Bittersweet Reunion

I have to say that I have certainly enjoyed the past Chinese New Year celebrations.

The many carefree days were spent visiting relatives from my family and those from my wife’s family.

There was a common theme through these visits. There was a sense of joy and happiness of seeing each other. I saw the blessed grace that allows us to eat a meal together or even just sit around the hall talking to each other.

I saw that many of my aunties and uncles were growing old. Without me realizing, many of them were going past sixty years old. Even my parents are around that age now.

So I feel some sadness amidst this joy of catching up with each other, of letting them see how baby Rachel has grown, of talking about other relatives, and of giving and receiving gifts.

I realize that one day these uncles and aunties won’t be around any longer.

I start to regret those years where I didn’t care, or left everything to my parents. I regret taking for granted the time that we have together, those many opportunities wasted.

After I got married, I am continually torn between spending time with my wife and baby, or spending time with my relatives. Something always came up. The baby was sick, we had to buy something, we had an appointment, the weather was hot or raining.

I kept pushing those visits to the next week or the next month. Before I knew it, it’s Chinese New Year again and I meet them only to find that they have gotten thinner, their hair whiter, their bodies bent a bit more, their hands more fragile, their voices a bit more softer.

If there was ever one thing that I wish I can do now is that I can make up for lost time before it’s too late. But I worry what others may think. Would they think that I have ulterior motives for ‘suddenly’ being so nice?

I hope that in this year I will be able to be different.

Do you experience this too? What advice would you give me?

5 thoughts on “Bittersweet Reunion”

  1. I don’t feel this (yet!) but my mom does and each year she comments sadly that the family grows smaller (a number of passing ons in her side of the family). What she does is she asks me to take more photos of everyone and we compile this into a picture slideshow/movie complete with CNY music and its become sorta tradition for us to come out with a yearly production of last year’s CNY celebration photos. The extended family really looks forward to it, and this year they were asking for it even before we had it ready! 😀

    Adino: That’s a wonderful thing that your family is doing. Good idea too!

  2. Oh yeah, it’s scary sometimes to see how time has flown past. Unfortunately there is no way we can turn back the clock, but I try my best to spend more and more time with the people I care for. Like you, sometimes there are things that crop up, but I hope that it will be better every year. God bless.

    Adino: Something else that I wanted to mention was, my family and relatives are always there for me, even when others fail. I guess it’s time to do my part and start giving instead of always receiving. I hope your year will be better too!

  3. Time flies all the time. Like other said, there’s really not much that can be done other than to enjoy the rest. It’s just how things are and being sad and regretful won’t make you enjoy things better. Be happy. 🙂

    Adino: I will be happy, and make the best of the time I have before it’s too late.

  4. It’s what you make of the time you have with them.

    Adino: I guess that’s true also. Make the most of the time by really listening and being with them instead of being distracted by the TV or other things.

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