2016 a year of growing up

2016 has been a year of awakening. It seems to herald the next stage of my growing up. I’m dedicating this blog to you, Nadia (6) and Timothy (3) because I’ve witnessed illnesses, near deaths and 2 deaths happen in our family this year. And though I’m 38 this year, I realised I’ve hardly matured in my thinking. Please don’t even get me started about my 20s. I hope to write more often so you could understand papa and mama more as we grow older. That we are not any different from you as we seek to grow and find meaning in this life.

Ah Chor left us at 103 years old today. I have never had a family member whom I had lived with for so long, died on me. We knew it was coming but we are never prepared emotionally. The space where she used to sit, watching our every movement, the nagging, the shuffling of her chair she uses as a support, is gone, When she left, part of the love in the house seem to have left with her.

When she was around, she’s the noisiest in the NEIGHBOURHOOD since she would be nagging everyone from the top (mother-in-law) to the bottom (kids). Shouting at the kids not to jump off the sofa. She was constantly worried about papa. Your papa was her priority in her life. This is a difficult year for your papa. The people who left this year were the ones who loved him so much. Through this all, he remained strong and never caved into darkness. He maintained his cool and dignity. That is discipline and this form is rare. Discipline in controlling your thoughts, your words and your temper. You will soon grow to realise that it is so much easier to hit, to scream, shout and cave in to your demons. But that just make you normal, like everyone else. Your papa does none of that. He has never raised his voice at anyone. He only has smiles for you both even after a long hard day. This I credit to the immense love he received from the people around him.

There will be a phase when wedding cards appear in your mail for the nth time and the next when you would be attending many first birthdays. Then there’ll be a stage when people you love start leaving. But this is nature. So this morning, I thought hard about how it is like when it’s my turn. To know that soon this is the last day you will see faces, blue skies, green fields, feel the wind and light, love and laughter around you. As I thought hard about it, I realise that is all I want. Only the happy memories – when I first met your papa, our wedding day, our stint in France, when the babies were born, the smiles and voices of people you truly love and loved you. How difficult it must be to leave all that behind. At the end of it all, the only things you desperately want to remember and hang on to are the things that make you happy.

Papa was watching this last night. He knew it was coming… Somewhere in this, papa could find her…

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