The Bag Lady Stories – Cantik Pada Mama
I remember this bag so well!
In my earlier post, I was writing about Mama’s encounter with cancer. I remembered she was complaining that her left breast was sagging more than the right. I laughed so loud that day and gave her a hug saying “Ma…face it you’re getting old. Gravity is taking over” but she couldn’t shrug it off. This coming from a lady that just did a thorough medical check up a month before and was given a clean bill of health. The doctor, when addressing her concern on family history of cancer told her “You’re a very healthy 50-year old, chances are if you were to get any form of cancer; it would be when you’re dead”.
2 months later, we found ourselves sitting in the waiting room of the oncologist waiting impatiently for the results of her biopsy. The doctor was dumbfounded when he read the report. If he couldn’t believe what he was reading out loud; imagine how we felt! Carcinoma In Situ… breast. What the hell? This cannot be. There must be some mistake… were the thoughts that was running through our minds. Papa was already jumping ready to punch the doctor in his face. But all the while Mama kept calm. I remember vividly, she clenched onto her ….handbag so tightly I could see the bag changing shape! This was the handbag she had bought in Australia. She was never too brand conscious; just good taste.
Flashback. We were walking along St Kilda Road gazing over the arts and craft stalls all along the beach. Mama loved all these knick knacks. One time she bought 10 hand painted glass bottles back to Malaysia. I didn’t say she was practical; just good taste! Anyway, she saw this eclectic and somewhat fusion-designed bags by Spencer & Rutherford . Immediately she started to filter through her favourites. So this particular one caught her eye. I of course rolled my eyes and said “Eee…tak cantik” but she pretended not to listen and just said “Ni cantik pada Mama”.
On that day that she was diagnosed, I remember that bag. I remember insisting on carrying it for her when we walked out of the doctors room. She held on to that bag as though her life would end if I took it away. As I take out the bag today, I remember Mama and I remember that bag and the day she was diagnosed. Everytime I use this bag now, I tend to clench onto it just like Mama used too. When people compliment how unique the bag is, I remembered her saying “Ni cantik pada Mama”.