Recently I shared a series done on film about my family back in Malaysia on my Instagram. The series did well, and I felt encouraged to add them to my journal.
In recent years, my family has made it a point to meet up for my Ah Ma's birthday every year. We hold a small dinner banquet for our close relatives.
Being posted overseas for work previously, I was not always able to come back and visit at will. However things have changed since we moved back to Singapore. I make it a point to be there for the birthday celebrations and hopefully visit Sibu another one or two times a year.
My Ah Ma turned 90 this year. It's interesting every time I try taking portraits of her, her remark will be "Old already, not beautiful. Don't need to take my photo". To me, to age is a blessing. And age is beautiful.
I walked into the room when my Ah Ma was getting ready for her birthday dinner. She was having difficulty putting on her brooch and I eventually helped her put it on.
I think it was the first time I wore something for her. I suddenly had flashbacks of her bathing us and changing us when we were young boys. She used to make matching pyjamas for all of us, because it was cheaper to buy cloth in bulk. In fact our pyjamas matched my Ah Gong's boxer shorts.
My brothers and I each spent a year or more staying with my grandparents when we were attending kindergarten. I remember either my Ah Gong or my Ah Ma walking me to the kindergarten and also fetching me home. On the way back, sometimes I would get treat. The treats are either Ding Dang or Tora, goody boxes the contain some low quality chocolate snacks and secret toys. Tora was more expensive, and usually reserved for special occasions like doing well in tests. These are memories worth keeping.
I always believe that everyone needs a 'Lao Jia' to go back to. Translated to English, it literally means 'old home', though I think 'origin' is a better interpretation. We should know where we come from in order to know where we're headed.