mother | me

The tears are rolling down my face as I write this.

I’m not quite sure how to deal with the news.

‘I’ve never had the feeling come so strong before and I know I must do this,’ Mother said to me over a cup of tea, several days ago. We had just returned from our trip back to Japan and Obachan’s health (although vastly improved when we visited her) had deteriorated. ‘Ever since Uncle Shintaro passed away… Obachan has had no one to care for her. Paying for a full-time nurse is different. There’s no personal touch. I am her only daughter and I must do this. I want to do this.’

I thought she meant some time in the future.

But today, she handed in her resignation at work.

Because sometime in April, Mother is moving to Japan for an indefinite period of time to care for Obachan.


I have never in my whole life been apart from Mother.

Every time I encountered a problem, had some good news or wanted an honest opinion, Mother was there. And when I had to leave for a trip urgently and the household was in shambles, Mother picked up the pieces after me.

I know she’s doing the right thing.

I know Obachan needs her and that Mother is a mere phone call away.

I know these things… but who else knows me inside out like her?


‘I’m being selfish, aren’t I… wanting Mother to stay back just for me…’ I sniffled in the Dream Maker’s arms tonight. ‘But I can’t help it. I suddenly feel so lost.’

He just hugged me tighter, enveloping me with His arms of love.

‘What am I going to do when she’s gone? Who will I run to? Will I get used to her empty room?’ I wailed.

‘Look, when the time comes, you’ll be fine.’ He wiped my tears away. ‘You’ll handle everything spectacularly.’

‘How do you know? I’ve had to be an adult, yes… I’ve had to do my share of adult things… but I’ve always had the time away to be a child again when she was around. I’m not sure I can be an adult without her.’

‘Hey…’ the Dream Maker said, ‘Her blood runs in your veins. Everything you see in her – her resilience, her wisdom, her strength – it’s all inside you. And when the time comes for you to rise up, you will. It’s in your very person to shine.’

I shook my head. It wasn’t just about me and whether I could cope.

Mother was my comforter, a blanket of assurance I wrapped myself in every time life dealt me a cold blow. I wanted to be mothered.

‘It’s her season to be mothered, and to care for her mother in return. Let her go. And love her while she’s still around… for you to freely express your heart to. Don’t let the loss consume the life that remains. It will be good…’ He whispered into my ear.

I sighed. Then wiping my tears, I stood a little straighter and managed a smile.

I will determine to show her an expression of my love every single day with something new. I want her to go knowing she’s loved deeply… that she’ll be missed greatly…

And that somehow, she needn’t worry about what she leaves behind because like her, I will be independent and take care of everything in this household while she’s away. I can.

And for my mother, I will.


I’ll miss you mummy.


[Footnote: For those who work with her, please don’t disclose her decision till she herself makes the announcement. I think she’ll like it that way.]

One thought on “mother | me

  1. I literally cried when I read this, by the way…sad to say, for a very selfish reason…because I’m going to miss her… 😦 As much as I am going to miss her though, it is still no where near as much as you will, I know. But I love what you said… Abt not letting the loss consume the life that remains. 🙂

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