Continuing my wife’s writings about her parents:
My Mother by Thiphawan Suphannaphoowong Gault-Williams
My mom was born in Udon Thani province, northeast Thailand. She is a hard worker and skinny. She is also helpful and a lovely mother.
My mom is a hard worker. For example, she was born in a farm family. She worked at a rice farm and grew rice one time a year. The way she worked was to stay outside in the sun or rain to work no matter what kind of weather, she still kept working from morning until around 5-6 p.m. to help my father. It took her around 3-4 weeks each time to finish planting. Also she had to take care of the farm for four months until the rice was golden ready to cut. She also grew vegetables and fruit for our family. She grew melons, cucumbers, long beans, cabbage, mangoes, bananas, and coconut on our land. That's why she is so skinny, because she is a hard worker. We always had good food.
She is very helpful. For example, she helped me to take care of my daughter from the time my daughter was born until she was fifteen years old. When I gave birth to my daughter I was twenty years old and I had to work to support my family. My mom had to take care of my daughter while I worked in Bangkok. It was far from my hometown. I would see my daughter only one time a year for one or two days each time. Everything depended on my mom to take care of my daughter for me.
My mom was a very lovely mother. For example, she cares about her kids.She took care of me, my sister, and my brothers. I think she loves everyone of us the same. Sometimes my brother and I did something wrong like not listen to her when she told us to not go away from the house, but we sometimes did go. When she came back from the farm she had to look around for us. She was worried about where we were. She still did not get mad at us.
Last year I saw my mom. She was old. She was seventy-five years old [now 81 and in full dementia] and not so healthy. She had high blood pressure and back pain. It is very painful for her. I hope she will be with my family until I can go back to Thailand and stay to take care of her back, the same as when she took care of me when I was young.
I love her so much.
(When Thip and I first met and I first met her parents, 1999)
[note from Malcolm: Thip did go back to look after her mother and that is how we came about to be here, now]