Doughnuts and Scrabble

Sacrifice. If there was one word to describe my mom, that would be it. She sacrificed much bringing me up and she still sacrifices for the family now. When I was little, she decided to give up her job to look after me and spend quality time with me. She and my dad wanted the best for their only son.

Growing up I spent a lot of time with my mom.  Once she brought the baby me to the supermarket. I was a friendly baby. I was smiling at everyone there. To her horror, little did she know that while I was smiling, I was poking holes into all the cakes on display! She ran for her life.

That’s how the doughnut was invented.

I remember how she taught me English by forming gibberish words on a Scrabble board. I used to laugh my head off at those words. “Interesting was of teaching English, yes.” Come to think of it, it’s actually a miracle that I’m even able to string a proper sentence together.

Soon I started attending school. I remember her ironing my school uniforms. Then she would sit on the sofa with the orange lunch tin which contained her sewing kit. I’d help her to thread the needle since she struggled with that. Then she would sew my badges and name tags, the name tags I still keep as mementoes. She made sure everything was in order. And I rewarded her by doing well in school.

I got older. I reached my terrible teens. I was angry and rebellious and was probably like ten teens rolled into one. It suffices to say that I must’ve broken her heart a million times over but she was still patient with me. For her efforts she earned a degree in longsuffering.

The terrible teens faded away. I grew up. I went to university and got my degree. Then disaster struck. I had to have surgery and was hospitalised for weeks. She stayed with me the whole time. She even slept there and kept me company. She didn’t have to, she didn’t need to, but she did.

That’s my mom.

The inevitable day came. The day I came out of the closet. When I came out to her, she took the news very calmly. I didn’t expect her to take it that calmly but she did. I wonder if she always knew. She supported me through my ups and downs, even through the ex-gay course I did (please DON’T attempt this). Later on I realised that the ex-gay course didn’t change anything. I came out to her again (bless her strong heart!) and she accepted me just as I am, without any drama, without any fanfare. Just unconditionally!

She prays for me every day. Now she even prays that I may find a good, godly guy to be my life partner. Just to know that is a huge blessing to me.

She is a simple woman with few possessions. She has hardly any jewellery and hardly ever wears them. She has never asked me for much, yet she has given so much to me. She is my confidante and my best friend. I’m grateful that she is still around for me to be able to write this.

Mom, I know I’ve been a handful growing up. I know I haven’t turned out to be the cookie cutter son with a wife and two kids. Yet I thank you for accepting me just as I am. I thank you for sacrificing so much for me while asking for nothing in return. Thank you for loving me.

And I want you to know that I love you too.

Happy Mother’s Day, mom.


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CHRIS RAYAN is an editor with IMPACT magazine. He lives in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. When not figuring out how he’d meet his life partner (which isn’t his day job by the way), he enjoys photography, music and travel. He’s also active in his church which he hopes will be affirming one day.