Last year I received the following poem from Petit Suisse
Si j'etais jardinier
Je ferais pousser
En forme de cœur.
Elle serait pour Maman
Qui la garderait longtemps
Car Maman saurait que la fleur
C'est tout l'Amour de mon cœur.
Mirrored this year about a mother's love
Supposons que ma main
soit une fleur,
Voyons un peu si
Elle m'aime !
Un peu !
Pas du tout !
Pas du tout ?
Méchante fleur, tu mens !
Je suis sûr que maman m'aime
De tout son cœur.
I really enjoy both and find them adorable but I do prefer the 'gardener' poem slightly.
Each Mothers day reminds me of my mum. All the sacrifices that she made for me during my childhood and even as I entered adulthood and left the nest to fly into the unknown that is Geneva. She was not always an easy going mum, lots of heartache, deceit took its toll and she was surely more than frustrated at what life had thrown at her. She did discipline like most Asian mums would with corporal punishment but as with most if not all Asian grown adults reflecting back on their childhood we all reconciled with the need for some form of discipline. The Westerner does not understand this yet I think some parents do much more damage with psychological abuse and the consequences are irreversible. I do not condone outright beating for the heck of it but if a kid needs to be kept in line then disciplining them will not result in scars of the psychological kind. Europeans place too much importance on treating children as responsible adults. They are not !!! They need time to mature before they reach maturity one must guide them and rein them in sometime.
She woke up at ungodly hours like 3 or 4 in the morning to go to work when we first arrived in Sydney. She singlehandedly without any help raised 2 kids, saving all her money trying her best to secure a Catholic school education which cost her more than she could afford and left her with little attributed to other recreational activities or expenses. She did not get any assistance from my dad whatsoever if anything he burdened her even more. When I was readying myself for departure from Sydney she reassured me that whatever makes me happy is enough for her. All she wanted was the belief that I was going to be happy embarking in my new life abroad away from family, friends and all that I held sacred. It was a culture shock living in Geneva and still is. Shrek did not help me integrate and I felt extremely vexed, isolated and lonely save for the very few friends I managed to make. Anyway the situation now has improved...and I do not have to conceal my unhappiness from my mum for fear she will in turn be even sadder.
She taught me the ability to laugh at myself and to have a sense of humour which can help one in times of despair. She also taught me lots of people skills and networking know-how as well as the proper and correct way to treat people. She told me that forgiveness and peace with oneself can set one free although I must admit I struggle with this concept/principle and cannot forgive those who have wronged me so easily. She also takes comfort in her prayers which is her way of coming to terms with the hardships she face. She has incredible courage and constantly tackles obstacles with optimism.
Filial duty and piety is not something easily comprehended. Asians get this much more...
Before veering off too much I just want to add that I do not resent my mum for the disciplinary actions she took. She did have my best interests at heart and at times perhaps expressed it based on her inclinasions and leanings but I am most thankful for having been blessed with such an extraordinary woman as a mum. I do hope that I can set an example for my own children and they will be as proud of me as I am of my mum. I do not need a special day in the year to celebrate the love I have for my mum but I will take the opportunity to give her my heartfelt thanks and gratitude and to offer her the best tribute I can. She is a believer that all things are possible.
She taught me many more lessons all of which I hold close to my heart. I do not follow all her advice because as I carve out a path for myself and discover my place in the world equipped with wisdom and experience passed onto me by my mum I will form my own opinions, conjectures and theories .
Here is to you mum for your unconditional love (although you do have expectations and hopes for me that I did not fulfil), your undeniable and continual sacrifices, your maniacal reminders riddled with superstition but well intentioned.
I love you and hope that my children will be as affected by me as I am by you.
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