Mom’s Legacy of Diligence and Industry

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Today is my mom’s birthday. She would have turned 84. In 19 days, it will be her 6th anniversary. Here is an excerpt from my book about her:

A wife of noble character who can find. She is worth far more than rubies. Her husband has full confidence in her and lacks nothing of value. She brings him good, not harm, all the days of her life. She watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness. Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her: (Proverbs 31:10-12, 27-28 NIV)

In elementary, I disliked writing homework in Chinese class. We wrote in boxes, rows and columns of words on the writing pad, repeating difficult strokes. I often cried through these exercises. My mom never beat or scolded me, but she made sure that I wrote every word diligently according to the proper strokes.

Ma was a strict teacher. Yet, she was the favorite of many. She made them laugh. She instilled in me and Marian the sense of responsibility to do our best. Mama never demanded that we study all the time. We were allowed to play and watch TV all we wanted after we studied.

When papa first learned of ma’s passing, one of the few words he said was: “Din mama yah kut lat.” Your mom was very hardworking.

Mama was neat and clean. Dad used to park our Volkswagen onto 2 strips of Manila paper in the middle of our living room at night. The floors in our home were swept clean and wiped with red floor wax, our red tiles shining bright, day or night.

Aside from teaching, mom helped subsidized the family income by tutoring, baking cakes, providing lunch meals for students at the school. We lived near the school. Many students either brought their own lunch or ate nearby. Mom catered to the needs of these students. She went to market and cooked to feed quite a few students—mostly children of her friends.

Mama was just as hardworking in her passion to share God and his Word. A day before her last birthday, twenty days before she died, she used all her energy to walk from her house to the car at the gate, and shared her story in women fellowship at church. She told me she sat in the wheelchair for the first (and last) time to do that.

Ma, thank you for the ways you exemplified Romans 12:11, not lagging behind in diligence, fervor in spirit, serving the Lord.

Praise the God of grace who gifted me with a mom of noble character.

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