When I was younger, my family was rather well-to-do. I lived in a 5-room flat where I could occupy two and a half rooms to myself. My parents were often not at home, so I stayed long hours in school and after-school care. Outside of school, most of my time was spent with my mother because my father was a businessman and worked irregular hours.
At school, I was always the last few to be fetched home. Without fail, my mother appears every single time perspiring profusely and carrying many grocery bags from her “after work shopping”. She also insists on cooking dinner so that her child could have the best and healthiest nutrition. Every dinner was 3 dishes + 1 soup! No less! I loved her cooking and would even put requests for more challenging dishes, which she will learn and cook for me. Every day for more than 10 years, she rushed around for me.
There was once I asked her, why was there a bump on one side of her wrist bone? She recounted that when I was 3 or 4 years old, there was a motorbike that went slightly out of control and was coming towards me. She used her hand to divert the blow and injured herself in the process. I have absolutely no recollection even till date! Thank you, Mama for protecting this ignorant child who did not even experience the fearful incident because you were around.
A few more years on, I became an extremely rebellious teenager. There were lots of anger and frustration that my mum had to put up with. Many helpless nights she went through. By recommendation from a friend, she started studying the Lamrim in 2003. She was plagued with many obstacles to her learning, I was definitely one of them. I could not understand why my mother did not flare up as easily anymore, and being the rebellion, I used every way to test her patience and endurance. Still, she did not give up, until eventually, I was benefitted by the teachings too.
Before I learnt Lamrim, I avoided talking to my mother as she would bring up hardships of the past. Many times, I felt impatient and ungrateful because she would say “Because I had you, I could not give up on the family.” Back then, the ungrateful me, always wished she could just “snap out of it”. It was only in recent years that I began to understand my mother’s love through these repeating stories.
I wish to pay gratitude to my mother for seeing the value of the Lamrim as well as ShiFu’s guidance. If she did not persevere in her learning, it would be difficult for me to meet with it too. Giving me life, physically and spiritually, has been the greatest blessings from my mother.
Even now that I have found my life direction on this spiritual path, mommy still hasn’t for a moment stopped giving me the best and all that she’s got. Indeed, everything she has went through, it was because of me.
For when I’m bad or I’m good, Mummy you’re the one who loves me the most in this world and believes me for the better. Thank you for your unwavering love that has never changed since the day I was born. Now that you’re old, I hope to learn from you, the way to love, just like how you have loved me for the past 30 years.
I “larva” you Mama! Happy Mothers’ Day!
Immense gratitude to Triple Gems, ShiFu, Teacher ZhenRu and all VFFs for opening my eyes to 看见妈妈的美。
Penned by Jolynn Chew
Accumulate Merits through Sangha & Light Offering
This year we’ll probably celebrate Mother’s Day in quarantine.
To stay close to your Mother, you can do a Mother’s Day Special Offering to Buddha and Bodhisattvas for her.
This will bestow divine blessings for her health and well-being. What better way to show your love and filial piety then making this offering as a gift for your beloved Mother.