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As a 1.5 year old mom, I now fully appreciate what my parents used to do for me – the endless hours of sacrifice making sure that I grew up to be a responsible, mature adult. Memories of my mom include her waking up in the wee hours of the morning to prepare breakfast for me every day before I go to school. I did get sick of the milo, bread and half-boiled eggs after a while, but it was all done with love. My mom did not go to university, but she worked hard. After she was retrenched from her job in the fisheries department, she started her own business out of necessity.

She sold Pyrex, Arcopal (for those who don’t know what they are… they are heavy sets of dining plates, bowls, pots etc!) to anyone who was interested. She would travel mostly to the kampung in Malacca to sell to her majority Malay clientele. Even if the set was worth RM300, she would offer them an instalment plan, and diligently come back month after month to collect a mere RM10. The plates were definitely heavy, and I recall her having to lug it on her own to some of her client’s homes. As a child, I sometimes followed her on these trips (grudgingly). It was tough work, but she never complained (at least not to me!) and succeeded in her business.

When the Chinese New Year season came around, she would wake up at 5am to make cookies to sell them. Thousands and thousands of them. I was a very naughty daughter. I hated having to help in the kitchen, and tried to escape whenever I could, much to her despair. She would labour in the kitchen till midnight, and had to endure lots of nagging from my dad who didn’t like seeing her work so hard.

Well it did take a toll on her, and she fell sick when I was 13. My mom had a stroke which left her half paralyzed. She couldn’t do anything and had to learn to hold a fork and spoon again, learn to walk etc. It was really frustrating for her and my dad but she pulled through. She learnt how to drive again after much perseverance. I learnt that from her. To never give up despite life’s circumstances.

Now, my mom is 77, and she is not all she used to be. Her heart problems and other health issues has made her retreat into a shell. I feel a little sad about it all but I am glad that when she sees my daughter Krysta, her face lights up, if only for a few minutes.

Mummy, I love you. I don’t think I say it often enough.

xoxo,
Grace

Contest Details and T&C:

1. Find a photo with you and your mom (it could include other family members).
2. Write a story about why she is beautiful to you (any length!)
3. Share it with us by posting it on our Facebook wall (www.facebook.com/stories.my) before midnight Malaysian time on 16th May 2014.
4. Our judges will decide on the best (or most touching) story and decide on one winner.
5. The winner will receive a 1 hour family portrait shoot from Stories. The shoot must be done on a weekday before 31 August 2014. You can choose to do the shoot in our studio or outdoors within the Klang Valley. A Stories photographer will be assigned for the shoot. The winner will receive 20 soft copy images (printable up to 8R size) and one 12″ x 8″ matte print.
6. A limitation of up to 8 people is allowed for the shoot.
7. A surcharge of RM100 is chargeable for weekend dates. Outstation surcharge of RM800 applies for shoots done outside of Klang Valley. Costs of flights / transportation & accommodation is not included.
8. To purchase the entire set of high resolution images, a fee of RM500 is chargeable.
9. Up to 2 postponement of dates is allowed, however, if a 3rd postponement is required, the prize is considered forfeited.

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