Day 4: Your parents.
These are my parents.
They met in Batu Gajah in the 80s. I can’t be sure what year. Got married in 1987. And had me in 1988. My mum was 25 at that time. My dad 31. I was born in Taiping, and stayed there for I think the first year of my life before we moved to Gurney Drive. In 1991, they had my brother, and that was my family.
I don’t have that many memories from before the age of 15. Really. I think it’s because nothing really big happened back then. I remember every Sunday, we would be up early, my dad would have his breakfast and then start doing his crossword puzzle. Me and my brother would wait for him to fall asleep in the middle of completing his crossword puzzle, and then we’d put on the tv to watch cartoons.
I remember my mum taking us swimming in the evenings, and buying us burgers after that for dinner. We didn’t eat out a lot back then, so burgers after swimming were fun. And every Sunday she would take us out and buy us an ice cream each as a treat. Such simple days. Where having ice-cream was the highlight of my day.
In mid 2006 when I was 17, my parents decided to get a divorce. My mum moved out and I stayed at home with my dad and brother. A couple of months after that, my dad moved to Thailand for a while to work there, so that left me and my brother taking care of each other. After that my dad moved back, and I went to stay with my mum. In mid 2007, my mum moved to Perth and got remarried. My dad got a girlfriend and in 2009 he moved away too. I remained in Butterworth (the times when I was not in KL).
Today, this is what my family looks like. Together but apart. I love both my mum and my dad. I have always loved them, no matter what. And I take it that they love us too. I see my dad once every couple of months. More often if we’re both free. And my mum comes back for a couple of weeks a year. I spend that time with her.
I don’t think any child of a divorce would feel like they ever did anything in life to deserve being put through such an ordeal. I don’t think it’s ever the child’s fault. But sometimes that’s just how things are. Life can be unfair. It is up to us to decide how to deal with it.
Sometimes I wish my family was the way it used to be. So that I would have a home to come back to and be able to experience the things many of you take for granted. Sitting down for dinner together. Being able to have a parent to run to and share things with. Having them around to take care of me when I feel like I can’t take care of myself. Sometimes I wish they had thought more about my brother and I, then about themselves.
But for the most part, I am happy for them. I am happy that they have their own lives, and they have found happiness for themselves again. They’re allowed to live their lives however they want to. In return, they allow me to do what I want in my life as well. I’m growing up anyways. I’ve got to be okay with the idea of not having them around to run to.
It will probably take me getting married to get them to agree to being in the same room again. But no matter how hard it is sometimes, at least they’re both healthy and happy, and still in some way a part of my life.