Family…?

A belated Mid-Autumn.

Yesterday was the fifteen day of the eighth month of the Lunar calendar, also known as Mid-Autumn festival, or 中秋节.

It was supposed to be a time of reunion, or that was the kind of impression I got, where families gather, usually in these days, to eat.

As it was a Monday, of course that wasn’t something that would happen in my case because it is a working day after all. So it was another typical day that I spent no different from any other work day. Especially a Monday.

Family.

We had dinner together just last weekend, because apparently, after so many years of us being family, my father suddenly shared a piece of information with us – that the 15th day of the eighth lunar month is also their wedding anniversary! Well, my mum said she doesn’t remember that. Haha. Talk about reversal of roles.

So we thought it would be nice to celebrate it for them but also to take the opportunity for a family dinner, since we did ask if they would like to have a private dinner with just the two of them but I think my parents are the family-sort of people who would rather have dinner with the rest of us.

Conversation flowed easily at dinner. We went to some really secluded and rustic place that serves Western-fusion food, tucked in a private residential estate in the north, but being located in such a hard-to-go place didn’t prevent people from knowing about it. It was actually quite crowded when we went, and it really brought me to out of this city. It didn’t feel like Singapore at all, but more like some beach/resort area eatery. It was also there that my legs became dinner for the mosquitoes – I noticed a few days later that I had about 8 bites on my shins.

Food was decent and service was alright, though not prompt, due to the crowd. Conversation was light and flowed easily throughout the night as we indulged in the savoury fare. It did bring about some fuzzy warm feeling around my heart, but… that was about it.

I thought back at that night, and wondered how these people with whom I sat with around the dinner table, are the ones who are supposed to be the closest and dearest to me in life so far and most likely for a good many more years ahead. But, for this same group of people, they are comfortably unaware or who chose to not be aware, of the crippling dark thoughts that permeated my mind these few years. That just in the recent years, there were episodes where I had contemplated life’s meaning, or the lack of it, and felt like submitting to the hopelessness and helplessness through the open window of my living room.

Maybe. What family means is simply the blood relation that we are bonded by. That same blood and DNA that are in us by virtue that we are born of mum and dad. Aside from that, there seems to be nothing much else. And that may just be what I need to convince myself to accept, to stop expecting anything else from them anymore.

We come to world with nothing, and we will leave with nothing. So in this life, do we hope or desire to acquire and possess anything? Because nothing will ever be ours to lay claim on.

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