Love that lasts a Lifetime
October 2, 2010
THE one remarkable relationship I have personally observed is the one between my father and mother. Theirs was certainly not love at first sight. Nor were looks the main factor in their mutual attraction. Rather, it was personality and intellectual compatibility.
They are not only lovers, they are also best friends. There has never been any calculation about how much each had invested in the relationship. Theirs is an unconditional love.
Before my mother suffered her first stroke in 2003, she lived her life around my father, taking care of his every need. The stroke and the resultant disability made my mother quite frail.
He also took care of her health, strongly urging her to swim daily for exercise, and supervised her complicated regime of medication. He would also measure her blood pressure several times a day, till I got in touch with Dr Ting Choon Ming who had invented a blood pressure measuring equipment that is worn like a watch. Next day, when Dr Ting came to take the watch back to analyse the recorded blood pressure, my mother said to him: ‘I prefer to have my husband measure my blood pressure.’
After my mother’s second stroke in 2008, she became bed-bound and could no longer accompany my father on his travels overseas or to social functions here. Every night after returning home from work, my father now spends about two hours telling my mother about his day and reading aloud her favourite poems to her.
The poetry books are rather thick and heavy, so he uses a heavy-duty music stand to place the books. One night, he was so sleepy, he fell asleep while reading to my mother, slumped forward and hit his face against the music stand. Since the music stand was made of metal, he suffered abrasions on his face. He cursed himself for his carelessness but still carries on reading aloud to my mother every night.
Love at first sight is romantic but may not hold a candle to love that lasts a lifetime & is for better or for worse.
Mrs Lee, may your soul rest in peace.