I had an awesome trip to India and I couldn’t have done this trip without my friends.
First in the list of my friends would be Thelma. When Yaya told me she wanted to go to India, I didn’t know what I was going to do with toothless and baby. It wasn’t the first time I have faced a situation like that. When my son was 2 years old, I was offered a job as a vice president of a big health care firm in KL and my mother was home. I also had a maid at home. Before I signed the contract, I asked my mother if she would stay with me and help me with the children. She didn’t have to do anything, but to have an eye on the maid. There was no way, I was going to leave my children alone with a maid after the previous maid slapped Yaya while I was at work. My mother declined and I didn’t take up the job. Few years later, the same company wrote to me and asked if I would be interested to work for them and asked me to come for an interview. By then baby was 2 + years old and my older sister was living in KL. I called my sister two weeks in advance and asked if she would take care of my children for two hours while I went for the interview and she said “no problem”, the night before my interview day, I called her again and confirmed with her and she said “no problem”. On the day of the interview, I took a cab to my sister’s place with my children in tow and just as I was about to reach my sister’s place, she called me on my mobile to tell me that she won’t be able to take care of my children because “she is having fever”.
The taxi driver saw me crying and asked me “Why are you crying”. Long story short, he took care of my children while I attended the interview. I really wanted that job and I knew the taxi driver. He was staying in the flats across my Condo. Yet, I couldn’t do the interview well. I was so worried about leaving my children with a stranger. I was a nervous wreck. Needless to say, that company never called me after that.
Only single mothers with no family support can understand the grief of never having anyone to help you when you need help the most. Life teaches you to be strong and once I accepted that I can’t really rely on my family, I found ways to cope. I became super independent, to such an extent that with a bad pneumonia, I still walked every day to drop and fetch my children when we lived in Vancouver. I hated to ask for help. ( if your own flesh and blood won’t help you, why would a stranger?)
So, I wasn’t sure what to do with my children.My next door neighbour was going on a cruise around the same time, so I couldn’t ask her help. So I asked Thelma if she would stay at my house for two weeks and have an eye on the kids. I didn’t really expect her to say “Yes”. I was mentally prepared for a “No”
But she said “yes”. She stayed at me place with my children while I was in India with Yaya. My children took over the cooking. My son made, spagbol, lasagne, salmon with crushed pepper ( all from internet) etc, baby did the salad, cookies etc and Thelma tidied up my garden. I was expecting to see my house in a mess when I returned. It was such a delight to come home to a clean house and find a plate of rice and a bowl of Dhal on the table.( my son made it)
The only thing is, I was always scared to ask for help and I think I was wrong. Just because your family is screwed up doesn’t mean that your friends will be too.