. She built her children's confidence on education, by taking care of his morning meals, his attire, and his trip to school each day. She would checked whether the children has combed his hair properly, or whether he has tucked-in his shirt neatly to the tying of shoes string. She just did it 5 days a week.

6 years for his primary encounter and another 7 years for his secondary studies. Untiring, she sacrificed for him without expectations. She was a widow. She had no income but she had to do her best for her children singly. I had watched her washing clothing with hands but our clothes smell nice under the sun when I returned from school. I could imagine her determination to get rid of stains on shirts with the zig-zag plank she scrubbed with her hands was a tough job.

I released the rattan bag onto the floor and lifted up the cai cum (a dialect, the Fujian people used for the food cover) to take lunch. In those days, housewives used rubber woods or charcoal to prepare dishes. Not only she had to endure the heat and smoke of the charcoal which was used in the kitchen then, she had to remained alert when warming food or frying fish while she worked on other chores. Without a electric hob over the stove and without using floor cleaner, she kept the kitchen floor clean.

Everyone has a great mother. You. Me.

I took the role of baby-sitting my son on a full-time basis after the Asian financial crisis, when I lost a job, and I understand the supremacy of mums.

Like her, I became a time-keeper for my baby. He would open his eyes in two hours interval, and look at me. Luckily, he is sort of a patience kind, he didn't cry-screamed at me for delays in getting bottled milk. Most he would do, is to stared blankly into my eyes. He watched how I mixed warm water with the evaporated milk powder. Sometime, I'd to touch his bottom jaw when it looks as if he had forgotten the sucking. After bottling, must no forget is the fun of his blurp with his face over my shoulder. Then, come next, would be the joy of removing the shit, cleaning his buttock with wet tissue and disposing the diaper. Look, there ain't diaper then, so mum had got to use linen that added the load of her washing.

Commitments from pregnancy to motherhood, mothers have great forgiveness, love, and wisdom.

Mum, you're my idol. You do not know I wrote this.

Happy Mothers' Day.

[First Published Mon 21 Apr 2014 23:53]
Post a Comment