The postman was at the door with a parcel for me. It was from my sister who was
pursuing a degree course in multimedia graphic designing in England.
the packaging paper and what I had in my hand was a book that traced my mother's
walk of life from the day she was born up to today. There were altogether 50
pages for each year of her life.
I had emailed all the documents, photographs and even couriered a host of
other things that I could not email. She had utilised all that she needed into a
gem of a momento for Mama on Mother's Day.
The cover was a stained glass rose design of a fusion of Mama's favourite
As I turned the pages, I was taken on a walk down memory lane. The first five
pages depicted her entry into this world: her birth certificate, photos of
birthdays, rides, swims and cries.
The next few pages illustrated her years in kindergarten: the concerts and
her graduation photograph wearing a mortar board and holding a scroll, she gave
a toothy grin.
Her thirteen years in primary and secondary school were enshrined in pictures
of her sports activities, bicycle rides, school excursions, science projects of
pressed flowers and leaves as well as candid photographs of her teenaged peer
She next left to pursue tertiary education in Kuala Lumpur where she met
Papa. I managed to siphon photos of them together culminating in their "akad
nikah" and "bersanding" ceremony. She was resplendent
in her wedding attire, so was Papa in his Malay suit.
She embarked on a teaching career and I followed her posting to the interior
of Pahang prior to her wedding. Being young and inexperienced, she
reveled in her totally new experiences which
we read about in her letters. These letters to her family, fiancee and friends
provided us with interesting snippets of her early years.
Then we came on the scene, the five of us, commencing with my eldest brother
and ending with me. She has her favourite photographs and Lia knew just the one
of each of us to include in the chronicles of events.
Next were photographs of Bang Long's graduation with our proud parents. It
was followed immediately by Kak Long's entry into the medical profession and
Bang Ngah setting up his accountancy firm.
Then came photographs of Papa and Mama's pilgrimage to Mecca with "Tok" and "Nek".
The serene looks on their faces were crystal clear to us.
The children sponsored mama and papa's first overseas tour of the Western
world. Although we stayed home, we were the armchair travelers when they showed
us candid shots of their tour.
The last page of the never-ending "Saga" was the celebration of the 25th
wedding anniversary of Papa and Mama. It was a joyous occasion for everyone and
the emotional outpourings could be seen on their faces and heard in the
recordings made on the CD.
The souvenir ended with the words: "the saga continues -- Happy Mother's Day
!" and to accompany it was another CD with messages from all her five children.
I closed the book, wrapped it up with batik cloth, tied it up with a ribbon
emblazoned with the words "We love U !".
Without a doubt, Mama was going to treasure her chronicles of "Mama's
walk of life" in her "Chronicles of Ina". You bet !