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The Ghosts of Christmas Past have come to visit me.
In the last few minutes, I’ve had to catch my breath literally as I clicked through LinkedIn profiles of names I recognise from my past. Somehow, LinkedIn appeared on my phone screen after a few miscalculated steps via email and now, the ghosts of my past have come to haunt me through various LinkedIn profiles. Admittedly, I snooped around a little, with curiousity getting the better of me, wondering how everyone is doing and how many have moved stations in life.
I started to think about my life and stations in my life. I’ve worked exceedingly hard and sacrificed both time away from friends and family for a healthy six-figure salary, a respectable position in an organisation where bosses appreciate my value. But after Dad’s passing, many things shifted for me. Life seemed to no longer have the same bearings. I decided I needed to take a break from work to really just mourn in peace, and fully experience the grief and loss of my father.
I don’t think one ever gets over the loss of losing someone so dear, especially not someone who was there every single day of your life – I miss hearing his voice, the sound of his house keys as they rattled when he opened the door, the sound of his slow shuffling feet just outside my room, even the echoes of his cough in the hallway. I miss everything about my father including the way he smells, the salt and pepper whiskers on his face and his toothy grin when he got to eat whatever he truly enjoyed.
I spent a lot of time with Dad growing up because he quit his permanent day job to take care of me (when I was still attending kindergarten) and also to run the boarding house we had, while spending his remaining free time helping out with maintenance and handy work at the church. Every school holiday was spent either taking long bus rides (from Clementi to Katong) to enjoy Char Kway Teow, Laksa, or spent in the church compound fixing broken taps, lights or modifying something to make it work better.
His corny jokes, his rambunctious laugh, the countless hearty meals he cooked up in the kitchen. I remember him trying to fry chicken wings for us one evening and because he was tired, he left the oil to heat up on the stove while he dozed off in the living room. The next thing he knew, the pot of hot oil had bust into flames and the stove was on fire. Dad was always quick-thinking and calm in dicey situations; he managed to put out the fire and nothing in the home was seriously damaged. We just needed a new coat of paint in the kitchen which he promptly sorted out in the presiding days after.
So, I need some time to grieve and trust me when I say the grief attacks come and go. Mostly, the nights are tougher with the loneliness in the stillness of the night striking hard but time will sorta make it easier.
In the meantime, I think I need a long ride to ease my mind. The riding jacket that hangs on my wardrobe door has been taunting me and after some planning, I will be going on a long ride tomorrow on my scooter, and back next Tuesday night. Naturally, Ian will be coming with me (but on a different bike) – I think he needs some road time to clear his mind from work too.
Time passes by and some day we all have to die.
This will be a memorial ride for Dad and I hope that maybe, I will learn something new about myself on this ride too.
Do wish us luck and as always, keep the rubber side down!