I came back early from work with the intention of getting some assignments done…………(well I guess that’s now down the drain). I did the usual, bought some dinner and took a slow walk back home, half enjoying the evening wind while blasting music through my earphones. The world, for once, had nothing to say to me, and it felt good to embrace the change.
A impromptu decision got me standing at the foot of my grandmother’s block (she lives in the block right beside mine). I stood at the steps half battling in my head whether the exhaustion was going to kill me or the mental battle with my daily internal struggles. My grandma was one of the reasons why we moved from the north to the east of Singapore when I was 12, and she has supported my mother and my siblings in so many ways that I am definitely indebted to her. I hesitated to go upstairs to see her, not because we didn’t share a close relationship- but because it’s been so long since I made the effort to have dinner with her, or to just drop by to ask her how’s her day (even though we live so close by) that the guilt was eating me alive.
I struggled up those steps, half deciding whether to just turn back. I knocked and waited. Was this a mistake? Could I comeback another time when I was less tired? Less lazy? When I felt I had more energy to continue a conversation in mandarin? But when?
My thoughts were interrupted as she opened the door,but when she did-i stared at the background of her flat, toys strewn on the floor and Chinese new year decorations that were still up since last February- something felt right again. Her house was a refuge for me when I was a young child, and it brought waves of my childhood memories. “What are you doing here?” She laughed in mandarin, equally shocked at seeing my face at the door. “I’m here to see you because it’s been too long!” I joked back. And there it was, that beam on her face that made me realize that I failed to remember what was important to me. Family.
In such a world with the constant fight for qualifications, jobs and with the extremely fast pace of life, it’s so easy to forget what’s important. I’m sorry I haven’t been around mama, and through the many sacrifices you have done for our family I can’t help but feel extremely guilty that I haven’t been the best granddaughter lately but I realize it now.
I might not always have the best iron bowl, the opportunities and luxuries other people might have,but I’ll always have a family that is worth fighting for (Which is probably why I haven’t killed my oldest sister yet, she’s driving me insane). That’s a part of me that I hope to always remember, even when times get tough.
Change is inevitable, right? Yes. But family, that’s always a constant.