Just now during dinner at my parent's...
Mom: I'm gonna buy Popo a wheelchair tomorrow. I found this place which sells them for RM520 after discount. Last time, your Penang Popo's wheelchair costs almost RM1k!
Me: Popo can't walk on her own anymore meh?
Mom: Can lah, but she gets tired easily and she'll trip and fall. This month alone, already fell down twice. So she lost her confidence walking and chosed to stay home all the time.
Mike: But we thought Popo don't want a wheelchair...
Mom: *smile* Yeah, she refused it at first but i finally talked her into it this morning, she gave in because she loves going out wat... I told her that with the wheelchair, we can take her anywhere easily also.
I feel so bad that i took my Popo for granted all these while. She was the one who hand-raised my brother and i while my parents were my age now and busy making a living to save up for our future.
My Popo was different back then, more than 20 years ago, she was this iron lady with a voice so loud and fiery that neighbours from the next 3 houses can hear her. She has no soft spot when it comes to disciplining us. She beats the broad day light out of my brother and i if we ever misbehave.
She taught me everything in life, from writing to speaking up. "Bolder and neater! Don't make people struggle to read your handwriting! If i can't accept it, your teacher won't as well!"
She was extremely strict with me. "Unlike boys, you have much more to loose out if u don't work twice as hard and speak twice as loud". Popo would say to me.
She built the person i am today. I owe my assertiveness and risk taking nature to her. I was taught everything from slaughtering, de-feathering and cleaning chickens, hanging a pigeon, killing and cleaning live crabs to cleaning the pig intestines with shallots. I can still do it today if i have to without fear or any icky feeling.
Often times when i am making a decision in life, Popo's voice will come out from my head. "Nothing is free in the world, you have to earn every single pleasure you desire."
"Love your mommy and daddy because no one will love you like they will. When you grow up and get married, you will have your own babies and you will love them the same way no one will."
I was only 7. But Popo feels it's never too early to teach me about love and anticipate for a family. I laughed cheekily like any kids would but as i grew older, i started understanding more. And now i see that when Popo said that to me, she saw a future in my which i have yet realised.
Suddenly, i missed my once fiery and strict Popo. She's lost that ability to teach my younger counsins like how she did for my brother and i. That also explains the big contrast of characteristics between all of us. When i was younger, i would tell my mom how i envied my cousins as Popo are not as strict with them as she was with us. But now, i actually feel glad that she did what she did.
Seeing Popo so frail and shrunken now forces me to accept the fact that she won't be with us forever. As much as it breaks my heart to see her draw back to herself and just grow old while everybody else around her are busy with their own lives, i know she is praying that God would slow time down so she can have a little more of her family each day.
I pray to God the same too.