Together to be Apart

I invited my parents to join us in Perth, to enjoy Spring and being together as a family again. So far, they seemed to appreciate their first week. There wasn't many highlights, to be honest. I had to go to work so the parents were pretty much home-based because we have but just one humble car and I use that for work.

We took them to grocery shopping a day after we landed in Perth. It wasn't our idea of sightseeing. It was out of necessity. The fridge was threadbare when we returned. I liked the idea of having mum around during grocery shopping. She would tell me which items were cheap and which were expensive in comparison to Singapore prices. Even till today, she hasn't stopped swooning over the 'cheap' huge piece of salmon we bought over last weekend as she happily added some into Albany's meal.

Speaking about Albany, she was practically the battery that energise mum everyday. Even dad, to little extent but understandably so. Mum spoke endlessly about Albany every evening when I came home from work. It was good to see her excited again. They toiled for us ever since they became our parents. Time has sapped much of their zeal while we barely noticed. When we finally stop and take a look one day, they have aged so much.

My mum used to joke with me when I was a young boy. Whenever I asked her how I could repay her, she laughed and told me to drive her around in a Mercedes Benz when I grow up. Deep inside, she knew her son would never be outstanding enough to do so. I suspected she didn't really care for it. My mum has taught me the meaning of materialism since I was young. It was simple to grasp. There isn't any.

Traffic was good today and I reached home at exactly 1700hrs. Some thoughts ran through my mind while I was executing chores. Supposed I work my ass off, sacrifice all my family time and finally 'be there' in 10 years time and supposed she has light dementia like my dad by then? Would that Mercedes Benz really hold any meaning to her? Each of us has only X amount of time to enjoy the presence of our parents before they are mentally or physically gone. I think the right time to spend more time with them is now. Not when we have babies and need a cheap caretaker, not when we finally earn a lot of money and can afford to buy them luxuries that holds very little significance to them anymore and certainly not when they lay in their deathbed with expensive paper gadgets we bought to suppress our guilt. 

I have a wife who allowed me to take my parents along during our trip down south a few years back. That was supposed to be our honeymoon. Which of you guys would have the support of your wife in this circumstance? I'm blessed. That was the longest overseas trip my parents ever took in their entire lives, only to be superseded by the current one. We knew that was our only chance of doing so, before a long stretch of labour to save up for our following move to Perth. Throughout the past year, I never fail to work towards having them here for a few weeks or even months if they wish to. The thought of that brought be some smiles during my harder days as a steel tradie. I hope to leave fond memories for them to take home with for this trip. I would not persuade them to stay here for long periods but I will certainly make the effort to make this possible if it is their wish to. It is all up to them.

Meanwhile, every chuckle between grandma and grand-daughter is music to my ears.


  1. Welcome back Nix and family. Home sweet home.
    Whose Body Nature is, and GOD the SOUL.
    Love and respect of one's parent is love and respect for Heaven, our FIRST GENERATOR and after that, generation after generation.
    The Chinese practised Ancestor worship or reverence to remind us of our roots. Sadly its gone with modern time.

  2. Even though ideally, life could be easier, I think you will probably always look back on this time as a very happy one, a memory to treasure :)

  3. Thanks for this post. You reminded me that I should do likewise, bring parent or in-laws to come over to Mel for some weeks; even though we know they would be bored when we go to work - being grounded in unfamiliar land without their usual kakis. But time is running out...


    Watch the video. Which type of son do you want? Anyway, if you wanna buy a Mercedes, you got a better chance in Oz than Sincity!