the people you love make you a different person

It’s true and I am going to tell you how.

Truth to be told, I was a rather selfish person by nature. The youngest of the lot, lavished with much love from my family, blissfully ignorant of our financial situation, envious and jealous of others because they had better things or toys, left to my own devices and filled to the brim with irrational anger during my teenage years, unappreciative of many things because they come so easily…

I was not an easy person to get along with, let alone grow up with. At many points in life, my sisters absolutely and utterly hated me, heh. Okay before you go feeling so sorry for them, they were sometimes mean to me okay! But that’s part and parcel of childhood, so I am probably no different than most of you. Everyone had their own demons and problems, intensity is subjective.

I have plenty reasons for my behaviour. But this post is not about that, so I won’t get into them.

So yes, my selfishness.

I don’t remember the exact year or person. In my hazy memory, it was Mrs. Lee, one of the few ex-headmistresses of my primary school who later tutored me in Math. I think her mother had just passed away, and she was talking about taking care of her deceased mother’s body, preparing it for the funeral. It was quite off-putting to me — try explaining corpses to a frightened kid. I probably asked her something along the lines of, “You dare to touch the body?” and she replied, “Of course, because it is someone you love.”

It didn’t make sense to me then. However for some reasons, her words stuck with me like a dream for the longest time. As I grow older, I would revisit the thoughts of when my parents would eventually pass on. Would I be brave enough to overcome myself and selfishness and take care of them as a child should? This phobia has decreased over the years actually, so my parents have to live for at least another 50 years before I can successfully conquer my fears! ;)

After Ryan was born, I used to play with him for a while then call for my sister or his carer to clean up his mess. You know, things like poo and puke. I was most repulsed — baby poo is yucky green and damn disgusting okay! Change his diaper, no problem! Just don’t expect me to wipe his poo-smeared buttocks with wet tissues. Hand him back only after he is clean, thanks.

It took many, many months but now I am okay with cleaning up Ryan after he visits the throne room. I don’t necessarily like it, but I don’t mind doing it. A few drops of his pee accidentally splashed on my skin? Just wipe or wash it off lah. I no longer shudder nor obsess about the contact.

This is probably a small or even a non-issue to some people. Well, we are built differently. I suppose I am lucky to have the time to think about such things. Took a while to psyche myself up, and I know a lot of people do not have that luxury.

At first I wanted to elaborate on certain incidents and thought processes during my grandmother’s stay in the hospital. I just decided not to, out of respect for her privacy. In a nutshell, my grandmother recently found out that she had colon cancer. Last week, she underwent an operation where the doctor removed 1ft of her intestines. She recuperated in the hospital for a week — her recovery was very fast actually — and now she is staying with us for a bit.

It was way past midnight in the hospital ward. My grandmother was most likely counting sheep in her dreams, having dozed off to sleep hours earlier. Again, I was left alone with my thoughts — probably not the wisest thing to do since I do go off-tangent at times. Sometime during the night, I made the conscious decision to remove all irrational fears of taking care of her, because she is someone I love dearly.

I don’t want to wait until… you know. Would be way too late by then.

comments

Comments

  1. *hugs*

  2. oh well, that’s common.
    that’s why they said is the greatest love of all, is the love for your children

    i think u got ur maternal instinct up and running
    :p

  3. so maybe in a few more years, u’ll not mind having an emo bf

  4. FA: :P

    frostier: hahaha. i know people say it’s different when it’s your own child. but no one believes me when i tell them i don’t want kids of my own. sure i love ryan and selected other children, but i can give them back to their folks after i’m done playing with them. don’t have to worry about their next meal, their kindergarten etc, wake up in the middle of the night bla bla bla. i don’t want to do it all

    ky: can’t do. how can i tahan someone else who’s emo, when i have my own emo to kau tim??

  5. very true lo. T_T

  6. True. I do the same with my nephews. i hand them back whenever they start to smell. The weird thing is. I didn’t mind doing it for my cats last time. When my dad’s mum was sick i see MY mom looking after her. And not my dad. All my dad could do was watch and feeling hurt inside. I could see it in his face.

    I too do want to be able to take care of them. Which sometimes leaves me with guilt every time i visit them. :(

  7. The more love you give, the more you get – it’s the one thing that’s truly infinite :)

    Hope your grandmother is feeling better.

  8. yes, yes. it is the same for me, but you put it so damn well it shames even my thoughts on it..

  9. foodcrazee says:

    I mellowed down so much once i have me kiddo. .. . . . .love is blind as they say and it is the strongest of all feelings

  10. Thanks for sharing this. I’ll start by taking care of some babies.

  11. Sorry to hear abt yr grandma, hope she gets better. When my dad was sick with cancer, I had to bring him to the toilet, supported him while he peed, bathed him, and towards the end, change his diaper. While the icky part – poop and pee, didnt get to me, it was more the fact that I was a female doing this that bothered me a little. I would ask the nurses for their help with the diaper only coz it was too hard to do it by myself. In the end, I lost all sense of “geliness”. My dad said a few times what a bother he was to us, giving us so many problems, but I tell you, when you love a person, it comes naturally. And when that person is no longer around, you know that you have done your best and have no regrets whatsoever. I hope my dad is proud of me.

  12. You melt my hardened heart a little.

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