I am what I read.

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It was a wonderful moment, better than anything I had pictured when we met most of loved and familiar people unexpectedly…

Have a go, darling.
Mama's Message, 1995. Carole Stone. Reader's Digest May 1995. P.29-32.


Carole Stone is my long lost friend. It must be my fortune that brought her to me on a sunny day when I was searching for the second-handed Reader’s Digest at Jatujak Weekend Market. When I met her, Carole was already being “someone” working for the BBC as a producer of Woman’s Hour and a travel programme while I was still being nobody, busy with day dreams of teenager to pass the entrance examination and to be someone else but me.


Anyway, it was not her whom I really attached to but it was her mother and her words. I would have never known that her words were a secret source of my inspiration at a very young age until I met Carole once again in 2009 in my room. It was 15 full years that she was slept out of my mind but I have never forgotten the words of her mother saying that “Go for it, darling”.

I knew it was not for me but for Carole but unbelievably I had carried it away for so long and used it whenever I encountered a moment of challenge that almost took my breath away. Whenever I failed, I have heard a soft sound of her mom whispering at my ear that ‘Take life by the scruff of the neck. You may not enjoy all of it, but you’ll cope.” Though, at that time I was too young to understand what does it mean to cope? As I underlined this word and then gave a short explanation in handwriting that to deal successfully with different matter or situation.


I knew that her mother was a steady hand for Carole, unfailingly full of optimism. She was the one who told us that ‘If you miss one man or job, there’ll be another.’ It meaned a lot to those who are in need of hope. At the age of 35, I found it is still true. At a turning of the next chapter of my life, her words prove true that we need to be our own person and know we can stand along if we have to. I highlighted it in green color and gave a mark of it. When I found Carole, I just knew the source of my confidence. It's from her mother.


Not only the growth of my confidence but something about expectation. She said that don’t expect more from people than they can give. I am surprised that I highlighted this phase in pink. It must have a special meaning for me at that time.



She taught me that we can all make time for what we really want to do.


When running through pages, I also spotted other green highlights which said “do what you can within your limits.” and “we can all make time for what we really want to do.” with a little star shining on the page. It helps me understand myself quite a lot why do I have certain behavior and attitude. Her words made me feel just like I look into the crystal clear mirror and see myself how I am.


Carole told me that her mother was also being a steady hand for her brother who was suffering from paranoid schizophrenic. Her mother told her that “If my son had to suffer from schizophrenia, then I’m glad I was his mother and able to love him.” It’s so beautiful which will keep any heart warm of love and kindness.


She also provided total support to get Carole out of any situation. When Carole started her career as a copy typist of the BBC in the Southampton newsroom, her mother said that enjoy it even if you never do more than type, you’ll be in an atmosphere most people never get near. I have never been a copy typist but I have memorized her words in my mind and unbelievably it lasts forever. The memory showed itself in different difficult situations and reminded me that yes, at least I am in an atmosphere most people never get near!


When her son passed away, she dared to take the view of “Do what you can when they are there and then you must let them go.” I found myself also underlined this phase. By that time, I just lost my father. It might be difficult for a young girl to understand how to let go feelings but this doubt led me to a new way of Dharma and meditation to find out what Carole’s mother have said on how to let go things.


At 76, her health was failing. Carole wrote that her mother had to have a hysterectomy for what turned out to be a cancerous growth. A couple of months later, her leg became extremely painful and was saved from amputation only by another major operation. When reading the underlined sentence saying that “she knew her heart was weak and she was slowly grinding to a halt.” And Carole said that “So did I.”  I knew at that moment I also cried.


The last word that she left for us was planted deeply in my heart. She asked us to carry on the journey and take in each new experience. “Remember what we’ve shared will always be a part of you.” Carole said that Mama kindled in her a flame of courage and compassion and hope. I knew it’s not so true. Not only her to keep that flame alight, it’s also me, a young girl living thousands miles away from her who also followed what Mama taught us how to live.


Today, a young girl has completely gone. It is only a matured woman sitting silently reading her words again and again. A matured woman equipped with an interesting life experience that driven by a flame of courage and hope from a long lost friend and more importantly,…. her mother.

Thank you Carole.... Thank you a lot.

Source of my inspiration: Reader's Digest May 1995.

Montra Leoseng