Oct 21, 2010

A Summer Place

Sung by Cliff Richard..also the theme song for a hollywood movie under the same title. : A Summer Place.

When I was a teen, I was always wanting to know about true love and wanted to see if such romances really do exists. I remember asking my dad about it. And because he spoke English, he would tell me in a mix of English and Hokkien about his one true love and how he won her heart.

My dad said my mom was his first true love. He met her when he was working as a relief teacher at the Yock Eng High School(Chinese school at Tanjong Katong Road). The form teacher was away and the school was looking for a relief teacher to teach for a period of time. My dad said he was teaching English back then in her class.

After a few lessons, he had started to notice her. Then she stopped coming for classes. He ask the other students about her and they told him that she has dropped out of school permanently. Due to poor family backgrounds.

My dad said he found out where she stayed and visited her in her kampong..some where near Kim Chuan Road/Tai Seng Road area. And would ask her to return to school to continue her education. My mom quit school when she was in Secondary 3 so that her younger siblings had a chance for school and education which promised them a better life and future.

My mom has always been an inspiration to me and to all her siblings(my uncles, aunties). My dad thought that it was such a noble act to give up education for her siblings. He said he would visit her and gave her tuition if she wanted to learn but couldn't afford it.

Of course on the pretext of learning...but my dad used this 'excuse' to get to know her better.

The rest of the story..well, my dad never did tell me how he woo her..but one thing is for sure, its being PERSISTENT and stick to it.

Here's a picture of them together ... in the old days of Black n White.

And when they marry..

and then there were Three..my sister Winnie was born. The old usual way was a family portrait..

A few more years down the road, I was born. But because I was a sickly baby, my mom wanted to wait till I was rosy-cheeked and healthy enough for a family portrait..so here it is..

The threads of time passes by... I was 12 years old, my sister was 18 going on 19 years...

And then that Summer Place repeats for me and my sister...now with our families together celebrating my dad's 70th birthday some 8 years ago...

My parents are in their autumn years..my dad's already 78 years old and my mom is 74 years old. In the recent years, my mom's health deteriorated so my dad quit his full time job as a English/Chinese translator with the Church of Singapore to spend all his time with her and take care of her. He wanted to learn to cook recently...because my mom is a perfectionist when it comes to food for the family. So that he could whip up a meal for her.

My dad is a quiet man. He hardly spoke unless he was spoken to. If he had to teach, then he would speak. Most of the times, he won't hear him say much. He is a wonderful father to us and a loving grand dad to our girls and to my niece. He would tell them stories..the same ones he would told me when I was a kid.

He would watch Bugs Bunny or Yosemite Sam or the occasional Tom and Jerry or Road Runner with them. When we went to Disneyland USA in 1996, my parents went with us. My dad joined in all the rides and was a part of every fun ride we took.

When I met Benny, I told him that my ideal man is someone like my dad. Someone who loved his wife, his kids and the family. Someone who grew up with his children and be a part of their lives. And God answered my prayer..Benny was someone like dad. Benny wished I was like my mom because she could tend to the family needs very well. I don't think I could measure up to my mom..but my aunts told me in some ways, I am doing the things my mom use to do when she was abled and healthier.

My parents now lived with my sister and my brother in law and my niece too. They sold their HDB apartments some 24 years ago and bought a house with shared income. Over the years my sister bought their share and gave them money to keep. All these years, my sister and my brother in law took it in them to care and provide for them.

Benny and I shared in their provision with my sister and my brother in law. In everything we do, we do it for them : our parents.
Our family are very close and knitted tightly like a woven cloth. And the same values are taught through our kids and we can only hope they continue to be like this for a long time to come.

Yesterday I spent a day with my girls..downtown Singapore shopping, eating and just walking around. But I stood from afar, observing my girls..and I saw a reflection of me and my sister when we are their age..sharing and caring and loving each other.

It left me deeply satisfied and encouraged as my girls tell me in time to come when I am as old as Po-Po(their granny, my mom), they would spend all their days taking care of me.

Dear God, thank you..! For every little thing you have done for me. And many more in the future that I cannot know or see. But I know in my heart, You have already provided them for me.


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