Mothers do come from heavens. They brought down the heavenly warmth and scents under their feet—-syurga di bawah telapak kaki ibu. The tastes of heaven have been a primary source to calm down our restless souls, fears, panic,loneliness and melancholic. Being with mother would cease the world as a threat but a safe place to be. Nothing would matter as long as mother is here. My mother is no different for she has been the source of our living. No matter how well off we are or highly educated with all sort of academic qualifications, talking to mother is always resourceful; she could explain things from her own perspectives that we sometime miss altogether. Some mothers like mine, are not well educated in terms of modern schooling and all but they have the innate ability to raise us all just as well. My mother lives a hard life as our family is unfortunately poor. Alhamdulillah we have accepted our misfortune and have lived through it for so many years but we even more so respect mother for going through it very painfully. My father was a coolie at the railway station ;so not much would come from that just enough to fill up the dinner mat ( we sat around a mat for meals). My mother at some point was a full time house wife and could not help out with the finances. During those times I remember that tears were always flowing down her cheek to soothe the sadness. As a child I have never really understood why we were so poor that made our life so difficult. We were happy though to have each other and enjoyed getting on each other’s nerves, so being poor did not really bother me that much. I guess every kid has that kind of gut that keep them survived. We have our mothers, so not to worry.
At one point mother went on to make dresses at the market. She really liked being out of the house for a change. In her absence, we just managed ourselves for lunches and schools. She likes sewing and making dresses but ,truthfully speaking, she is not really good at it. That’s because her orders would always come back for repairs. I was always with her when those people came to demand this and that. She would serve them tea when they came to the house just to listen the harsh words that they threw onto her for ruining the order. I listened from the corner of the house and blaming mother for keep accepting the orders although she knew she has no ability or skills to fulfill them. I was so proud as father was always behind her and supporting her all the time. If I were to have my way I would kick that bitch and the no good husband out of my house and to stop them from talking to my parent like that.
One thing about mother is that she knows how to make friends. She would go all the way to entertain her friends and from her many conversations she really enjoyed their company as well. She likes to dress up in bright colorful dress the kind of tone and colors for young gals. I guess she is always young at heart. When father was ill of diabetes.,mother was always with him night and day. It was hard for mother but even harder when father lost his mind due to illness. Remember “The madness of King Henry the Eighth” ? that was the sickness that dawned upon father. At one point we had to tie him up so he would not cause any injury to himself. So sad and I still could not talk about the last days of my father. But mother was always with him and cared for him. When father died at home during Ramadhan of 2000, mother was there to ease the pain of death.
After the death of father, the tasks of caring and nursing were still there for mother. She would wake up at night for our grand mother. And this would be going on for another few years until grand mother died. My mother is still ok today but not as healthy as she used to be. Her daunting life has taken toll on her health; she is tired and breathless. She is tired for caring and nursing people but never complain because she knows that is her life. Nowadays we are trying our very best to care for her; the twelve of us. Her hearing has started to go off, her vision also begins to fade away and she could not travel far any more. We pray for Allah to give her strength and good health. We would like her to remain with us , to love and cherish, for so many years to come. Happy Mother’s Day , Mak!
Mom brought me to life some time ago
To let me see the world
With my own heart and soul.
She knew only not to let me hungry
With little food under the saji
That dad bought yesterday
Mom never had life of her own
Scrimping all day long to let us live
Tears would be ritual
To ease the pain that came with us
Life was brutal for Mom
But she neither complained nor gave up
Because she knew tomorrow will bring sunshine
For another hope … another promise
She kept swinging the milk-stained buai
Sang lullaby to help us sleep
So she could go on with her never-ending chores
Mom gave me courage
Filled me up with perseverance
Let me walk my own steps
Gave me light for the darkness
Helped me stood up during a fall
She gave me a rope …
…tie it up , son! when you’re at the end of it
never to let it go
She is my Mak …
..and will always be the greatest mak in the whole wide world !
Forgive me, Mak ….. and the rest of us
If words are harsh , actions are stupid or manners are absent
We are still learning the first steps
Still need your hand
To hold on
So not to be swept away
By the world that has gone mad
Mom, do you still remember the salawat?
That you always sang
To calm us down from the fiery darkness
It has not left my ears
As if the words and the rhythms
Were in me…forever
Mak is still with me today
For me to thank and have a good hug
Just want to say that .. I love you mak!
Truly from the bottom of my heart
happy mother’s day, Mak!
early may 2006
(revised) May 2009