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It struck me that life was indeed very short - by S.N.

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My Pillar(s) of Strength


'N' Level student-inmate from Changi Women's Prison

Consolation Prize


The word ‘freedom’ crossed my mind at least ten times a day. It is not a pleasure to be locked up and being told what to do all the time. At the age of twenty-four, my freedom was ripped off. I was slammed with a hefty sentence of twelve years. I was dumbfounded, suddenly time stood still and skies are falling. I was immersed in darkness. I was then sent to Changi Women’s Prison, I felt so alone behind this blue bars. Life seemed to have no meaning.


Initially being in prison for the first time was inevitably stressful. I had a hard time adapting to the changes around me. The atmosphere in prison is hellish, nothing in here is comparable to what are used to have out there. I lost my faith in God, I felt betrayed and I stopped praying. Fortunately, things started to get better for me when my mother visited me. My mother is my number one fan, my pillar of strength. The pillar that stands firm, sturdy and as hard as steel. Even the greatest storm could not wash it down.


Ever since I was a child, my mother was always there for me. To my amazement, my mother did not even scold me when I was incarcerated. I betrayed her trust, I let her down so many times with repetition of wrong doings. Every time she visited me, she put on a brave mask and a mask that manage to conceal all the sadness and worries away. It was very devastating to look at her through the glass panel, so near yet so far. My mother had aged tremendously during these years. I saw wrinkles around those big beautiful eyes and I noticed her once delegate hands, are now covered by crinkled skin. It struck me that life was indeed very short, if I failed to make the best out of it now, then I never will.


My mother picked me up with kind and encouraging words. She love me dearly and unconditionally, to her eyes I am always a favourite person, not a prisoner. My mother’s endless prayers and countless sacrifice that motivated me to change and do something about my life. It was not about where I am that actually matters. I then decided to pursue my studies, have a goal in life and be a better person. When I was sitting for my mid-year exams, I kept having reminiscences about my mother. I managed to score three distinctions for my results and I am also a proud recipient of the mid-year incentive award. My mother was the main contributing factor of my achievements.


Education has brought a whole new world to me, thanks to the Almighty and my mother’s love I manage to gain whatever that was lost. I manage to retrieve the faith that once disappeared in my life. As I prostrated to God every night, I begged him for guidance and mercy. My mother constantly reminded me to keep the faith and I am glad that I listened to her. My mother also remembers to send in interesting magazines and motivational books to keep me occupied all the time. I could never send her enough for all the years that she had dedicated to me. Every night before I close my eyes to sleep, I say a little prayer: “Dear God, please keep my mother safe and sound.” I could never ask for a better mom, not in this life or hereafter. I love you mom.

 

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