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The woman who lost her best years to raise her children.

Assalamualaikum Monday. 

I hope your Monday will be gone once you read this sharing by Sister A. I personally felt the pain reading some of the parts of this post. I could almost imagine it and I believe this truly happens outside to others too. 

Share your thoughts on Sister A's sharing by commenting down below.

Salam ByMarlena team,

My mother and I, we protect each other. Truthfully, I have never really understood why, or how, she rises every morning with a bright smile and a positive outlook, even if the day before was hell unleashing its wrath upon the innocent, even if our financial situation demands sympathy, and even, even if she falls sick.

Truthfully, and I am risking a lot to reveal this, my father was a man, who, had I been in my mother's place, would gladly divorce and dissolve into oblivion. So now you have an idea of how it is like in our household.

The details are too painful to discuss, and watching my mother go through it all, patiently with faith, leaves a scar time could never erase. Truthfully, I will never understand why, even for the smallest things, like reaching home after a visit to the grocery store, braving through a jam, completing her work, eating, amongst many others, my mother will gratefully praise the Lord. I do understand that it is important to do so, but how could she be so grateful even after she has reaped little from her labour of love.

I am indeed flawed in every single way, and I am still striving to understand many things, but my mother has taught me that love does not always have to be understood, it simply needs to be borne within you. I would never have learnt true grace if it had not been for her strength. Working under the unforgiving heat, pushing the heavy trolleys loaded with postage, circling round 20 blocks a minimum of two times, brisk-walking more than 5km per day, answering my father's incessant calls (minimum of which is 10), tending to my younger sister's needs, dealing with incompetent administration, were all part of a normal day.

Home is more like a second workplace, and rest seems a distant island. She manages everything in the house, from cooking to cleaning, yet whenever one of us would come with a tired languor, she would go, "Kesiannya, penat kakak, mari Mama tolong." It was as though her routine was less strenuous than ours, when in actual fact all of us knew that it was not even a tenth of what she has to go through.

Even though she was not allowed to pursue higher education, and even though circumstances forced her to comply with her unkind husband, she made sure to raise her daughters strong. She does not ask us to do housework, supports us in our pursuits, and told us to never let yourself depend on any man.

Whenever she would pass by a female motorist, or a female bus driver, she would look up to them, and I would know that those are eyes of a woman who has loved and yet lost her best years to raising her children. So how could I not live my life well, how could I not push myself mercilessly, how could I not love myself after all that has been lost for my sake?

I had always thought of my mother as a woman who was practical, and thus satisfied with things that are cheap in terms of cost. She never came across as a woman of high taste to me, unlike my father who spends $20 on a mug without a hint of guilt, without ever gifting anything substantial to my mother because he thinks it was a given for her to sacrifice that much.

Nothing hit me harder than when she said, with a tinge of disappointment,"Kak tak tahu ke, mama suka brands tu semua. I bought those for you masa you kecil, masa mama kerja (a higher-paying job)." Yet in her closet, other than the hijabs and long-sleeved blouses, it does not look like a normal hijab's closet.

I could count her abayas on my one hand, and those were all old ones from her youth. I would buy her a dress, and she would scold me for wasting my money. It pains me that she does not see herself deserving of such small gestures. I am saving up for an abaya for her daily staple soon, but it will take long as I am currently a broke college student haha.

I wanted to stay in a hostel for my university years, as it was a good opportunity to escape from my father. But I stayed so that I could stand up against my father, and serve as a check against his domination. As long as I am here, I told myself that he will have to contend with me for every piece of crap he tosses to my mother.

And so sometimes I get forks thrown at me, but that was fine because he knew I would never let his behaviour slide. I was happy that at least I could do this. Mama is someone who I would never allow to see my tears as they flow at night, because her happiness and peace of heart is something I wish to protect. For me, loving my mother does not come in heart-to-heart talks, or hugs. Because if I want to love my mother, who has given too much and received too little, I would need to mature.

I think this feels strange, but this love is one where I learnt maturity and strength, to love myself and pick myself up, to be one whose wings are large enough to carry the burdens of life, and this love is one which thrives in giving. I will never regret going broke from buying her gifts, spending lonely nights fighting my fears, if I am doing it for her. Make no mistake, this is not self-destruction, these are sacrifices which leaves my heart full.

Thank you for your time and reading till the end. If, out of the generosity of your heart, you decide to gift an abaya to her, I will not forget this favour. :) but no worries, I do not expect to win but I hoped to leave some kind of meaning with you, reader.


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