Mom used to say she never lifted a finger for any sort of work when she was a girl, house work, school work or even work work. She had always had it easy and breezy, having a time of her life. But all changed when she married dad.
She cooked and cleaned for a household of 11 (My grandparents, 4 uncles and 3 aunts). When we the kids came along, she took care of us. She also worked selling cookwares and Tupperware products. Then grandpa fell ill, she took care of him. When dad was frail, she took care of him.
Last October dad passed on. Now mom is living on her own back home. She is taking care of the house and herself. And she is taking care of the plants in the front, and backyard. There are more and more plants now. Papaya tree, sugar cane plants, sour sop trees, lemongrass bush and a whole front porch of flowers like hibiscus, lily and orchid.
On my recent trip home, I saw the orchid blossoming beautifully. There wasn't a whole stalk of them, just 2 lovely saturated purple flowers, bright and crisp. Well, mom has been spending a lot of time and effort gardening and it shows. They were very pretty and I was thrilled looking at the flowers. Orchid is one of those plants that is resilient and strong, surviving with the bare minimum.
Looking at the flowers in the morning on my return to KL, I just thought that that's my mom, resilient and strong, and making wonderful thing happens in the challenging conditions. It also a comforting sign of hope, that mom is walking out of the gloomy gray of dad's passing and welcoming wonderful splash of colors back into her days.
Slowly but surely.