PETALING JAYA, May 10 — Mother’s Day is today and for some children, this means spending quality time and reuniting with their mothers amid the Covid-19 crisis.
But the same cannot be said for 25-year-old Syabil Nazim Zainal Abidin, who cannot visit his mother in Perak due to the movement control order (MCO).
Syabil who is working in Shah Alam, had planned to visit his mother back in his hometown but had to cancel the plans due to the tight restrictions on interstate travel.
His mother, a Pantai Remis Health Clinic senior nurse, Faridah Mohamed Husin, has been working as a nurse for over 34 years.
She is retiring this year.
According to Syabil, Faridah had to work extra hours as there were some patients from the tabligh cluster who were living in that area.
Besides that, Faridah also received visits from other patients making their day busier than usual which resulted in her working on weekends.
“Of course I am worried about her, especially because of her age.”
“But I am proud to have a mother who is tough in spirit and responsible in performing her duties to the community,” Syabil said.
Syabil, who is the first son from his five siblings, had lost their father to a workplace accident in May 2011.
Ever since then, his mother has been taking care of him and his siblings until they finished their studies.
“I will always remember my mother’s advice to me; take care of your prayers, take care of yourself, take care of your family name and take care of the people close to you,” Syabil said.
Since he couldn’t be with his mother Syabil ordered a bouquet of flowers to surprise his mother.
Pantai Medical Hospital nurse, Ageelashni Chandira, who is based in Petaling Jaya, is eager to unite with her parents for Mother’s Day this year at their home in Setiawangsa.
“When the MCO was enforced, I was unable to return home as there were travel restrictions. I have not been with my parents since mid-March,” said Ageelashni, 28.
Her mother, a Bukit Aman Sub-Inspector, Kalaichelvi Letchumanathan, has been working round the clock handling paperwork duties and managing other younger police officers during the MCO.
“She has even neglected her meals and sleep as she needed to substitute for her other colleagues who were feeling unwell on certain days.
“Other times, she was saddled with a lot of daily reports — but still carried on her duties even though she had to put in a lot of hours,” said Ageelashni.
Despite having so much on her plate, the 28-year-old said that her mother is still able to display kindness amid these trying times.
“There were times where she has even cooked food and brought it to be shared with her other colleagues who were hungry or who did not have enough to eat.”
For Mother’s Day this year, Ageelashni plans to cook a sumptuous vegetarian meal for her mum and the family also plans to do a video call session with their other family members.
As to why this celebration was important, the nurse said that her mother had always been her source of encouragement and her strongest pillar of support in the family.
“There was a period of time where I was frustrated with myself as I was waiting for a long time to get employed - but mom was always encouraging me to not give up and to believe in myself.”
As for 17-year-old Siti Balqis Yusoff from Kuantan, Pahang, the Covid-19 pandemic has certainly affected her family, especially her mother.
Her mother, a Tengku Ampuan Afzan Hospital pharmacist, Sahimi Mohamed, has to sacrifice her family’s quality time as she has to work and sometimes even during the weekend.
According to Siti, although her mother would still come home at 5pm every evening but because of her duties, she often spends most of her nights in front of her laptop.
“It is a bit sad for us because mum cannot spend much time with us anymore during the evening.”
“She is responsible for acquiring Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for frontliners, so she had to deal with the people who are distributing it.”
“Sometimes, she would get stressed out because there’s not enough PPE’s for frontliners,” Siti said.
Being exposed to the risk of getting infected almost every day, Siti also said that her mother had to limit herself from family activities together such as performing congregational prayers.
This is because she was worried that she could infect her whole family due to her exposure at the hospital.
Even though this year Mother’s Day celebration would be slightly different from previous years, Siti and her siblings are still committed to make it a special one by baking a cake to celebrate their mother.
“Honestly, I do feel proud of her because my mom is like a hero to this country. She’s willing to sacrifice her time to help all Malaysians and to me, even though we don’t get to spend much time together lately, I know it is worth it,” she said.