Every morning at around 6.30am when I go to church to pray at the columbarium where my late wife’s ashes lie, I have observed a mother in her 30s bringing her two young children to the bus stop where she will wait with them until their bus arrives, then wave to them, at times throwing a motherly flying kiss.
At other times, I have seen mothers carry the heavy school bags of their kids and helping them up the bus. Indeed, a mother’s love is often like no other – and such virtues brings fond memories of the good ole’ days in the 50s’ when my mother, now aged 92 used to wake up at the crack of dawn, prepare breakfast for myself and my 5 other siblings, and then bringing the younger ones to school.
During her late 40s, my mother Mrs Pearl Fernando had to struggle in taking care of her 6 children after my dad left her. As a single mother, mom sacrificed some of her meals for us, took on part-time work and went out of her way to make sure all of her six children received a proper education.
Mom is currently residing in a Catholic Nursing Home and she needs lots of emotional support and understanding as the Parkinson’s disease (PD) that she is trying to cope with can often see her experiencing mood changes, irritability and repeating things.
Not everyone will fully understand such behavioral changes, and this is why those who have experiences in taking care of a loved one with mental illness must share their useful caregiver tips. This I do with the sincerity of my heart for it was mom’s guiding light that was instrumental in paving the way for me to provide unconditional love to my late wife for 4 decades and to all others trying to cope with mental health issues.
Happy Mother’s Day 2017, mom, you will always have a place in my and my siblings’ hearts.
RAYMOND ANTHONY FERNANDO
PROFILE OF THE WRITER
Raymond Anthony Fernando is a motivational speaker, poet, author, trainer, songwriter, freelance television actor, ghostwriter, media celebrity, regular newspaper forum page writer and an advocate for the mentally ill.
He is a volunteer with the Institute of Mental Health. The author of 32 books was married to Doris Lau Siew Lang, herself an author of 8 books. Doris was called to the Lord in April 2014. This Model Caregiver 2007 and Mental Health Champion 2010, who is born on Valentine’s Day, has contributed 31 years of service to the public sector, 15 years of experience in public relations work, and received several awards and commendations from government organisations.
Raymond attributes his success to his beloved wife, Doris, who has always been his greatest inspiration.