I attended my cousin's wedding dinner earlier. And tonight he showed all of us, unabashedly, what a great son is.
My cousin and his sister were brought up single handedly by his mother. I remembered the days when they lived in a one room flat, and my cousin never even had a PC to do school work on. My aunty struggled so hard to provide for the 2 kids and went through a lot of hardship. Yet my cousin was never bitter or resentful, always upbeat and positive. He made a promise to his mother to study hard and succeed in life so that he will be able to give her the best of everything.
How many young kids have the understanding to be able to see through the material lacks in their life to realise how hard their parents strive to provide for them?
Fast forward to 20 years later, he has kept every single letter of the promise he made as a child and more.
He has made it through Poly, signed on Air Force, served out his bond and awarded an Air Force scholarship to complete his degree, and graduated with a 2nd Upper class honours from NTU. Yes, he is 7 years older than the rest of his classmates, but even through the long route to get a degree he perservered.
He bought his mum and himself a new flat in Sembawang to stay in, furnished it with all the best and most comfortable household appliances money can buy. He does the housework and keeps the place spotlessly neat and clean. He kept his lifestyle clean and pure - no swearing, drinking, smoking - which is very difficult being in the armed forces! and is always respectful, helpful and cheerful.
Even on his wedding, he is doing his best to honour his mum. All the traditional rituals, he followed without a word of fuss even though he obviously doesn't believe in them. For the dinner, the menu was the most expensive possible in a 5 star hotel, and even the jewellery set he bought for his mum to give his wife was extravagant. And the traditional gift to the parents, was not just a bouquet of flowers, but a huge gold pendant. He does not do in a prideful or ostentatious way but it can be seen that everything is carefully selected to give his mother honour and glory, that she can show to the world that this is a son she can be proud of, that he has fulfilled his word to let her fulfil her dream. You can just see the pride shining through my aunty's eyes. And best of all, in front of the whole banquet, he sang the song "世上只有妈妈好" to express his gratitude. How many of us would do that I wonder? So many young couples I've heard of are ungrateful to their parents and argue with them just for the sake of having the wedding "their way". Yet, a wedding is not just about the couple, but also for the sake of honouring the parents who have brought them up. In the end, how the wedding is carried out, is such a small thing compared to the people who have brought us up isn't it?
This morning, Pst was preaching that a good son is one that knows the heart of his father and is willing to lay down his life and his own vision to fulfil that of his father. Although my cousin is not a Christian, it is so clear that he knows well the heart of his mother and is giving her love and glory and honour in the manner that will make her happiest. In order for her to be happy, he is willing to go to all lengths.
I really believe my cousin's wife is a very lucky woman. She is pampered and showered with gifts and love and appreciation, because my cousin learnt to sacrificially love and honour and cherish his mother; that same type of love is conferred upon his wife the day she became his girlfriend 3 years ago. Even in the absence of a father influence in his life he has turned out to be a strong man who knows how to love well; and I am quietly proud to have such a man for my cousin.
May you have a happy marriage and a great life ahead together, Guohao and Feizi.