A special day for women in our lives

‘My mother was the most beautiful woman I ever saw. All I am I owe to my mother. I attribute all my success in life to the moral, intellectual and physical education I received from her.

– George Washington, first US President.

Happy Mother’s Day to all of you who are reading my column today.This year, time really flies. Hari Raya Aidilfitri has come and gone and May 8 is already here.

For those of you who still have your mother, grandmother and aunts with you, today is the day for you to express your respect and love towards them. 

Today is a special day for us to honour the contribution of mothers, acknowledge the efforts of maternal bonds and the role of mothers in our society.

In many families, where mothers are absent either because they have passed away or remarried, many grandmothers and aunts have taken over the task of looking after the children and bringing them up in life.

In such single parent families, today is a day to honour these other women who have taken over as the replacement mothers and contributed to the well-being of their grandchildren or nephews and nieces.

If you have a mother-in-law, today is also a day for you to show your appreciation and love  for her. Many Asian mothers-in-law also take care of their grandchildren while their parents are at work or away.

Todaty, let us not forget these selfless kind souls who have made a big difference in our lives and our children’s lives..

What can you do to express your love and respect towards these women?   

In Western countries, traditional Mother’s Day gifts are usually sentimental presents and items like gift baskets and flowers.

In my opinion, the best Mother’s Day gift ideas come from the heart. Letting your mother, mother-in-law, grandmother and aunts know that they are appreciated should be your focus. Ideally, you should spend the day with them.

When my nieces and nephews, who grew up in my house, were young, they used to bring me Mother’s Day cards that they personally designed in school or at the tuition centres under the guidance of their teachers.

I am sentimental about these cards and for years, I treasured them – by keeping them safe between the pages of my books.

To me, such DIY cards are 100 times better than those bought from the bookstores. It is because they are made with lots of love. I am thankful to teachers who encourage their students to express their love for their elders on Mother’s Day. 

When my siblings and I were growing up, our elders including our parents were not demonstrative. Although they tried to fulfil most of our needs, they never verbally expressed their love to us. They also never praised us in front of others for fear that we would become big-headed.

As the years passed by, many of my friends and I who were Western-educated learnt to open up and to express our feelings towards our family members and friends.

Today, many of us hug each other if we have not met each other for a long time and we celebrate Mother’s Day on a grand scale because we are not afraid or shy to show our love and respect for the important women in our lives.

One of my younger sisters, who works in a Chinese restaurant in Johor Bharu, tells me that it is fully booked tonight. Yes, tonight, many Malaysians will be treating their mothers and other important women in their lives to dinner. If you have not made your bookings yet, do it now. 

I think treating your mother and the other women in your lives to a meal is a wonderful way of showing how much you love them this Mother’s Day. A 10-course dinner in a Chinese restaurant is also a good opportunity for family members to come together, strengthen ties and build better relationships.

While tuning in a radio station recently, I was surprised to hear the deejay suggest that listeners bring their mothers to watch“Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness”.

This Hollywood movie is the latest American superhero film based on the Marvel Comics featuring the character, Doctor Strange.

Thank you to the deejay for the suggestion. Although the film has received generally positive reviews from critics, I think only modern mothers will appreciate it.

Yes, friends, do bring your modern mothers to the movie but after the show, treat her to a brunch or a dinner. There is nothing like good food to make your mothers feel good on Mother’s Day.

As for me, I had an early Mother’s Day present from one of my nephews. He asked me to follow him on a Hari Raya visit recently and on the way, he stopped at a bank.

When he came out of the bank, he presented me with a big“angpow” (gift of cash) and wished me“Happy Mother’s Day” in advance.

“Treat yourself with this,” he said. I was touched and surprised. Until then, I was unaware Mother ‘s Day was round the corner.

I was happy just to see my nephew after a long time and to go Hari Raya visiting with him. The ‘angpow’ was an extra bonus for me.

To conclude, Happy Mother’s Day once again, my friends.

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