As promised, this is my first official topic and blog write up. It’s only appropriate that I begin with a Friday as it’s all about Friendships (and Family of course!)
Growing up in a South East Asian culture where family is a big part of our culture, I was surrounded by tens of uncles, aunties and cousins. I hardly knew quiet moments at home growing up as there’s bound to be a family member at home to entertain, play with and educate me.
My first best friend in life is my awesome oldest sister, albeit a half one in the Western perception (we share the same dad). Though she is 14 years older than me and became one I looked up to growing up, she has always maintained an aura of childlikeness about her, an innocence, despite our hard upbringing in a low income community. We have always managed to share our deepest secrets, sadness and joy, like any 2 women best friends. We’ve been there for each other at moments that are special in each others lives and I know I’ll always be there for her. She’s one of my best family and I’m lucky to be her friend too.
I want to be there for her ALWAYS! I have lost another best friend at the tender age of 24. Rosemary Anne and I met clubbing when I was 17. We were your typical young girls, going out a few times a week. We could talk for ages on the phone despite just saying goodbye a couple of hours earlier. We shared a love of Latin and R&B music and we’d go to high profile concerts and ‘wangled’ front row seats, after the concert started, just with our cheeky smiles. We’d come home late at night from a fun and exhilarating night of dancing (inevitably to her place, where she was living with her elderly Grandma and little brother) and we’d talk for hours into the morning about our dreams, hopes and aspirations for the future.
At the age of 24, Anne met with her untimely death through a horrific jet ski accident in a holiday resort in Bintan Island, Indonesia. Weeks after going in and out of coma, I saw her for the last time. She croaked at me to let her go so she can be at peace with her Lord. At that moment, I totally understood the meaning of being selfless. I wanted her friendship, I wanted her to stay FOR ME but she was ready to go, SHE wanted Peace. I sang in her ear (tunelessly as it may be through tears coming thick and fast) a song of Whitney Houston, “Count on Me”. She closed her eyes and had the most peaceful smile. A day or so later, after having her estranged Mum said goodbye to her, she left this world to be with the Angels. For she was one…
Being an expat, so far away from my loved ones, my family, my sister and my good friends back home, my local expat friends become my family. I look to them to share with me their smiles, their pain, and the ups and downs of their journey. We’re all going through the same thing, all of us here. We’re like orphans in a nomadic lifestyle.
I am blessed to have a family member that is a friend and a friend that became like a family. Now I have a few other women friends that I know I could count on in times of need and they, the same. Friendship is all about Loving. And that there should be no conditions nor demands. We should accept our friends the way they are, warts and all. We should cherish them and to remember that just because we’re both busy, doesn’t mean they don’t need to hear those words, “I’m thinking of you…”
So have you got someone you can say that to? 🙂