Grace's New Home

We reached Grace's at 0930 hrs. Sham n Rob were already there. We were told that Grace (another) n her husband Clement would be there to help as well as Dawn n Alex, another Singaporean couple. From a glance, Grace didn't have more than 20 large boxes, all neatly packed for the move. With 9 pairs of hands, that wouldn't be much of a chore.

The ute managed to hold most of the boxes and the rest went into the passenger's car. I managed to spend a few minutes playing with Dawn's dog, a 9 year old Dachshund. The little dog was much lighter than Chocolate was. Her fur was kept in tip-tip condition and her nails neatly cut. Before long, the little dog started licking my mouth and face. They always do. I'm a friend, it's coded.

Jen asked me to say good bye to Grace's grandaunt, Auntie Lucy. Grace had been staying with her for the past 6 years. She has always been a good host whenever we visit Grace, the type of smiley granny who'll read to her great-grand daughter on her rocking chair by the fireplace. Auntie Lucy came to Perth when she was 50 and has stayed here for 4 decades. Her command of English was basic and her hearing by now isn't perfect. 

Grace confided in us that she wanted to tell her Auntie Lucy how grateful she was to her for accommodating her where nobody seemed to welcome her at that point back then. Over the 6 years, she cooked every day without fail for Grace whether or not she was coming back home to dine, just in case she came back with an empty stomach. Alas, Grace lamented that she found it hard to express her gratitude because she was unable to converse in Teochew and her grandaunt's understanding of English was limited. No doubt, she left her home of 6 years with a heavy heart. When Jen asked me to say goodbye to Auntie Lucy, I declined and stayed outside to finish my final few tie-downs on the ute. I will be looking forward to the next hello instead.

Auntie Lucy's forlorn figure was noticeable when I went there to dismantle Grace's bed the night before. She had a mixed expression between a cheerful 'thank you for coming to help my grand-daugther' and a helpless 'oh, the day is finally here...' It reminded me of my own impending parting with mum. The bad feeling in the stomach had me deciding to focus on the move today instead of observing people. Inside, Jen took a picture of Auntie Lucy and Grace. As I expected, there tears flowed between grandaunt and grand-daughter. That was the reason why I didn't want to be there. The least outsiders around during these private moments, the better.

We met Thusara's family at Grace's new house. His daughter was at work, having found her part time job on the 2nd day of arrival, I was told. His son Gavin was a handsome young man, aged 9. He was bright and very sociable, exactly like what Thus' described that night where we had a long chat after we helped Thus move. Like Edmund, Thus has been always cheerful but it was more evident recently after both of them reunite with their spouse and children. I have been lucky that I did not have to be apart from Jen and Albany all these while. After a short visit to Alvin's to say hello and return his extension cord, Grace joined us for home-cooked lunch and dinner for the rest of the day. I had Grace to taste 'black sesame paste' that I made for desserts for the first time in her life. Jen packed a couple of 'goodie bags' (as she called them) for Grace. I took a quick glance and found crockery, utensils and many types of food among them. I remembered V doing the same for us when we first moved in and was sure Grace would appreciate Jen's gesture the same way as we felt.

By now, Grace would have spent a night alone in her new place. She will have to drive more than 30 minutes to her work from Monday onwards, instead of 10 minutes prior to her move. Every corner of the house will be under her care, be in maintenance or repair. She has a lot to do from unpacking, furnishing and either paving or turfing her unfinished exterior. She will have to start learning how to cook her own meals. In no time, she'll undoubtedly come out stronger, more independent and confident, just like Joanna. We look forward to future visits where she will gleefully take us around to show what additions to the house she has done herself.

1 comment:

  1. Give my regards to Thus :)

    (Palmed Again in sunny Brissy)