After 6 years me and my mom, performing Umrah again in The City of Lights, Medina, 2023
I’m an only child, and I live with my wonderful mother. But there are times when my mother can be strict. I think maybe she believes that being controlling is the only way she can protect me and keep me away from things she doesn’t want for me. She seems to feel like she has to have control over my life.
Honestly, I don’t like it. I don’t like feeling forbidden or restrained, especially when it’s my own mother doing it. She seems to take a lot of responsibility for my life, and sometimes it feels like she’s overly involved in my business. I worry that my plans for the future might not go the way I want them to just because my mother doesn’t approve of them.
There was a time when I tried to avoid my mother. I didn’t want to discuss anything with her, and I kept my conversations short. I pretty much followed all her rules because all I wanted was a more peaceful life without constantly thinking about her controlling my every move.
But something changed as I grew up. My mother no longer had the same energy to “protect” me like she used to. Her voice wasn’t as strong, and she didn’t seem as energetic. It made me wonder what had happened to the past. At the same time, I began to realize that I shouldn’t have this kind of strained relationship with my parents, especially not with my mom.
She changed because she realized that what she did to protect me was something that I couldn’t accept instead I argued. She started to apologize, she started to ask me what my future would be like, she started to support me in everything I did, I felt touched and kinda unbelievable.
There was a moment that deeply touched me, reflecting on the way my mother treated me on the day of my high school graduation, just as I was about to embark on my college journey. Being an Indonesian, I was looking for universities within Indonesia, with no plans of studying abroad. Unfortunately, I didn’t secure admission to any of the universities I applied to, which left me feeling disheartened and disappointed.
In the midst of my despair, my mother came into my room and offered her support. She reassured me, saying, “It’s okay, let’s go for a drive and clear your mind.” As we sat in the car, she turned on the radio, and it happened to be discussing an agent who helps students study in Malaysia. To our surprise, the DJ mentioned the agent’s address. Without hesitation, my mother drove me there and inquired about the procedures and the universities they were affiliated with.
After a long chat, my mom asked, “Aira, do you want to study in Malaysia?” I was surprised and asked, “Are you sure, Mom?” She replied, “I want you to go there and start college. I know it’s the right path for you.” That day, I realized just how much she cared about my future, and we both cried. It felt like a magical day.
Time has flown by, and I’ve seen remarkable changes in our lives. I began to feel that everything was improving; my life grew calmer, I felt more appreciated, and I found it easier to open up to others. It was during this time that I came to believe that a strong foundation for our future stems from our home.
Surviving the holiday season by went to Bukittinggi, 2022
As the years passed, my mom transformed into not just a great mother but also a trusted friend. She became my sanctuary, a place where I could confide about the twists and turns of my life. Her simplicity became something I admired, and her attitude towards me made me appreciate her even more. My mom embodied the nurturing qualities that today’s children need, turning our home into a warm heaven.
My mom chose a simpler way of life, once saying, “If we keep things ordinary and avoid excess, we’ll find everything we need.” I used to find that idea complex, thinking that hard work was necessary to achieve our desires. But over time, I realized my mom was right. Keeping things ordinary meant focusing on what we can control, and concentrating on ourselves without comparing our achievements to others. From this, I learned that as humans, we have limitations, but by staying focused on our abilities, we can attract the things we desire.
My mom underwent a significant transformation, becoming an incredibly patient person. I learned the true meaning of patience by observing how she managed her emotions during moments of anger, how she handled those who insulted her, and how she persevered through difficult and painful days. Life presents various challenges, and my mother’s advice was simple: be sincere and grateful. Be sincere about what we’ve lost and grateful for what we have, for we can’t predict the future. Living in the present can lead to extraordinary things in the future.
Maintaining good relationship between mother and daughter. Photo source: equinox
My relationship with my mom continued to improve, and she became the first person I turned to when I felt sad, disappointed, or unwell. I regarded her as the most sincere person in my life, almost like an angel. Her worry, anger, and care became things I cherished, realizing that there was nothing I needed more.
Even when I made mistakes, my mom would scold me and guide me toward what was right. In the past, I resented being scolded, but now I understand that if we don’t strive for self-improvement, we remain stuck in negative patterns. When my mom scolds me today, I listen attentively, appreciating her guidance, whether positive or negative. Being filial to my parents, especially my mom, is of utmost importance, given all she has done for me.
Every time I see her, I’m filled with emotion. I can’t help but feel guilty for not making her as proud as other children might have. However, she always speaks proudly of me to her friends, especially when I face academic challenges. My mom never compared me to others, and for that, I am immensely grateful. She always said, “We can never be someone else, so we have to stand on our own feet and create our own happiness.
Since then, she’s always been on my mind and remains my number one in everything. I promised myself that I would make my mom proud in a positive way. I pray for her health, and I find my own ways to make her happy, even though I live abroad. No one can ever replace her in my heart; she is my unwavering support system.