Happy Birthday, Mama.
I love you and am proud to have you as my mother.
May Allah SWT keep you safe, grant you health and tons of happiness.
May we meet again soon, insha Allah.
One of the tough times that I have to endure since I live in Canada is being away from my parents. It’s getting harder especially on their birthdays and the Islamic festive days. Although time and space have come between us, our attachment grows stronger than ever. I thank Allah for that. Today is my mom’s birthday, she is 65 years young. I would like to share with you my reasons why I called her as one of my amazing women.
When I was kid, I fought a lot with my mom. Sometimes I had this silly thought that she didn’t love me as much as my grandmothers (being the first granddaughter from both side, I was quite spoiled). Later on, I learned that my mom was so strict so I could be an independent girl and be at my best. She did prepare me well.
Whilst other moms accompanied their kids whole day long during their first day at school, my mom just waited till I was sitting properly in the class. Then she left. She told me after I grew up, “Why I have to be there till the school finishes if I saw you were okay the moment your class started? I had errands to do.”. Definitely, she was not a type of mother that clinging to her kid.
Another example, I used to protest her on why she named me “Bintang” which means “Star” instead of the common Indonesian kids’ names that time. Other kids liked to poke me and the teachers tend to put high expectations on me. Her reply was,“Imagine, if in your class there were two girls named Lulu or Dewi and one was you. Don’t you think your teacher will get mixed up?”. On another time she said, “Because you are my daughter, let other parents named their kids like that. Bintang is rare name and it’s a nice Indonesian word anyway.”. Then on my teachers’ high expectation, she used to say,“Well… you ought to perform well no matter what your name is.”. Indeed, she taught me to think the bigger picture even before I was ten.
When I was twelve and just finished my elementary school exams, my mom sent me to fly on my own to meet my dad who had been waiting for me on the destination so we could attend my great-grandfather’s funeral. I still remember vividly the look of the other passengers on me, a very young girl traveled on her own on 2 hours flight. One of them asked me couple times to make sure that I did have someone to pick me up at the airport. Apparently, my mom was being asked too for this matter by her friend on letting me go alone. She said, “She will be fine. Her father will pick her up there. Besides, the stewardess will also take care of her.”. And she was right, in fact I really enjoyed my flight and felt I was like a grown-up.
My mom likes to read and travel which really had big impacts on our upbringing. She told me to get my degree and see the world, to experience many things before I settle for family life so I would not have any regrets. She is a great cook and cooks fast too. She likes pink colour and so ladylike, so different from my sister and I. She is a very dedicated mother for us and the best wife that my dad could ever get.
My mom is a practical yet so well prepared person. She would prepare her dress a week before the date of an invitation, whilst my sister and I tend to delay till the last minute and run to her for a rescue. She is so caring yet a tough woman. I never see her cries on her downtimes, I know she tends to keep the troubles for herself. Just because she doesn’t want to be a burden. For her, she rather gives more than asks.
In my early thirties, I saw her battle with cervical cancer. When the doctors told me that she had cancer and it was “a matter of time”, my world seemed upside down. But my mom stayed calm, she said, “Don’t cry, I’m not gonna die tomorrow.”. She accepted the fact gracefully. She stayed so positive and patiently endured the treatments, day by day without absents. Never once she complained or looked down. She asked everyone to pray for her. She said, “I’ve been asked, why I let the whole world know about my illness. I told them so I could ask them to pray for me.”. And yes, I saw many people prayed for her recovery. This was also the time when we grew our special bonding that made me realize that she is one of my soul mates. Then when the doctors declared that she was cleared from her cancer, everybody asked what was her secret to stay strong. She just simply said, “Allah and my kids are my strength.”.
My mom is an amazing woman. She learned the ingredients of life from her great mother and grandmother then she mixed it with her own to be passed down to me. Through her words and actions, I keep on learning on how to be a good woman. I hope her strength as a woman could inspire other women who read this just like she has inspired me on my journey of life.
Holy Qur’an 17: 23-24
23. And your Lord has decreed that you worship none but Him. And that you be dutiful to your parents. If one of them or both of them attain old age in your life, say not to them a word of disrespect, nor shout at them but address them in terms of honour.
24. And lower unto them the wing of submission and humility through mercy, and say: “My Lord! Bestow on them Your Mercy as they did bring me up when I was young.”