I sat down beside my mum tonight. She was ready for bed, lying down with the blanket over her because it was a little cold tonight.
We got talking - I told her how my leg itched and that she made too much for dinner again. David said my face got fatter since he last saw me and I blame it on my mum's fabulous cooking; she told me about how she went to a chinese sinseh today and there was a blackout and the assistant was helping told a torch light to the doctor's keyboard so he could see what the hell he was typing.
Then my mum got up from bed and went to the bathroom. She took a small bottle of cream and asked me where it itched.
When I was back in the army, I remember I had to leave on assignment on a sudden notice to the then-tsunami aftermath of Bandah Aceh. They told me at get ready at 3pm and there was noone at home so I called my dad and told him I had to fly for a few days and to tell mum coz I can't get her at her workplace.
I was gone for a week.
When I came home, it was at around 1am, I think. I opened the door and dropped my bags. First thing I did was go to my mum's room and say hi. I woke her up, but she immediately sat up and asked me where the hell I went. Then she got up and made dinner for me coz I told her I was a little hungry.
We talked a little before she had to go back to bed since she was working the morning shift the next day.
Since that day, I made sure I had a talk to her everytime I can. Because you'll never know. You can see it - the illnesses get longer to heal, the fatigue makes her sleep more often, the legs can't stand as long as she used to.
I love cooking because of my mum. She gave me this love of making things in a chinese wok. I dread "western" cooking and adore frying things in the black oily thing under the stove. I've got a list of recipes that I've managed to write down as she cooked in the background, telling me to just watch.
One day, I want to be as good as she is, but it's going to be a long time before I can do that. And when I do, I want to make her the best dinner she's ever eaten.
You can call me a momma's boy, and I'll love you for it. I've been away from her too much in my life, and even made her cry once, but for all the time we've got left, I'll be all the son she wants me to be.
Because when I look at it, there's no family better than mine, and there's no gift better than of the life my mother gave me.