for my mother


at 12 midnight, these two will share a special transition. the end of mother’s day for my mother. and mister B’s first sign of entering this world 5 years ago.

May 12th, 2003.
the beginning and the end of many things in our lives.

… but with so many unpleasantness lately, let me focus on the beginnings.

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mom had for the longest of time ceased to be your typical ideal mother. she fixes meals. would rather be known by her first name. participated in as many ‘bottoms-up’ sessions as 4×4 adventure. shops. parties. et cetera. she metamorphosed into a friend to both Val and I. every so often there will be exclamations of exasperation made to her: “why can’t you be like everyone’s mother?” or “i want a mother. not a girlfriend.” it was tiring. as if tables had turned. Val and i were the adults. we were the matrons for most part of our teenage years and youth.

whilst most of the friends in our cohort and age group would have thought we had a very cool mom, we were embarrassed. and mom, well mom was pissed that we were embarrassed. if anything she thought her cool-ness should make us proud to show her around. afterall, she fitted in.

then, mister B. came along. as if by magic she fitted straight into mother and grandmother shoes. she felt more anxiety and pain in the labour room. she was in shock, denial, grief at what had happened to mister B.

mister B. was everything. he was her life. every second of the day. while we’ll research, she experimented. while we talked to support groups and doctors, she made inroads with them. she dug deeper into her soul than any one of us and with amazing strength and determination she floated us all along.

she became our rock.
a nana {banana}*. a mother. a therapist. an educator. a mentor. a disciplinarian.
she wore all the hats.

mom, thank you for being there for us. thank you for bearing the load. thank you for showing us the way. thank you for being EVERYTHING to mister B. without you, there won’t be a mister B today.

and lastly, we are sorry for not understanding your personal lost. your depressions. your need to feel young and free. sorry for being judgemental. and mostly for being embarrassed.

* * * * * * * *

The photography is of mom in the jacuzzi with Bryant every morning for 45-60 mins, performing hydrotherapy for him. Note that she has to support his entire physical body as he has no control over any part of his body and is incapable of lifting his head, let alone sitting up.

Ref: Photo

This deserves some dwelling into, if you don’t mind. For the last 3 months I wrote and approached a total of 20 so-called professional photographers in Malaysia to commission them to take Bryant’s photo, to preserve memories of him as kids like Bryant do not have long to live.
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During our initial discussion at least 80% of them were kind enough to respond with their T&C: rates and portfolio. Upon discovering that mister B is a special child with severe cerebal palsy (of which I had to describe and explain repeatedly), NOT A SINGLE ONE responded to me!
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Needless to say, I was (make that am) distraught by the reaction and disappointed by the level of professionalism these so called professional photographers have. Well, naturally I drop 4 of them who happened to be on my flickr contact list. (lame satisfaction and vindication)

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As for my other flickr contacts who have donated their skills and time on such humanitarian projects, thanks so much for doing it, and in particular Yan for your kind words of encouragement.
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