The lucky one

This article My Husband Thinks He’s The Lucky One. He’s Clearly Oblivious, And I’m Grateful For That. had me almost sobbing silly because of how close to home it hit. 

Hubs and I recently had an impromptu heart-to-heart talk which helped me out of my doubts and reassured me of so many things I feared was slowly disappearing from our marriage. 

My recent depression has diminished almost all of my self-esteem and confidence. With these missing parts of my life, I have been doubtful, distrusting, and horribly terrified of the ‘things’ around us that could rob us off our blissful married life. 

Going through this article, I discovered all the similarities I have with this woman whose husband also cherishes her like mine does me. I’m going to use her paragraphs as my guide as I don’t think I can write this right off my head, given how emotional I can be about this. Read at your time and pace. Or don’t read at all. I usually write more for myself than anyone else. 

I cursed under my breath, not for tripping over his shoes but the strap of his humungous bag placed at the end of our bed. I am kept awake by his snoring, not because I find it annoying but I am scared to hell that he has sleep apnea. He hardly calls me when he is travelling, causing me to worry so much I can’t sleep with the lights off. Most of the time, he doesn’t hear it when the baby cries at night. 

At dinner, I watch him eat and recall that when we were dating, he never pretended to be prim and proper to impress me. He was very transparent with me even when he was supposed to be charming.

Sometimes, when a bickering match turns into an actual arguing, and I know I’m right, when I know he’s the one being unreasonable, not me, I imagine what it would be like to be alone. And I shudder… because I cannot imagine what life would be like without him. Like this Kirsten Mae, I cannot imagine a life in which I would not have to consider my husband or have him as a partner to come to any decisions, even if it has nothing to do with him. 

Have I wondered if I might have been better suited for a different type of man – an ex-boyfriend, maybe, or some guy I just met? Yes. I have wondered. But when I did, I was more convinced that despite the tough and rough times my husband and I have with each other, I’d rather have them with him than any other man. I think we suit each other ridiculously well. 

Just like Kirsten, I would also catch my husband staring at me at times. And when I ask him (in irritation) why he is looking at me, he too, would say, “You’re beautiful.” I too, would shrug and pretend it doesn’t feel good to hear him say it. 

I would glower at my reflection in the mirror and curse at how horrible I look, especially with the ruffles on the skin of my overused tummy and everything else that isn’t adequate… And he would kiss those areas and tell me he loves them because they are perfect. 

My Whatsapp profile pic says, “I’m basically a girl with the personality of a dude.” It’s true. I can’t stand shopping. I dig my teeth after a meal. I wear t-shirts, shorts, and my trusty Converse everywhere I go. I don’t put on make-up. I don’t carry a girly handbag. I fart and belch whenever I feel like it. I hate bouquets. I do my own plumbing and fixing around the house. I sit like an Ah Pek at the kopitiam (Asian old man at a coffee shop). 

Still, my husband comments on my body a lot and tells me it’s perfect. He would ask the kids if they had a gorgeous mummy and flash a smug smile when they reply ‘Yes’ in a chorus. He loves my cooking (even though I rarely cook these days). He supports me in everything I do and today, he told me he liked the latest article I wrote and that it’s going to speak powerfully [to the people who read it].

“There are husbands who pick at their wives, who suggest they could stand to lose a few pounds or put on a little makeup or keep the house picked up better. Not mine. Wholly and unconditionally accepting of my entire being, everything about me, everything I do, he can’t stay mad for more than a few minutes. I don’t think he even knows how to hold a grudge.” This entire paragraph written by Kirsten, word for word, is as true for me as it is for her. 

I could find someone who doesn’t leave his things all over the place or his half-drank coffee cup on the breakfast table. I could find someone who would call every night when he is away travelling and not make me worry myself about his safety. I could probably find someone who doesn’t snore or sleep like the dead when the baby is crying her lungs out.

But I could search all over the world till the end of my life and never find someone as capable of loving me so unconditionally as my husband does. Or maybe I could, but it wouldn’t be me they would love. I am not an easy person to love. I am very particular in so many ways and get irritated over the slightest things that do not go my way. But he loves me anyway. 

My husband told me during that talk that there are things he doesn’t like about me and there are things I don’t like about him which we both would tolerate to keep our relationship going. But he had imagined that if it were somebody else, he would probably have to go through so much more to tolerate the things he wouldn’t like about that person 20 – 30 times. With me, it’s all very minor. He tells me he is lucky to have me. 

However, he’s got it the other way around. He could have loved anyone this much – someone more worthy, more appreciative, more graceful, smarter, and does not have the personality of a dude. But for some reason, he chose me, and continues to choose me every day. As if, to him, loving me comes as naturally as breathing. 

He is not the lucky one. I am.

*Originally posted on my Facebook page on 8 May 2017.


Grateful thoughts on my 18th Mother’s Day

For years, I haven’t been able to properly celebrate Mother’s Day. Even after I’ve had so many children with my husband. Deep down, it will always seem incomplete because the reason for the first time I became a mother is never here with me on this supposedly very special day. 

I remember how I celebrated my very first Mother’s Day – so many, many, many years ago – confined to bed because of a pregnancy complication. Three weeks later, I was rushed to the hospital with excessive bleeding due to placenta previa. I was only in my 28th week. 

As I was lying there in the maternity ward (they didn’t think I would be delivering any time soon), the entire hospital cot soaked in red, I was more concerned for the life of the baby than anything else. That, and the fact that I had promised this bundle of joy to a sweet couple who had been waiting to have a child for ten years. 

By some miracle, the baby and I survived. A C-section was carried out – following only a nod of my head as consent before they pushed me into the OT – to save both our lives.

Not a day has gone by when I do not think of this baby, now almost a young adult, whom I had to give up because I was too young to provide all his needs. 
I am deeply grieved that I couldn’t nurse him to make up for the ten more weeks he was supposed to stay in my womb for his growth. They told me I shouldn’t form a bond with him. 

I am deeply grieved that I couldn’t hold him so he could be comforted by the familiar sound of my heartbeat, which he had been listening to for the past 28 weeks. But instead, he was left to cry alone in the strange and frightening incubator for a month, again, because of that bond they were afraid I would have with him before he was given to his adoptive parents. 

I am deeply grieved that I was not able to watch him take his first step, say his first word, and make his first friends. 
But I am thankful that I was able to bless that couple with the very thing that they had yearned to have for such a long time, to complete their family. When I first met them, I knew they would be able to give him the life that I couldn’t even give to myself. 

This Mother’s Day, I am especially grateful for the man with whom I’ve been blessed with eight beautiful children (and four who will always be in our memories even though they never made it). I couldn’t ask for a more loving and caring husband who is just as loving and caring to our children. This Mother’s Day is dedicate to him for his acceptance of my past, for being my pillar of strength every day, and for being my best friend and partner in this parenting business. Without him, I would never have found the joy of motherhood after all that had happened to me years before I met him. 

And to all my children, including P, it is a privilege, a blessing, and an honour to have you in my life. I thank God for choosing me for that role of being your mother.

*Originally posted on my Facebook page on 14 May 2017.