I have lost count of the number of people who have asked me how I am going to spend my Chinese New Year. The answer invariably was that I would let it pass by quietly. That was exactly what I had planned. There were too many reasons why I would have preferred to be alone.
Many things have happened lately and not the way that I had anticipated. I do not celebrate the advent of spring anymore simply because I live alone. Decking the apartment in all shades of red for a few weeks is not my idea of merriment. I dread festivities because of the memories it would invoke. I would really have appreciated moments of solitude hoping that the days would zip by speedily and the festivities be over soon.
Man proposes, God disposes. Just two days ago, Uncle Paul called me to say that he was coming with his family and asked if there was any place for them to bunk in. They arrived from Melaka yesterday evening and my apartment has been a hive of activity since. Adel had also intimated to me that she and a few of the Secular Franciscans would love to come and celebrate the occasion together with me. My neighbour Soon Leong and his wife have also invited me to join his family in their reunion lunch tomorrow.
How am I going to spend my Chinese New Year? With all these good people of course! I will enjoy their company when they are here and appreciate my time alone when there is no one around. Nevertheless, the Chinese New Year will never be the same again without my parents. The atmosphere of those days had faded away a long time ago.
Change has come and has caught up with me without my realising it. Things may never be the same again but the seasons will continue to come and go. I will either have to adapt to the evolution of time or wither away with it. Choices like these are sometimes difficult to make when things do not look bright at the other end.