I haven’t dedicated a post especially for my mother. I have been meaning to do it for a long time, but there was always something else I had to do, which is not a good enough answer, I know. But today, February 25th, is her birthday, the least I can do for her is this. So, here it is, a post dedicated to you, Mom.
There are so many interesting things people should know about my mother. For one, she is the greatest cook ever. She can cook anything she wants, from gourmet dishes to fancy desserts. Out of all the dishes she makes, my favorite is her “sambal goreng tempe”. It’s a simple dish, but she can make it extraordinary. That’s how good of a cook she is.
My mother is also good at designing and sewing clothes. My sister and I are her main models. She has made so many pretty clothes for us since we were very young. I remember her talking about having a boutique someday. She would name the brand “Nakayda” which is her acronym for all her children’s names.
*My sister (right) and I (left) wearing the dresses she made for us at Idul Fitri, 2013.
*Another dress she made for my sister.
My mother has a lovely voice. She used to sing a lot, on big stages, when she was young. She is also good at traditional dancing. When I was in primary school, she taught me my friends how to do a traditional dance from Lombok. When we had to perform it for our school, she prepared everything by herself, from our practices to our costumes and make-up.
*My friends and I performing a traditional dance from Lombok (mom actually made all the costumes by herself).
Like everyone, she has hopes and dreams. But like most mothers, she has had to sacrifice a lot of them for her family. In the past, she wanted to be a career woman with a stable job, earning money independently. She had all the basic tools for it: brain, beauty, talent, and great personality. Then, when she was only 21, she married my father. He wasn’t against her job, but he had to go far away for a long time to get his Master’s degree. As a good wife and mother, she went abroad with him, bringing me along when I was just a baby. In doing so, not only did she have to quit her job, but she also had to endure living far away from her close-knit family for years. I know my sister was born when she was far away from her own mother and that must’ve been tough on her. Nevertheless, she was faithful to my father and caring towards her children.
My mother came from a rich family with a high position. No doubt she was used to living comfortably with her family with everything she wanted at her grasp. Like most girls, when she was young, she must’ve dreamt, at least once, of marrying a man with a fancy castle for a house and having lots of money to buy pretty clothes. But she chose my dad, a man from the countryside with only a couple of Rupiahs in his pocket. After they got married, all he could afford was a small house with only a couple of rooms and very simple furniture. However, my mother was patient and she supported my dad all the way, helping him become the man he is now: a wonderful, loving father who dedicates himself to spreading knowledge, earns honest money from his job as a lecturer, and provides all the things his family needs. He couldn’t have done it without my mom at his side.
Right now, her main purpose in life is to be a great mother. Throughout my life, I have watched her do her job, in laughter or tears, in sickness or health. Like most children, my siblings and I are a handful. Each of us has caused our share of problems. I am not proud to admit that we have even made her cry so many times. Even so, she has survived all the storms. She has never deserted us. She wipes our tears away and embraces us with warmth.
When times are hard, she never forgets to tell us this: “When there is something wrong, tell me, your mother. I will never desert you. I will keep all your secrets. You may not always get this from a friend, but you can always trust me, your mother. I will always be there for you. I pray day and night for you, for your happiness and salvation.”
I know that you have many problems of your own, but you never hesitate to help us solve ours.
I know that we frequently ignore your words, but you have never failed to lend us an ear when we need to talk to you.
I know that doing all the housework must make you so tired, but you keep the house so wonderfully comfortable and cook delicious meals just for our pleasure.
I know that you get sick often and, despite that, we still disturb you, but you never really left our side when we were sick, always checking on us every minute when we needed a snack, a warm drink, or even a massage.
For all the above and more, thank you.
I know that you have had hopes and dreams of your own but you had to sacrifice some of them for your family. I know that sometimes the old dreams come back to bother you and tease you with regret. However, know that we could not have been the way we are now, a wonderful family, without the decisions you made. I hope you will forever be content with the knowledge that we owe so much to you and that we admire you and we are proud of you. I hope that I can at least be half the woman you are when I become a mother.
I know that I have countlessly disappointed you, but know that all I want is to make you and Dad proud. I believe all your children feel the same way.
Finally, I wish you a happy birthday, Mom. I’m sorry that we are so far apart and the only present I can give you is this simple page of words. I pray that Allah blesses you with health and happiness. Keep being such a great mother.
Your daughter, Naya
*A picture of the family my mother and father have raised. We love you, Mom!