The tiny bungalow standing on stilts in the middle of a jungle in Southeast Asia with no electricity, no indoor plumbing, three tiny mats for beds, a very small round wicker tray which served as a dinner table for a Mother, and her two young children. What the meager bungalow lacked in amenities was more than made up for by a young Mother’s love for her children.
With Mother’s day just a few days away I was remembering a story my Mom had shared with us while we stuffed ourselves with her wonderfully prepared food at our dinner table. Mom never just made one entrée. Every meal she would prepare both American, and Thai dishes. Something none of us had given much thought to growing up, much like the electricity, and running water, indoor plumbing, amenities that we all have the tendency to take for granted in our lifestyles.
Mom grew most of our vegetables herself. Most of our food came from her hard work in the garden.Yet another thing we gave very little thought to as stuffed our little faces. As adults we are now in awe of the great measures, and hard work our mother did every single day to make sure we were always well cared for, never once complaining.
On this one particular night as we all sat together having our supper Mom’s face went from her usually lighthearted expression to a very far away saddened one. Then she began to tell us a story that none of us will probably ever forget. Her own Mother had raised her, and her brother as a single Mother. She had to work in the rice patties during the long hot days. Maintain a small garden, and bungalow with no other financial means. She was their sole support, their entire existence rested on her shoulders.
Then Mom said that every night after working in the back-breaking fields, baked by the hot sun their Mother would prepare them some sweet sticky rice, along with a small bowl of spicy sauce that was used to dip the rice in for flavor. She told us that she, and her brother were so hungry that they would sit on the floor at the tiny wicker tray like table an gobble up their delicious rice. Mom said that every night their Mother would sit with them as they ate their meager supper, but she would not eat with them. When they asked her why she wasn’t eating she would always say that she was not hungry. That she was tired from the hot sun.
So my Mom, and her brother continued to laugh, and enjoy their meal. Mom paused looking across our table filled with food, then with tears streaming down her cheeks, she told us that it wasn’t until she had grown older that she realized her Mother did not eat because she wanted to make sure her children ate first. Many times there was no food left over. So you see in tiny bungalow that stood on stilts in the middle of the jungle with no electricity, no indoor plumbing, and very little food, there was an overabundance of a Mother’s love for her two precious children. 😉