I would not have stood here today without the support of the most influential person in my life - my mother.
I owe it to her for giving me her strong character and determination.
I value her tireless efforts to instil in me a strong love from probably the day I was born in books.
She introduced me to the wonders of stories. Of kingdoms in the forests. Of Enid Blyton and her make-believe toylands, pixies, fairies and brownies. She read to me story books. And, the one fairy tale I remembered till today is my old time favorite - Little Red Riding Hood.
My mom had been a teacher by profession for 34 years. And, due to her background, she taught me how to read and write and by the age of 4, I managed to read Little Red Riding Hood by myself.
As I was growing up, she bought me teen novels - published by Dewan Bahasa and Pustaka. Frankly speaking, unlike the girls who were growing up in their teens, I was a nerd. Books consumed me - until I did not realize I was a teenager.
And, until one day, my mother said to me in her despair, "Please stop buying books because your books overflowed the house!"
"But, mom! " I protested. "Wasn't it you who taught me to love books?"
And, she was just speechless. I inherit the reading trait from her. If I am not keeping up with the current news, she will feed me with the information she picked from the newspapers.
My mother, too, has groomed me to love knowledge. Or sometimes treat me like her little cute Standard One students whom I think she miss after her retirement.
The most important thing is my mom built in me - the strong core to withstand the winds of change. To stand up for my rights. To speak out for unjustice. To be confident with my own abilities. Though, sometimes, in that dark periods of life, we tend to feel down - it is just human nature. But, the biggest test is, how we stand up again and build the pieces of life back and move on.
Seeing her aging, I always feel the little tug in my heart. I miss my mother when she was that young, energetic and resilient woman. Who ran the house when my dad was away for a job commitment. A strong pillar that I can always fall on to. But, we can never turn back the clock. As I have learnt to accept as time passes by.
There is forever a cycle to follow - as determined by Allah in His book of Fate. And, my mom is getting old. It is true what people say. For what my mom had done for me and my brother, there will never be enough time for us to pay back all the sacrifices she had made. For us.
I grow up, becoming an independent woman by training. As the eldest in the family, I have no choice but to learn to make important decisions. To be the pillar of strength of the family. To learn to take charge when the situation is volatile. To build a solid mind and character in order to face the world.
Indeed, the world belongs only to the survivors of the fittest human race.
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