It's been 23 years since I hold the title. My children called me IBU which also means mother. So, how do I feel being an IBU then, and being an IBU now?
My mum used to say..."Now, u know how it feels to be a mother...That's the way I felt when i first had u and later, ur sisters." She always said this every time I held my babies in my arms after the delivery. Delivering and raising them had never been an 'easy' experience but the joy of being a mother overcomes all the hardship in the upbringing.
So, this year only 3 out of my 6 children wished me... one in the morning, another at night and the last one 2 days after...My significant other only wished me late in the evening...well, I assumed everyone's bz.
For the last 10 years or more I had been calling my mum and MIL on Mother's Day to wish them...to cheer them up...I could sense the excitement when they wished me back. Now, mum has gone and I'm only left with my MIL to take care off. Once in a while I wished I could say that to my OPAH too who had left me in 1994. She was really so dear to me. I missed doing all the things for her and with her...
With Mak, it's a bit different. Mak was a bit garang, not like Opah. But as she got older she mellowed down. When she got sick, my sisters and I had to take turn to take care of her..I'm really grateful to Allah because my sisters were never 'berkira'.
"Mak sangat bersyukur anak-anak mak dan menantu-menantu mak baik-baik semuanya.."she told me with tears in her eyes.
Taking care of mak when she was sick was not an easy task. Sometimes it can be an emotional roller coaster ride. There were times when I, myself couldn't control the emotions especially when I couldn't help her to ease the pain.
"Kaki mak sakit Yong...berdenyut2 ni...cuba Yong pegang" I touched the legs but the warmth on the hardened skin was the only thing I could feel. It's really saddening for me not to be able to relate to the suffering that she faced.
Bathing her was another thing. Every time I bathed her she tried not to feel awkward as I always took off all her clothes and let her felt the chilled water of the shower...
"Tiap kali mak datang Kedah, mak rasa puas dapat mandi elok2...tp mak malu dgn Yong...."
I just ignored what she said but deep in my heart I really pitied her. It must be difficult for her to handle herself although Abah was always there for her. Abah was in a wheel chair himself.
I wish I could do more to mak when she was around. I wonder what treatment will I get when I'm old. I never spoke harsh words to my mum nor did I yell to her even though she was wrong at times. I always tried my best to understand her and my Abah as senior citizens. Will my children do the same thing?
I know I'm not perfect but I am a MOTHER.