This story begins when I was a child: I was born poor. Often we hadn’t enough to eat. Whenever we had some food, Mother often gave me her portion of rice. While she was transferring her rice into my bowl, she would say “Eat this rice, son! I’m not hungry.”
That was Mother’s First Lie.
As I grew, Mother gave up her spare time to fish in a river near our house; she hoped that from the fish she caught, she could give me a little bit more nutritious food for my growth. Once she had caught just two fish, she would make fish soup. While I was eating the soup, mother would sit beside me and eat what was still left on the bone of the fish I had eaten; my heart was touched when I saw it. Once I gave the other fish to her on my chopstick but she immediately refused it and said, “Eat this fish, son! I don’t really like fish.”
That was Mother’s Second Lie.
Then, in order to fund my education, Mother went to a Match Factory to bring home some used matchboxes which she filled with fresh matchsticks. This helped her get some money to cover our needs. One wintry night I awoke to find Mother filling the matchboxes by candlelight. So I said, “Mother, go to sleep; it’s late: you can continue working tomorrow morning.” Mother smiled and said “Go to sleep, son! I’m not tired.”
That was Mother’s Third Lie.
When I had to sit my Final Examination, Mother accompanied me. After dawn, Mother waited for me for hours in the heat of the sun. When the bell rang, I ran to meet her. Mother embraced me and poured me a glass of tea that she had prepared in a thermos. The tea was not as strong as my Mother’s love, Seeing Mother covered with perspiration; I at once gave her my glass and asked her to drink too. Mother said “Drink, son! I’m not thirsty!
That was Mother’s Fourth Lie.
After Father’s death, Mother had to play the role of a single parent. She held on to her former job; she had to fund our needs alone. Our family’s life was more complicated. We suffered from starvation. Seeing our family’s condition worsening, my kind Uncle who lived near my house came to help us solve our problems big and small. Our other neighbors saw that we were poverty stricken so they often advised my mother to marry again. But Mother refused to remarry saying “I don’t need love.”
That was Mother’s Fifth Lie.
After I had finished my studies and gotten a job, it was time for my old Mother to retire but she carried on going to the market every morning just to sell a few vegetables. I kept sending her money but she was steadfast and even sent the money back to me. She said, “I have enough money.”
That was Mother’s Sixth Lie.
I continued my part-time studies for my Master’s Degree. Funded by the American Corporation for which I worked, I succeeded in my studies. With a big jump in my salary, I decided to bring Mother to enjoy life in America but Mother didn’t want to bother her son; she said to me “I’m not used to high living.”
That was Mother’s Seventh Lie.
In her dotage, Mother was attacked by cancer and had to be hospitalized. Now living far across the ocean, I went home to visit Mother who was bedridden after an operation. Mother tried to smile but I was heartbroken because she was so thin and feeble but Mother said, “Don’t cry, son! I’m not in pain.”
That was Mother’s Eighth Lie.
Telling me this, her eighth lie, she died. Yes, mother was an angel!
M – O – T – H – E – R
“M” is for the Million things she gave me,
“O” means only that she’s growing old,
“T” is for the Tears she shed to save me,
“H” is for her Heart of gold,
“E” is for her Eyes with love-light shining in them,
“R” means Right, and right she’ll always be,
Put them all together, they spell “MOTHER” a word that means the world to me. For those of you who are lucky to be still blessed with your Mom’s presence on Earth, this story is beautiful. For those who aren’t so blessed, this is even more beautiful.