And so, it’s finally happened.
My family is settled in another country, and I’m back here in sunny SG.
The full realization of their move hit me like a rock last night as I was tucking myself to sleep after giving Benjy a good night pat.
I had just sent my sister back to my Aunt’s, and sent K on his way for another two weeks of army training.
It hit me with a deep, dull hollowness and the threat of tears was immediate – but I did not let them fall. For if I did, it would be a matter of minutes before they dissolved into full blown sobbing – a very bad situation to be in in an empty house and a fridge full of chocolate.
Although I’ve lived away from my family for a whole year after getting married, there is a vast difference between seeing them only on weekends and seeing them maybe twice a year. I can no longer find security in the thought that my mother’s warm hugs and mugs of milky tea are only ten minutes away – that should I miss any one of my many pesky siblings I could simply ring them up for dinner or drop by Dunbar Walk, unannounced.
I guess that horrible sense of displacement was made worse by the fact that I only had K to myself for 24 precious hours before he had to leave – the thought of the empty spot on the other side of the bed and only silence for the next 14 mornings filled me with dread.
No light kiss on the forehead before he leaves for work, the comforting sounds of him brushing his teeth, clicking his cufflinks, and the smell of Chanel Bleu as he pulls my blanket up to my chin so I don’t catch cold.
All these little comforts I have taken for granted in our everyday lives, I find, are also the few things that now cling to for the feeling of familiarity and fixedness.
But I find solace in other things that keep them close. Just like how my grandmother’s gold ring sits on my dresser where I touch it lightly every morning, I’ve taken to wearing mementoes of my family and K so they follow me throughout the day. Hanging on a platinum chain around my neck now are two things – the beautifully cut diamond that was my parent’s wedding gift to me, and the diamond key that K gave me for our first wedding anniversary.
Nestled between my collarbones and lending a reassuring weight to my being – they are my talismans and they will make me stronger. 🙂
Of course, I am not alone. Just a simple “feeling really down” text this morning provoked a flurry of responses from my wonderful, darling friends and demands to meet – their good cheer and concern buoying me up and away.
It’s going to be a difficult month, but I’ll only grow stronger – for myself and for all those I love.