Dear May 2015: Remembering Them

Hello! This month’s Dear (insert month here) is a little different, I often make use of Dear (insert month here) to remember certain events but I think let’s take this more personal. I want to talk about certain women in my life, who are now gone, but in (late) celebration of Mother’s Day, I’ll honour these women throught the best way I can and know how: writing. Get ready for a lengthy post so grab a snack or two.

Dear May,

May sees us going through Mother’s Day, exams and so much more. And per usual, I bring you a weather report. My family had no choice but all sleep together in one room to save electricity for an aircon. Very environmentally friendly. My mom and I are not ones for aircon, we like just the fan or the wind, we live near the beach, there seems to be no need for that. But Singapore has been so humid, like the humidity is just unbearable and I keep sweating, sweat is never good for someone like me who suffers from eczema. It says it’s 30 degrees out but the heat index is 39 degrees. I am surprised I am surviving without making a trip to National Skin Centre to ask for a full protective barrier for my eczema against sweating (not good).  Kudos to my mom for moisturising my back that suffers the most. (Please understand that this matter is super personal and close to my heart but over the years I have learnt to openly deal with such losses, it seems to be defined to me as a coping mechanism, I have always coped better by sharing it with someone and writing it out, I’m implementing both now.)

I recently made a comment on heyclaire’s vlog, “Saturday was my maternal grandma’s fifth death anniversary. I never understood what was with her I only know she suffered third degree burns and was recovering then a fever hit and she just left us. They never let me see her for the last time. It really was the distance, I honestly wished I could have made more time for her whilst she was alive, even though it wasn’t possible. Do whatever you can to spend time with her, my father barely landed in Frankfurt that day and had to immediately fly back to Singapore and head for Malaysia, it was so tiring for him but I think he just really wanted to be there. He always sacrifices something, especially when my great grandmothers passed on who practically raised him. I will always admire you for the fact that you always always try to make time for her regardless of distance. Continue doing that. It’s really the little things that matter, I wonder when I’ll ever learn. Sending all my love. x”

On Sunday, the 23 May 2010, life became a blur. As an 11 year old at that time, I was unable to understand why my weekend Malaysia trip didn’t come to an end, why I didn’t return to school and deal with my post exam activities, why everyone woke at 5am and rushed to the hospital. I remember vividly being worried about someone stealing my job to choreograph moves for some National Day performance. I didn’t know the condition of my grandma, I couldn’t possibly have a certain level of worry. I couldn’t fathom one. It was only when I entered Secondary One, I soon started to blame myself in a way for her death, I blamed myself for not telling her I loved her, not loving her the way I should. It was only when she left, I came round to knowing all she was as a person, a friend and a mother and now as I fight tears and my brother wants the computer, I’d say I want to be like her. I want curiosity to bite me deep on this, I want to know what made her so popular in the neighburhood, I want to know what she did, who she was, what she said, I want to know her through every person who knew her’s memories. She was such a wonderful woman, and she always put her grandchildren before herself, always made sure the food was to our liking and so much more.IMG_5732 Claire’s video and the words she said mostly hit home. “Have clearly not really not been on my game, just emotionally I’m not fully there.”, I relate to her at this point of time, maybe not for the same reason. I am dealing with a lot on my mind at the moment, more than what I have dealt with the past few years. I remember initially when I was dealing with such a loss, many people told me it sort of became my “emotional baggage” and only pulled me down. Following my maternal grandma’s death, I went on to lose both my father’s grandmothers otherwise known as my great grandmothers; my grand aunt, sister to my late maternal grandmother; and recently, my maternal grandfather.

IMG_5730
老嬷嬷, Lao ma-ma, mother to my grandfather. She bought my grandpa here to Singapore from China, about fifty, forty or thirty years ago.
IMG_5731
老嬷, Lao ma, mother to my grandmother.

It’s as if now, I should be numb, it’s a norm, I sit and wait for someone to die, yet I always never learn, I never understand that I should constantly be spending time with those I have left, but I’d call myself selfish, maybe it’s self loathing, I’m not one for figuring things out. But my logic is that I can’t love someone more when I can’t give myself the love that I need. I cannot constantly be drowning (sometimes I’d say wallow) in self pity, this won’t do. I “threw” myself here, I should be able to “throw” myself back.

And so I need to learn, from the women who always empowered me, every step of the way. Since I was young, all they ever really told me that stuck was “study hard”. I always brushed off all that. But now I remember all they say in my exams, I pray to them that I’d do well, even in all my nervousness. I know they believe in me most, even in heaven. I believe in effort, but never translated that to my own life. And I believe in motivation, whether it came from myself or others, I will need it. Take it as my best friend.

Maybe I am fulfilling my New Year’s Resolution really well. I did better than I’ll ever expect in my mid years. It’s normal that I get several F9s and never pass more than two subjects every round. I have finally achieved four passes out of six, they may be all C5s, but from where I was before, it’s a great achievement. Now I’m not praying for a miracle in my prelims, I’m hoping I continue to work harder instead. I have to push all my grades up by another grade and more, if I want to secure a future, which I do. I can’t possibly wreck the plans I made as a young child, I’ll lose my mind.

As I continue being frantic and procrastinating till the end of time and being two days from my O Level Chinese exams, May, I’ll see you again next year. Oh the drama and fun you always bring.

老嬷,老嬷嬷,外婆,我依然想着你们,但请你们知道我永远会把你们守在心中,我还是感觉到你们的存在,你也应该不会明白我偶尔有多么怕你们的存在,怕做错事,被你们看到,哈哈,我的逻辑很奇怪。希望你们过得好。

Grandma, Lao Ma-ma, Lao Ma: I still miss you all, but please know that I’ll always keep you all in my heart, I still fell your presence, you probably won’t understand how Im still scared of your presences, I’m scared to do something wrong and you’ll see it, haha, my logic is weird. Hope you’re doing well.

老嬷:我从不明白为何你选择在当天的下午离开我们,我们在早上看你的同一天,但我还是有那么多的话对您说,您的最后几天实在还是那么痛苦,我还能记着。我爱你。

Lao ma: I will never understand why you chose that very day’s afternoon to leave us, the same day we saw you in the morning, but I still have so much to tell you, your last days are truly so painful, I still remember all that. I love you.

With Love.

For your enjoyment:

In May, I’ve been loving these pieces of music…

1) Say You Love Me by Jessie Ware (included in the alternate ending for Fifty Shades of Grey)

2) Words Don’t Come So Easily by Lower Than Atlantis

3) Not Around by Montgomery (JackLNDN Remix)

4) One Last Night by Vaults from the Fifty Shades of Grey soundtrack

5) Blu by Verre

The FSOG soundtrack is wicked. Playlists with full and thorough roundups of my music favourites…a new one monthly is on my Spotify,

May’s Playlist – may(be) it(‘ll) be fine.

and…Soundcloud.

.x

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