She turns 87 & she turns 84

Mum turned 87 on Monday. No fanfare. No celebrations. We just had simple lunch at Lenas in Bugis Junction. She and I shared a set. Her Picky had a set all to herself.

On Sunday, there was the usual family lunch with hongbaos to her from the usual suspects. H and C bought tarts from Baker & Cook at Hillcrest Road as I suggested. They also gave mum hongbaos despite my saying “no need”. Guess it’s the usual Asian reaction to suggestions of “no need” 😆

What a diiference a year has made. Last year, a week be4 mum’s birthday I was able to give her a pre-birthday treat at ION’s Paradise — just the two of us. She was able to hobble on her own two legs with the help of a folded golf-stool.

This year, no such luck. When we go out, she needs a wheelchair, for her sake as well as for mine, since many a stranger had gone so far as to suggest to me that I shouldn’t make my mother suffer. “Get her a wheelchair,” they said!

I might still be dithering if not for the fact that events took the decision out of my hands. Mum took a bad tumble at home on Oct 2 last year that led to her hospitalisation at Tan Tock Seng Hospital for one night for observation.  Apres that, although she suffered no more than bad bruises, I didn’t want to take any more chances.

We got her a wheelchair for outdoor use and another for indoor use, although most times the latter isn’t used at all, as mum still manages to move around at home with the help of a frame-walker.

Now contrast my mum’s latest birthday with what another octogenarian whom I know. Auntie GY celebrated her 84 on March 3 at her lovely home off Swiss Club Road.

I got to know Auntie GY thru a mutual friend and this is the second time I have been included in her birthday bash, the first being two years ago when we went in a group to Sarawak.

The difference lies in the fact that one birthday girl is still full of joy of life whereas my mum while still enjoying her food has lost much of her ability to engage with others. And that ability is what makes living vibrant — unless one has always been a hermit or a recluse 🙄

  Although there were about 40 of us, we couldn’t even manage half of what was available, supplied by Glory of East Coast Road… because there was still the dessert of birthday cake, cakes I mean, as there were two!

Two of the best for the 84-year-young birthday girl

Life is still blooming at 84!


More blooms still!


Guests making themselves at home



6 thoughts on “She turns 87 & she turns 84

  1. Auntielucia;

    please do not say that me ‘puji'(make You happy/proud) You.

    Your Mummy is truly blessed to have You as her dauter and also living in loving tender cares of the Family. Life though short, is not too short for anyone over 80 year old and is lucid to enjoy the joy and trappings of living.

    Filial piety flows conspicuously in your writing, especially the frequent mentions You made of your mum. Cant remember You talking about your dad or You did, but, me missed.

    May i, as a stranger, wish your Mum many more Happy Birthdays to come!


  2. Moi filial? No lah! Most of my friends similarly look after their aged parents n do far better. Their mums/dads are kept in better mental form.

    As for my dad, he passed away a decade ago. His last 5 to 10 years weren’t good, esp for him but we children at that time were too young to realise that he was really ill, not pretending! So when he died suddenly, all of us were stunned!

    My sister has written about some of dad’s last days. go to this link n find out more, Uncle Patriot!

  3. Read baiyu rambling as You suggested.

    Now, me am more envious of your parents and maybe even grandparents.
    Me got two dauters and two grand dauters, one each from them. And my two elder girls have a younger brother, my son. They are all good children, disciplined, hardworking and filial. They respect their parents, however, they keep a distance from their dad; so-called ‘jing er yuan zi'(respect with a distance), i have no grouse though. To me, it is a blessing that they grew up to be independent responsible adults and most importantly, healthy physically and mentally.

    My two grand dauters bring me great joy and whence they are around, they make living much more happier and meaningful.

    ‘Xi yang wu xian hou, zi si jing huang hun'(the evening glow is a sight to behold, however, it is dusk that follows)


  4. Many happy returns and hope that the days will be filled with grace and joy .
    Out of curiousity, did you comment on Lucky’s blog?

  5. Uncle Patriot, pse don’t make me out to be the model filial kid. 🙄 In my view, it’s all random and depends on timing. If I’m younger like yr kids, I may not appreciate how much support an older person needs. Also, the fact that we lost our dad makes us appreciate the sole surviving parent more.

    Trust me: if your timing is right, your kids will treasure you a lot too.

  6. Hi Uncle Wang, it wasn’t my birthday but that of my mum and a friend!
    As for visiting Lucky Tan’s site, yes, I’m guilty 😆

    However, I don’t agree with much of what he says. Taiwan too has its problems and one of the major ones is that so many of its working poor have to resort to chewing betal to get energy. It breaks my heart to see the sores that develop around their mouths as a result!

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