My forever cheerleader. My favorite prayer-warrior. My annoying cuddler. My little person.
You sent me a text today, like you usually do every three or four days, and it was in your expected format: Full of emojis, well wishes for the day, and your love which can be felt from even the shortest of messages. It’s these text messages that remind me that if there is one thing I know in this world, it is that you love me with every fiber in your being, and no one in this lifetime will outdo that. I think it’s something we all know as your kids, and not because you’re our mum, but because your love is the purest form of love there is. Genuine. Unconditional. Consistent. And powerful as fuck.
You’re amazing. And I want to do my best to love you better.
Daddy is our superman. Yes, even with him standing at only 5’2″ or 5’3″ tall. How he juggles everything he does, we’ll never fully understand. I guess that’s the Obe secret he’s yet to pass along. But you, you’re the foundation that silently bears the storm, holding firm within the ground, doing everything within your might to protect us and keep us secure. And Mummy, it doesn’t go unnoticed.
From some recent self-reflection and random mental trips back to my childhood, I’ve come to appreciate the little things from our past that I was too young to acknowledge nor understand. Such as you holding the household down when Daddy took a risk to make our lives better. He moved to Boston, and it felt like my heart broke. That day he left, it sunk in hard that he wasn’t going to magically appear in the morning like he used to somedays, but in that very purple bedroom we all shared in Mitcham, London, you assured 8-year-old me and a one-year-old T.J. that things will be just fine. And for most part they were, but only because of your strength and resilience.
That year I left private school, and was enrolled at Hillbrook, and God, I absolutely hated that place. But I now understand that Eveline Day School cost twice as much as my current very-fucking-expensive rent, and with you being the primary breadwinner at that moment, we needed to cut corners where we could.
I got to spend more time with Mauley, my 1st cousin, during that time too. We were very close. But how could we not be? We spent almost every weekend together for a couple of months. But not because it was another playdate, but because you were on-call, or working more hours at the lab those weekends.
Now that I think about, we had lots of sleepovers with Aunty Keh too. You were working then too, huh?
Mummy, you worked so hard and you did so without any complaints, I wasn’t even aware we were struggling.
And then we moved to the US, and you went from being the independent working woman to a stay at home mom… and Mummy, I’ve never seen you more uncomfortable. To be at home and having your only responsibility be to keep the kids alive and the home in order knowing your never-can-sit-down personality, we all know you didn’t exactly like it. Which I think is where the random night jobs must’ve arose from. And with these random night jobs at CVS Pharmacy and LifeCare, you maintained the house and obsessed over the household chores. You know, the shit T.J. and I clearly should’ve been doing so you, our very tired mother who worked 3rd shift, wouldn’t need to sacrifice sleep to complete them.
But you did so, and you did it for years because you wanted to make sure your family was comfortable and so that T.J and I would remain focused on what was important: our studies. Not just because of the obvious need to do well in school rule, but because you knew your husband was a Mathematics Nazi, and you wanted to shield us from his craziness when he got back from work and wanted to partake in our education. Daddy can’t help with homework, if the homework is already complete.
You were always our shield. Not to mention the keeper of all secrets, and the fixer we never knew we needed. I’ve learned from Grandma and your siblings that this is simply you. Down to the core. The giver, the helper, the family empath. That’s you.
It’s why Aunty Tai and Aunty Keh have an amazing relationship. Everything they were and are to me from my favorite Barbie playmates, to my stylists, therapists, and protectants, I know you were to them. I can’t even begin to tell you how many times I’ve heard the cinema story, because during a timeframe that would’ve broken most families, you decided it was more important to travel from Brighton back to Tooting to make sure your twin little sisters were surrounded by a love no one can match. Yours.
So I guess with all of this I am trying to tell you, I love you. Every crevice in my body holds love for you, and you are absolutely beyond this world amazing. I promise to let you know more often, and of course, to love and appreciate you for forever more.8