The 5 Weeks

Gently, I turned the knob of the door of my room leading to the en suite, where I thought I left my work clothes in. Absentmindedly, I expected to see my dad snoring on the bed and mum still in bed but sitting up, taking a quick glance off her newspapers to give me a smile as I take my quick strides in. What greeted me was a dead silence in an unoccupied room, with bedding neatly tucked on the bed.

That spelled the end of our 5 weeks reunion, 2 spent in Singapore and the later 3 in Perth. Jen dropped me a message sharing that she enjoyed the company of her in-laws and was grateful for their help in looking after Albany. I must be visibly sad upon their departure during the send off that night. I wasn't too sure about being sad but I could recall feeling very, very tired and helpless. All I did during the final hour at the airport was to observe the interaction between Albany and mum. Like what I have doing very often for the past 3 weeks.

There was a genuine affinity between grandma and grandchild. They enjoyed each other's company tremendously. Albany was delighting mum at every move and kept mum laughing even when she wailed her lungs out for a nappy change. It had been a long while since I saw my mother so carefree and happy, with the absence of the toils and botheration of running the stall and other responsibilities of the woman of the household. The selected 5 weeks was good timing. Grandma managed to watch Albany learn how to sit up straight without support, stand with support, mutter her first word and her 2nd word during the last hour of their stay and learning how to operate a few of her toys.

Their absence was glaring last evening. No one was waiting to tell me the cute antics of my daughter that day. There was no ecstatic shrieks from Albany throughout the night, previously from a daily play routine between mum and Albany at the far corner of the living room.

After returning the company ute at South Perth last evening, I made a call back to check how were things. It was a good 30 minutes chat as I strolled up and down the street in the sunset, with the last of the Spring breeze chilling my ears. Mum joked about how she had to remove her sweaters the moment she stepped out of Changi Airport, even in the reasonably cool Singapore dawn. She was happy that they made their way past the Australian custom, board the right plane, collected their baggage without drama and got home on their own. It was the first time of their lives they traveled alone this way. She groaned a bit about missing Albany. I bet Albany misses my mum too, like how her mum and dad already do.


  1. Awwww.. be back soon? - JY

  2. Always sad when you have to part but at least you have been lucky to have had their company for an extended time. Your parents will be happier knowing about your new life in Australia rather than trying to imagine it, so will have more peace of mind about you all. It is lovely for them to have gotten to know Albany so well and I'm sure that they will have many happy memories from this holiday. You'll have to win Lotto so they can get back here soon :)

  3. Getting in touch or close intimacy should be the way of life, but very few practise it. Familiarity breeds contempt. Get in touch with your self; get in touch with your body; get in touch with your family; get in touch with nature; get in touch with your fellow humns; get in touch with Heaven. Out of touch means alienation, separation, isolation, apartness, loneliness. Touching includes caressing, massaging, embracing and all kinds of intimate physical relationship as a grandma embracing, fondling, kissing the grandchild.

  4. Bro, hang in there. First two years u do get homesick. Happened to me. Will get better I can assure u. No shame in feeling homesick as we spent all our lives in singapore

  5. Consider yourself fortunate that your parents are just not so far away. Things may be worse if you are in UK, US or Canada. How I wish that someone can invent a machine that can travel 10000km per hour cheaply.

    1. I agree. Being apart from one's parents / loved ones is one of the most difficult part about living away. At least you are only a 5-hour flight away. I hope you will get to see each other frequently.

      Are you able to sponsor them should they wish to make the move?

  6. For my older boy, Grandma (Daddy's side) was the brief, happy earliest memories together, before she was suddenly gone when he was 3, from aggressive brain cancer, leaving only a bare video and few photos.
    Grandpa paternal was only hearsay, a family legend from some strange history past.

    For the younger one, paternal grandparents were a yesterday he was never part of, only a lingering smile from a grandmother he never knew, and can only ever wonder about.

    Fortunately, Por-por and Kong-kong (grandparents, Mummy's side) have been around, physically taking more care of the older one after he was was born, and always being there since the younger one was.
    Even though Kong-kong is seriously ailing, his smile lights up as he still can recognise these complicated boys.

    As we miss those who are not there, whether by distance or by permanence, let's somehow take comfort in the fact that simply because we can miss them, therefore our best moments with them remain firmly etched within our lives.
    Amazingly, children seem to sense this better than adults.

    Somehow, we will meet those whom we love, again and again.