Posted in True Story, Inspirational

How old is your kid or Jasmin Tea

Sitting in a lonely supposedly Thai café but menu seems more like Malaysian, I pull out my mini tab to start writing /typing.  I think of continuing my writing on my trip to China, but I realise that today was not the day.  I am on edge, even though everything has gone alright so far.  So I think to write about, ‘waiting’ – waiting for a bus, waiting at the airport, waiting for medical results and waiting for your son to come out of surgery”.

It was a very early morning start.  But I think I had already become jittery by last night. I laughed it out loud, hoping no one picks up on my nervous energy.  I want to be strong.  In my head I know the data, statistics and the logic. However this mother’s heart seems to skip all logic and starts tearing up each time she is alone. 

I don’t know what to write about. All I know is that I need to write or do something.  So here I am debating what to write about. 

What age is too old to worry about your kid? I know he is not 2, but he is still my kid, I didn’t love him any more when he was 2 and I don’t love him any less just because he is legally an adult now.  He is still my kid.   Am I a neurotic mum?  Yes, maybe. 

This Jasmine tea is really good.  It really has a calming effect.  Not sure if it is the Tea or the writing, but I think the tightness in my chest is reducing.  I am tearing up writing though, thankfully the cafe is empty, however I like to believe that this activity here is helping. 

So how old is a kid? How old is your kid? Sleepless nights-your baby is up for a feed and a nappy change,  Sleepless nights – your toddler is teething,  tantrums, sleepless nights – your teenager hasn’t returned home, restless nights – your young man is sitting for exams.  Proud mum moments –  you are pregnant, the beginning of the worries and pride, unforgettable moment-the big day arrives, after screams and pain killers arrives the bundle of joy – undoubtedly an unforgettable moment/event that marks as the starting point of the roller coaster for the proud parents.  Proud moments – your baby’s first step, first time to call you ‘mum’, first day at school, he graduates.  So does it end there? Afraid not. 

It’s not about letting go. I have let him go, I am proud that he has left the cocoon, spread his wings and soured high.   But this mother cannot stop worrying. 

I know it’s not my fault that he is in hospital now.  I have been told that by everyone repeatedly and I get that.  But, I still feel terrible. Even if it was not my fault, do I want him to go through what I went through? I would go through it again ten times over, than have my baby on that operating table.  But, whoever/whatever well in this case a mutated gene dictates otherwise.  Yes, I get that, we have turned the unfortunate to fortunate. It was unfortunate that I had the cancer, however it was fortunate that I had this cancer as now we can prevent it for my boys. 

Logic is still playing second fiddle while waiting for that phone call to say my boy is out of theatre.  I start walking.  I get to Princes Highway.  I start walking, I end up at Greenwood Plaza which is connected to the North Sydney Station.  Peek hour commuters embark from the trains and walk past me with high pace.  Each one rushing off, unable to spare even single second.  I was one of them just two decades ago. 

Here I am, who has quit her job, tossed her career without a moments regret.  Observing this crowd, I realise, how much we change, how our priorities change as per our age and circumstances. Nothing matters, when it comes to your kids.

I glance at my phone to see if I had missed the phone call from the hospital.  No missed calls.  I aimlessly walk through my favourite shops.  I realise, shopping can only be a hobby not a distraction.  The latest design nor the best deals seem to grab me. I got back to Princes Highway and started walking in the opposite direction.  Not sure how long I walked for or how far I walked for.  But after sometime I thought it was time to head back to the hospital.  Maybe they forgot to call me.

Weeks later we went to see my son’s surgeon, whose clinic is in St Leonards.  I recognized that place and told my son I had come there on the day of his surgery.  That’s when I realised that there are two stations between North Sydney and St. Leonard’s .  Obviously this is a new source of humour for my son on my account.  My son didn’t initially believe that I had walked that much or for what.  I explained that I just kept walking along Princes Highway.  So, now every time we have a destination to go via Princes Highway he would suggest that I just walk it.  Yes, he does think that my anxiety and worry was unwarranted.  But he is no parent.  (Princes Highway is a major road in Aus extends from NSW to South Australia along the coast roughly about 1980 kms).

I enquire at the reception re my son’s progress.  She sends me to the ward that my son will be admitted to after the surgery.  The nurse at the ward was a sweetheart. Obviously another mother.  She explains to me that my son was taken in late and hence the delay in coming out of theatre .  That explains the long wait. It still was no cure for a jittery mother.  Her kind words and empathy were helpful  though. She takes me to the carers waiting room/lounge. 

My tablet and phone were on the last bars of battery power.  The sweetheart nurse shows me to a small room off the lounge where I could charge my electronics. I think doctors heal your ailment and the nurses complete it with healing your heart.

 I  am alone once again in a small room.  Although we detest solitude, it is still necessary. It plays an important part in reasoning , analysing and self healing.  I lasted all of ten minutes or maybe less with that philosophy.  I leave my phone and tablet to charge and join the rest of the zombies in the carer lounge.  The TV was on with same old, same old – someone was shot, a politician said something controversial, hurricane in Japan, some celebrity that no one knows or cares about is now engaged and another divorced, but still no news about my son.

There was no Jasmin tea in the waiting area. I make a mental note to myself, that I should add that to the “suggestions/complains” on the discharge form.  I was pretty sure another cup of Jasmin Tea is what I needed.  Not wanting to unplug my electronics I settle for a black tea and for some more of the world news.  The world seems to continue even with all the atrocities and disasters.  I finally get a call from the anesthetic to say that my boy has done well.  And that is my world.  We have our set backs. But life has a way of working out in the end.   My boy will get through this. we will get through this.

Posted in True Story, Inspirational

The Ganesan’s in the Orient 4

emm-n-con-u

Still in Shanghai

We stayed 3 nights in Shanghai.  We walked through many streets, drove a fair distance, rode the fastest train, a mini cruise all crammed in those 3 days.  China is a big country with a very old history and culture.  So 3 days in Shanghai was nowhere near enough.

It has been many moons and drinks since this trip, again life’s road blocks keeps popping up.  I am trying to think of them as speed bumps and not road blocks.  So, I am back again in my writing nook, looking for a distraction.

Back to what the sentence where I started “It has been many moons and drinks…” (before I veered off), so the order of the visits and some details may be distorted.

We were in awe with their level of engineering, architecture and the artifacts.  Most of these were 2000-3000 years old.  BC.  Before Christ and well Before Computers. However, it was to be expected on a trip to China.  They were renowned for this rich history and culture.  However the extent of it was mind blowing.

But what one didn’t expect was clean streets.  There was someone sweeping and picking up rubbish all the time.  The streets were really CLEAN.  For a county with such a large population I expected it to be dirty.  But I was wrong.

I believe our first visit was to the Yu Garden.  As per history, this garden was a gift from a son to his father.  That was one expensive fathers day gift.  It was really stunning.  Although not so peaceful as it was intended to be, as the place was rather crowded.  From sleepy Adelaide to this population explosion was something new to get used to.  Little did I know this wasn’t bad as what was in store for us later in the tour.

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Every tile, every corner of the roof was filled with  detail.

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We were given some free time to wonder around the little market we had just walked through.  However, it was too hot for my liking. The night before I had asked Sophie our tour guide if it was possible to see a tea ceremony and she gave us the option of doing the tea ceremony or the shopping.

So, I opted for a tea ceremony rather than shopping in the heat.  Some others joined me.

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Some of the characters from our tour group

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yes they had lots of tea pots

Tea ceremony was free however we all left with a small purchase for a small fortune. The power of holiday purchase.  I did enjoy the teas however, not sure if I needed to pay so much.

The following photos are from the old town, near Yu garden

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Next stop was the Shanghai Tower.  The tower gives you the  opportunity to see the extent of the concrete structures, sea of apartments and just the explosion of development.  It also gives you a clear view of the pollution they face.  The day was not overcast.  This was apparently a good day.

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The building known as the Bear Bottle.

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of course next to the bear bottle stands the bottle opener

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Then it was time for a ride on the Maglev Train.  A magnetic levitation Train Line.

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The day was coming to a close and the final agenda was a trip to The Bund and then a night cruise from the Bund.

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We were given some free time to wonder around by ourselves.  Our initial search was for a place to get a nice cool drink.  But accidentally stumbled on to this amazing building.  It is in fact a bank.  The Old HSBC Bank.  But it felt like I had entered the Sistine Chapel.  It is still an operating bank.  So we casually went in and exchanged some currencies as well.

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As night fell we boarded the cruise.

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Shanghai looks pretty darn nice at night too.

Good night all.

Posted in travel, True Story, Inspirational

The Ganesan’s in the Orient – 2

Cont from The Ganesan’s in the Orient – 1 …. https://uma197.wordpress.com/2019/08/31/the-ganesans-in-the-orient-1/

Adelaide airport was calm and no sign of cancelled flights, Cathy Pacific staff looked unmoved and it didn’t seem like the world was going to end any time soon, so we decided to board the plane and go to China.

After 9 long hours of discomfort and boredom we arrived in Hong Kong. The airport looked deserted. All shops and service counters were closed. And definitely no sign of protesters. Phew!!. We still spent a few more hours of apprehension as there was still no sign of gate allocation for our next flight. About 40 minutes to spare we finally get the gate allocation and we board the flight to Shanghai.

Ni Hao Shanghai

The Ganesan’s touch down.

The earth roared and the sun emerged. A red carpet adorned the air bridge.

China was waiting for us. It could’ve been just turbulence and sun may have just risen as it was the morning, but we will never know if the show was for the benefit for the Ganesan’s. It was disappointing that Xi Jinping did not come to greet us, but we are not one to hold grudges, with everything that was on his plate we could certainly understand. Also we wanted to blend in, not bring attention to ourselves. Please, enough with the paparazzi.

But there was no chance of blending in, every turn there were big signs that blared out “FOREIGNER” and we were continually directed to those lines and queues. We see two tunnels – “To Declare” and the other “Nothing Declare”.  Just when we were going to head towards the “Nothing to Declare”, we were shooed off to “Declare”.  There was no time or opportunity to explain, we in fact had nothing to declare.  The guy (the officer) could see and comprehend what we were trying to say but he sternly pointed towards “Declare”.  Such a contrast to the Australian airports.  Over here in Aus you get the feeling they just want you to sod off, unless you are bringing in food, especially bananas or a dog, they just want you to get on with it.  The other difference is that, other than in Australia all other airport officials have a thing about smiling.  It is almost like if they smile or make eye contact somehow they might jeopardize the security system.  But honestly I feel more safe in our airports than anywhere else.  Pretty sure they catch all the real criminals, however they don’t feel the need to put the fear of god in every passenger for no reason. Every time I see that stern face I get the urge to tell “Just chill mate, just breath in and breath out”. 

I had gone off the tangent once again.  We slowly got through each section. I was alarmed when I realised that I was going to be finger printed. I had a choice, to argue that it was a violation of my privacy or just get on with it and enter China. Obviously I chose the latter. Losing all the money I had spent to come to China vs holding on to my rights, I realised holding on to one’s rights was so overrated. But on my return I heard from my son that he was finger printed in LA and Canada. I think it’s an argument/topic for another day.

Finally coming out to a sea of people at the arrival gate was such a relief. I skim through all the signs and posters from those who had come to pick up passengers and finally see the sign, “Wendy Wu Tours”.

WE ARE HERE, OUR HOLIDAY BEGINS.

 

 

Posted in True Story, Inspirational

Three years of blogging

A message pops up to say that it has been 3 years since I started to blog on wordpress. I haven’t written/blogged much in the recent times. I have missed writing so much. I have wanted to, but been afraid what might pour out.

I reflect, my website hasn’t changed much in the last 3 yrs. I should update my “about” page, I should work my menu tab. My website is almost a reflection of the house renovations that needs a revisit. Just like my house renovations, the website might have to wait too.

Looking back at the last 3 yrs of blogging/writing, I would like to think that I have grown as a writer, as an individual learning about the world and it’s citizens. Some quirky characters have followed my blog, and in the same way I found myself drawn to some blogs that were very out there by individuals I would have not come in contact normally.

I had a blogger who writes about Dante, who became a follower who commented on my measly writing/blog. He still time to time, pops up with a comment or two. I did ask him what he was doing in my nook and he responded that there are many Dante’s amongst us but not everyone gets the notoriety. Ooo… I felt six feet tall that day.

I found myself following an 19 year old Prisoner from somewhere in the USA. I don’t know what he is in for, but he should switch his weapon to a pen, it’s a pretty mighty one.

My favourite go-to blog has to be Rabbit Patch Diary. Written by a dear old soul. It’s a place I go to when I am troubled, a place where I go to when I need to just relax, it is definitely my little escape. https://rabbitpatchdiary.com/

In the last 3 yrs of blogging, I have poured my heart out and I have opened up some old wounds, I have been vocal about politics and politicians, I have been whimsical, I have been dark and I have taken you on my travels. It really has been a great nook for me explore, express and just chill.

Today I would like to leave you’ll with this song lyric by Bob Marley,

Don’t worry about a thing, cause every little thing is going to be alright”

This song, these lyrics are speaking volumes to me today. We have to believe that life may have it’s twists and turns, but it will work out at the end. We need the sun and the rain. Usually one follows the other. The reality is, there is no pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. Life’s cycle just keeps turning. Like night and day one follows the other. Even when we don’t want one or the other, it still keeps following one another. Even if the night was filled with nightmares, it will soon be morning.

So, “Don’t worry about a thing, cause every little thing is going to be alright”

Thank you to all those who read my blog and commented and encouraged. Thank you for all the support.

Just remember “its going to be alright” I shall remember that too.

Posted in True Story, Inspirational

Everyday is a blessing

After my last rant on my last blog, I have been reluctant to write. Afraid what might pour out. To a certain extent ashamed of my outburst. I have had my fair share of hurdles in the past to overcome and I am usually calm and collected and take it on my stride. I am usually someone who listens to logic. This time my behavior surprised me, almost scared me. It really troubled me not to be in control.

Every word, any word uttered by my husband annoyed me. He was giving me logical solutions. He couldn’t understand, that I was well aware of the logic, I was well aware of all the data, the probabilities, but I just couldn’t control my emotions. My brain kept going into a very negative nook.

My eldest living in another state and at that time my youngest in the UK didn’t help the situation. I didn’t want to discuss this with the youngest until he got back home. Which made my skype calls very strained. Each time he asked me the most common greeting/question “How are you? how are things?” I found it difficult to answer and I feared that he may sense the discomfort.

Hubby gradually understood that I didn’t need solutions and reminder of logic, I just needed a one way sounding board. The boys took the news much better than I expected. Even though I still feel guilty that I carry this mutated gene that I may have passed it on to them, they don’t feel that way. But I have accepted the fact the first step is for the boys to be tested – tested to see if they carry the gene. There is no point in worrying about the next stage until that. Next thing I have to vehemently tell myself is, the boys need me, I cannot drop the ball now.

My workaholic hubby made a booking for a weekend getaway to Cape Jervis and that really did help and hurry along the calming process. In my next blog I will talk about Cape Jervis and surrounds, it is indeed a magical part of South Australia.

My eldest is back from Sydney and today is the D-Day for the test. We took the boys to Willunga Hill yesterday to have lunch at ‘Our Place’
http://www.willungahill.com/

Beautiful drive, spectacular scenery, Food – simply divine, Andy – the chef and host – such a character. To be there as a family and enjoy all this was blissful. Even then at the back on my mind, I was worrying about the boys. The two get along so well, they are both just gorgeous boys, there was so much laughter and banter. I was forcing myself to have a good time too. I kept reminding myself that everyday is a blessing.

I guess it is normal for me to be jittery today. But I am not going to let my emotions get the better of me.

I am going to listen to hubby (for a change). Yes, he is right, we’ve never had it easy, but we have always submerged, maybe gasping for breath but always submerged and we have come out it. I may have to paddle a bit harder for this times rapid current. But I will keep paddling. It is all going to be alright at the end.

Posted in True Story, Inspirational

When memories fail us…

dont forget

It has been a few months since my aunty’s 90th.  A subject that keeps popping up lately but talking to a friend of mine today, who’s mum has now been diagnosed with Dementia the hardships she going through emotionally and physically made me ponder about this subject again.  Years ago my son was involved in a play called the “Also a Mirror” by Sean Riley was based on residents from a Nursing Home primarily suffering from Dementia.  When you come to know these residents, the recipients of this debilitating decease, you understand that each one of them have their own story. Each one of them a special character.  Time to time that individual spunk pops out, refusing to give into the haze of confusion.  But for the family and loved ones who have seen them as larger than life and now to see them belittled by such a blow is a hard pill to swallow.

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My aunt had seven kids and she managed the whole show.  My uncle was mostly at sea, he was in the merchant marine, a Chief Engineer.  While he was away, she single handedly managed the house, the kids and the  million guests who arrived daily from all parts of the country for short stays.  She was a tough woman with a soft heart.  Thanks to the power of nagging and care all her seven kids are now successful individuals.  Who have now followed in the footsteps of my Grand Father and have gone forth and multiplied.  I maybe corrected with my numbers, but I believe my aunt now has Twenty something Great Grand kids and counting.

My dad was the youngest of eight kids and the first to depart.  My aunt loved him very much and missed him very much.  This grand woman turned 90 in December and my cousin and his wife held a big party.  Almost the entire clan was here from all nooks of the world.

I was out of ideas for a gift for a woman who had everything and didn’t need anything.  Finally, I decided to write something for her.  Sharing it today for my friend and anyone else who have to go through this with one of their favourites.

 

Memories

Mami – Baby Mami (mami is aunty) – that’s what I have always called you.  I am your brother Rasam’s daughter Uma.

 

You look into my eyes and wonder who I am. It pains you not to remember.

 

You want to remember me but memories fail you. Don’t feel bad mami.  You have lived a life – a whole life – filled with many faces and many hearts.  So, it’s not easy to remember them all.

 

Memories have a habit of giving up on us time to time.  When I was fifteen, I didn’t remember what I did when I was two.  But you reminded me that my dad called me “Nari and nangal” (made pet names by my dad), you reminded me the drama he caused trying to name me. You reminded me that he loved me very much.  And, you reminded me that you loved your brother and missed your brother just the way I did.

 

Even though you have retold the stories of my two year old days many a times, it is still buried memories for me.  But I loved hearing those stories and for that I thank you.

 

Now that you are ninety, it’s my turn to jog your memories. I understand those memories aren’t going to rush back.  It’s okay, for each of us, it is a tale that we enjoyed telling the other.  We just needed each other to share and reminisce, that story. It’s not important that the other remembers that story or not.

 

So let me introduce myself –

I am your youngest brother – one of the twins – Rasam’s daughter – only daughter.  My mum is Pathini.  My dad passed away at the age of 53.  He left a massive hole in all our hearts.  You loved him very much and missed him very much.  The only thing you could do was to love me and that you did.  You did the same for my mum too.  Thank you mami, for being there for us at our time of need.

 

You gave birth to seven beautiful children, and they loved us and supported us too.  You brought them up well mami.  You can be, one proud mother.

 

Now, I am married and have two boys.  I married Customs Nada’s son Ganesh.  He too has many memories of you and your family.  Once again it’s another face that you may not remember but nonetheless another heart that you have touched.

 

So mami it’s not necessary for you to remember us all.

Just remember that you have loved many.

 

And you are loved by all.