The Wall

It was tough for mum to be mum. Even at the ripe age of 65, she had to be the pivotal point that hold the family together. I didn't think she expected much in return and she did these purely for the love of her family, but we should never take her for granted. Without her, the family would have broken apart long ago.

These few days would be something to remember by. I couldn't remember when I ever had the privilege of seeing mum the moment I wake. As I had been sleeping on the sofa bed in the living room, there she was reading the Zao Bao when I wake to the Singapore mornings. It must be the first time that both of us had no toil during the day at the same time. So there was time to talk.

The most enjoyable conversations took place with a wall between us. That wall seperated my kitchen and bathroom but it had a few window panels that allowed our voices to channel through. I took regular baths because I was unaccustomed to the sticky feeling on the skin. So we chatted while mum was cooking the simple dishes that her son grew up eating. We talked about anything under the sky, the family, our dearest late pets, the neighbours, our previous work, who died and when - the kind of thing someone of her age had to be accustomed to, unfortunately.

She remained the only person to fuss over every detail from my return to my eventual departure and almost insisted to send me to the airport. She settled for sending me to the bus interchange and watched me board the bus with two bulky luggages before flashing the same smile when she saw the bus arrived with the then 10 year old me onboard, returning to our then new home for the first time. She was full of vigour back then but time took the toll gradually through the decades.

Something tells me my relationship with Singapore has not ended. There will always be something I can not let go. It will never be the food or fine public transport or anything that we raved about. These things are superficial and mean little to me. Till this day, I have yet to come up with any feasible solutions to solve the puzzle. But I'll walk on, because that is the only way to go. We'll see where we end up. No destinations are permanent, not the current one and not even the next.


  1. Glad you have enjoyed your time with your mother. We have toiled and hurried too much. How could we ever change the way we live?

    Agreed that no one place is a permanent destination for us. Circumstances and priorities will change which might bring us to another place.

    With this mindset, it builds resilience in us and teaches us not to be too comfortable in our current situation. No new day is the same.

  2. I hear you. For each trip back to Singapore, I dislike the departure part the most as it means my parents have to wait the longest time for me to visit again.

    My husband asked me to be more courageous and resilient, having never to leave home until adulthood. We need not just feel at home in a single place/country but call several places our homes, and that is a blessing too, he said.

    Same here, food isn't what I miss from Singapore.