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Dear Mum, The Things I Can't Say To You

Dear Ma,

 

I have so many things to say to you but I really don’t have the courage to say it to your face. 

I really hope that you’ll get to read this someday and hear my heart. 

For now, this is the best I can do.

 

Growing up, I know I wasn’t the easiest child to deal with.

 

I was stubborn, argumentative, and rebellious. 

I was a free spirit and did what I wanted, when I wanted, however I wanted to do it.

 

I probably came the closest to bursting all of your blood vessels, and pissed you off royally on many occasions. We’d argue ferociously only for you to throw your hands up in the air and ask “Whose child are you?”

 

I would get hurt momentarily, but come to an immediate realisation that I am your spitting image - a carbon copy.

 

I’m really the man I am because of you. When I look in the mirror, I see your indelible impact on my life. 

 

I see the same fire.

I see the same tenacity.

I see the same strength.

 

When I look in the mirror again, I realise that I’m you - at only half the capacity.

 

When I’m next to you, I feel like a cheap copy. 

A fake. 

 

I know that the colour and content of your character far exceeds my own.

I know that even if I’m three times bigger than you now, you’ll always be a thousand times larger than me on the inside.

I know that no matter how hard I try I will never amount to half the person you are. 

 

I don’t think you really know how much of an influence you have on my life. 

 

Even though it seems like I pay you little attention or I don’t seem to take your words to heart - I run every decision with you in mind.

 

To be honest, the only reason why I never challenged or opposed authority to the point of anarchy was because I was more afraid that you’d beat the crap out of me if I ever gave someone trouble.

 

I mean… I did push the envelope a lot, spoken out on many different occasions, and got involved in a few fights, but you’d come to mind - which would scare the living daylights out of me - and I’d pull my punches. A little.

 

Ma, you’re my hero.

 

Everything I know about fighting comes from you. The good… and also the bad. But mostly the good.

 

I see how ferociously loving; unendingly loyal; longsufferingly kind you are with the people you love. I see the fire and zest that you approach life with. I see the iron and steel that you’re forged with - you’re the toughest woman I know.

 

Yet, you have the gentlest of hearts, the warmest of embraces, and the safest of spaces. You’d never hurt a fly. 

Unless that fly tried to sell you insurance, an MLM product, or came home pissed drunk. 

 

I’ve said things and done things to you that I deeply regret. 

Sometimes, I feel like the most ungrateful brat ever but I need you to know that I love you so much.

 

Now that you’re getting older - I have to raise my voice a little for you to hear properly, I have to carry the bamboo poles for you when you hang our washed clothing, and I find myself being a little more attentive when you speak.

 

I’ve grown to love the little things like hearing about your day after work as a preschool teacher.

 

I love how you’re so excited and proud about how you got to witness their first steps, hearing about how much you love the babies that some of your colleagues might not pay as much attention to, and showing me videos of them dancing and singing in class.

 

I love how you ask me what presents you should get them on their birthdays.

I love how you make a personal investment in all their lives. 

I love how much I get to share you with them.

 

Ma, I’m so unendingly grateful that I have your undivided attention. 

I’m just glad for each day I get with you.

I owe you my life.

 

To many years, and even sweeter ones ahead.

 

Love, 

Your favourite son

Published on 21/05/2021

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