Peggy Neal shares the touching story of her unselfish mother who lovingly took care of Peggy's father as he slowly lost his sight and was subsequently diagnosed with liver cancer.
"I am writing to you today from Long Beach, California, USA to express my utmost gratification to God for a very giving, loving, selfless and positive mother. In addition to her selfless love for my sister and I, she is also an awesome wife to my father.
"I am 51 years of age and my mother is 79 years old. I have an older sister who is 56 years old. My parents were hardworking parents who came from very humble beginnings.
"My mother was the oldest daughter of 4 children. Her mother passed away when she was 10. Because of financial difficulty, my grandfather had to give away his younger 2 children for adoption. My mother had to quit school to help at home and also to help bring up her younger brother Edwin. As you can imagine, things didn't come easy to her. She needed to take the place of her mother at the age of 10 and had to use hand-me-downs and wear oversized clothes from her cousins.
"Fast forward 10 years, she decided to go to nursing school to make something of herself. She graduated and became a nurse and was fortunate enough to take care of a patient who eventually became her husband, my dad. They were both of little means but they had my sister and I at a young age and taught us the value of love, giving, unselfishness, honesty and the meaning of life.
"Nurse Ruby, my mother, was always available for anyone and everyone who needed her. She was always called upon for medical advice. She would drop everything in a heartbeat to help a friend or a stranger to accompany them to the doctor or hospital. The neighbours would call on her in the middle of the night for any medical help. If she saw anyone in need on the street, she would help.
"As a mother, she would wake up early in the morning to prepare breakfast, cook lunch for us kids so that we would have food when we got home from school and then leave for work at the hospital. When she came home from work, she would prepare dinner. She would then collapses from exhaustion and start all over again the next day. She was always cheery and positive and very willing to give of herself. Whenever she had extra cash, she would take my sister and I shopping and buy things for us but nothing for herself.
"The true test of my mother's character came when my father was diagnosed with Retinisis Pigmentosa, a degenerative hereditary eye disease. He slowly became blind but my mother stood by him through the years as the ever faithful and loyal wife. She waited on him hand and foot, and was always loving to him. As his sight got worse, my mother had to be his eyes and guided him like a seeing eye dog everywhere he went.
"My mother showed her undying sense of loyalty when my father was finally diagnosed with liver cancer. She went to the hospice every morning at 8am by taking the public bus, and went home at 10pm every night with the same transportation. She helped the nurses at the hospice change his diapers and was there emotionally and physically for him. Even though she appeared strong emotionally, when I visited my dad in Singapore the last 2 weeks before he passed away, I used to see her cry silently to herself when she thought no one was looking.
"I am telling you about the exemplary person, Ruby Song, who is my mother. She is now an active volunteer at the Toa Payoh Methodist Church, helping educate the children on the story of Christ and helping the poor. She is also a volunteer for the White Cane Club for the blind at the age of 79.
"By the life she has lead and continues to live, my mother has taught me that giving is better than receiving. I never understood that until I actually tried it and found that the immense feeling of gratitude from the recipient is worth more than any gift I can possibly receive. She taught me to trust in Jesus which I did not quite understand when I was younger, but I am so grateful now for my relationship with Christ because life has a ton more meaning now and nothing is too tough too handle if you have a 'friend in Jesus'.
"My faith in Jesus and prayer brought my husband back from a vegetative state at a nursing home to a picture of health today. Doctors still don't understand why my husband is still alive. My mother has made me a better person as I now search for how I can make a difference in this life. I recently participated in the charity for GUIDE DOGS FOR THE BLIND. This will be my lifetime pursuit to continue to provide and raise puppies to enhance the lives of the blind.
"My mother was recently diagnosed with cancer of the throat but as expected, she was positive through her treatments and left her life in God's hands. It has been 2 years now and she is living a healthy cancer-free life. I thank God everyday for a mother who has every reason to be bitter because of her upbringing, but chose to be a 'beautiful' person inside and out. Her caring, loving and unselfish ways have given me the confidence to be a successful and happy person, grateful for everything God has given me.
"My mother is Ruby Choo Lian Song.
"The photo of my mum and myself was taken at Caesars Palace, Las Vegas, USA Christmas time 2011."
Prizes are sponsored by Aramsa Spa and Concorde Hotel.
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