Mothers' Day this year, it's strange, the heavy air of uneasiness hovering over my head. I felt bad, realizing how strained things are getting with Mom, like the powerful undertow lurking beneath the calm water.
I still call her every week, we still talk. But we are trading barbs ever so subtly just a couple of utterances into the conversation, perfecting our skills in sarcastic communication and spewing spiteful remarks with a cheerful jokingly twist. Suddenly so many things we do not see eye to eye and we resolve to agree to disagree, in a not so agreeable manner. It's very draining talking to Mom nowadays.
I was in the midst of moving into my new place. Mom would like to come to help. I was more than glad with her around, more of sharing the joy of my new home. I was prepared to drive home to fetch her and Dad out her for the big moving day festivities. Then Mom insisted that she could just easily take the bus, a 3-hour ride out to KL from Kuantan with Dad, who's so frail and borderline wheelchair bound. After a lot of back and forth, I mean a lot, I told her I'd be able to handle the moving on my own (which was true), then I would take a flight home to spend time at home with them. I wouldn't be seeing them cramping in the bus, Mom wouldn't be worrying me with the drive back to fetch them. It was a win-win. Then there was silence ringing over the phone, piercing and painful. That was that.
What's happening to us?
Nothing happened to us. This is simply because the mother-child love bond is so strong and unconditional. We always want to make life easy and rosy for each other. We could not bear seeing each other suffer in the slightest way. Mom worried about how tiring driving alone for me. I realized how taxing physically on her and Dad taking the bus. We knew very well what we were trying, and willing to do for each other. That's why we insisted what we wanted to do all along and would never back down. Never! That's why it was so exhausting.
How can love be so strenuous?
Happy Mothers' Day.