In Remembrance of My Mother


It’s my mother 1st death anniversary. I want to write something, to record it down, as a remembrance.

My mother was an industrious lady, she could not stop being busy. Even though she was 73 years of age at death, she was still eager to work. She was working as a private school bus runner before AJ came. I asked her to stay with me & help me to care for AJ when he was born. She did.

I was not aware that caring for a new born is not easy. I did not realize that:-
(1) there was cue that my mother was not prepared to give up her job to take care of AJ full time. She did not shift in with me until the day AJ & I were discharged from the hospital. It was a cue, but I was not sensitive enough to pick up then. I believe she would still prefer to work, but probably find it hard to turn me down;
(2) my mother has not been caring for new born or babies since at least 15 years back;
(3) my mother, though looked like 60+, was already 70+, & might not be physically strong enough to care for new born

AJ, as a new born, needed to be fed every 2-3 hours in the beginning, even in the night. That had tired out my mother, who volunteered to feed him in the night, sacrificing her sleep to do so. In the day, she had to cook confinement food for me & do some light house chores. These were tiring, but my mother did not utter anything.

When AJ was 2-month old, I have to plan & decide the ‘back-to-work’ arrangement. My mother told me that she was not too comfortable caring for AJ alone if I were to go back to work full time as she was afraid that her weak arms might not be able to support a growing baby. The father had wanted me to give up my full time job, but I was not prepared yet. My mother also discouraged me to give up a well-paid job. Then we explored into looking for a nanny. Looking for a nanny whom we, parents, were comfortable with was not easy. Initially my 50+ year-old cousin said that she could help us, she later withdrew as her son needed her to help with his 2 children. Then my sister suggested my mother to shift in with her instead, & AJ would stay in my sister’s place too. She has a maid at home, so at least there would be 2 adults caring for AJ in the day. We were not too comfortable after much thought as that meant we would have less time with AJ.

Finally, we opt for a domestic helper though the father did not quite like the idea of having a non-next-of-kin staying with us. The whole episode had caused me much stress & was one of the contributing factors to my post-natal blues.

We settled for a domestic helper from Indonesia. Thank God she has been quite responsible & she adores AJ. She also respected my mother & could communicate with her well.

Possibly due to prolong fatigue, my mother had a mild stroke late one night after she came back from Malaysia. It was my helper who spotted it as she was sleeping in the same room as her. She woke me up from sleep quickly. You can imagine how terrified we were. I called an ambulance & my mother was admitted.

During that period, I was completely worn out. After a full day of work, I had to visit my mother, then to rush home to pump milk (AJ was on partial breastfeeding) & to ensure that AJ was well taken care of by this new helper. She was discharged after a few days’ of stay in TTSH. At that time, another fear came to me. Could my helper cope with an infant of 4 months old & an elderly who had a mild stroke.

My mother did not recover very well. She still complained of some discomfort here & there & had urged us to bring forward her appointment. Knowing how restructured hospitals worked, bringing forward the follow-up appointment was simply impossible. We thought that we might as well admit her to hospital straight the next day.

She never lived to the next day. I was waken up by my helper in the sleep again in the wee morning (around 4+am). This time, worst thing had happened. My mother collapsed on the floor of the common bathroom. When my helper & I were transferring her to the kitchen floor, she was already stiffed. I knew she has gone, her lips were purple, her body was cold. I rang for ambulance again. They pronounced her dead.

My sister decided that the wake should be held in Haig Road as all her friends were there. AJ was near 5 months old. My milk supply dropped tremendously so at near fifth month, AJ was on full formula milk.

I suffered from another round of depression again – this time from my mother’s death. My house was full of memories of her. The bed she slept on, the usual place she liked to sit at the dining table, her favourite sofa seat, etc. For about a month I wasn’t able sleep without having the bathroom light on in my room, I dare not face the kitchen because my mother laid there when she died, I dare not take a look at her bed or lied on her bed, I did not want to sit at the dining table. I felt really miserable. My sister blamed me that if I had not asked my mother to look after AJ, she might not have left the world this early. I came to believe that I played a part in causing her to die early.

I decided to call my pastor, Rev Prabhudas Koshy, one night to pour out all these as I could not take them anymore. Thank God for his wisdom of words, I felt better.

As I looked back, I still believe that I played a part in causing her to die, though not necessary this early. For there is a time for everything as planned by God. So He planned for the departure of my mother this way at this time, & I was in the plan for this.

It was through all these events that I requested to work part time in my former company & eventually work from home with this current company. Without God’s intervene, I could be still working full time outside, leaving very little time for AJ. Now that I work from home, I have more time with AJ, teaching him & seeing him grow, developing from infant to toddler. One can only have peace obeying God's Will.

1 comment

  1. After reading your story that your dearest Mom's death was part of God's plan involved you, I just want to encourage you that Rom 8:28 And we know that [a]God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.

    As long as your late Mom had lived a quality and happy life, do not blame yourself on her death.

    The Lord's thoughts are higher than yours. Oneday, you will be united with her in that beautiful place where there will be no more tears and sorrows.

    Peace
    Priscilla Poh

    ReplyDelete