Among all the things that Mum left behind, it is her enduring legacy of unconditional love that has enriched me most. Until now, it is still difficult for me to fathom the depth of her sacrifice, not only for me but for the people around her. As much as I would like to emulate that venerable virtue of hers I can never be as magnanimous as she had been.
There often was an aura of bliss around her. Now I realise that it was most probably the joy of giving that gave her that discernable glow. She was blessed to be able to give. Despite her frugality, she never denied requests for help from relatives and friends. I guess she saved more for the rainy days of others than for herself. That was Mum – always thinking for others.
I especially miss her this festive season. This is the first year that I am spending the New Spring alone and the second year straight away from Penang. I was in Tokyo last year. I am in Kuala Lumpur currently. Wuan has gone back to her hometown. Whether I want to admit it or not, being alone in a time like this is utterly depressing.
The last time I celebrated the New Spring was just before Mum passed away. The progression of her leukaemia began around that time. That is one of the reasons why the advent of the season always bring back many heartbreaking memories. I tried to move on, tried to recapture the festive mood but it was an exercise in futility. There are simply too many missing pieces in the jigsaw puzzle of what used to be my family to bring back that mood again, ever.