If I Were a Time-Traveller

I've given some thought about this and there isn't a part in my life I'd like to return to. There are regrets and mistakes but none I'd like to change because they made me who I am today. I am more than pleased with the woman I had become and the life I've taken charge of. 

No one would want to lose a loved one and I wished my mother was here with us now, finding pleasure in becoming nana. Having said that, I wouldn't go back in time to alter the path that was laid for her. What I want from this time travelling privilege is, to watch her life on the sideline.

My mother was a charming young lady. I recall flipping through those photo albums of hers and go, "Wow my mommy is beautiful!" I was proud to be her little girl. I never told her that, or maybe I did but I didn't say it enough. She would pose like a model in her two-piece swimsuit at the beach, go fishing out at sea in a bum boat with fashionable shades and gosh she passed all tests and was on her way to becoming an SQ girl! That's a big thing for a woman in the 1960s. From the photographs, I gathered she was an attractive and confident young woman. She led a carefree and exciting life, working very hard to live her dreams to travel. She was a globetrotter and her love for photography left behind many still memories of her life. They are mine now, for me to soak in and create my own stories of my late mother. 

My heart aches as I write, reminiscing the past we once shared. I'd love to watch her childhood, how the lost of her father as a child had affected her, the grueling hardship the family had to shoulder with grandma holding the fort for 6 children, that Bukit Ho Swee fire that tore the whole kampong down, her being the teacher's pet year after year and clinching the title of head prefect, how she pretended to be studying when she was actually reading a love novel behind that science textbook and the disco fever nights when she came home after curfew and was locked out of the home. These are snippets of stories she told me about her life and the many men that chased her at her feet including a Filipino heir to wealth and status. 

She shared that she had lived a life so good, she'd never thought she'll ever be sad. But what's life without sorrow? 

My mother surpassed me on every level. She was bolder, more confident, a better salesperson, extremely charismatic and a head-turner. Well, it's not like she doesn't have her flaws. Being the only daughter amongst 5 sons, she was pampered. I'd love to watch how she bought her way out of household chores and made every brother bend their backs to accommodate her willfulness. I heard from my uncle that this mother of mine will bribe the younger ones with money to take over her job of dish-washing. She was very resourceful and they wondered where she got the money from but she did. I think I vaguely recall she would just bat her eyelids to some old folks that run the hawker stall and they would drop her a shilling. Street smart but not so smart when handling her husband and daughter's emotions. Oh there. It must be made known that we are the culprits to her constant frustrations. Yikes!

She must be bursting with love when she found out about me. A girl no less for her to play dress up with. Mommy was a fashion designer and I naturally became her model. She photographed me and taught me how to pose. Brought me along to all the fashion shows she held over high teas at Apollo Hotel. I was a shy one. I didn't like it when she made me put on a bikini or sent me for modeling classes to strut the runway. I think she was making me a mini-Gloria. Her name is Gloria. 

I wonder what inspired her to choose Gloria as her English name. Wish I was there to watch her as she pen down all the names she had shortlisted and finally choosing this one. 

Can you tell how vivacious a woman she was? Now as I become a mother and I reflect on the many decisions she had made, I can fully comprehend every single one. Even those I had adamantly disagreed. It was all out of love from a mother to her child. I want to watch her cry silently when I infuriated her in my teenage years. I wished I had known so that I can be ever so grateful to the mother I missed. 

All our photo albums are stowed away in the warehouse. I cannot wait to take them out and share them with my children. I wish I had them now to share my mother's life story with you too. 

This post is part of the “If I were a Time Traveller” blog train hosted by MadPsychMum. Click on the button to time travel with 20 other moms and find out where are our time travel hot spots!

Next on the blog is Shermeen, a full time working mom to a boisterous 3-year old boy, loves how life is treating her these days. However, she occasionally daydreams and wonders how life would have been with all the “what-ifs”. Join Shermeen on her blog at www.meeningfully.com as she hops into the time-machine and goes back into time.

A stay at home mum, blogging to widen her social life. We want to echo the sound of love through our lives to inspire other families alike.


  1. Thanks for sharing your touching memory of your mother. She sounds like a very incredible person indeed, it's so sad that she is no longer with us. Such a lovely photo of you and your mom! =)

    1. Thank you Madeline for putting this blog train up!


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