Monday, November 14, 2005

My mother's birthday

If she was still around, my mother would be celebrating her 65th birthday in a couple of days. When she was around, a few days before her birthday, I would be thinking how to celebrate her birthday with her. Old habits die hard.

Strangely, I do not have many happy memories of my mother's birthday because we usually end up having a tiff. One year, I thought I would treat my mother and my brothers to a nice dinner. I was the only one earning a salary. My dad had just passed away a couple of years prior to that. The definition of a nice dinner for my mom was eating in a restaurant as opposed to eating at the stalls or at home. As soon as I made the suggestion, I got a scolding from my mom. "Waste money like that. Eat at a restaurant. You think you're very rich? That's why you don't have savings." I was stunned and speechless. How did wanting to do something nice for my mother turn into an issue about how I spend my money? I couldn't buy her an expensive gift or I will get a shelling again. After a while, I learned to keep quiet about my mother's birthday. I waited for my brothers to initiate the birthday celebration. However, on the day of the birthday itself, our mother got really upset because nobody had said anything about a birthday celebration. Damned if you do, damned if you don't.

When my mother was very ill, she actually reminded my brothers and I not to remember her on her death anniversary but to remember her on her birthday and on special occasions. She requested that we set a place for her for dinner. It is two days before my mother's birthday, my brothers have not said anything about getting together for dinner to remember my mother's birthday. Should I initiate again, for old times sake? Perhaps I will just set a place for her on Wednesday when my family and I sit down for dinner.


Blogger JoMel said...

Sigh! *Hugs*

10:12 pm  
Anonymous eleine said...

hmmmm..must be very hurting hah..well..just do whatever you think is best ok..have a nice dinner on wednesday night and dont forget to say some grace b4 you eat...


10:20 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Min, quick peek at Tokkok Teoh showed 47 comments! I am here to tip that scale a bit as well as to say a few mushy things about mums and daughters.

Reading yr posting on the angst and turmoil u seem to feel when mum's birthday comes around each year, made me think of my own mum's insistence that her birthday not be celebrated each year...heck, since young we are not even allowed to know when her birthday is! It was only much much later that i found out that she does not even know her own birthdate. In those days,people in small villages didnt register the births of their children, or they might do so at a later stage and the birth cert would only show "born in the year 1938...". Anyway, back to you...and whether or not to set an extra place tonight for mumsie. I'd say "Yes" if it makes u feel better. I mean look on the flipside...if u dont, u may go to bed feelin' rotten, at worse feelin' like the most unfilial daughter alive, but...if u did something to remember her for today, even if it's only a stem of rose on the table, it's worth the small effort. I'd go for the rose thing cos u wont need to stare at an empty spot at the table, and feel all those lumps in yr throat! Just have a happy family dinner, lotsa cuddles with Laura/Adam, plus kisses from his lordship...and go to bed feeling u did the right thing by mum, and more importantly by YOU ! The past is exactly what it is...the PAST...and no amount of fiddly-diddly-ing will change what happened or what was said. Daughters are amount of tension or pain will ever sever that tie with Mum....that love for her will never die with her death. So go on and do what YOU yourself feel most comfortable doing, and shed a tear or two if u need to...there is no shame in loving anyone, in choosing to stick by that love no matter what. Boo to those who may scoff at it but Min, you have come this far in life and with 2 kids to show examples to, i think you already know what you want to do tonight.

7:52 am  
Blogger geetha said...

i know how u feel. do also cannot, don't do also cannot. sometimes i have a trauma when it comes to celebrating family birthdays :(

you love her. whether you set her a place with your family or with ur brothers, she will know you still think of her.

10:27 am  

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