Turning 76

24 Aug 2019

My mama turned 76 yesterday.

She still works part time in the factory she’s been employed since she was 16.

My mama (R) and her teenage buddy Auntie Moi (L).

As a result she has friends, both the young & the aged, despite not having access to social media.

My mama (background) and my second aunt during a sibling outing to a kelong in Batam Island, Indonesia in 2018.

Her weekends are precious with temple visits, visits with friends & siblings, visits from her grandchildren and the occasional shopping for gifts to give to young colleagues leaving their company.

My mama on her wedding day.

Mundane tasks such as cleaning, cooking and feeding people & animals anchor her & give her a sense of control & pride, even as she complains about having to do them.

Over the years I’ve learnt not to over analyse things with her. Most grudges with her are easily resolved by a bowl of prawn noodles or a shared concern over the welfare of another person or animal.

My mama makes water offering to Lord Ganesha whenever she visits the temples at Waterloo Street.

I may have a university education, but it’s my illiterate mother who has taught me not to be afraid, and to hold onto my visions, even at times when I cannot read all the signs on my path.

My mama in her 20s. I was about 3 or 4 years old. I looked worried in this picture cos she had caught me cutting my own fringe. Her smile says, “I’m gonna kill you when we get home.”

It’s August and Momo ( Peaches) Season in Japan & Taiwan. So the day before I bought what I believe to be the most expensive peaches my mother has even eaten in her life. 😆

The display reads “寿桃 (shou tao)” meaning longevity peaches. Longevity noodles from Kinmen were added.

Peaches are the favourite fruits of the Monkey King. They confer longevity and alacrity. So I wish for my mama and all who are mothers, on her birthday and the days ahead, the same gifts of longevity & alacrity.

My mama at 76. (Tung Lok at Central Mall 20 Aug 2019)

Happy Birthday Mama! 😊