The Milo Umbrella


My mom has dementia and is supposed to be forgetting.

I don’t have dementia (well, supposed not to have) and am supposed to be remembering.

But the unexpected can still happen…

We go for breakfast, roti prata, and sit al fresco, under tall trees. Umbrellas at the table protect us from the sun and falling leaves and birds. I like sitting outdoors for a leisurely breakfast.

We sit and order our breakfast. Mom looks around. She looks upwards, and gives a delighted little smile. What is it? I ask her.

The umbrella, it’s Milo, she says. Yes, umm, so it is.

It’s new, she adds.

I look up. The umbrella does look new and cleaner than the others around. But for the life of me, I can’t recall if it was there before. We last ate there about 3 weeks ago.

After breakfast, I go up to the counter to pay. I ask the lady there, Are the Milo umbrellas new?

She was pleased someone noticed. Yes, they are brand new!

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6 thoughts on “The Milo Umbrella”

  1. What a simple, sweet story. You really conveyed a beautiful feelting. I can feel the gentleness and warmth in the relationship. It makes me wonder if that is something that never gets lost.

    I’m curious, the food looks a bit like a thick masala dosa with some sambar. Is it? Or is it an omlet?

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    1. I generally set a routine, so mom is comfortable and relaxed. We often visit the same old places for weekend breakfast. Now that you mention it, it was routine when we were young and mom took us out for weekend breakfast too!

      Your food guess makes me wonder – have you been to this part of the world? It’s actually roti prata also known as roti canai – a dough based pancake. I ordered it with egg and onion, though one can simply have it plain. That’s curry on the side.

      If anyone would like to recreate the roti prata, this is a good website for the recipe and video on how to flip it:
      http://ieatishootipost.sg/2010/06/how-to-make-roti-prata-aka-roti-canai.html

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  2. Yes, I’ve been to Asia quite a bit over the years. I like parata, especially those stuffed with something tasty. I thought it looked a little too thick for a dosa, but it’s one of my favorite meals and looking at the picture made my mouth water 🙂

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