Friday, July 27, 2012

Their Dreaded Questions

"Mom, how does this look?"

"Mom, does this look good on me?"

"Mom,  should I wear this or that?"

Blah Blah Blah

...Seriously, my opinion amounts to zero and yet I wonder why they keep on asking!   These dreaded questions my girls continue harassing me with, riles me up every single time.    Not that I mind answering.  Not at all.  It's the fact that what I think really doesn't count for anything whatsoever.  So why in all that's holy do they even BOTHER asking for my opinion!

It doesn't matter whether it's their hairdo, honeydew, clothes or makeup.  When I'm agreeable and express any type of delight in what they're wearing, they scramble to change like the devil is on their heels.

One morning my Sisilia dashes up the stairs searching for shoes to wear.  Her father was blasting the honk of the car, not wanting to be late to work.  It was only 6a.m. and the whole neighborhood was still slumbering away.  I threw her one of her younger sister Patiola's shoes.  She quickly slips them on and on her way out, looks back at me and asks, "Does this look okay mom?"   

Here we go again!   I thought to myself.   

Promptly I assured her, "It looks fine honey".  Sure enough, in a clipped tone she blurted, "I know it's ugly mom, but it's even uglier when you say it's fine".   
Oooooooooooooooh................. how I wanted to throw a flip flop on her head. 
But I'm the mother after all and I have to retain composure at all times every time and in all places.  
Sometimes, however,  my kids make me want to swear, curse and do flips and cartwheels out of anger and frustrations.

In time, I discovered a well worked out solution for all their dreaded questions.

REVERSE PSYCHOLOGY BABY.  Whenever they ask the questions, these are my answers:

Oh, that looks hideous my dear
Wow, that is ugggglllyyyyyyy!
Um, not so attractive sweetheart
Uh Uh, I wouldn't be caught dead wearing that darling
It makes you look like an old hunchback lady 

They thrive hearing my negative comments and so it works like charms.   After all, what do I know about fashion and style.  What's in and what's not?  Huh.  They think they know everything.  Right?

It's almost like I'm hearing them squeal in delight:

"Hell Yeah, mom thinks it's ugly so it really means it's fabulous".  WE ARE WEARING IT.

How's that for a solution!   Works all the time.   In my mind when they turn to go, I have a big grin on my face.  Oh yes, no one can outsmart mom.  Not you babies that were just born yesterday.  You have no idea who you're messing with.

Ha Ha Ha.....

Saturday, July 21, 2012

The Cemetery

My great uncle Nuku remarked on our last family meeting after  my mother passed away that it's not so significant for us to visit our mother in the cemetery.  What's more important is that we should carry on the legacy that she has left with us in this life.

He said in Tongan:  "Mahina 'e tolu mei heni kou talaatu, he 'ikai temou toe 'asi kimoutolu ki mala'e ke sio ki ho'omou fa'ee."  
English translations:  "Three months from now, no one is going to visit your mother at the cemetery".

Instantly considering what he was saying, I said to myself:  "Don't presume to know what we are and are not going to do uncle.  You are talking about my mother here."

Ever since my mother died, I have been constantly visiting the cemetery.

Not to prove my uncle wrong but to be with her and remember her.

As a child I was terrified of cemeteries.  Too many haunting and scary stories left me horrified to even go close to one, let alone visit one.   Those experiences has long been changed.  Now I go to the cemetery to REMEMBER!  

I'm drawn to it.  It's like a bridge connecting me to those who have passed on.  A bond between the living and the dead.  Across the evergreen lawns of the cemetery is the buzz of life of the living.  So busy and noisy.  Here, is so peaceful, quiet and tranquil.  Like a garden.  All are resting in peace whether they died peacefully or not.   

What are the odds that my mother is buried right next to her mother-in-law and sister-in-law Mamaa and 'Ana Seini?  My grandmother and much loved aunt.  Coming from a far off foreign land just to end up being buried right next to each others.  How wonderful is that!  

When I visit, I feel like I'm in a cocoon of loving arms embracing me.   Showering me with sunny smiles and welcoming kisses.  I remember them.  All of them.  So my visits are never going to be far-and-few in-between.  They will be more often then not.

My thoughts when I visit the cemetery: 

Here lies my mother, 'Ana Patiola Fekitoa Tuita.  
This spot marks her burial plot.  
Her spirit may be gone but her body and bones linger on.
Right here she rests until that day
When her spirit will claim her body once again.
Until then, happy sleep, my lovely mother.  

Her headstone will be laid down a year from last month.  As for now her grave will be decorated with beautiful flowers and mementos to celebrate and commemorate her life.  

Dare I say I look forward to the day where I will join her again?  Death has always stirred a dark and frightening feeling in me when I was younger.  I DON'T WANT TO DIE.  Now, because I understand, it doesn't bother me anymore.  It's an inevitable step to the progression of our eternal spirit.  

Until that day however, I will live and celebrate life to the fullest.  And prepare myself for that day where I will be taking my last breath and joining those who are buried in the greenest of all places under the sun.

The Cemetery.