Time for Pa

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Cute lil’ stuffed toys from a shop window at the shopping mall where Pa and I met for lunch.

Met up with Pa for lunch yesterday. I haven’t done so in awhile.

If there’s one thing that keeps me alert to the passing of time, it’s this: that with each passing hour, day, month, year, the time I have left with my parents on Earth is dwindling.

I am glad that my parents are generally in good health. Compared to other people from their generation (even my parent-in-laws), they seem to be doing pretty well, actually.

Maybe it’s just my typical worrywart tendencies. I dread the day when I may be forced to see them deteriorate physically and edge towards death. That, for now, is a distant problem, not in any way threatening our family in the present. Yet, the possibilities often gnaw at my thoughts.

I guess the reason it bugs me is the fact that I don’t know. When it will happen. How it will happen. What it will do to me. How I will cope.

Ours is a close knit family. I am very certain it will be an even more profoundly difficult scenario than it is for the average family where valuing each other’s presence and involvement in each other’s lives is only secondary.

Even after marriage, I still feel the pull to want to stick close to my own family, to stay as involved as I had been before. I’ve adjusted much better now, but I am still affected somewhat whenever a day passes and I’ve not connected in some way with my parents or sister.

It’s like a strange little tug in my heart, a sentiment of feeling torn and wanting to be everywhere all at once. A longing to not miss anything on either side: in my own newfound home with Deric AND also in my own family’s where I used to dwell .

I often ask myself: is it because I don’t trust God enough that I allow myself to be so engulfed by such thoughts and emotions as these?

But then again, what else is to be expected of someone who stashes away every single bit of memorabilia in hopes of distilling the past into an easily accessible hideout to which I can return at any given moment’s notice?

I would store all good memories – lock, stock and barrel – in jars if only it were humanly possible.

Alas, the only thing I can do for now is to keep caring, to keep pushing my way through the meaningless busyness of life in order to squeeze in tender moments of quality time with each loved one before the sands of time run out on me.

Perhaps it will be me who disappears from their lives and not the other way around.  Who’s to say?

For now, I simply revel in the everyday chatter and banter I can have with Pa. Or Mum. Or even my sister, whom I sometimes cheekily call JoOooOo when communicating with her in the virtual world.

How is Deric as a husband, Pa will often ask me. And then we will talk about my job. His. What the rest are doing at home. Jo. Ke Pang. Zoe. Church.

And then I will breathe in deeply, as though I could inhale that precious moment into my heart where it would be safe and untouched forevermore, and tell him all.

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