April Showers

For some, April showers have been horrible, almost as horrible as the hot weather spell itself. The last thunderstorm brought down several trees in my area, crashing onto an office building, a house or two, on a small lorry and at least a car.

For me, it has been an eventful April so far; from going to an offshore platform to do a safety audit to several other things – both bitter and sweet, one that probably involves my being anathematized by the family three years ago. And the good news is, Wifey and I, together with Renek, Dalie, Rina and Aznan will be on our annual pilgrimage to Sipadan next week.

One of the items is Wifey’s cancer-stricken aunt’s physical condition has taken a sudden turn. Two years ago we visited her when she was first diagnosed with ovarian cancer, the same illness that robbed my family of our maternal grandmother. It is an illness that has a 45 percent 5-year survival rate; in laymen term, that means only 45 diagnosed patients out of 100 would survive up to 5 years – if diagnosis was done early. In this case as with the case of my late grandmother, it wasn’t that early. The last I met her was some months back at the engagement ceremony of one of Wifey’s cousins. She asked me how I was, and I asked her the same. She looked fine; frail but fine. Somehow she has a relapse and seeing her yesterday reminded me of how painful it was to see my grandmother 12 years ago – and how painful it was to see her go only six months after losing my maternal grandfather.

And last night, we had a Coming Out Of The Closet cum Birthday party for Komar. He finally decided to introduce his girlfriend to the gang, and we would like him (as well as her) to know that we think she’s cool to have as a friend. As long as she can stand our antiques, and hopefully she could.


Of course it would be the ultimate delight to see them end up as actual partners in this weird and long journey called life.

And it was a joy to see my eldest daughter again after a week or so, this time to help out with her university admission form, documents needed to complement the form, and so on. The last time I did this, I had to do it on my own. In a way, it saddened me a bit as she is now a young adult, all grown up, and no longer that baby I use to hold close to me at night – I remembered how I used to sing to her as she closed her eyes and her little fingers clutched my finger and not letting go. I remember the first steps she took, the first word she uttered, her favourite calendar, her rubber ducky that was her first toy, when she gave up her milk bottle, her first walk to the kindergarten, her Taekwondo tournament, her first scuba dive. I am going to miss her.

Then I sent her to my parents’ house being the nearest place to the university that she had applied to. As I approached the house, the gate opened automatically and my father’s car, was on its way out when it slowed, and then stopped. Wifey, my daughter and I alighted from our car. I stood there for a second or two before I saw the window on the side where my mother’s seated being wound down. I felt a slight joy and the thought of a sign of thaw in the three-year winter between my parents and I crossed my mind. I stuck my head through the window and smiled at my mother, held her hand and tried to kiss it, but she just froze, and all I could say was,


She just went,


That was an ephemeral joy lasting but for a few seconds. The window was being wound down so my father could leave verbal instructions to my daughter. To not embarrass anyone including myself in the presence of the driver, I just feebly mentioned that I was there to send my daughter, to which I received no response whatsoever.

And the pain that I felt three years ago just seared again across my heart. It seems that there is no sign of anything thawing. I walked back to my car and waited for my daughter to come back to the car so I could hug her before saying goodbye.

But at least I got to see how she is. It is no joy at all, but at least it has answered a question.

After my daughter had walked through the gate, I got back into the car and drove home. I held Wifey’s hand hoping to console myself.

I am so glad I have Wifey by my side.

And I hope, April showers will bring May flowers.