Tomorrow is Mother’s Day.
I am lucky in that I still have both of my parents, and have a good relationship with both of them but it wasn’t always that way. We went for ten years without speaking. It was a very dark time in my life which I have touched on here but I was able to rebuild that bridge and mend the relationship with my parents and one of my sisters. The other sister is still reluctant to forge a relationship with me.
But, I’d like to tell you about my mother. I’ve already told you about her prowess in snake hunting (the snake seems to be gone for good) but she is also the Queen of the Monkeys.
Let me explain.
Years ago my father, mother and two sisters moved to Malaysia for several years for my father’s job. I was already grown and out of the house. Where they lived, there was a mountain surrounded by jungle with a road going up to the top. My mom would walk this road to the top of the mountain every day, and have tea and cake at a small restaurant there before walking back down.
My family was warned about the monkeys that lived in the jungle that would harass the people on the road occasionally. Their mantra was “Don’t look at the monkeys.” Direct eye contact was perceived as a threat and the monkeys would get extremely aggressive.
When walking my mother carried her “monkey stick” – a big walking stick. It seems she needed it to keep her safe.
One time my father decided to take this hike with her and noticed that the jungle suddenly went completely silent. Looking up into the trees, he could see hundreds of monkeys descending silently from the trees and lining up along the road. All in complete silence. To look at my mother. He said it was terrifying, and the monkeys just kept coming out of the jungle. Like she was their queen.
After, my mother said this happened to her each time she walked the road. No one else in my family, and no one else that walked the road ever had this experience, just my mom. The story has kind of taken on a life of it’s own in my family, and to this day my mother is afraid of monkeys.
Funny thing is, this stuff still happens to her. When K and I were recently visiting my family, we went to the zoo and ended up at an exhibit with two adolescent orangutans. They were half asleep and paying no attention to the people … until my mom walked up. They immediately came to the window and started pressing their hands and feet to the glass while looking directly at her. When she got a little freaked out and walked away, they went back to dozing as soon as they lost sight if her.
Tomorrow I’ll be wishing her a Happy Mother’s day and knowing how lucky I am that she is my mom.
Queen of the Monkeys, snake wrangler, and all around fabulous mom.