How Long I Have Been Married

Daisypath Anniversary tickers

Tuesday, March 22, 2011


Let me ask you this. And please answer truthfully, for your own sake. When was the last time you actually picked up the phone (or nowadays your handheld devices whatever that may be) just to say hi to your mom or dad? “Have you eaten dad?” or “How’s the new medication working mom?” or even a simple “Missed you.”

Yeah, you hesitated. It’s been quite a while right? Here you are, working at some swanky office tower in the capital’s central business district which is probably only a mere 20 or 30 minute drive from your folks residence, and you don’t even remember the last time you checked on them, unless you had some favour to ask of them, which is usually the case for a lot of urban Gen Xs and Gen Ys at this day and age.

No offence. What I just said is just a general observation and not directed to you point blank because for all we know, you are one of those rare breeds who still see their parents a few times a week, if not daily, ensuring that the bond is stronger than oak, as the Americans would put it. Which is good. Good because at a time when people are more occupied with the latest apps they could download for their iPads, it is alarmingly obvious that their expensive communication devices are rendered useless for failure to hit the eight digits which connects them to the two people who brought them into existence to this world.

I have learnt a long time ago to appreciate what my parents have done for me. Yes, all of us at one time wanted to run away from home when we couldn’t take their naggings due to our stupid rebellious teenage stands and beliefs. But when we reflect back, it seems that we were pretty stupid indeed back then, thinking we knew what was best for us, when the fact is, they knew better for us. As the saying goes – mom knows best. And dad too.

As I turn 38 this year, with two fast growing kids aged 10 and 7, I have painfully realized the pain-staking ordeal my parents had to go through to raise me when I was my kids’ age. That realization alone is enough to make me constantly aware of the necessity to reciprocate their love. Their unconditional love which we all seem to take for granted.

Our parents won’t be around for too long now. We need to savior every spare moment we can with them. If you find it difficult to do so, then you might regret it for the rest of your life because you didn’t have a chance to say thanks dad or thanks mom for:

1. Still buying you that ridiculously expensive Stefan Edberg Adidas tennis shirt in 1989 when you knew dad was a bit short that month.
2. Agreeing to buy a steeper priced Sony Walkman because the cheaper Hitachi Personal Stereo dad initially bought wasn’t cool enough for you in 1990.
3. For putting some sense in your head after your nonsense “I Love Her!” remark when you were only 17 and didn’t even know what the hell you just yelled at mom and dad who knew that the gal was trouble.
4. For paying through the nose for your education and to ensure you get that scroll which hopefully paves way for a good job.
5. For giving you the benefit of the doubt when you say this is the girl you want to marry.
6. For paying for the wedding reception. And the honeymoon too.
7. For willingly assisting to care for your kids because you wanted peace of mind which day care centres or nurseries couldn’t offer. When supposedly, they should already be free to gallivant wherever they please, be it at Bukit Bintang or Oxford Street.
8. For bailing you out more than once when you were in financial quagmire, despite you already earning your own wages.
9. For accommodating your junk of yesteryears collecting dust in dad’s basement storage room.
10. For believing in you, no matter how shallow your behavior is.

And I assure you, it doesn’t stop at 10. The list is non-exhaustive.

So there, ample testimony that you can’t quantify unconditional love showered by our parents to us. In the parent-child relationship, it is always lopsided, in favour of the child. Once we hit our teenage years, we no longer love our parents unconditionally. We are not being fair to them because rain or shine, mom and dad will still love us unconditionally, unless under some extra-ordinary circumstances, they renounce or disown you – which means you must be a real jerk. Which is highly unlikely because I’ve seen parents who still accept their son with open arms after spending a few in years in jail for committing a capital crime.

Why not change that. Why not we love them unconditionally too, and not just when dad help to settle your maxed out credit card or advance your down-payment for that turbo hatchback you craved for.

I am speaking from experience (of myself and others I know). So it is not me simply making judgements on others. We can make that change, and don’t expect our parents to change to suit us. They’ve done too much already and it is too much to ask them to do more.

It’s our turn now.

Take them out for teh tarik or something tonight. Or if they live in another city, town or village, make plans to look them up this weekend.

Just do it. Before you drown in your own pool of regret tears, by their final resting place. Before you start playing the torturing What If game.

Say hi to your folks for me, will you….