It has been three months since my dad's death as a result of cancer. Things have been pretty quiet here for mom, and for me. I'm into my 2nd week of vacation back in my hometown. Dad would normally pick me up at the bus station, but this time around, I had to drop off somewhere and drive myself home.
So it's only me and my mom at home. I don't know how to describe the feeling that I have - the silence, the emptiness haunt us. Mom tries her best to cope with her loss. She's pot around in the garden, repair stuff with a hammer, and everything else on her own. I did offer my help, but only because I care and I want to make sure she's alright for the 3 weeks I'm here. However, my kind thoughts were met with anger.
"You don't need to help me! I'm not that helpless, you know."
It can be frustrating for me but I let her be, for I understood the reason for that kind of response. I've decided to let her do whatever she wants, but under my watchful eyes. If I had to go out and leave her alone, I'd make sure I told her and lock the door and main gate. My neighbourhood is not as safe as it used to be. There's daylight robbery, literally. And I pray that she wouldn't get into a domestic accident when I'm not around.
I have been concerned that if I'm back in Singapore, mom would be all alone again. She needed some kind of entertainment, or something to keep her occupied even if it's only for an hour or so especially at night, when the silence affects her most. Out of kindness, I bought her a Samsung Galaxy Tab 3, the 7-inch variation. Though it costs me a bomb @ RM999 (approx. US$300), I bought it without much thought - thank goodness for the 6-month interest free installment plan; it would do her good. She could then keep in touch with her sisters, children and grandchildren via the various social networking applications especially Whatsapp and Skype. She often complained that she didn't have the chance to see her grandchildren physically, so why not let her "speak" virtually as an alternative? With that in mind, I parted with my hard-earned cash. I also spent additional money to subscribe to a local broadband so that she's able to use WiFi to get connected. This also meant buying a portable 3G Router to connect the broadband to the tablet.
|The Galaxy Tab 3, and the USB modem|
|The wireless 3G Mobile WiFi|
So I brought the tablet home, told mom about it excitedly. Her response was very cold. I even got a good scolding for wasting my money. She never liked technology, which she blames for causing eye problems. True in a way, but we have to keep up with the times. After some persuasion (and lots of patience), she agreed to try. Now, she could turn on the device on her own and use Whatsapp to chat with my sister and her 12-year-old daughter in the capital city. That's an improvement I thought.
I hope things would be better. Every one of us has to live with this change. We cannot turn back the clock, but move forward.