December 2nd, 2007


:: Writing on the First Page of the Next Chapter of My Life ::

:: Writing on the First Page of the Next Chapter of My Life ::

As we live our lives, we are given the opportunity to remember and recall our past, which comes in milestones
Which I have come to know as "Chapters".
Every chapter is a significant milestone that heralds the start of something big to come;
The start of an exciting side quest in this journey of a lifetime.
Primary school.
Secondary school.
Junior College.
The Army.
My first job.
Interspersed with events such as:
My first flight in an aeroplane.
My first dog.
My first pair of Reebok shoes.
My first Amstrak computer.
My first love and more.
And from tomorrow, I'll be writing on the first page of the next chapter of my life.

My sister Angela and me attended Max and Annie's wedding lunch at Conrad this afternoon.
Annie is the youngest daughter of my nanny, who took care of me during the earlier days of my life.
I grew up, and we lost touch for about a decade or two.
Then one day, my nanny suddenly contacted my mom, and told her about Annie's wedding.
Mom had to work, at the salon, so I decided to ask Angela along.
The wedding was like any other wedding.
Other than my nanny we could no longer recognize Annie, or her sisters.
Or the other playmates I must have had plenty of fun with during my toddler days.

"This is Ben. When you were younger then you used to play with him all the time," nanny remarked.
I smiled and extended a handshake with Ben. He smiled back.
It was a blank to the both of us, but we shook and smiled, nonetheless.
We existed in her memory, and that itself sufficed.

"Ah girl, I've something to pass you," Nanny's neighbour said to Angela.
In an envelope she took out two washed-out photos of Angela while she was still a baby.
Surprised, Angela thanked the neighbour profusely.
"I never had any photos of myself when I was younger," she noted.
"Looks like your son," I smiled and added.

In that split second I felt something; something heartfelt, something not easy to articulate.
This neighbour, who has not seen us for almost two decades, made the effort to pass the photos to Angela.
There was something more that changed hands that moment.
It was the passing of a memory from one to another.
Like the recounting of a past incident from grandpa to grandson - from old to young.
With the neighbour's good grace, Angela suddenly remembered, that moment, once more.
As we move onto the next chapters of our lives, the older ones move theirs one chapter closer to their ending.
And so, we inherit from our elders, their treasure chest of memories, in the form of tales, of pictures and photos, and objects.
Hence we should do the same as well, and continue to document our chapters.
Before we grow even older, and remember no more.