It’s been less than 24 hours since I arrived in Singapore and already, I’m seeing the cracks. I really shouldn’t be surprised. The cracks were there all along. Those who have been away from a place/person/thing for a long time will understand. When we’re away from something or someone, we sometimes forget all the negatives and use the positives to build up an image in our minds. But when we encounter what we’ve been missing, the negatives begin to resurface.
My family is not perfect. There’s always some sort of controversy going on with an uncle/aunt/cousin etc. This morning at breakfast, my grandma wasted no time in updating me on the issues surrounding our family. I had literally been in the country for 7 hours. I wanted to tell her to give it a break, but I listened politely. I guess she needed someone to vent to. Later on, I found out that an argument that had been ongoing for the past year had not yet been resolved. I wanted to cover my ears and yell “LA LA LA LA” like a kid. I know that there is no such thing as a perfect family. Everyone has their tiffs and arguments. It just irks me that I have to come back to this every time. Over the past couple of years, I’ve watched my family grow smaller and smaller, and not just because of death. Every year, I come back and there’s one less person I can visit because they’ve severed ties for one reason or another.
In the midst of all this, there are little things that show me there is still a huge amount of love within our family. Like the way my Ah Kong meticulously glued the cloth flowers onto my sandals after they fell off. Or the way my grandma bought my favourite snacks knowing that I’d been craving them. These are the little moments in which I am reminded that, despite all the murky family politics, there is still love.