Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Remembering her......

Tomorrow will be my late mother's 12 years death anniversary. In 1994, my mother, after 2 years fighting with cancer, she lost the battle. One and a half month later, my late father, a perfectly healthy man, lost his will to live. After less than a week of short illness, he died in his sleep.

My mother was born in China, I have forgotten the year of her birth. Her birth date is no longer important to me any more. She was brought to Malaysia by my maternal grandparent as a young girl. They came to Malaysia via Penang and their first place of settlement in Malaysia was the fishing village of Port Weld (Sebetang).

As a young boy and during those times in my early childhood, the only mode of affordable transportation we have then was the old bicycle. Occasionally, I still recalled the vivid visual images of my mother carrying me behind the back of her old bicycle to take me to government clinics whenever I fell ills. Sometime, when she lost faith in the government clinic, she will cycled me to the local places of worship to consult the medium to seek spiritual cures. I also have many good memories of my mother carrying me behind her bicycle to various places of interests in the old Taiping town and vicinity.

As a young boy, I also remember how my mother trembled with fears ( out of ignorant ) whenever the arm force personnel patrolled past our house during period of the infamous May 13 racial riots in 1969.

Looking back, life then and life now are so much different.

1994, was the most difficult year for me then. I was just barely recovered from work related stress and was in my first year of starting a business on my own to start my life afresh. Within a short period of 2 months, I lost both of my parents. I know it was also an emotionally and financially difficult year for my brothers and sisters. Remembered, 1994 was the beginning of economic slowdowns for Malaysia. Despite all the official statistics of the real growth of GDP, as a small businessman, I know these statistics are not real for the past 12 years. Hopefully, this year, 2006, shall be the ending of the 12 years cycle of economic hardships for all Malaysians.

Hopefully, 2007 shall be the beginning of a brand new decade of economic prosperities for all Malaysians, Hopefully.

Back to marking my late mother's death anniversary, since I am the only Taoist male in my family ( my brothers and sisters has converted to Christianity), I will be alone conducting the prayer ritual to mark my mother's death anniversary. I was told it is against Christians' belief to offer prayer to ancestors. I know, in their own private way, my brothers and sisters are also marking the respects to my late mother in their Christian's way tomorrow.

Tomorrow morning, I will have to wake up early morning, probably 6 o'clock in the morning, to go to the wet market to buy the foods and material offerings materials in compliance with the rituals. Some of the offerings I needed to buy are :

  • Sum Seng ( 3 type of meats. 1 Kg roast port, 1 whole steamed chicken, and a big fried fish )
  • Fruits(6 pieces of Oranges, 6 pieces of apples, 6 pieces of pears)
  • SangChoy ( Salad vegetable )
  • My late mother's favourite dishes ( Towyou Bak - soy sauce pork, Kiamchai Towfu teng - Salted vegetable and bean curb soup, Fried noodles, Redbeans soup, etc. )
  • Paper materials ( paper shirts, hell money, wongsang chee, joss sticks, Kim Gin paper, etc. )
  • Did I missed out anything ? No worry, I will consult the Patpor in the wet market tomorrow morning.

My wife has promised to cook and prepare my late mother's favourite dishes and get it ready by 9 o'clock in the morning in times for the prayer. Incidentally, my mother also love black coffee, so, I will remember to brew cup of hot aromatic coffee as offering to her. I don't know, hopefully her soul visit this yang dwellings of her children to savour her favorite dishes and drinks.

Come to think of it, time flies, 12 years has past ! It seemed like yesterday, I can still vividly remembered how my mother pestered me to reduce or quit my smoking habits. I always told my mother, I will quit tomorrow ! and 12 years later, I am still habitually puffing cigarettes ! There are lot of things about my mother that I can still remembered with fondness. But as I grow older, my memory is also beginning to fail me, indeed, there are lot of things about my mother that I can't recalled now. How I wish there is a new technology where we can "burn" all our bitter sweet memories into a compact disc to be opened up as and when we want to view it, and to be cherished forever.

Mother, I still miss you. I shall remember your kindness and sacrifices. I shall cherish those sweet memories of you. May the Almighty continues to bless your souls. May you be happy in the forever beautiful garden of eternity.

Mother, in life, you committed the greatest love and sacrifices for your children. With my bended knee, with sorrows and tears in my heart, I thank you for everything you have done for me. Rest in peace. Om Mani Padme Hum. Om Namo Amithaba Buddha.

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