Family

Bitterness

Bitterness is a mixture of emotions. It’s one part anger, three parts regret. The anger is fed by the helplessness regret entails. I often feel regret for the things I cannot change, and thus it makes me feel helpless. That leads to rage, which is a self destructive cycle because there is no way to vent that anger, to direct it into an action that will take away the regret.

Channeling emotions from one state to another is not something I can do easily. It’ll spill over from one situation to another, but I can’t exactly channel the energy itself from a situation into another. I can’t turn that energy into something positive unless it’s closely related to the trigger of the emotion.

Which is why it’s just so much easier for me to bitch about how the Government is royally fucking us up without being able to do anything more than retweet.

I’m listening to rainy mood now. It’s calming for me. The noise of the rain with occasional thunder is soothing. It soothes my heart. Makes me remember of times spent in my grandmother’s house, sitting by the door, a cup of milo in my hands, looking outside. Reminds me of cool days with the wind blowing into the house. When coming out after the rain is like literally looking at the world through new eyes. Through a clean glass. Through a world made anew.

I miss the physical sensation of putting my head on my mama’s lap. Or even her shoulder. I miss her hand tapping my thigh to make a point. I miss her smile. I miss her leaning on my arm.

I miss mama.

[Family] Limiting food?

My 3-year old nephew on my mom’s side (whom I adore because he’s a tough and plucky kid) was hospitalised for lung infection recently. Apparently part of the reason he fell sick was because his mom limited his food intake. By limiting his food intake I don’t mean that she didn’t let him eat fast food and the like. It was more like she put him on a crash diet with her, as she didn’t want either one of them developing a tummy.

Background: My cousin sister apparently still has a flat tummy. Fine for you, but to not allow your kid to eat because HE developed a stomach? That’s cruel.

I find that quite disturbing. I can understand limiting food intake to make sure he doesn’t overeat, or that he doesn’t eat only junk food and the like, but really, at a traditional family sit down with rice, beancurd, steamed fish, fried kai lan with sweet and sour chicken? Traditional Chinese foods which don’t have much oil, fats or anything?

I mean, what the hell.

Saying that I am disturbed is a major understatement. At least it underscores what I will never do with my children. If my kids want to eat, let them eat. If they want veggies (when their mommy hates them XD) then they shall have it. If they want steamed chicken or fruits, then they’ll have it. And you’ll can be goddamned sure that if we’re going out to eat with the family, I’ll let them feed him whatever he wants; junk food and whatever he’s allergic to aside.

Blergh. At least my nephew’s recovered. I do feel sorry for her that she got quite a bit of scolding apparently from the whole family, but that’s mom dealing with her. Raising kids in Asia is rarely a solo effort. For once, I am glad this is so.

Context: Nephew is usually looked after by his grandma in the day but stays with my cousin brother’s family, aka my cousin sis’s in-laws.

I want my mama

Was driving home from work and was at the junction near my house when I thought to myself; ah, I want to see Mama today! I wanted to tell her about my new job, about the people I met, about the photobooks, and so much more.

Then I remembered, Mama’s no longer here.

It took a few seconds for that to sink it, and when it did, so did the sadness, like a blow to my face. Mama was gone. She’s no longer here. I parked my car quickly and rushed inside the house. No one was at home, not even my brother, for the first time, I can finally give myself over to the tears and grieve. My mama’s gone. Mama’s gone. Mama’s not here anymore.

I cannot remember a time when her presence was unimportant. I can’t remember a time when Mama was not around. I miss sitting next to her, my head on her shoulder, while she pouts on something.

I miss my mama. I want my mama. I want my mama.

Gone, not forgotten, never

When my time comes
Forget the wrong that I’ve done
Help me leave behind some
Reasons to be missed

And don’t resent me
And when you’re feeling empty
Keep me in your memory

Leave out all the rest
Leave out all the rest

– Leave out all the rest, by Linkin Park

Sometime in the fifth hour past noon, my grandmother passed away. She leaves behind nine children, various in-laws (and quite a few outlaws XD). numerous grandchildren and a fractured family. Well, not really, but we shall see what happens in the next few days.

If there is one thing I don’t regret, it’s spending time with my grandma. My grandmother was one of those fierce women who didn’t need feminism to blaze her own way; she was a strong, opinionated woman who disciplined her children and spoiled her grandchildren. She was also the most stubborn woman I know. My grandmother kept her family running while my grandfather was earning the bread. Frugal, she taught her children how to be independent and to do their own housework. She fixed things on her own rather than paying someone to do so. My grandmother also took fierce pride in her family; while none of us may be wildly rich, neither are any of us doing drugs or are we criminals.

Ever the fierce Tiger, my grandmother is also stubborn. This stubbornness has been passed down to quite a number of children and grandchildren. At the same time, she also instilled respect for our elders, and would not tolerate any disrespect from a younger child to an older one. My grandmother was also immensely practical and knew her offspring well; she could identify her children from a long way off and when she called for you, it was best to come running.

My grandmother took care of ten of her 18 grandchildren. Three were Muslim, yet she respected their beliefs, ensuring that their beliefs were not violated as she took care of them. She adored and doted on her grandchildren. Each one she knew by name, each one she called at least once. Each also had a nickname she gave.

My grandmother was also a great traveller. Before her stroke, she and my grandfather used to travel at least once a year. In their old age, they visited China, Rome, New Zealand, Australia, and the United States. They always brought souvenirs home but what most of us looked forward to was my grandmother’s cooking.

My grandmother was the family cook, no doubt. Every Christmas, she would make pineapple tarts that would put most commercial and home-baked cookies to shame. She also knew how to cook spaghetti bolognaise, phong teh, and various kinds of sambal. There are very few people who do not love my grandmother’s devil curry; hers was just the right kind of spiciness.

My grandmother has lived a full life. A few weeks before she passed away, she told one of my uncles that she had a dream of my grandfather standing outside the gate of the house she lived in. He refused to come in and did not answer when she asked him why didn’t he come in. A few days before she passed away, my grandmother thanked everyone who visited her and I think, asked forgiveness too. I think more than any other times before, she knew she was leaving us.

I don’t regret her passing, but I would be lying if I said that I did not miss her. We all do, and I’m glad for myself that at least I managed to spend time with Mama in her final hours and days. I have no regrets.

Rest in peace Mama. We love you.

Your granddaughter
Patricia