Mother lived through a difficult period of the Japanese Occupation. Young girls of her time must get married to avoid being harassed by the Japanese soldiers. It was a blind marriage without courtship. All she was shown was a picture of my father in his younger days. Little did she realised that my father was 15 years older than her. This marriage lasted till 1999 when my father passed away. She lived on for another 18 years and departed recently at a good age of 93 years old.
Mother in her times had no opportunity to go to school. She knew the value of education and had put us through schools. We could not be where we are without her. Education helps us to lead a comfortable lives than she had experienced.
Mother was the most thrifty person I knew. Because of Japanese Occupation, she encountered days of scarcity and hardships. She would always tell us to switch off the lights in the rooms to save electricity. Even when she was confined to her bed in the past month, she would point her finger to the lights indicating her instruction to switch them off.
Mother sewed her own clothes. Even with so many clothes in the cupboard, she would only wear a few, then washed them and wore again. She would mend them and still continued to wear them.
Mother may not know the theories of finance, but she knew how to save money and manage it. She put her money in several banks (to avoid a run on a bank). She set up a bank account for each of her children and ensured that the accounts were joint-alternate account (and/or bank account). We could transact on the account should she pass away. We learned from her to save for rainy days.
Mother was way ahead in planning what we should to do on her death. There is no second guessing. We normally would not want to talk about death. But not her. She made her wishes known early on. She planned for her end many years back. She had her picture ready and the clothing she wanted to wear. She let us know the type of funeral rites she wanted, how many days of wake, and the rest of the other decisions were left to my eldest brother in the family. She even paid for a niche in a temple and a tablet space in another temple way back when they were still relatively cheaper. This is forward planning. So when it came, it was smooth execution. We thanked her for being thoughtful.
The end came swiftly. It did not drag on and in a matter of one month when her conditions deteriorated she left us quietly at her own home. We could not wish for any better.
Thank you mother.
17 October 2017