A Mother’s Day Story of Courage and Faith

27 July 1970 was a regular Monday with the usual badminton groups playing their sets at the Kajang Town Hall Badminton Court. Benjamin Masilamany, a passionate badminton player who was also at the time chairman of HFK Parish Council and president of the St Vincent de Paul, suddenly collapsed on the court while playing never to wake up again.  He was 37 at the time.  

This unimaginable tragedy was hard for the young family he left behind and the journey forward was difficult to fathom. The tragic incident left 34-year-old Mrs Benjamin as she is affectionately referred to, alone to raise her four young children who ranged in age from 1 to 8. She also had her mother-in-law to care for, her sister-in-law, two of Mr. Benjamin’s nieces, and his nephew who continued to live with her in a rented home. Life was tough needless to say.

There was no room to moan or spiral downward. Her story of courage and deep faith would begin on that very day. The devoted Convent Kajang School teacher was determined to provide the best possible future for her family. Life changed instantaneously. From learning to drive to making brave decisions that included purchasing a home, she looked after the many necessities on the home front while never letting her children feel limited or lacking. Without dwelling on her loss or on her needs, this lady of grit spent years in devoted service to the HFK parish community with involvement as a Catechism teacher, Proclaimer, member of the Legion of Mary, Zone Leader, Communion Minister and member of the Liturgical ministry.

Many who know Mrs. Benjamin would also remember her as the elegant sari-clad coordinator for all the parish Eucharistic processions. She would attend to every last detail, including the selection of flower girls, and their attire, and meticulously plan how baskets of flower petals would be filled and how flowers would be tossed with respectful precision as the procession moved along. Reminding those involved in the solemnity of the liturgy of the reverence that should be upheld.

Mrs. Benjamin only embraced her Christian faith after being married, but it was evident from how she lived and raised her family that she had a steadfast conviction in God's faithfulness. She always maintained a posture of unwavering integrity and grace. 

53 years have passed since that tragic day when she lost her husband, and despite her ageing frailties, the Lord remains her guide and source of strength. At 87 years of age, Mrs. Benjamin lives in Happy Garden cared for by her loving children – Gerry, Tina, Jude and Bernard Benjamin.

We awaken this Mother’s Day to celebrate all mothers who live lives filled with challenges and struggles but rise each day from broken pieces to find a way forward. We are so blessed to have mothers who have radiated tremendous courage and faith. We give God the glory and honour for them!

I am able to do all things through Christ who strengthens me

Philippians 4:13