'N' Level student-inmate from Tanah Merah Prison
I never knew what love truly meant until the day my fiancé left me. My life shattered into a million pieces. We had been for thirteen years and I was unable to let go. She had become an inseparable part of my life. I loved her more than anything in this world and foolishly placed her on a pedestal. I was blinded by passion and could not see other forms of enduring and unconditional love. I gradually spiraled into depression.
Furthermore, whenever my mother visited me, I would always ask about my fiancé and neglect to ask about my how my mother was doing. Twenty minutes of visit time and not a single minute was spent talking about my mother or my family members. I was extremely selfish. However, my mother did not once complain and never failed to remind me that all was not lost and to pray for strength. I was the apple of her eye but did not reciprocate her love. She has never missed my visit through my six years in prison.
After the engagement was called off, my mother was immediately there to offer words of soothing comfort. She was a pillar of strength and her support unwavering. She told me that all was not lost and I eventually will meet the right person. It broke her heart to see me in a world of pain and she often broke down with me during visits. The tears she has shed for me are immeasurable.
As I was so absorbed in my agony, I did not know that my mother’s old leg injury was acting up and she had difficulty walking. In spite of the pain, she tirelessly travelled all the way from Western Singapore - rain or shine - just to see her beloved son. Then, my siblings told me she has been putting off a crucial operation for the past three years because she was worried that no one would visit me.
A veil lifted and I was suddenly keenly aware of my mother’s selfless love for me. I was wrecked with guilt. These quiet demonstrations of love made me realise with overwhelming disappointment what an unfilially son I had been. She endured so much just for me. I begged for her forgiveness and pleaded with her to go for the operation assuring her that I would stay out of trouble and not to worry about me.
She went for the operation and was hospitalised for a month. Even though my mother could not read or write, she persuaded a visitor to write a short letter to me expressing her love and told me that she might not be able to make it for an upcoming open visit. I was a little disappointed, as I had planned to hug her and seek her forgiveness. However, I was more relieved to hear she was well on the road to recovery.
On the day of the open visit when the officers called out my name, I was anxious and wondered who had come. Was it my lovely mother - the lady of my life? The moment I saw my mother in a wheelchair, I felt an unbearable heaviness in my chest. She was telling my teachers and officers that she had her doctor to give her an early discharge just so she could come for the open visit. She told me that she was still in pain but she missed me dearly and wanted to see me. I broke down.
The unconditional love of my mother is as deep as the ocean. I always remind myself and my friends, that a mother’s love will never hurt us and we should not take this unconditional love for granted. Instead, we should reciprocate their love by being filial children. Life is fragile and we should not wait until they has passed on to regret. The best gift God has bestowed on me is my mother’s unconditional love. My mother is irreplaceable and her love: unbreakable, unconquerable and unending.