Staying Strong

Staying Strong
Staying Strong

Your past experiences and the people from your past makes you who you are today.”

Today I went out for lunch with mum and Annabelle. I have to admit, it was the greatest time I’ve had ever had with them in the longest time. We went to Jurong Point (oh how I miss living there) for lunch and ate at Thai Express. Mum shared her childhood experiences with us and honestly, I do feel for her.

She had a tough childhood, and looking back at what I said about my life is no comparison to hers. Hers was honestly hell. Real sheer hell. She was nagged, verbally abused, mentally abused by my Grandmother. She migrated to London at a very vulnerable age of eight. She had no idea of how to communicate in English and when she started school, she was very behind in her academics as everything taught was in English. Despite struggling in her school work, she had to come home everyday to help out with her parent’s Fish ‘n’ Chips shop. She studied while peeling potatoes in the cold; wearing layers of rubber and plastic gloves to prevent from cutting herself.

She said that all this motivated her in striving to do well so she could get out of this horrible life of hers. She honestly could not stand all the nasty words and the repeated naggy lectures hurled at her everyday. She wanted out. Fortunately, with all the hard work and efforts she put in, she went into a good University in England and met her lover there, which in this case, is my dad.

The both of them had a pretty rough start. Not only were they depending on themselves for shelter and survival, but when they got married, Grandma gave Mum the huge shock of her life. Upon knowing that Mum was going to get married to Dad, she threw all of Mum’s beloved textbooks, gifts, magazines, books which she thought she could pass down to her children.

She brought up this particular topic when I asked her if I could get a Musical Box for Christmas. She replied: “I have bad memories about musical boxes. I had 3; they were all given by my friends who got them from Switzerland. And she threw them all away. I also wanted to pass down my Physics, Chemistry; all the good textbooks to all of you but upon knowing I was about to marry your Dad, she got furious. Out of spite, she chucked them away. Claiming I’ll never come back anyway so what’s the point of keeping them.” I could tell that she took a lot of courage to tell that to us, especially when it’s a story about your mother throwing all your beloved possessions and treasures which you intend to pass down to your children. I saw her eyes water…that’s when it hit me.

I felt for her, I really did. Everything started to make sense. I now know why she nags about our future and how it can be easily corrupted. She wanted us to have a good life, a good future. She and Dad have come a very long way to have been able to reach this very stage. All their hard work and efforts had paid off. They didn’t start of rich, in fact they were very poor. Now, we are able to live comfortably in a nice house with a nice car, all due to their efforts.

I admire them, I really do. Throughout the whole of Mum’s life, she has never had the help from her parents. Absolutely none. She was always on her own. Spending her own hard earned money for her school books and meals, as well as for the things that she longs to buy.

I remember these words said by her:

When a family comes and unites together, no matter what we’ll pull through.” 

I love her for saying that, I really do. I admire her loyalty towards the family and how strong she is. One day, I want to be as strong as her. I want to be emotionally strong, being able to fend for myself and depend on myself.

Dear Mum, I know there is very little chance that you’ll able to see this. It’s good, because I’ll know I’ll never be able to admit this upfront to you, face to face. I want to say how proud I really am to be your daughter, and how proud I am to have you as a mother. You had a tough life, a tough childhood and a rough start to your marriage. I know you wanted to get away from that cold life of yours and emerge out to the new world, in hope for a fresh new start. Well you now have the family you want (almost), and I know we do give you hell and may seem that we don’t appreciate your efforts, but I do. I just….can’t let myself show it. I don’t know why. I appreciate every little thing you do. Like buying my favourite food for lunch, or cooking nice dishes for dinner, washing our clothes, staying back to take care of us instead of joining Dad for his business trips. All these things, I take it into heart and I do appreciate. I’m crying as I am typing this because I know how hard it is to feel unappreciated and to be left alone most of the time with 3 children to handle. I am so sorry Mum, I’m so so sorry. I’m sorry for what I’ve done and I’m sorry to hear about your past. It’s hard to keep strong and you’ve been staying strong for so many years. It’s time for you to lay back and have a great time, but you have Addison to take care of. He’s so young and he has so many years still under your roof. I can’t help you much in this but I can promise you, I’ll work really hard from now on so that you will not have to worry about me all the time. I know I’m the main cause of your worries and stress, and I am so sorry Mum. I just cannot depend on myself, I need you. Yes, I need you Mum. I need all of you, but I know one day I’ll need to let go. I’m dreading the day where I’ll have to leave home for University. I don’t want to leave. My time with you is nearly running out. 4 years will go past so quickly and before I know it, I’ll be own my own with no one to defend me. I don’t want to realise then that I  have taken the both of you for granted. It’ll be too late by then, I’ll be gone. I’m thankful that I have realised it now, and that I have enough time to appreciate your efforts. I’ll start by putting in way more effort in my studies, so to give you the assurance that you need not have to worry about me in the future. I love you, Mum. I just want you to know. I may not show it but I do, and very deeply. Thank you for all you have done and will continue to do. I really do appreciate it.”

“Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”

– 1 Thessalonians 5:18

“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.” 

– James 1:17

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