Ghosts of Christmas Past

christmas_decorations by Ali Taylor

“Christmas is a time, Christmas is a time, Christmas is a time, to love…”

Last Friday we sang Christmas songs during CG. Strange how some songs can really bring you into a Christmas kind of mood.

As we sang the song again, I closed my eyes. And then I was brought back.

I looked around me and I was standing in a house porch, red brick tiles on the floor and slanted white iron grills on the fence. It was raining, and I was holding a candle with a pink makeshift candle holder made of cardboard.

I look around me and see people from my past. People who were friends. People I miss. I think I was stressed about candle wax dripping more than anything else.

I don’t remember the songs we sang, but I remember a church uncle playing the guitar. And the food.

I closed my eyes again, and I opened them again in our old church in Taipan. I see many more friends.

I look down and I can see the black baggy pants I liked to wear when I was a teenager.

We were practicing as a choir, and as usual some of us were making things difficult for the conductor.

I remember looking at a few people (I won’t mention any names here) and my heart skipped a beat in joy.

Those were carefree years, but years full of regret. I should have, I could have, I didn’t…

It was time to go, but I didn’t want to leave. No, please let me stay a while longer. I want to experience this closeness, these happy moments.

I whispered a final goodbye, “I’m sorry… it was not worth giving all this up, for something that did not last. I’m sorry…”

In the next moment I am at the Kota Kemuning church. There were Christmas trees and park benches in the church hall. The lights were off, with the only source of light coming from tree lights and candles.

It was the most beautiful Christmas service I have ever been in, and I think I will never again experience something so unique and beautiful.

We had the service sitting on benches, it felt like we were in a park instead of in church.

I was laughing hard because we watched a video of our past performace as circus performing sheperds (don’t ask… I hope nobody will YouTube it).

I remember feeling peaceful. This was the place that healed me. The place and the people there, gave me a new life.

I open my eyes again as the song ends, and I look at Poey Chin and Rachel.

This is another chance for me. This is the time to cherish the moment, before it’s too late. Don’t look back ten years from now and regret again.

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I wish all my dear readers a Blessed Christmas.

Blessed because you have good things in life. Blessed because you have a reason to live.

Blessed with no regrets.

Photo By: by Ali Taylor

[tags]Christmas, Memories, Regret[/tags]

Chim Kindergarten

I was a drop out. A kindergarten drop out, that is.

I remember my first day attending kindergarten at some place called Grace Kindergarten and I cried until my parents came to take me home. I never went back there.

Then my parents enrolled me in Chim Kindergarten, or Tadika Chim. I don’t know what it was, but I was quite comfortable at Chim Kindergarden. I attended the on in Section 14 PJ, but I think they have 3 other branches now.

Why am I suddenly writing about this? Well as I woke up this morning there was some sort of party or ceremony going on in the stadium near my condo. I hear a lot of cheery children song. During the speech, I suddenly caught the words ‘Chim Kindergarten’.

And the memories came flooding back. The memories about my days in Chim Pre School are fragmented, but let me share a few things I remember.

*cue that flash back sound effect from Lost*

  1. I remember art classes. Teacher would give us paper with squares printed on them and we would have to follow the patterns she drew on the board.
  2. I also remember outdoor art classes. We actually had easels to draw on. I think I was too busy trying to mix paint properly.
  3. I remember during craft classes, the cook lady downstairs would come to class and give each student some glue from a pot. Once I saw the lady give a large spoonful of stuff to teacher and she started eating it. And so I ate my glue too. Now that I think of it, maybe the lady gave teacher porridge instead of glue.
  4. I remember being part of a choir singing “My Bonnie Lies Over the Ocean”. I was kneeling on the floor, singing half heartedly and looking at my knees.
  5. I used to sit beside a girl named Emily. She wouldn’t lend me her colour pencils, and she had such a nice set of err.. colour pencils (you know, the 48 colour sets). Our class was upstairs, and we had to climb this dim staircase to get to class. One day she came running down the stairs and kissed me on the cheek.
  6. I remember our graduation party. We had to bring our own cups, and because I forgot to tell my parents we had to make do with a glass cup. Teacher told me not to break it. I broke it.
  7. I remember our principal had Marge Simpson hair.
  8. I remember posing for the graduation photograph and wondering what in the world was happening and what a ‘graduation’ was.
  9. I don’t remember mixing around at all, an anti-social habit that I continue to have even today.

Did any of you attend the same kindergarten? What about your memories from kindergarten?

Photo: lovu4ever (lovu4ever.fotopages.com)

Adino’s First Day At School

I had a flashback to 21 years ago, when I first stepped foot in primary school at SK Sri Petaling in Petaling Jaya.

*cue that flash back, waves on the ocean sound you always hear in Lost*

I didn’t really know what was going on around me. Well, I knew it was my first day in school. I don’t remember if I was looking forward to it or not. Probably not.

My mother brought me to school, and we stepped foot in my class. I found myself in 1 Melur, which was at the end of the block facing the main road.

I remember three things very clearly from that day. One, my mother leaving me there and telling me she would wait in the canteen for me.If I remember correctly, she was wearing a blue Esprit t-shirt.

Two, there was a boy who wouldn’t stop crying. His face and eyes were all red.

Three, someone pooped in their pants that day, causing a little bit of drama in the class room.

It was a hot day, and I don’t remember what the teachers taught. I just remember being so bored during English lessons. They were teaching ABCs for goodness sake.

My teacher was a lady called Mrs Yoong, who was always dressed in cheong sams.

Recess time came and I just followed everyone to the canteen. I think I met with my mother… I don’t remember that. But I remember a lot of kids pushing all around me to buy food.

I remember assemblies at the hall. At that time, the library was still upstairs, and the hall was located where the library is now. But that’s a story for another day.

Photo: Google Maps