AFTER a near year-long battle with cancer, my mother finally succumbed to her illness last month.
Saying goodbye to a loved one is never easy, especially when that person was your whole world.
To me, she was more than just my mother – she was my protector, confidant, mentor and guide.
But more than anything, she was my friend – my best friend.
The main reason I say this is because I honestly cannot remember when was the last time I called her “mum” or “mummy.”
Instead, I have always called her by her first name. While some people might consider this odd or even disrespectful, my mum was entirely fine with it and I felt it just brought our relationship to a different level as we could talk about practically anything.
One of the things I will miss most is taking her to the movies on weekends. Of course, many would laugh at the fact that a grown man actually takes his mum to the cinema.
But my reason for this was simple – my mum was just so much fun and such a joy to be with! I don’t think I’ve ever laughed so hard in my life whenever I was with her.
Those who knew her personally would know that she was a huge Michael Schumacher fan, and knew the sport of Formula One (F1) like the back of her hand. In fact, when I worked on the F1 cover story for this publication a few years back, she was my biggest reference.
She was also a huge wrestling fan, and I will miss having to remind her every week that it’s all just a show as she’d get so upset each time her hero, John Cena, got pummelled.
I’ll certainly miss her cooking. Though she did teach me how to prepare her amazing meatball curry, it’s just not the same when I do it.
She was the first person I’d send a text message to when I reached the office and before I left – and I already miss doing that so much.
My mum was very calm and accepting of her fate. When she was first diagnosed and told that she had less than a year to live, she took the news better than anyone.
When I broke down upon hearing that our time together would be short, she held me and told me to be strong, and that she did not want to see any tears from me.
So prepared was she that my mum actually wrote her own obituary, and even prepared the clothes she would be wearing at her own funeral.
Still, towards the end, as she became more vulnerable, she did ask me “why is this happening to me?”
As a Buddhist and believer of reincarnation, my only justifiable reply to her was that perhaps God needed her somewhere more important than here.
At the end of the day, when a man looks back at his life, there would have been many special women in his life but only an outstanding few that would have touched his heart.
This can be narrowed down to his sweetheart, whom he would have loved the best; his wife, the woman he would have loved the most; and of course his mother, the one he would have loved the longest.
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