Doreen means beautiful in Greek and in some parts it is derived from the word Dorothea which means Gift of God.
As a young child I would cling to my mother for comfort and love. When I was around 5 years old one of the stray dogs we took in had died giving birth to a litter of pups (all 12 later died). I clearly remember crying by the window looking out as my father took care of the lifeless body and I was bawling my eyes out clinging onto my mother who said “Why are you crying? You don’t need to cry until like that”. At that time, even as young as I was I thought my mother lacked compassion. Could she not see that I was mourning the death of the dear, dear dog. Could she not ask me so coldly and instead tuck me into her arms and comfort me as I wailed with all my aching heart.
When I was around 18 years old I had joined a traditional beauty contest in Sabah called Unduk Ngadau and I was crying as my mum was doing my makeup. I wanted aunty Lucia to do it as I thought she would know better than my mum. Aunty Lucia use to help organise the pageant and she has help other talents in the competition throughout the years. I am sure she would know better than my mum. Mum asked me “Why are you crying? I can help you with your makeup???”.
Around the same time I had just completed the Miss Malaysia pageant and wanted to go to New Zealand to study and live with a man I barely knew. As we were in the car outside the agents office to purchase the ticket my mother burst into tears telling us not to do it. It was a crazy idea. Me and dad did not end up buying the ticket and just quietly went home instead.
These are intimate moments I shared with my mother which have shaped me into the person that I am today. I could have shared happy, joyful moments but I thought these moments were far more important. Moments, that I had judged my mother on as being an imperfect mother. A woman who did not understand how I felt and only passed judgement as she saw fit. Only when I became a mother myself did I realise how much she loves me. I could see her in my way of child rearing. The process to thicken the child’s skin so that the world may not hurt them. Better they learn from my harshness then to coddle them and then throw them into the cruel world. Better I be realistic and judgmentaland prepare them for the critics of the world. Let them learn to mourn and pick themselves up when no one else will be there to pick them up.
Everything I do, I see my mother. My mother is me and I am my mother.
Mum, I am sorry for the tough years that I gave you. For being petty and unappreciative of your efforts. I, now know the lengths you went to ensure we had a wonderful childhood. Doing all you could while working full time and still providing a warm home environment for us. I did not appreciate you as much as I should than and now and I hope you know that I love you deeply. You deserve the best and I promise I will try my best to give you the best.
D is for Doreen, my mother.