Momo, looking at you from my family photo, the only one we have which was taken ten years back. You were looking back at me, sweet, calm and radiant. Momo, in my sixty years, this Mother’s Day, you were not here to take our call. Momo, I miss you so very very much!
Momo, that was how I used to call out to you from afar! A hundred metres away on the road home, I shouted, “Momo!” You came peeping at the door, knowing that I was coming home. Years later, my children came with me, calling , shouting, laughing, “Popo, we are here!” and you came running to welcome them on that little country road!
You said you felt that I had never left home. It was like I was away in school and popped up at the door with no announcement, and I left, waving a quick goodbye and disappeared. I was always that noisy, nosy girl who came and went. You said I was like a pirate who came to rob the house. Before entering the house, I had circled the garden, taking a look at everything; the fruit trees and the vegetables. I just knew what was ripe and ready to be picked. But, you always said smilingly, knowing that I would cook up something you loved from my discoveries.
Momo, I was wondering when I would go home and how could I face the house without you asking, “When were you here? I just dozed off!” During my last visit last year, you told me you seemed to forget many things. You couldn’t remember the names of your children and grandchildren, yet you said, “I remember your name, your children!” I realized mom, you were getting old, in your eighties. To remember the children and their families was hard, but to be remembered is special! I helped you to recall each and every one of us and you did. Hurray! You were smiling happily as if you had won a prize. You could remember my grandson who came to visit some time ago. You said, “Amy will have a handful. Her son is ‘naughty’.” Momo, your great-grand child is five now and another one is one the way.
Momo, you used to sing, play flute and even the piano. You sang whole day long doing chores. You could memorise all the hymns you learned at church. You sang the oldies. You said singing brightened your days and singing to God chased away boredom, fear and sadness. While tapping rubber at early dawn, you sang in the dark with the flickering light, your conductor. You said God was near and no harm to fear! You praised the Lord while you were cooking and washing and plucking peppers, making life full of fun! That was you, momo, and I was born with no genes of yours in music, in calmness and being quiet.
I always wondered why you could take all the pain, all the blame, all the unfairness and remain cool. It seemed that nothing could take away your joy, your peace, your gratitude. You have found the spring of life, your quiet refuge. You were too quiet in front of all adversities! I am just your opposite, momo. I wondered if you picked up the wrong child from the hospital! When could I learn and inculcate such virtues in me?
Momo, you are now enjoying all the fruits of your life in heaven. As a loser, you lost nothing. You had gained the energy to persist till old age. I thought you should voice out your grievances but you let go. You had always been our shield, our warmth, our joy and our everything; praying that all would be fine one day. “God will take charge of all!” you said.
Momo, I thought I have no mom now! No! You are always here with me in my heart, in my memory. You are my momo always! May your soul rest in peace in the Lord! Rejoice in all his abundance now and forever, momo! I still miss you!