I Wish I Had…..

This poem was written in 2001. I have never read it to Mum. Now I wish I had. I was always waiting for that appropriate moment – if only I knew when and what that appropriate moment was. Mum did not speak English but she could understand. I guess she would have understood the gist of this poem if I had taken the time to read it to her. Even if she did not, I could have translated it into Hokkien for her. I did not. And now I never can. Mum, if you are listening from up there, I dedicate this poem to you with all my love and gratitude.


Gently rocked my cradle
Humming soft lullabies
A deed great and noble

Coarse hands ever tender
Soothing away my fears
Always my defender

Tended me lovingly
A great cultivator
Raised to maturity

Austere and devoted
A being beyond compare
Ever dedicated

A guiding light of hope
Even in darkest hours
My despair you helped cope

There shall be no other
For there is only one
The one I call Mother.

Author: Peter Tan

Peter Gabriel Tan. Penangite residing in the Klang Valley. Blissfully married to Wuan. A LaSallian through and through. Slave to three cats. Wheelchair user since 1984. End-stage renal disease since 2017. Principal Facilitator at Peter Tan Training specialising in Disability Equality Training. Former columnist of Breaking Barriers with The Borneo Post. This blog chronicles my life, thoughts and opinions. Connect with me on Twitter and Facebook.

5 thoughts on “I Wish I Had…..”

  1. Wow, that was amazing. so very sweet. i’m sorry that you never had a chance to recite it to your mom but i’m sure she knows how you feel.

  2. I know if i was a mother, I would have died happy and satisfied knowing throughout my life I had a son who loved and appreciated me as much as you did with your mom. =)

    I think you’re very sweet at heart and soul.

    God Bless you.

  3. Thank you, thank you, thank you for those very kind words. I am still coming to grips with losing my mother. It is because of her that I am still here today. She was always there for the me no matter how big or small the problem was. The saddest thing is that I could not do much for her when she needed help most. I hope she has found peace wherever she has gone to. I miss her a lot, still.

  4. That’s very touching…it made me cry.

    I happened to surf in by ur blog lately…i think u r an amazing person, and im not saying this because u r on a wheel chair, even if u were walking like many of us, i would still say that…


  5. Sudheesh,
    Thank you. It is refreshing to be told that people see me for who I truly am and not say nice things to me because I am on a wheelchair.

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