I‘m feeling a little sentimental today. Or maybe it’s the pre-exam stress.
My calendar tells me it’s Brothers and Sisters Day. I think about a big bully I once knew who has grown into a fine, young man who is about to embark on another new journey with someone he loves. It wasn’t too long ago that he told me that he is now a part of God’s family too. I now have a big brother by blood, and by spirit. Someone mentioned in church yesterday, that when you see a loved one take the leap, you smile a different kind of smile – you smile with your heart. I could not agree more.
A few days ago, he proposed to the woman he loves, all 33,000 feet above sea level. While I joked that it was his tactic to diminish all chances of her saying no, I also knew this is exactly what my brother would do. He’s the kind of guy who doesn’t settle for average. He breaks barriers, rules, protocols, and sometimes hearts, to paint a bigger picture. It is difficult to read his good intentions sometimes, but I would vouch for him with my life. He taught me that to be extraordinary, you have to endure everything the society throws at you for being different. And no matter how far you’ve gone, there’s always home with family.
Ko, I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again. You’re my superhero. Your little sis still has a long way to go, and she’s sometimes scared of the journey ahead. But each time she remembers you, she becomes a little braver.
Mom and dad surprised me with an email today. Normally I get forwarded stuff of how not to be conned by scams and the benefits of eating bananas, but today they sent me a piece from a book. The long email entitled “Psalm 103:19” ended with “We are learning to trust God more and more each day and we hope you too have complete trust in Him. Have a good exam week.” Yesterday, I wrote my parents’ names on a paper starfish and told Abba Father to look after them, to take them under His loving arms. Abba Father is good.
Being the youngest and least expressive as I grow up, I sometimes wonder if they know how much I love them. I think they know, and I think they also wish that I express it more often. I’m not the easiest child to parent, I admit. My mind has its own way of perceiving things around me, and my thoughts are often random and mostly kept to myself. Not the ordinary daughter, I dislike dresses and girly things, and I couldn’t care less about what others think about me. My parents, on the other hand, get hurt on my behalf when the world is sometimes cruel on their only daughter. While they want to protect me from the world, at times I would like to protect them from it too.
Mom, Dad, I know sometimes we don’t see eye-to-eye about certain things. I’m sorry when that happens, and each time that occurs I feel a little void inside, uneasy and wished that I could make things easier for us all. I tend to choose difficult, less taken routes most of the time and I know it sometimes breaks your hearts. I don’t know how else to express myself, except to continue my journey with all the values and principals you have so affectionately engraved in me, and do my best in the things I’ve chosen to venture in. And by God’s grace, I’ll make it through and put a smile on your faces at the end of my journey. I love you both, just remember that. I’m sorry I won’t be able to come home for Mother’s Day this coming weekend, but I’m coming home soon. No matter where I’ve gone to, I promise I’ll always come home.
Then a letter popped up in my mailbox. My uncle wrote to me, and included a photo of when I was 9, and all the cousins were singing on Christmas. We don’t keep in touch much, my uncle and I, although we were once very close when I was much younger. He’s undergoing chemo treatment at the moment, and probably feeling sentimental about his nieces and nephews, he sent me a letter – something I’ve not received for a very long time.
I could hear my heart cry as I read his note to me, and as I glanced at the old photo, I wondered what kind of a person I have become since. Indeed, life has its ways of shaping a person – it’s never goes all out to get you, but it does change the way you think, feel and act over time. But I know one thing has not changed since the day that photo was taken. I loved to write, and I still love writing. It was the very person who sent me this letter that inspired me once upon a time ago. Today, he did it again.
Ah Koo, you forget, this niece of yours is just as sentimental as you are. Thank you for being such a great uncle over the years, and thank you, for reaching out to me again, even though I should be the more technology-savvy one to keep in touch with you. I still point your column to my friends and say “My uncle wrote this.” This niece is always proud of her Ah Koo, and silently hopes that he’s proud of her too. I used to say this a lot when I was little, and I’m learning to use it more often now. I love you, Ah Koo, and I wish you well in your treatment. You still have plenty of stories to write. I miss you.
I should get back to my studies, I should.