Affirming My Light Again

Image of Goddess of Mercy by me
Image of Ancestor Tablet by me
I affirm that I am light. Whenever there is darkness, I will shine. — Tremaine L. Loadholt
Special thanks to Ayesha Talib Wissanji for lighting up Medium.

It is weird to put those two images up. But not without a reason.

I woke up at 7.15 am today.

My mother, the most wonderful woman in my world, was already up and about — setting the altar, arranging the fresh fruits, preparing the joss sticks and joss paper and generally ready to start her prayers.

“You’re up early today. It’s Saturday. Do you need to go to work?” she asked.

“No, I just happened to be up,” I replied.

“OK, if you can wait, I’ll go down to the coffeeshop later to get coffee,” she said.

In Taoism, we believe that the first and the fifteenth day of the lunar month are special days, since it is full moon. And they are the days to remember and pray to Goddess of Mercy and our ancestors.

I have forgotten that today is the first day of the lunar month. My mother never forgets. It took a movement on Medium to remind me of the light — my mother’s light has never been extinguished or even dimmed the slightest.

This is the woman who refused to accompany me to school on the first day since I was 9. “You are big enough now. You don’t need me.” But she is there at our door to see me off each time I have to leave and fly overseas for work.

This is the woman who refused to pick me up when I had two bags of books to carry from school when I was 10. “You are a man. Learn to be tough.” But she is there to pick me up when I complain to her about anything.

This is the woman who refused to give me a nightlight or sleep with me when I was young and was too scared to sleep alone in my room. “You have grown up. Be brave. There is nothing in the cupboard or under your bed…No, wait, I think I put some of our old stuff under your bed. See? It’s too cramp for anything else to hide there! Sleep!” But she always waits for me no matter how late I come home from grad school classes, work, or gatherings.

This is the woman who inspires some of my stories.

This is the woman of faith who never fails to pray for the family.

This is the woman who prepares everything in the two images above.

This is the woman who gives everything for her family.

This is the woman who has always been in the centre of my world.

This is my mother.

And I love her.