霞女之旅

Xia's Journey

The Rose – on Mother’s Day

on May 13, 2012

It’s Mother’s Day and we decided to go by the newly built Seletar Hills shopping mall for a Mother’s Day lunch. As we were loitering on the second level looking for an eatery, we came across a group of volunteers selling roses for Mother’s Day in aid of SunLove Home ~ a home for the dementia. Mum was (as usual) against us spending such unnecessary money, but since it was Mother’s Day and the rose was moderately priced at $2 and in aid of charity, we decided to get one for her anyways.

We went by Paradise Inn and it was fully booked. We settled for its neighbouring eatery; ‘Mae Thai’ instead.

We sat at the first table from the door. We went about with our lunch. And since I was seated in the direction facing out of the restaurant, I was constantly looking out and people-watching. I watched the kids play at the water sprays, the volunteers selling the roses, families coming in and out of the restaurant… Everyone was in such a joyous Mother’s Day mood.

In the midst of this hustle and bustle, I saw this elderly cleaning lady clearing out the trash from one of the bins just across the restaurant that I was eating at. She was easily in her 70s or 80s, frail and slow. The passing of time was evident on her wrinkled face and hands. At that instant, my heart went out to her… A frail elderly lady (who was most probably someone else’s mum as well), slogging hard on this Mother’s Day, when everyone else were out enjoying themselves and having their Mother’s Day celebrations and lunches.

I decided to go buy her a rose after our lunch, but alas, all the roses were sold out by the time we finished our lunch. As I went by the washroom, I realized how clean the washroom was and I saw the same elderly lady cleaning up the toilet after us. I went back to the booth and pleaded with one of the volunteers to re-sell me one of his roses. He relented after knowing that the rose was intended for the cleaning lady. I went back to the washroom to look for her. She was nowhere to be found. I waited outside the cubicles and when she came out, I gave her the rose! She was taken aback, shocked and surprised that she would receive a rose for Mother’s Day from a complete stranger. I could see the little glitter at the corner of her eyes as she let out a weary smile. I gave her the rose and went along my way.

When I took the pic, I thought nothing much of it. After the incident and now, when I re-look at the pic, I felt as if Buddha had came in through me, used me as a tool to pass on the love and compassion to the elderly lady by buying and giving her the rose. We were not in any way related nor have I ever met her before. But it was a simple random act of kindness to bring some love and sunshine to another fellow human being / a complete stranger on this Mother’s Day. I pray and hope that all the wonderful mums out there have the chance to enjoy this special day with their children and loved ones.

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