Monday, November 29, 2010

No Thanksgiving?

words of appreciation
a toast to each other

The day (November 25th, 2010) came and went like any other day for me. Then I read about it in several blogs and wondered why we don't celebrate Thanksgiving in Malaysia. So I looked up how it originated and then only it all started to come back... somethin' somethin' about pilgrims going somewhere somewhere and having it really rough for a long time. Then, harvesting their first crop and celebrating by being thankful. Oh. Now I remember. No wonder we don't celebrate it in Malaysia. heh heh.

Such a shame, though. We should all have a Thanksgiving Day. Ok, now I'm gonna have all those uppity people tellin' me how we should be thankful everyday and blah blah...

My point is that just as Valentine's Day is specially observed to remember loved ones, and birthdays to remember that special person, I think a Thanksgiving Day would be just great.

Well, I decided I'd have my own, personal thanksgiving. And the person I needed to be most thankful for was.....can you guess? oooooooo...
. wait...
. hold your heart...
my husband, Paul (told you to hold your heart).

ou didn't have to say, "WHAT?!" that loud.

Yeah. Most of you will remember the many times I've complained about him. Nuff said.

I was determined to find reasons to be thankful for him. And lo and behold, I actually came up with these!! (and everybody say, WOO HOOOOOO!!!! ok, you didn't have to say it that loud either)

> my husband has been faithful to me for 26 years. There are husbands out there who are
unfaithful to their wives (oh, you already knew that?)
> he puts up with my pernicketiness (cos I like that word. and cos I have to throw in a
five-syllable word every now and then so that I sound more intelligent)
> he works hard. Some husbands have no qualms about their wives working two jobs while they
'hang around' waiting for the ideal job
> he nearly never falls ill (but when he does....never mind)

have you seen a happier patient?

> he is often cheerful (check out his brilliant smile)

> he has chosen to commute to work on a Hardly Davidson all our married life, rather than
choosing the comfort of a car. His reason? It beats the jam. Geez. I donno how he does that.
Especially on rainy days.
> he gets along well with just about anybody, inlaws, outlaws, coleslaws, SantaClaus - you get
the picture
> he values friendships, even with strange people (heh heh. love you, Tony-in-Kuching!)

> he is rather noisy. Quiet people make me nervous - like, still waters run deep, y'know?
> he cries at sad movies. And I break out in a guffaw when he does (cos I'm evil like that). Go on, invite him to watch "Hachiko" with you...
> he has actually sung in his sleep (ok....once. but considering that most days he snores, I'll take
once, man)
> he'll put on whatever I tell ask him to. And by that, I mean outfits to wear (whatEVER
were you thinking?)
> my husband thinks I'm creative, witty, multi-talented and intelligent
> he does not drink, does not smoke, does not do drugs

> he does the driving most of the time, even though I can
> he takes out the garbage every almost every day
> he loves to wash the dishes and clear the sink
> he makes sure we have bottled water to drink all the time

> he gives me a massage when I tell ask him to. Grumpily. Cheerfully.

> my husband still loves me even though I can be downright prickly and give him a hard time.

So, yah. I'm thankful for my husband.

And he's giving me the thumbs up.

Nuff? Ok, I'm done. Now you can mob him for autographs.

yah, that's the guy! go paparazzi!

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Sunday, November 14, 2010

Straight from my Heart

My Dad passed away two weeks ago. He was 91.

(I had written a blog post about my Dad on May 29th this year - "My Dad makes me wanna jump off roofs". Another related one was on Feb 13th - "Maybe that's why I'm like this"

You can read back if you're interested. No, you really should read back. I can be quite funny sometimes)

My Dad was friend-to-all-enemy-to-none. Our present Chief Minister (Dato' Khalid Ibrahim) used to live next door to my parents many, many years ago. His now-grown up daughters visited Dad when he was hospitalized in the latter weeks of his life. His wife came to the house during the wake. The doctor at the clinic nearby, many neighbours and even the barber down the road from where Dad lived (who had made a few house calls to give Dad a haircut) sent condolences. One of the staff who worked under him (bear in mind Dad had been retired for almost THIRTY FIVE years!) also turned up. This staff was 77! Dad had outlived most of his other colleagues.

My Dad in his office (Survey Department)

My Dad married my Mum in an arranged-marriage. He was about 30 and Mum, 16. That's 14 years difference!

There was frequent banter between them.

Dad: All the girls in church are looking at me. That's cos I look like Gregory Peck!
Mum: More like Gregory's Back lah.

At other times:

Dad: Such a handsome man like me - like Shashi Kapoor *
Mum: Hah! more like "chenambe kapur" (Tamil word for whitewash)

*a famous Hindustani actor

But dad really was handsome.

Way back in those days, the father is the bread-winner, the mother full-time housewife. Which meant raising the children was very much left to mum (and there are six of us).

Dad and Mum with their six children. That's me right in front, on the right!

Mum was often the disciplinarian, so rebuking was usually by her. I remember one morning I was unwilling to put the laundry out to dry, choosing instead to dilly-dally and then grumble that I had to, after Mum had ticked me off. That came with a warning that Dad was gonna hear about it. And that evening he did hear of it. And I got it good. With a broom handle.

Yah, that one.

On my bum-bum.

Boy, because Dad rarely ever spanked any of us, that was painful, and I'm not talking physically only. It went straight to the heart. It only took one word from my Mum, and Dad would be behind her to reinforce. And the impression it left on me was how united my parents were. It only served to make me feel even more secure.

My Dad was always the life of our family parties.

He loved singing ridiculous songs and his younger brothers would back him up...until one by one each was singing fill-in-the-forgotten lines as the years went by. I don't know which was funnier. The silly songs or the muffled-words-to-replace-forgotten-parts songs! And sometimes it got worse when an uncle decided to do some dance steps, too! G-o-o-d h-e-a-v-e-n-s.

He often played Christmas songs any time of the year. At his wake, someone had played really slowwww hymns and an aunt (his sister) remarked, "your dad would have said, Change the CD!"
Which was true. He loved Boney M's "By the Rivers of Babylon"!!

The other day, my Mum wore a really outdated (it looked a good 50 years old) saree to a family gathering. That took me by surprise as, over the years she has been giving away many of her sarees and you'd have thought this one would have been, too. When I queried about it, my eldest sister said "sentimental value! - Dad gave her that saree..."

How sweet is that?

I did not feel there was anything to grieve over at his funeral, or even now. There really is only rejoicing cos I know he is not having to suffer anymore. And he has lived a full life. And he was loved and respected by many. And I know where he is.

My Dad was always punctual. And I think that's why I am, too. In fact, he was often very early for any function. If he had come to pick me up from school, I could see him from my classroom, sometimes a whole period before school ended! It always made me feel assured and protected that I could count on my Dad being there if I was going to meet him.

Yesterday I was anxious about going to a gig my son's band was playing at. And I was hurrying my husband who shrugged it off, as he felt they were bound to start later than expected. And we arrived in We had missed all 5 of their earlier songs and their awesome 'opening' act. I was so mad with my husband!

Thinking back now, I think I was so mad because:

- I want to attend our children's performances.

- I hate hate hate being late because I was never raised that way.

- I hate it more when someone else has made me late.

And I think I was so mad because

I miss my Dad.

And I'm crying buckets writing this post.

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