I stayed over at my sister’s house last night as she and my brother-in-law had a rare night out. I was minding my nephew who has to be the easiest kid to babysit (once you’re used to his routines as if they’re the Order of Service at a wedding :)) and he asked his Mum, my sister: “Is Ah-yee (meaning your mother’s younger sister in Cantonese) living with us?”
Now, for those among you who are cynics, he wasn’t asking the question in a whiny way. He was serious. That was a precious moment – he wants me to be there all the time. Ah, that is a proud aunty moment, for sure, and one that I will treasure for as long as I can before he becomes a grumpy teenage boy! Lol
After receiving a phone call last week from an old friend’s sister-in-law to inform me that my friend had passed away suddenly from a motorcycle accident, then attending his funeral 2 days later, I needed some good quality family time. My friend was only in his mid-30s and has left behind a wife and four young children.
So I am keeping this short and sweet. Go and hug (and maybe kiss – if appropriate :)) someone you love. Tell them you love them and show them you appreciate them for being in your life.
Do it. Now.
If you ever need a reason or motivation to do it, just watch this wonderful video – Randy Pausch’s Last Lecture at Carnegie Mellon University. I have watched this a couple of times and have also read his book. It is powerful stuff.
I love youse all! xox
Less than two weeks ago, I wrote about a friend of mine, Mary, who married her long-time partner, Rodney, in a beautiful, yet simple, ceremony in Sydney (see “Picture of Love, Togetherness and Strength“). Last Friday, I was so proud of myself for using my new-found Windows Movie Maker skills when I made a short wedding video with the photos I had taken at their wedding and put it to music with a couple of Bruno Mars songs. It was my little gift to Mary for her 39th birthday. She had replied back, via Rodney, to say the video had put a smile on her face. Rodney was excited about being on YouTube.
Mary and Me in Adelaide, Nov 2009
Sadly, today, I awoke to the news that Mary had passed away this morning in Adelaide, having lost her brave battle with cancer. The news has greatly upset me all day for many reasons and I have been trying to find the right words to express this. The passing of a loved one is never easy to accept. The loss of one so young – a contemporary, well, actually younger than me by several months – with a young family and so much to live for, just adds to the craziness of how the world works. Perhaps the most frustrating (is that the right word?) part about this loss is that I feel like Mary and I only just “found” each other again 2 years ago after having only seen each other once or twice since we finished high school. When we caught up in November 2009 in Adelaide, we had even talked about meeting up in Melbourne one time when my football team, the Sydney Swans, played hers, Collingwood Magpies.
On Friday 29th April, 2011, an estimated TV audience of 2 billion tuned in to the “Wedding of the Century” as Prince William of Wales married commoner Catherine Elizabeth Middleton at Westminster Abbey in London. They had met at university and had been together for 9 years (bar a short period of separation) and for almost as long, the world had been asking “when will they tie the knot?” Once their engagement was announced and a wedding date set, then more questions followed: “who is she going to wear?” (making it sound as if she will be wearing a person), “who will be invited?”, “where will they have their honeymoon?”, etc. And now that the ceremony is over, the next big question to the happy couple is “when will they have a baby?”. And when that question is eventually answered, no doubt the next one will be “when will they have another one?”. Ah, so many questions!
We are all fascinated to some extent by people who lead very public lives and, of course, the British royal family is one of the most famous and most public for many reasons. Like all newlyweds, we wish the happy couple much joy and happiness. But when all is said and done, the confetti has been cleared from the London streets and royal wedding memorabilia have been sold out, we return to our normal day-to-day lives, and our reality is a very different picture.
Although I was not among the invited guests at the royal wedding, I was fortunate to have been able to attend another wedding a few weeks ago of an old high school friend to her partner of some 15 yrs (or more?), and the father of her two beautiful daughters. It was a much smaller and more intimate affair – something that I am sure Will and Kate wish they could have had, being surrounded by close friends and family. There were no formal invitations sent – a simple message on Facebook announcing to friends the wedding date a mere 4 weeks ahead of the special occasion, followed by another one announcing the time and location of the ceremony and reception. No formal RSVPs were received other than some messages posted on Facebook. For Rodney and Mary, this was their perfect day.
“As we grow older we think we’re losing friends when in fact we are realising who our true ones are.”
I must start by apologising to whoever came up with this quote. I cannot remember where I read it – possibly on one of my Blackberry apps for Quotes of the Day…no matter. Whoever you are, I thank you.
I am a Gen-X’er who grew up in an era of typewriters (electric, at that!), Pac-Man, colour TVs and encyclopedias. I used to write letters with pen and paper and had to visit the post office for stamps or aerograms to keep in touch with friends interstate and overseas. Some people might say that in the pre-“www” age, it was harder to keep in touch with friends. I don’t necessarily agree. It is true that you had to make a bigger effort to keep in touch, but if the friendship is worthwhile, then shouldn’t the effort also be worth it? And these days, with the ease and availability of email, Facebook, Twitter and mobile texting, what excuses do we have for not keeping in touch?
Last weekend, I attended the wedding of a friend I met in my last two years of high school (which was a very long time ago!). We were friends even back then, but I would not say we were close. I suppose you could say we both had the personalities that would get along with just about anyone. After we finished high school, we had only seen each other once (for a mutual friend’s 21st birthday in the early 90s – just to give you context of the timeframe) and then not again until we re-discovered each other via Facebook in 2009. And, as Fate would have it, she was living in Adelaide in South Australia and I was going there for a holiday just a few days after we realised she was no longer living in Sydney, where we had grown up. Even better still, she lived only about 15 minutes from where I was staying with another friend. So we arranged to meet for lunch. That lunch date lasted nearly 4 hours. After all, we had over a decade of catching up to do. I now feel closer to her than I did in the two years that I went to school with her.
The autographed picture of Matt Bomer and Tim DeKay for my birthday 2010
I have been espousing the positives of Twitter for the past several months to my non-Twitter friends. Some of them find it most bizarre of me to be so obsessed by it and that I could tweet the night away chatting to complete strangers I have never met. Yes, it does seem odd for someone who has grown up wary of the dangers of “talking to strangers”. But the generosity and kindnesses shown to me by my new Twitter friends have given me so much hope that there are still good people out there.