Chronicles of Ina: Mother’s walk of life – a priced possession
The postman was at the door with a parcel for me. It was from my sister who was pursuing a degree course in multimedia graphic designing in England.
I tore the packaging paper and what I had in my hand was a book that traced my mother’s walk of life from the day she was born up to today. There were altogether 50 pages for each year of her life.
I had emailed all the documents, photographs, and even couriered a host of other things that I could not email. She had utilized all that she needed into a gem of a momento for Mama on Mother’s Day.
The cover was a stained glass rose design of a fusion of Mama’s favorite colors.
As I turned the pages, I was taken on a walk down memory lane. The first five pages depicted her entry into this world: her birth certificate, photos of birthdays, rides, swims, and cries.
The next few pages illustrated her years in kindergarten: the concerts and her graduation photograph wearing a mortarboard and holding a scroll, she gave a toothy grin.
Her thirteen years in primary and secondary school were enshrined in pictures of her sports activities, bicycle rides, school excursions, science projects of pressed flowers and leaves as well as candid photographs of her teenaged peer activities.
She next left to pursue tertiary education in Kuala Lumpur where she met Papa. I managed to siphon photos of them together culminating in their “akad nikah” and “bersanding” ceremony. She was resplendent in her wedding attire, so was Papa in his Malay suit.
She embarked on a teaching career and I followed her posting to the interior of Pahang prior to her wedding. Being young and inexperienced, she reveled in her totally new experiences which we read about in her letters. These letters to her family, fiancee, and friends provided us with interesting snippets of her early years.
Then we came on the scene, the five of us, commencing with my eldest brother and ending with me. She has her favorite photographs and Lia knew just one of each of us to include in the chronicles of events.
Next were photographs of Bang Long’s graduation with our proud parents. It was followed immediately by Kak Long’s entry into the medical profession and Bang Ngah setting up his accountancy firm.
Then came photographs of Papa and Mama’s pilgrimage to Mecca with “Tok” and “Nek”. The serene looks on their faces were crystal clear to us.
The children sponsored mama and papa’s first overseas tour of the Western world. Although we stayed home, we were the armchair travelers when they showed us candid shots of their tour.
The last page of the never-ending “Saga” was the celebration of the 25th wedding anniversary of Papa and Mama. It was a joyous occasion for everyone and the emotional outpourings could be seen on their faces and heard in the recordings made on the CD.
The souvenir ended with the words: “the saga continues — Happy Mother’s Day !” and to accompany it was another CD with messages from all her five children.
I closed the book, wrapped it up with batik cloth, tied it up with a ribbon emblazoned with the words “We Love U !”.
Without a doubt, Mama was going to treasure her chronicles of “Mama’s walk of life” in her “Chronicles of Ina”. You bet!