Farewell my Mom!

Update: 30/08/2021

Farewell my Mom!


“Cô Năm Điệu - Miss Flamboyant Fifth” was a lovely nickname of my mom’s golden moment. The gentle southern woman does everything for the family, who has spent her whole life taking care of the husband and children.

She has a slim figure, not so tall, black hair but not long and always tied neatly like a cock’s tail. She is over 50 years old but she looks like a twenty-year-old girl.

Her girlhood was so cool. She knew how to make up when she was about fifteen or sixteen years old. She is the fifth child of the family. Her parents love her more than the eldest sister because she is the youngest and the most nimble daughter .

Then, on the causal condition, she became a daughter-in-law for my grandparents’ family in town. Grandma lived in ancient tradition so she was so strict; especially she did not support the making-up. Because of her love for her husband, she tried to live as grandma’s wishes. Time passing, we - three brothers were born.

As life keeps on passing, we grow up in our parents’ nourishment. Although our father did not have to give birth and gained pains from it, he loved and cared for us. After having finished high school, I left home and my mother to go to Saigon to learn a profession so that I could earn money to take care of my family. I thought that I should study economics to make more money, even though at the moment, some provinces needed students of the pedagogy and they did not need to pay tuition. I chose accounting, simply because I want to make much money to help my parents. The day I left, my mother said nothing but reminded me to study hard for my future then I turned back inside and my father took me to Saigon. I was so scare because I have never gone to anywhere alone. Saigon is full of vehicles, different from my hometown. Going outdoors, you need money.

Every month, my mom sent me money to pay for the room, food, etc. for nearly a year. One day, the host asked me to receive a call, I knew it  was mother’s because no one called me but her. I was so happy:

-         Hello, mom. It is me

-         I am sorry

-         ....

Although money is just pieces of paper that people are supposed to have values, but without them our lives will be difficult and suffer hard times. On the phone, she told me that she might not be able to afford me in studying. Dear Mom, please do not worry, I can both work and study because I am an adult now.

The difficulties were over. I really appreciated the life whose content of every situation challenges my endurance. Hoping that after   graduation, I could find a stable job to take care of her when she is old. But my mom did not want to sit and enjoy the comfort. When she was still healthy, she was still to the market selling bunches of incense and fresh flower bouquets for ones who pays worship Buddha, ancestors. Raising her life by herself was also her great happiness.

Having a stable job, I show gratitude to Buddha about everything. I also went to pagoda to worship the Buddha in free time and I feel peaceful at the pagoda. Every day, when she cut down a leaf on the flower branch, I advised her to recite a buddha’s name, she did not only do it happily but she also ate vegetarian. Her meal was so simple with just boiled vegetables and soy sauce and boiled vegetable soup for days. However, she had a ruddy health. Maybe she is blessed by the Buddha. One beautiful day, I decided to tell her my vow:

-         May I leave home for cultivation!

She stood silently without the answer but I knew that she was upset though knowing that my chosen path was good. Then she said:

-         You are still young. Wait till I die and you can go.

As usual, every couple parents want their children to grow up and live happily with their families. So does my mom, and her reaction was normal. I did not know that I should get angry  or lover her because she did not only support me but also said such an ominous thing. Without her supporting, I left home and stayed at the pagoda for a week. It was the first time that I left home without saying a word to mom and dad. And when, she called me home. I thought that she sympathized and would let me go. In front of my family, she cried and said:

-         I will kill myself right now if you don’t listen to me.

-         Why do you say so I choked.

-         Please do not threaten me, you do not understand me at all.

Since then, without saying blame, my love for her was not the same as before, the distance between us was so far that I just promised sketchily when she asked me to take her to the clinic. Although my brothers can also take her to the clinic but she was still waiting for me.

Mom’s health was getting weaker because of too much blood flowing out. I did not understand the so-called female illness, “giving birth with blood flowing, such as puncturing the goat or buffalo, one way to live but ten way to die.” as the Buddha had taught in Ullambana Sutra. So I took her to Saigon for treatment. When I heard the nurse asked who Mrs.Cuc’s relative was, I was dumbfounded when the doctor told me that she had cancer (gynaecological disease) at the last period. I kept calm, went out and told her that she would be all right after having tablets.

It was terrible when receiving the news. She had no chance for treatment and she would leave us forever. What should I do??? So many questions. I did not know want to do but trying to smile and lie to her that she would be fine. I did not dare to inform my father, my brothers and my sisters because I myself did not accept the truth. But the truth was unable to be hidden. My family was in panic when receiving the news. But I asked for taking care of her by myself in order to redeem the mistake that I was careless about her and her illness. My mom, I ask a thousand times for your pardon.

In the hospital, the disease tortured her time by time. She was taken to many different departments and was diagnosed so many times. But I knew that getting rid of the cancer at the last period is hopeless without a miracle. I did everything I can, I took care for her every single day she was still here. I comforted her that she would be better and the doctor would treat her well.

She certainly knew about her health. No one said any thing but everyone knew that the day would be coming soon. It was painful to see her more and more skinny because she could not eat anything. The soup, the milk was vomited after eating.

 Lying on the bed, she acted as if nothing had happened. I asked her:

-         Do you scare of death?

-         Everyone has to die, I don’t scare.

 Listening to her, I wanted to cry out but I tried to act as normality and asked:

-         Where will you go after leaving us?

-         I will come to the Buddha’s Pure Land.

She asked me to come closer and said.

-         Arrange your work and go to pagoda after Tet.

-         Now, you do not prevent me from leaving home for cultivation. I thank you for your permission. But at the moment, I don’t want to leave you, I want to stay with you and care for you. Please slow down, Mr. Impermanence! Don’t bring my mom away.

No matter how I screamed, the time would never stop. As the   life came to the edge and mom had gone away forever.

Although the Buddha had taught,’the combination comes along with separation’. I felt painful. She spent all her life for family but the children did not realize and blamed her. She loved me so much that she did not want me to go to cultivate to stay with her.

That is motherhood. I do understand now. Please forgive me. Today, on your one hundred day anniversary, in front of your altar, I prostrate and farewell my mom.

Cultivation and getting married are both leaving

It is strange because those are two different paths

Dharma path leads to the truth

The way of life leads to the suffering

Tâm Hoạt

 Translated into English by Nguyen Khanh Hoa


Related News

No distinguishing
Who shoots that arrow?
The Meaning of Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva’s Commemoration.
The story of a female rower taking a monk crossing the river