Leaving Behind A Twenty Year Load

Sunset over Relau
Sunset over Relau, Penang.

Dad have never asked me why? Mum never asked me why, too? They steadfastly stood by me, providing all that I needed. They never once asked. Did they not want to know? I knew why. I had the answers. It would have taken the load off my chest had they asked. Perhaps they did not want to make me feel guilty. Perhaps they accepted that it was my fate, and theirs. It is a wonder how a single “why” could weigh me down so.

They have never openly displayed their grief to me. I am sure they have silently shed tears by themselves and together untold times. I have always wondered when they would ask. They never did. At times when I looked at them, I was very tempted to say, “Pa, Ma, this is why.” I never got around to doing it. They never asked, right up to the end. This is a heavy burden to bear. I need to unload somehow. Now is as good as any other time. Two decades is too long to be wondering, hoping, for something that my parents have accepted a long time ago. They are not here anymore. The time to stop and breathe is now, this very moment, here.

Pa, Ma, here is the why. I was young. I was restless. I was fearless. I was invincible. That was what I thought. And perhaps to impress the girl at the other end of the empty pool. There were many reasons. I have done that hundreds of times. It was that final dive that did me in. The gist was that I overcompensated by arching my body when I realised that I was going to slam into the surface. My angle of entry was too shallow. Then it became too steep. I went straight in. I was five feet ten. The pool was slightly shallower. The moment my head hit the bottom of the pool I felt the entire weight of my body flipping over. And all was eeriely calm after that. That was the beginning of a long ardous journey for me, for you, for us.

I am sorry, Pa, Ma, for bringing you untold grief. Your hope for me to become an engineer was dashed by that one moment of silliness. Your hope for becoming a grandfather and a grandmother was dashed when you realised that I will never be able to father children. I could not undo what I have done. But Pa, Ma, I am sure that you have realised by now that God has greater plans for me. Do you see the road ahead of me being lighted up bit by bit day by day? It is gradually becoming clear. The pieces are beginning to fall into place.

Pray for me, Pa, Ma, that I may succeed in this endeavour. I am putting the “why” down and leaving it behind now. I am looking forward to the next milestone with great anxiety and excitement. As a son, I have never done anything that you could be proud of. For once, just for once, please allow me to make you proud of me this time. Pray that I may have sufficient strength and time to carry this through. Pray that my faith will always be strong. Pray for me.

It Has Begun

Aerial view of Penang Bridge's middle span
Aerial view of Penang Bridge’s middle span.

Pre-travel anxiety is not a nice feeling. As the day draws nearer, the jitters become more intense. Clothes and toiletries are strewn all over Wuan’s house. Everything is in a state of disarray. I have an inkling of what I need to take along but where do I begin? How many of each item do I need?

Aerial view of somewhere between Penang and Kuala Lumpur
Aerial view of somewhere between Penang and Kuala Lumpur.

The primary concern is whether I can survive the initial six hours and forty minutes journey from Kuala Lumpur to Narita without my diapers leaking. How many trips do I need to make to the cramped toilet on the small aisle chair in between? Questions, questions. And why am I not taking it one step at a time?