Insights of Caregiving


My One Eye Mum

Shared by:  Terence Lee

My mum had only one eye. I hated her... she was such an embarrassment.  She cooked for students and teachers to support the family.

There was this one day during elementary school when my mum came to say hello to me.  I was so embarrassed.

How could she do this to me?  I ignored her, threw her a hateful look and ran out.  The next day at school, one of my classmates said, "Eeee, your mum has only one eye!"

I wanted to bury myself.  I also wanted my mum to just disappear.  I confronted her that day and said, "If you're goanna make me a laughing stock, why don't you just die?"

My mum did not respond.  I didn't even stop to think for a second about what I had said, because I was full of anger.  I was oblivious to her feelings.

I wanted to be out of that house, to have nothing to do with her.  So I studied really hard and got a chance to go abroad to study.

Then, I got married.  I bought a house of my own.  I had kids of my own.  I was happy with my life, my kids and the comforts.  Then one day, my mother came to visit me.  She hadn't seen me in years and she hadn't even met her grandchildren.

When she stood by the door, my children laughed at her, and I yelled at her for coming over uninvited.  I screamed at her, "How dare you come to my house and scare my children!  GET OUT OF HERE! NOW!"

And to this, my mother quietly answered, "Oh, I'm so sorry.  I may have gotten the wrong address," and then walked out of my sight.

One day, a letter regarding a school reunion came to my house.  So I lied to my wife that I was going on a business trip.  After the reunion, I went to the old shack where my mum stayed just out of curiosity.  My neighbours told me that she had passed away.  I did not shed a single tear.  They handed me a letter that she had written for me.

My dearest son,

I think of you all the time.  I'm sorry that I went to your house and scared your children.  I was so glad when I heard you were coming for the reunion.  But I may not even be able to get out of bed to see you.  I'm sorry that I was a constant embarrassment to you when you were growing up.  You see... when you were very little, you got into an accident, and lost your eye.  As a mother, I couldn't stand watching you having to grow up with one eye.  So I gave you mine.  I was so proud of my son who was seeing a whole new world for me, in my place, with that eye.

With all my love to you,
Your mother


Always tell someone that you love them because you never know what day will be their last, or yours.  Always seek to resolve your problems or disagreements with loved ones because if either of you should pass on earlier, the surviving persons will live the rest of their lifetime pondering over those unresolved feelings but never finding closure.  And closure usually brings peace...

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