I remember her smile, her voice, and the smell of her hair.
She doesn’t wash her hair much, but it never smelled. Or at least, maybe it was only me that doesn’t feel that way.
I remember it was her brother’s funeral we went to. They were serving us porridge and I asked her what was this black little jelly-like thing and out of so many answers she could give me, this is what she said.
“That is bat meat. You are eating a bat right now.”
I remember almost puking it out as I can’t understand why someone would serve us bat’s meat on a funeral day. It was just so hard to process in my mind because it tasted so good, I felt so guilty.
Even so, the day went by and we all went back home.
There was also this one time I remember where she was helping me knit this woolen glove the teacher assigned us to do. I tried but I just couldn’t do it. I almost gave up until she came up with an idea. She was a very smart person.
“Let’s just knit another piece of clothing onto a woolen glove, that way it would look brand new and still look like it was handmade.” She suggested.
“This person is such a genius. What would I do without her?” I thought in my head.
I remember another time, where she was telling us stories of how she met a ghost in her old room.
There was this little ghost boy that if I remember correctly was white, and around 16 years old, wearing an old hat and without legs. This little ghost boy would wander around her room at night, just peeking at her while she sleeps. This little ghost boy didn’t know that she actually knew he was peeking and that she was very afraid of him.
One night, she decided to confront the ghost boy and scare him away for good. It sounded quite diligent and brave in her mind that she never expected the ghost would instead steal a kiss from her and vanished into thin air.
“He never came back, the little ghost boy?” I asked and she nodded.
“Why?” I asked again.
“Maybe his final wish was to kiss her and after doing so, he passes on to the other side,” she said.
I never thought about it so much, these little memories in the past.
A few years later, here we are.
I am standing next to her.
Only now, she is but a cold corpse waiting to rot in the ground.
They say people come, people go but how could I have known. It was not sudden news, yet no matter how ready you think you are, you never will be.
Just as she was getting buried under the ground, I remembered another memory of her.
She was getting her hair done, and as usual, I would play around with her hair products until she is done so she could put the creams on my face to avoid pimples coming out.
There I saw it, a fake blue diamond ring. I knew it was fake because we couldn’t afford anything that expensive at the time. However, it looked very attractive to me so I picked it up from her little jar of jewellery that contained lots and lots of fake jewelries.
She saw me looking at the ring admiring its beauty despite being fake, then she said…
“When you find the right man to marry you, I shall give you this ring as a family heirloom. How about that, you like that?”
A fake blue diamond ring as a family heirloom.
I smiled and said yes.
The nostalgic memory ended the moment she was buried.
No longer can I hear her, see her nor smell her.
She is no longer on earth, or at least no longer in our dimension.
We all went back home and slowly went to our rooms.
There was a cold and dark air around the house, but we all could do nothing other than grief.
A few years later, I remember her again.
I remembered all these little memories, and now that I am all grown up. I realized a few details about the things she said that don’t seem to add up.
The bat that I ate at my uncle’s funeral.
She lied. It was a thousand-year-old egg. She made me tell this story to many of my friends and made me believe that I actually ate a bat for another 10 years after she was gone.
Yes, that was my mother. Always hiding lies and secrets in her own ways. Sometimes, it was just for fun but sometimes, she lied because she was just such a good mother.
I remembered her again.
That night, I couldn’t sleep so I went downstairs to sneakily watch TV when it’s already past my bedtime, only to see her knitting a brand new woolen glove in the middle of the night.
She lied again.
This is how I remember her.
She was a liar, a great liar but the best mother you could ever wish for in the entire world.
“Maybe his final wish was to kiss her and after doing so, he passes on to the other side,” I remembered.
Always, she would leave clues for me to guess what she means. Even after her death, I feel like she is still with me.
Maybe her final wish for me is to be happy and so, to be happy, I must let her go.
Have you passed on to the other side now?
Cover image by Andy Holmes on Unsplash
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