Not one inclined to pink, frilly stuff or swooning spells, I could say my mom is as tough as a bull terrier. I will always remember my mom's 'butter won't melt in my mouth' demeanor when faced with a difficult situation or her open-minded attitude to everything in life.
My mom had three main passions and those were books, pets and jewellery.
A bookworm through and through, my mom must have a book in hand whenever she goes to the toilet or before bedtime. She was such a voracious reader that she reads almost anything and everything she could get her hands on, from memoirs to thrillers to romance.
It is her influence that has me addicted to books and it is her relentless support in my budding interest in writing during my teenage years that has spurred me on to never give up my dream of becoming a full-time writer.
Then of course there are her pets. Oh my mom is an animal lover through and through who believed in saving as many strays as she could. In all of my life, my mom always had a pet or three staying with her, be it cats or dogs or even white pet rats! Just before she passed away, she had a total of 15 cats and four dogs with her, all rescued from starvation and abandonement. Fortunately, her husband, my stepfather, shared her passion too and loved each and every animal under their care.
I remember visiting them years ago and was treated to this wonderful touching scene of cats and dogs squeezing themselves into bed together with my mom and stepdad at night. It was a picture perfect moment. Priceless actually considering the dogs and cats get along with each other like one big happy family. Even the grouchy, high-pitched, noisy chihuahua which barks and growls at everyone and every moving thing other than my mom does not mind squeezing with other cats and dogs.
Even after all these years, when I think of my mom, it is this very image that comes to mind. She and her loving husband and their menagerie of pets.
It has been two years now since my mom's passing and I still misses her every day. Often I would absentmindedly compose an email to send her and then realised that she is no longer there to make my stepdad print out the email for her because she wouldn't touch the new fangled electronic thing called a computer with a barge pole. Regrets for words unspoken will always be there as I was never given a chance to say goodbye, to see her for the last time, to tell her that I loved her. She never even get to meet her first grandchild as she passed away when I was nine months pregnant.
Barely a year after her passing, my dear sweet stepdad joined her in the afterlife. My stepdad's grief over her passing was so deep that he never recovered from it and I honestly believe that he died of a broken heart.
I would like to think that they are finally reunited now after the brief separation.
So for this Mothers' Day, I would like to tell all daughters and sons out there to at least tell their mothers that they love them before it was too late. I never did get a chance to say these three simple words to my mom before she died and I am certain she is probably keeping an eye on me and my family from wherever she is now.
My mom, she will always be the queen in my heart. It is also in honour of her memory that I am using her name, Nani, as part of my pseudonym in my writing life.