You left too soon, when we least expected. With just a phonecall, you were gone within hours.
Dementia stole my mama long ago. When i tell my friends that mama died last Sunday at age 89 years, the response is "you were blessed to have her for so long.” That is true in the technical sense. But the truth is that my mama had been gone for several years before she took her last breath. By the time mama was in her 70s, her mind was beginning to fail. It started slowly.
From what I remember, my mama is a very strong and simple lady. Tall build because she was well fed and taken care of. Doesn't really like to go out and often sits by the window looking out as the day passes in evening.
She usually like to ask where I am going when I go out. She seldom show her concern as she doesn't know how. She has the same routine everyday.
Many a times, I would eat with her and even how simple and common the dishes are, she would eat like it seems very delicious. I would stare at her eating and she would say, :"What are you looking at? Eat your food."
But i don't find the food very delicious like her. ;/
Sometimes, I lie with her on her master bed and listen to her child birth stories when she gave birth to her children. How the doctor wanted her thumbprint because she nearly died during the birth of her son.
She told me how my dad only drink condense milk instead of milk powder because they were so poor. And how they started from just a one room place to now a semi detached landed house. I was fascinated with her stories. I would listen as she wipe her face with her handkerchief that she always had beside her.
My fave dish of hers is tang yuan. Her tang yuan were the best. She would patiently roll them into balls, and cooked them in sweet water. They were delicious and until today, whenever i eat white and pink tang yuan balls, it would remind me of the time when we made them together.
Those were little moments that I would treasure because this is what our relationship is- cumulative of little moments. Mama is a contented and simple person. She does not ask for a lot, and yet she is happy. Just look at her clothes -they all have the same style - just made of different fabric pattern. It's pants with button-down shirt.
She could stay home all day. She has a routine. From what i remembered, she would wake up, eat oatmeal, strolled at the nearby park, do some household routines, shower before lunch. She likes afternoon naps and does not like to go out alone, and would only shop at the local stores. She had few friends and her life revolves around the family, grandkids and her relatives. She is always there for us. When I got baptized, she came to witness our baptism.
Even though I was very young, I remember my gong gong and mama loved each other deeply and worked hard to build a family together.
It wasn’t until she passed away that I am able to honor the memories she would have wanted me to keep, the vibrant ones, the ones unfettered by repetitive questions and painful moments of outright confusion. And now that I can only reach back through the memories, i promise to share the best ones i have with my, God-willing, children, grandchildren, and great-grand children. I want them to know that I had a mama, who filled me with enough love to pass on a gift like that to all of them.
I wish you could have came to my wedding.
I wish I could have hug u more.
I wish I could have talk to u more even though u don't reply.
I wish you wouldn't suffer so much pain for so long.
I wish we could be like last time when you could talk so loud and chattily to me.
I wish I could have seen you for the last time. I miss you mama. See you in heaven.
My Grandpa & Grandma are together now.