A tribute to my dear mother on her 94th birthday.
Yesterday, 13th November 2009, we celebrated my mother's birthday at our 8th younger sister's home. Our's is a big family of eleven members. Six females and three males.
My grand old dame's actual birthday falls on the 2nd of the Lunar Eleven month. (i.e. 17th of November ). We normally celebrate our mother's birthday slightly earlier or later, to fall on a Sunday for everyone to be present.
We are a lucky family of sort. Big cohesive family before the policy of PAP to stop at two. My late father the 'Production Manager' had given us the joy of life where we know what is filial piety. We all love our dear mother. Not many in this present context of Singapore can live till a ripe old age of 94. We count our blessings. My mother is a happy lady with a maid to look after her and staying at my younger sister's home. Alert but weak in her legs. She enjoys the warm and love of each family members, up to so many great grand children. Personally, I have lost count of the numbers. So is my mother.
Remembering my Dad who singlehandedly brought up all nine siblings with Mom as the homemaker. We always treasure him in our hearts. Without Dad and Mom, we are nobody.
Humbly, our family hierarchy, produces one scholar who is now the Deputy Assistant Commissioner of Police and many graduates.
Every year my Mom's birthday is a big affair. It turns into a battalion. With commander-in-chief and all the divisional generals holding fort and fostering a united, cohesive family nucleus.
Our present society of small families brought about by the policy of the system, forever eroded away the joy of such big family (like ours). The next generation will lose the warm of a very close-knit family.
With globalisation, the dissipation and emigration will further thin the already small family. We will live to lament the loneliness and solitude of old age staying alone.
Looking in perspective, Singapore has many old folks and are not as lucky as my mother. Many
live a lonely life when the other half passed away and with no savings and little help from their already hard-pressed children, are whiling away their life in misery. Looking at a bent old man or woman picking trashes and cardboards in first world Singapore is beyond our imaginations.
Our government boasted the best in everything but unable to care for the poor and destitute,
leave much to be desired. Is there no compassion in the highest paid PAP ministers of S'pore and the relevant ministry to put all these destitutes into a home to enjoy their twilight years of decent joy. Certain state welfare is worth considering. The ball is in the government's court.
Notwithstanding all that, my own small family of six now, (including my son-in-law and my 7th month old grand daughter) really enjoy the celebration of my great old dear mother's 94th birthday with many immediate family members congregating under one roof for the bondage of the precious moment.
And I wish my Mom a long life and to look forward into her century.
Patrick Lee S Juan