He is gone

This morning, I woke up from my drug induced hazy sleep to hear the Kookaburras laughing, Molly, my neighbour’s dog was barking and  Tom, my neighbour up the street was starting his bike.. to go to work. I looked by my side and found my youngest, who never likes to be hugged or held has her arm over me..in a protective way. The tears rolling down my cheek may stop one day.. but if I can get through just one moment and then the next..then I will be fine. I know this too shall pass and I will find my wings again again and soar high…but that is the hardest part. This journey of healing and finding myself..

I want everything to stop, for I feel so numb..I want the Kookaburras and the dog to shut up..How can the world go on when  I am hurting so much..

Stop all the clocks, cut off the telephone,
Prevent the dog from barking with a juicy bone,
Silence the pianos and with muffled drum
Bring out the coffin, let the mourners come.

Let aeroplanes circle moaning overhead
Scribbling on the sky the message ‘He is Dead’.
Put crepe bows round the white necks of the public doves,
Let the traffic policemen wear black cotton gloves.

He was my North, my South, my East and West,
My working week and my Sunday rest,
My noon, my midnight, my talk, my song;
I thought that love would last forever: I was wrong.

The stars are not wanted now; put out every one,
Pack up the moon and dismantle the sun,
Pour away the ocean and sweep up the wood;
For nothing now can ever come to any good.

(Auden)

 

Jade

I think the first time I fell in love with Jade was when I was living in Sabah. Someone had donated a jade necklace as part of the offering in the Catholic church and my cousin bought it from the church. It was an antique jewellery set and very pretty. My cousin fluffed her plumes and strutted around wearing the beautiful necklace, revelling in the attention.. because everyone knew she paid more than the market value for the jade..because the money was going to the church.. for a good cause. What no one noticed was that it was a flawless piece of imperial jade.. easily 50 years old and that for someone to donate such a valuable heirloom, there had to be a reason.. I felt the church should have kept it.

I have always watched the older Chinese women wearing jade ornaments and thought they looked really beautiful..

Years later, my mother wanted a jade pendant and I went looking around for a perfect jade..and due to my political convictions, I even made sure that the jade wasn’t from Myanmar..

I never really bought jade for myself.. not sure why I didn’t.. Not that Jade was very expensive.. there is something about finding that perfect piece of jewellery.. I never got around to it.

When I visited NZ, I kept finding jade jewellery in every shop we went to and I kept  thinking the next shop will have something even better.. this went on. till I reached the airport and realized the price was easily 10 times more at the airport and I didn’t like anything they had at the airport..

Jade comes in various colours, my favourite is Kingfisher jade that is semi transparent. The green of kingfisher jade reminds of me of the green in Kerala after the monsoon rain..

I did tell him the story of my ill luck finding the perfect jade months ago.. But I didn’t tell him the colour I like. He had never been to Kerala.. and he wouldn’t have understood what I mean when I talk about monsoon green..

He bought me wine from NZ ( pinot noir, cause I am really partial to that). He collected  Manuka shampoo and conditioner from the hotels he stayed in NZ, because he felt I deserve only the best.. He bought raspberry and vanilla body soap..I had assumed he would buy lemon and mint cause he knows it is my favourite..But he opted for the raspberry one because I did tell him long ago that my adopted daughter had brought it with her when she came to stay with me and it smelled divine..He even bought stuff for the kids..

The thing is, I knew he was going to get all these.. and I really wasn’t surprised.

Finally, with a beautiful smile that lit his face up and with a twinkle in his eyes, he then handed me a very small parcel…. really really small parcel..

“What is inside?” I asked him..I am not good with surprises that I can’t predict..

“You should open it” He replied

I felt outside the parcel.. I couldn’t figure out what it was.

I looked at him..he looked so happy.. as if he knew this was something that would make me really happy.. I really had to see what he got for me, so I tore open the paper cover.. and inside was a small kingfisher jade pendant..

 

 

 

Hmm

Yesterday evening, we decided to go out for dinner to celebrate the end of our holidays, perhaps the end of our good times together.. Since we have been together, the one thing I hadn’t cooked for him is dosai.. even when we went to Malaysia, somehow he never got a chance to eat dosai. So I wanted to go to an Indian restaurant for dinner, so he could have dosai… I googled to find a place nearby and unfortunately for us, either the address was wrong or the shop closed down. However we did end up in a street with lots of restaurants. There were French, Mexican and even a Spanish restaurant, but he knew I wanted to go to an Indian restaurant and insisted we walk down the street till we find one. Eventually we did. Mukka on Fitzroy street. They had an assortment south and north Indian food and he let me place the order. I knew he likes Aubergines, so I ordered the Bhartha and roti, one masala dosai and a pav bhaji set to share between us. He loved it all (to be fair, he looked like a cooked prawn at the end of the meal and I did feel a bit bad for not ordering something less spicy)

There was so much we needed to tell each other, but goodbyes are hard to say and we both chose to read instead of talking when we got back to our hotel. It was a horrible night. .I could feel him toss and turn and the bed creaked every time he moved. He set the alarm for 7 AM to my fav song..and I let it ring..hoping to delay the impending doom. He knew I was awake.. and I knew he was awake.. only the alarm didn’t know that we were both awake and continued the ringing.

Eventually he got up and I knew he was going to make me tea. He knows I need two sugars, but will only add a single sugar in my tea( for my health apparently) We had some cookies, so he served tea in bed with cookies. This was going to be the last time he made me tea and I wanted to cherish the moment.. but somehow it made me feel even more miserable.

He used the washroom first and when I went to brush my teeth, I noticed that he left his lip balm on the counter..so I could use it. The cold Melbourne weather had caused my lips to bleed.. I took a shower, so I could cry my heart out.

Eventually we got to the airport, returned the rental car and found our flight was delayed.

I had planned my exit well. I deactivated my facebook account first thing in the morning and already got a new phone number. I was planning to go to my house straight from the airport and have no contact with him till he leaves on Thursday. I hate goodbyes.

“Let us play scrabble” he said, and we did.

When we boarded the flight, the cabin crew noticed that we were sitting in two different rows. I am not sure how the cabin crew knew we were travelling together(our tickets were booked separately), but they did and promised us that once the light take off, they will find two seats for us. The seat next to me was empty and the moment the cabin door was closed, he came and sat next to me.

“You can now sleep peacefully” He said pointing to his shoulder. I have always slept on his shoulder every time we flew. He wouldn’t move at all, so I can sleep peacefully and not get migraine.

When we landed, he said ” Why don’t you come to my place and spend a few hours with me before you go home” He sounded so needy (not in a bad way) and I didn’t have the heart to say No. So we took a taxi from the airport and went to his house. (I wonder if he knew I was going to do a runner..he even insisted that I leave my backpack at his place and come and pick up later)

For some strange reason, I remembered I have a friend who owns an RTO( registered training organization) that you can apply to study some course and get a student visa.

“Why don’t you call him?” He asked and I did. My friend sent the application etc and within 30 minutes he filled the whole thing and sent it back.

He may or may not get the student visa.

He may or may not come back from Spain..

We may never be together again..

But right now..this very moment..I feel hopeful..

 

Hmm

Tomorrow, I am going to Melbourne. It was his Christmas gift to me. I had always wanted to see a platypus in the wild and even though Tassie is known to have a lot of platypi, we didn’t get to see a single one. Lake Elizabeth in Victoria is supposed to be a platypi habitat, so he felt it would be an ideal gift for me.

He was away and would arrive in Melbourne tomorrow morning. When he comes to pick me up, the first thing he will do is to carry my backpack. He will open the car door for me and on my seat  there will be a packet of Tyrrel’s kettle cooked chips and a bottle of water. He would tell me, He knows Tyrrel’s is my favourite chips and bought it for me because he knows I don’t eat breakfast and would be starving by the time I get to Melbourne.. Because I am not checking in luggage and can’t carry shampoo and conditioner, he would have bought all that for me before coming to pick me up. He would have even bought my favourite lemon and mint soap.

I cooked Nasi Lemak and satay chicken to take with me. Ideally he wouldn’t eat cold lunch. But he likes Nasi Lemak and will eat it without complaining. Then he will find a place for us to have a cappuccino and when he orders mine, he will ask for extra chocolate.

Right now, it is almost midnight and I am just so angry at myself..for being a stubborn mule.

I don’t know what the next few weeks hold in store me..don’t know when I will update either..

Why I will never get married.

They say never say never, but this is one never that will always be a never. I will never get married.

When I got married the first time, I had so much hope, dreams and expectations. It was so exciting. I was like a bird all ready to soar high in this journey with my partner.

First it was my name that went. The name I was born with, the name my parents gave. Just because I chose to live with a man, the society expected me to change my name..

It was as if I could never be me and still be married.

As a woman, you then start to give off a bit of yourself.. for the sake of peace, sanity and each day you find a few of your feathers have been plucked..eventually you lose your wings and your identity.. the wings you thought you would be using to soar high..

Finally, you lose yourself completely. You become someone’s wife, someone’s daughter-in law, someone’s sister in law and someone’s mother. But you as a person do not exist. Your dreams, your hopes, your aspirations take a backstage because as a woman, wife and a mother, you are expected to give all of yourself.. for your family. It is your duty. You are like a candle, burning to give light so needed and everyone is happy because you give the light.. yet no one sees you burning..

It took me years to find my wings again. I will never ever give that up.

I am me.. I will always be me. I have a name and I have dreams and hopes and ambitions. I will not sacrifice my dreams, hopes and ambitions to a marriage. Even if it meant that I will have to say goodbye to a guy who means the world to me.

Hmm

Ideally, I would like to not write about my breaking heart, because it is too painful. However, my fingers seem to have a mind of their own.. I don’t know how long you all will have to endure reading this saga..

Yesterday my son wanted to go to Byron Bay. Yaya too wanted to do it because she needs to complete 100 hours of driving to get her P plate. I didn’t want to go because the first trip he and I did was to Byron Bay. This was way before I fell in love with him. Because of my (lack of) sense of direction, I offered to meet him half way in the city and he took the train from his place. There was a perfectly functioning underground tunnel that lets him get to the car park safely without getting himself run over by cars. But he chose to cross/jaywalk  the most busiest road. I watched him zigzagging between cars travelling at 70 km/hr. He had a huge grin on his face when he got to my car alive.. like a little kid. It was the first time he met my kids who by this time were laughing so much after watching him run like a scared rabbit between cars. There was something about the way he talked to the kids.. he just knew how to capture their attention because my son who usually play games on his phone and my youngest who usually reads were talking to him the entire drive. I was completely sidelined. We were meant to go to Fishhead in Byron bay for dinner and when we got there, it was closed. There were plenty of other restaurants and each of the kids wanted something different and went their own way. he and I ended up in a Mexican place and he ordered a quesadilla. “What are you having?” He asked me and I told him, I am a vegetarian for which Yaya(who by then decided she too wanted Mexican food) replied, “Mom is a vegetarian who doesn’t eat vegetables” That has been a joke with the kids for the longest time because as I wrote before I don’t like any vegetable that ends in Ka/Ga in Malayalam. (vendekka, vazhuthanagga etc). Seriously though, the only picking the Mexican place had was a cheese Quesadilla and I didn’t feel like eating it. So after he and Yaya bought their food, we still went to look for something for me to eat and eventually found a Middle Eastern restaurant. I was finally happy. I ordered Falafel sandwich. 5 minutes after I ordered the food, I noticed the girl at the counter hitting on him. It was a pretty hilarious sight.. him eating his quesadilla and her asking him questions and him trying to swallow his food, so he could answer her questions.. Eventually my younger two found us and he immediately turned his attention to the kids and ignored the girl at the counter.

We then went to the beach, sat on the rocks and watched the waves.. It was really cold and then being the awesome person that I am, I went to the car to get the  blankets and the dessert. I had baked apple pie for dessert and actually had to keep it in a wooden box because I had taken it out of the oven just before leaving.. I didn’t count the number of spoons we needed and found that we were one spoon short. So I gave him the last spoon. The pie was still steaming hot and it was really a good pie.( and totally a cheats version, I added extra sugar and cinnamon to canned apple pie filling and the crust was made with readymade short crust pastry. I made it look professional by doing lattice work for the top crust) He noticed that I didn’t have a spoon and took a spoonful of pie using his spoon and gave me. I grew up practicing Ayitham and even to this day I find it really strange to share utensils with strangers. I didn’t want to offend him, so I ate the pie..rather reluctantly.

“You are an awesome cook” He said

“I know” I replied”

“Very modest, are we?” He replied and my kids almost chocked on the apple pie..(while laughing).

After that we walked a bit and then drove back home and I dropped him to his home. We hugged each other and wished goodnight like friends do. But I did notice him standing by the driveway and watching me drive off, which was a bit odd..

“He is so much fun” said my youngest and I nodded my head.

The trip to Byron bay yesterday was really painful.. because I relived all that I wrote above..

Glass of water…

The first time I saw him, he was wearing a hot pink pants. (technically it wasn’t pink, he insists it is dark magenta and I disagreed. It could have been magenta at the time he bought it, but the QLD sun has done its magic to make it looks pink) James Brown was singing hot pants in my head and I really had to bite my tongue, so I won’t laugh. I do come across as a lunatic who smiles for no reason (often because I have songs playing in my head that are apt for the situation that makes me laugh, which unfortunately no one else can hear) and it is really embarrassing.

I do remember noticing his mesmerising azure blue eyes.

It was always easy to spot him in the crowd. He is really handsome and always well dressed and we met each other often at the coffee shop.

One thing led to another and we found we have so much in common. We both like Cappuccino with extra chocolate, we both prefer our drinks to be very hot  We both switch off the phone when we don’t want to talk to anyone and then claim there was no cell phone reception. I think the only difference I could think of is..when I come back home, I usually wash my legs and hands and jump in to my bed, so I can read. He can’t stand that. He only gets in to bed after a shower.

I had no intention of falling in love ever. I have a good life and I am happy with my life.

We got along well as friends and I was happy with that.

It was a very hot day and we were out all day. I don’t do well in heat and I was coming down with a migraine. I went to take a quick shower, so I could take my medicine and go to bed before my migraine got worst. I had not told him that I was going to get the mother of all migraine. ..yet when I came out of the shower, on the bedside table was a glass of cold water and my migraine medicine.

It was the glass of cold water that made me fall in love with him.

They say love takes your breath away, often not in a good way.. love makes you uncertain.. and nervous.. it takes away what you thought you know until all you know is you love someone..

I never ever wanted to fall in love because when you allow someone in to your life, then you are also allowing the possibility of that someone leaving you..  Yet I did.. because I would have to be made of stone not to have fallen in love with a guy who could do something so simple.. yet so caring.

 

A year that would be

Usually at this time of the year, I do a post on the year that was..

But today, I thought I would do the year that would be.. I contemplated a lot writing this post and perhaps writing this would take some of the pain away.

End of Jan, my partner will go back to Spain. His project here in Brissie is over along with his visa. I could make it possible for him to stay on if we marry. But that is one step I am not willing to take. I have no intention of ever getting married. We have one last holiday together in the second week of Jan. We are not breaking up, that being said, I don’t do long distance relationship and there is no way I can go to Spain in the next four years. I hate to do the whole goodbye scene and so I am going to do the one thing I am really good at. I am going to run away when we get back after our last holiday together. He doesn’t think I would do it, I don’t think I could do it either, but I don’t see any other options.

I told the old lady that tomorrow can only be dealt with tomorrow and I wasn’t lying when I told her that. Everyday that I spent with him, I knew there would be a day, I will have to say goodbye. Goodbye was to happen in the tomorrow.. and I thought I will deal with it when it happens..Initially that tomorrow was distant and I conveniently ignored the narrowing of the chasm between my happiness and devastation..

So these are things I would miss the most.

Greasy fries.. He is the only one who figured out my need for greasy fries when I am sad. (Whenever I am sad, I make myself a giant serve of greasy fries and I have been doing this since 1994 and it never occurred to me that I use fries as an emotional companion) I don’t really know how he figured it out. But every time I was upset, he took me to Maccas and bought me fries and cappuccino with extra chocolate.

Songs.. He knows every single one of my fav songs and play them when we are driving long distance. He also knows the lyrics and will sing them according to the situation, which always made me laugh.

Laughter.. He would do silly things to make me laugh..I remember driving to Gold Coast and I was in a really crabby mood. He would ask me a random question and when I answered reluctantly for the sake of politeness , he would then ask me ” so, how does that make you feel?” That question had absolutely no connection to the answer I gave.. 15 mints to the journey, I was laughing so much that I even forgot why I was crabby in the first place.

Walks.. he knew how much I love long walks and would make it a point to take me for long walks at least once a week. He also knew my love for wildlife and would take me to places where we could spot wildlife.

History.. When I read novels, If I find historical events, I never had to google to find out more. I just had to ask him. My historical knowledge is good, his is better. He is the only person I have ever met who knew the historical dates..

OCD… I have a lot of OCD’s and so does he. It meant a lot that I didn’t have to hang his towel properly because he has the same obsession and would do it himself. (edges have to be straight and must meet) I think the only thing he ever struggled was eating mallu food. He could handle Appam with maple syrup. But not Appam and stew. Sweetness of the appam along with pungence of curry was  not ok for his OCD.

Scrabble. However tired he was, if I wanted to play scrabble, he stayed awake. He didn’t mind that I won most of the time either or that I was a sore loser when he won.

Chocolates. Apart from him, the only other person I know who is addicted to chocolate is my youngest. I will miss buying chocolate for him every time I went to buy groceries. I will miss baking brownies for him.

Movies. Mondays were our movie nights.. and I don’t really know how I will cope each Monday that is waiting for me.. actually I don’t know how I will cope any of the days after he leaves….

Now that this is out of my chest..from today till I get back from our holidays, I am going to pretend that all is well like I have been doing the past few weeks..

 

hmm

It is hot and almost Christmas. I have been wanting to write a post on the year that was..

But today is a lazy kind of day.

Yaya’s SAT subject results are out. She got 760/800 for Biology and 730/800 for Spanish. Pretty good score I must say, considering the fact that she never had any tuition and partied the night before her exam!

This morning she showed me her essay for college application. She called the former PM Australia a buffoon because she was unhappy with his environmental policy. I thought of telling her to tone it down. But then again, it is her essay.. her feelings.. if she thinks Tony Abbot is a buffoon then so be it.

Ideally I would love to be somewhere cold during Christmas. Somehow Christmas in Australia never really has that magic one would expect. We hung the star, decorated the tree and I can see piles of gifts under the tree that the kids have bought for each other.

This morning I baked Pavlova and Goan Bibinka. (Bibinka requires egg yolk only and pavlova requires egg white only, so I do both). I already made old fashioned sago Christmas pudding few days ago. I still have fruitcake from few Christmas ago in the freezer, None of my kids like to eat fruitcake. So I stopped baking fruitcake.

Champagne is already in the fridge. Tomorrow evening I will make Stuffed Chicken breast with pancetta and sun dried tomato, Lobster in lemon butter, garlic prawns, saddle back potato, cauliflower au gratin and a nice Italian salad.

This is the last Christmas I have all three of my children home.

Merry Christmas to all of you.

Live Laugh Love

Sarah