A Mother’s Love Revisited

This photo was taken circa early 1999. Wuan and I just started to chat online. I had that shot taken to show her the condition of my hands. It does not reveal much actually. In reality, I have about 20% to 30% functional use of them only, depending on the tasks. That is due to the fact that my thumbs are of little practical use. I have difficulty picking up coins and similar sized and shaped objects. It takes a lot of exertion to grip a pen and write. I use a fountain pen mostly because it requires less effort to write with one. I select what I eat prudently. Holding a spoon is laborious enough, let alone removing meat from bones or cutting through steaks. Picture this: Going about your daily routine wearing a pair of boxing gloves all the time. That pretty much sums up how much use I have of my hands.

For as long as I have been paralysed until Mum’s demise, her hands performed all the tasks that needed delicate finger movements for me. I did not know how fortunate I was until I had to do those tasks by myself. Her hands not only rocked my cradle, they became the hands that I no longer had control of. This was on top of having to perform daily chores like cleaning and washing, and doing what she loved best – gardening. Mum had green thumbs. Anything that she sowed thrived and bloomed. She was a great cultivator, not only of plants but of humans, too. She lifted me up and nursed me back to health. Despite all the hard work she had to endure to look after me, she never considered me a burden. Truly, I tell you, Mum’s love for me knows no bounds. HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY MUM, wherever you are.

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.

15 thoughts on “A Mother’s Love Revisited”

  1. peter, happy mother’s day to your mum too. when you love someone so much, you’ll always feel her by your side.

  2. KA,
    You are welcome.

    Indeed, I do feel her close by, always.

  3. G’day Peter, I chanced upon your website through a friend-of-a-friend-of-a-friend (ad infinitum..)’s website. I hope this doesn’t come across as patronising or as a platitude, but I have a great deal of respect for you.
    I don’t know what the politics of terminology are, and I don’t at all presume to know how you’re disability has changed your life, but to some extent I don’t see you as ‘disabled’ at all.
    No, you possess a patience and a love I can only dream to aspire to.
    In some ways, you’re far more able as a human being than some ‘able-bodied’ people I know.

    Of course, though, I’m basing this entirely off your blog, and like I said this might be little more than a platitude.
    If nothing else, thank you for sharing, and I wish you all the best.


  4. Hi there
    I have a lot of respect to my mum too. however, not every mum is so loving and not ever mum offers unlimited and unbounded love to their sons and daughters. you have enjoyed the love from your mum, perhaps you wouldn’t quite understand how bitter one feels when he dislikes his mum and at the same time respects her.
    take care
    keep your happy memories, they worth a lot

  5. Andrew,
    We are all disabled in many ways. It is just that my disabilities are physical and more apparent. It has been so long since I could do things for myself as a physically normal person could that I have come to see my limitations as being normal. Yes, I have gotten used to working with what little I have left that I tend to forget they are disabilities. Humans are such adaptable creatures. I am not unique in that sense. Thank you for your kind words.

    You are right. I have had the privilege of being blessed with a loving mother. I cannot understand any mother being otherwise. I will definitely keep those happy memories close to my heart.

  6. One day a year in honour of our mothers is 364 days less than it should be.

    Thanks for sharing, Peter 🙂

  7. Sara,
    I could not have said it better. Honouring our parents should not only be an annual affair but inculcated as an everyday practice. What we do for our parents now will be the foundation from which our children will learn and apply to us in the future.

  8. Thanks for sharing that Peter. There are so many important little things in life that I sometimes take for granted. It’s good to get a little perspective on things.

  9. Hi Peter, I’m sure your mom is smiling from heaven at your lovely tribute to her and feeling proud of how wonderful you have turned out to be. All her sacrifices are not in vain. Any mother would be proud to have such a fine son with such a beautiful heart. God bless!

  10. Peter: “We are all disabled in many ways. It is just that my disabilities are physical and more apparent.”

    Very true observation. Many people are walking wounded in life although physically they are sound. Some cannot handle their lot and turn bad as in causing harm to others eg. That is worse than to be physically handicaped. They lost it, so to speak, in terms of not having appreciation and gratitude for what they may have.

    I hope you’ll get better over time.

  11. James,
    You are welcome. I am sure Baby will put more things in perspective for you when he arrives. These little ones have the most candid ways of putting one in their proper place.

    And any son would be proud to have a mother like Mum! Everyday I thank God for blessing me with such a selfless and loving mother. Thank you for your compliments. Peace be with you.

    It has been a long time since I have come to accept my paralysis. Whether I get better or not does not matter much to me. What is important to me now is that I make the best use of what I have and live life as productively as possible. But, to be able to walk again is a nice thought though. 🙂

  12. Dear: Peter,
    It was a very touching story you wrote. This story makes me think of my aunty and grandma coz i have learn what they have taught me.


  13. Lim,
    My handwriting is legible enough to be understood. Thank you.

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