Lessons and legacies of mama

Mama passed away on May 31, 2016. This is my journal written September 12, 2015:

Faith is what you hang on to when there’s nothing else to hang on to.


Mama demonstrated this to me this morning. I took her to consult a doctor. The doctor after examining her assured her that it’s nothing to worry about. She told the doctor: I prayed and prayed.

As I accompanied mama on this visit, I reflected on many values I should emulate from her:

Patience… again… It’s once more an exercise in patience waiting at the doctor’s clinic. It must be very uncomfortable for my mom in her condition to be sitting that long. But I was the one who kept complaining about the long wait. Not once did she complain.

Resilience/endurance. I realised that all the while, she was enduring her condition so as not to bother us. Her resilience to adopt best she could to what’s bothering her made me realise she’s one person who is brave in suffering.

Courage is not the absence of fear but conquest of it. That she is brave to endure does not mean she’s not concerned of the possibility of ‘reality’ that her physical deterioration comes with age. So how did she cope? Prayer..

Prayer is her means to live courageously. She often shares to me how God answered her prayer. She does the same to her doctor. She told the doctor how she prayed and how God answered her prayers. She grabs at every opportunity to share God’s goodness to her.

Goodness of God is not about a life of roses.  It is easy to say God is good when we are healthy, without sickness, without problems and challenges. The goodness of God is most manifested and experienced when we know God walks with us through sickness, through the valley of the shadow of death, through problems, through trials and sufferings in life.

My mom experienced God’s faithfulness most in the difficulties of life. She lost her father when she was 3. She nearly died when she gave birth to me. Her renal failure caused her to go through 6 months of challenging dialysis. It’s been 12 years since her kidney transplant. Today, I saw her shaky hands trying to get the battery for her hearing aid out of the packaging. I took it out for her. She could ask but I guess she’s so used to doing it on her own. I realise it must be quite a lesson in patience as well. My mom is a very kip sieng (fookien word – i don’t know what word best to put in English) person (she works fast and efficient, she wants things done quickly and perfectly too.. quite OC, in fact).


She is a very independent person since young. Even in old age, she tries best she could to do things for herself. As much as possible she does not want to bother us – even when she’s not well. So we as children, we need to insist that we do something to help our ageing parents.

I wonder when I’m old, will be like that too? I pray that I will pick up the good stuffs – learn patience (haaayy how long before I learn… paradoxical, isn’t it? 🙂 ), learn endurance, live with courage, live a life of prayer in faith trusting my God and my shepherd… and remember to testify to His goodness to anyone anytime, anywhere.


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