Friday, January 19, 2007

Mom's 80th Birthday

My mother will celebrate her 80th birthday this Sunday, 21st January 2007.

Still radiantly healthy and full of spunk, this lady has been a huge role model for me. When I was a little girl, I used to follow her to her Red Crescent office (she was Secretary General).

I was there with her when the May 13th Emergency struck. I remember we had to spend the night there and then sneak home in an ambulance the next day. Mom didn't sleep for about a week during that time. She was busy running the ambulance and rescue operations.

There were reports flying in, about people being shot at, killed, massacred. People were stranded with no food or water. Mom heard that one of the volunteers had been shot at, and it was a narrow miss. That volunteer turned out to be my dad!

Mom stayed at the Red Crescent HQ for almost a week. When she finally came home, she found herself confronted with a sea of camping bodies - neighbours, relatives and friends who had come to take refuge in our home. So she had to organise our home as well. And she did it all with her usual calm and loving way - fussing over every little detail and painstakingly working out each system and process until it was smooth as clockwork.

I remember she would get phone calls in the middle of the night (I was the baby of the family, and only girl, so I used to sleep in Mom & Dad's bedroom) - and she would have to quickly pack a bag and fly by helicopter to wherever the flood or disaster was.

I remember when Highland Towers collapsed. She was directing operations on the scene of course. And even though she had friends inside the collapsed apartment block, she kept her head about her. She came home and told us how one friend came running up to her and said in tears, that his wife was still inside. It tore her heart, but there was nothing she could do. She had to be strong and steady and mastermind all the operations there.

Can you imagine the strength of this lady?

I wanted to have this all done up by Sunday - but was kept busy by mom. I'll progressively update this throughout the week. Meanwhile, her little birthday dinner on Saturday night was a simple and sweet affair. Looking forward to her 90th birthday now!

3 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Janet.. I guess she's your lifetime HEROINE. right? :D

please send her my regards :)

best wishes.

bisma.

11:42 PM  
Anonymous jennie said...

hey aunty janet!! :) please send my regards to your mumie, she's definately an inspiration to so many people... much love aunty janet,and i miss u! and uncle sonny too ^^

10:32 PM  
Blogger jingwei said...

Thats one STRONG woman right there.

or maybe there's more than one.

hint hint.

hehe.

9:43 AM  

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