What we remember most of our mothers usually are about what they mean to us, how they've brought us up, their personality etc. I'm sure most of us can remember that mothers love to nag too. Maybe it's because usually the mothers are the ones initiating conversation rather than us asking them questions. Even though I'm a mother now too, my mother still nags me and I think it's her habitual way of showing concern. I've decided to be more purposeful in talking to her, like asking her more questions.
What inspired this thought was when I was watching some show about the history of Singapore. I really enjoyed the show because there were normal everyday people talking about their real life experiences during certain key historical events. I don't remember my history or social studies textbook being interesting since we only read our textbooks word for word as there were hardly computers or projectors in the classroom.
And so it just clicked- my mother was around the age of that guy on television who was giving his account of the 1964/1969 racial riots in Singapore. I'm like, "Hey, my mother actually lived through the racial riots, how come she didn't tell me anything?" So one day, I asked my mother how come she didn't say anything before about such an important event. And she said, "You all young people interested in all these things meh? You also never ask me!" A memorable life story begin thereafter.
My mother didn't mention which year it was, but she had just started working for a few years after graduating from secondary school. During the racial riots, the most significant thing she remembered was having to walk from work at Cantonment to home at Race Course Road. She said there were no buses operating and it was rather scary to walk all the way home.
Her life story inspired me to paint her walking home along the road in her heels. She laments about wearing too many high heeled shoes and tell me about all its harmful effects. When I was young, I always remember playing dress up with this particular heels that she owned. I can't imagine how she could have walked in this pair of shoes from work to home! It probably took about an hour plus. I wonder if my grandma scolded her for wearing such shoes. Ha!
I didn't even know my mom used to stay at Race Course Road in her youth. I started to ask her more about life at Race Course Road, but that's another story for another day and I'll be recording down more stories through my mother's eyes here on the blog.
What's your mother's life story? :)