Mama

“Mama…Mama you know I love you; Mama…Mama you’re the queen of my heart; Your love is like tears from the stars; Mama I just want you to know; Loving you’s like food to my soul…” ~ extract from the song “Mama” by Boyz II Men

My dearest E.,

I don’t need to remind you how motherhood has changed my life. And that change is a positive one, an energizing one that gave new meaning to me and the realisation that I could do anything with you by my side. Becoming a mother has made me realise how much I love my own mother, too, and how selfless she has been all these years to ensure my happiness and comfort. Till this very day, her motherly love is strong and loyal- and I’m so happy to know that she is passing on the love she did to me, to you now.

I did something rather uncharacteristic of me last weekend when your father and I were at the Boyz II Men concert (perhaps someday, you will learn to appreciate their music the way we have, although by then, their songs may be ‘oldies’ to you). Boyz II Men made popular a very beautiful and enigmatic song called “Mama”, written, of course, for their mothers. With sweet emotive lyrics and moving music, it has always been one of my favourite songs. So, when they sang that song during the concert, and urged us, the audience, to pick up our mobile phones, call our mothers and tell them how much we loved them, I did! Your father looked quite astounded that I did it. And frankly- I was, too, at myself.

Let’s face it, cupcake. At some point in the future, you and I- we are almost certain to have issues we will not agree upon, we may be at logger-heads with each other. But I will never stop loving you. Just like I know, that although my own mother and I had experienced some pretty rough times together in my younger years (I was selfish and rebellious, and I hope you never become like me), I learnt to understand where she was coming from when I grew older- and wiser. As my appreciation for her grew, so too did my love, respect and admiration, for that brave lady who had left her homeland for Malaysia, not knowing a single person except for her husband, your dear dear grandfather (and my idol), not knowing our language- and yet persevering and bringing up selflessly and wonderfully 2 children who love her tremendously.

So when she picked up the phone that night, I had to scream over the loud music and the chorus of the audience singing along and tell her, “Mum! You have to listen to this song!” And I had lifted my mobile phone high into the hair, a smile wreathed on my face, hoping that she could listen to the music and hear those meaningful words I found so difficult to utter. I told her then that this was a song for mothers, and I wanted her to share that moment with me. And I told her “I love you, Mum“. I could hear her smiling into the phone, her voice choking ever so briefly as she lovingly replied, “I love you too, darling“. I hung up with a warm feeling in my heart. Just that one action, sweetheart, was enough for her. No other words were needed.

Perhaps one day, when you’re at a concert, or in the bus, or sitting at your work desk thinking how dreary life can be, all you need to do is just pick up the phone and call me, and tell me you love me, and you need me. And I promise you: after that phone call, everything- everything will be alright.