Today marks the end of the 49 days mourning period for my mom’s passing. Some asked me why 49 days. Well, honestly, I don’t really know. I can only say, it was derived from 7 x 7. At least that’s what they told me.
So yes, the vegetarian days are over, but I am not exactly screaming in delight. As a matter of fact, I am feeling quite low now. Can't believe it has already been 49 days since mom went away… since I last spoke to mom… since I last heard her voice… since I last tasted her delicious cooking… since I last had a mother. I can still remember, very clearly, the phone call from my brother, the sight of mom on the bed, the words spoken to me by the doctor, those words from my cousin about how it wasn't meant to be a surprise, the chill of mom’s body when I last touched her, the sorrow the engulfed me when I pressed the button at the crematorium… everything is so clear in my head. And I reckon I will never be able to erase any of them… not that I want to, but everything is so clear, I feel as though I am going through them all over again just by thinking about it.
I think I have done stupendously well in the last 49 days in keeping the house in order to a certain extent, and of course, going vegetarian. Tell you one thing, the struggle is not eating vegetarian, but finding vegetarian food to eat. Most of the time, I eat the same thing over and over again. Many people said I have lost weight, but I think I have lost all those muscles I gained the gym due to lack of protein. It’s time hit the weights again.
I knew life will change the day the doctor told me mom is beyond any medical assistance, but the magnitude of the change really took me by surprise. It was also an eye opening experience to actually feel how it is like to maintain a house. How frequent the floor needs to be swept, how often the bathroom floor needs to be scrubbed, how often laundry needs to be done… if you have been living in the comfort of my-mom/maid-does-them-all, you better pray you don’t have to do house chores one day.
One thing I have discovered, or sort of re-discovered, is my interest in cooking. I have done more cooking in the last 48 days as compared to the time since I came back from UK till mom’s passing. I have developed a lot since my chef entries… cooked some pasta for my family and I have successfully prepared soup a few times. Now that vegetarian days are over, I guess I can try more things.
Anyway, putting food on the dinner table made me think of the time when I craved for something. All I needed to do was to hint to my mom, within 3 days max, I am sure the dish I craved will be on the table. Now… I guess I have to cook it myself, provided I know. How things have changed.
There is also one irritating habit that I have, which I can no longer practise. Whenever I cook myself instant noodles at night, I will conveniently leave the bowl and everything on the sink, knowing that mom will clean them in the morning. But now, if I leave them tonight, those dirty dishes will be there for a thousand years… no kidding. I have never said a word of thank you to my mom for all those time she cleaned my late night dishes, but yet, I know she happily cleaned them for me, without a word of complaint.
My thoughts are all over the place right now, so many memories, so many words unspoken, of which will always remain unspoken. But of all things, I remember one of mom’s most prominent wishes… that mom wanted to be remembered… always. She tried very hard to ensure that she stays in our heart forever. Of course, she will… but action is louder than words, and since the heart and mind never really speaks, I strongly believe I should put some action into it.
In view of this, I have dedicated one day every month to be vegetarian. Not that I am a Buddhist, but I do it in remembrance of my beloved mom. Mom passed away on the 3rd day of the 2nd month according to the lunar calendar. As such, on the 3rd day of every lunar month, I will be a vegetarian. It is nothing compared to all the love she showered and the sacrifices she made, but I am sure she will be pleased.
I have always loved poems, but it’s a shame I only write one for my mom today…
Dear mom, if you can hear me say
I have missed you since that fateful day
Without a word you went away
Left me in abundant dismay
Oh… what painful 49 days
You have loved me in so many ways
Ways of which I can never repay
Though mourning ends in this month of May
Your love I shall cherish till end of my days
Oh… what painful 49 days
I ask that God will grant you grace
As you rest in peace in your dwelling place
And don’t you worry about my pace
I will continue to run life’s race
But yes… it has been a painful 49 days
Love you mom… I will always remember your love for undeserving me.