Feb 5, 2012

Of family ties , envy and loneliness

Last night , my husband and me and our three girls and my husband's son attended my husband's uncle's 80th birthday. It was held at Rebung in Bangsar, the restaurant that was owned by Chef Ismail and the first Malaysian astronaut . And so many family members and relatives and some very, very close friends of our uncle attended.
The food was scrumptious, the decoration was breathtakingly beautiful , and the crowd... amazing. About 100 people attended. The function was beautifully.planned by our cousins, his four children and gave us an insight to their lives as a family.
My sister in law was in tears watching it. I was also moved and well, slightly envious.
This uncle was my mother in law's 2nd brother, out of 11 siblings, of which 5 have since passed away.
Why was I envious? It was because the closeness of his family, and how his daughter , during her speech described her growing years with her brothers and all. And all this was something I never had growing up. I had no siblings, my dad never bothered about me since he and my mom divorced when I was 3, and my childhood years and teenage years were fraught with stress, tension, hurt, fear, pain and loneliness. No one to talk to, no one to share my pain with and no one who seemed to care. No one knew my pain, my stress and misery, and how I wished and longed for a sibling or someone I could count on , lean on or share my thoughts, fears and joys.
It was in search of this, the desperate hunger to get away and to belong to someone, to love and be loved and the need of having someone to share all moments that led me to get involved and married young at the age of 19.
I suppose I wish I could have been born in a normal family and have both loving parents instead of the broken dysfunctional one I was born in. I wished I had support, love and someone there to encourage me every step of the way. But I didn't and I had to live with it.
Somehow , I am a survivor and I managed to grow up reasonably ok, I guess despite it all and married a good man with so many relatives , some are literarily strangers until they catch up on family get togethers like this. And it is still a culture shock and something that makes me both happy and sad at the same time. Happy I am now a small part of this family and had so many wonderful amazing relatives I really don't remember some who is who . . .sad I did not have this when I was young.
Back to the story, our dear uncle who turns 80 was and still is a force to reckon with. At 80 years old, he has outlived many of his siblings and obviously the pillar of strenght for his siblings as well as his own and their family. He is still strong, sprightly, handsome and by the way he walks and behaves , you could mistake him for a 50 years old guy.
I wish for him, many more happy years, continuous good life and love. . .


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