Today at 13th May is when you appreciates your mother exclusively. In the culture and family where I grew up, it is not norm to express myself openly. Back in the days, it was awkward for give her a hug not to mention my appreciation for her verbally. The physical intimacy is beyond me. On the other hand, my late grandma was everything but the above. I remembered how I would tell her how I wish she didn’t have to go by the end of the visit. Never had I ever said the same to my mom when she visited.
My relationship with my mom remains close nonetheless. We just don’t speak the unsaid. There was once we got her a bouquet of roses on Mother’s Day and her response was “What a waste of money’. From there, I decided it is best to ask her what she would like or get her favorite food. I have booked my next trip back home and I asked if she would like to have a durian feast. Her response on WhatsApp was ‘Mao San Wang’. She sure is high maintenance, lol.
I did an exercise with her recently. In this conversation, I given her the permission to be honest and truthful. These are the following prompt questions;
1. What are the things that you appreciated about me?
She was stuck in the beginning so I prompted what memories came to mind to get her started.
2. What are the things you would like to see me do more of?
She started with my bad habit which I had to pause her. The key is to focus on existing qualities that she believes can be further stretch to be a better me.
It was amazing what I heard – coming from my very mom who has never said any of those to me. Whilst I have heard of it through others, it made a whole lot of difference coming directly from her.
When you are ready, you may give it a try and let me know how it feels after.