Speaking of family

Jan 1, 2010. Spoke to my brother, Jasper. I’m going to have another nephew (corrected)! My brother told my mum it’s a daughter, haha. Wicked! He also told me something my mum told him not to: my dad isn’t feeling too well recently, so weak that he is unable to move around even with the walking frame. He fell at home while mum was out buying him lunch. He seems to be doing better these two days. Still we talked about possibly sending my Dad to a home where he gets proper medical attention and care. My mum, his primary caregiver now, is old too. We also need to think about her needs. We talked about getting my niece Noel a car seat. We talked about my sister Cecilia who visited KL who shared with my brother the state of affairs at home. Up to that point, I was the only family outside of my sister’s to know what’s going on. Don’t tell mum though, don’t want her to worry. We talked.

Jan 2, 2010. Spoke to Mum. She sounded tired but she tried to put on a brave front so I wouldn’t worry.  She is annoyed my brother spilled the beans but as we talked, I can hear the relief in her voice that she can talk to me about it. She always keeps problems from me; I usually hear about things at home last because she doesn’t want me to worry. She would tell my brother to not tell me (but I told him to tell me EVERYTHING.) We talked about her, how she’s coping with the situation and about finding a home for Dad. She said we must ask Dad what he wants. Yes mum, we will make that decision as a family. We talked about my sister, whom I am pleased to say, appears much happier, lighter these days. Told my mum my other niece Vanessa (my sister’s first born) has started working again and is happy too. Mum is happy to hear that her children and grandchildren are well. We talked about Christine and the baby girl on the way; my mum agrees with me Christine is silly to think we’d love her or the baby any less now that we know it is not a boy. (I have since found out from my brother that he played a trick on Mum). We talked about Chinese New Year and plans. We talked.

Simple family conversations, they are not always comfortable. Family strips me raw and to the core, as a gf once described it so aptly. These conversations were not possible two years ago, when I hid behind the physical distance between my family and me (my mum and brother stay in Malaysia and my sister’s family stay in another part of Singapore). Out of fear that I can’t do anything to help them, out of guilt that I have been a coward.

It’s scary to be this close to reality. Shaken to the core. Now, I wouldn’t have it any other way. We are one family.

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