I can tell I miss the both of you because I just caught myself Facebook stalking you. Oh, the horror.
|Then: When purple pants were cool|
There are days when we have the most colossal arguments. Some are explosive (especially the ones with Ma) and some are like thin ice, quiet and solemn on the surface with chaos just beneath. There are days when I just refuse to do what I have been told, when I disappoint, when I am everything you don't want me to be.
|Now: New clothes but still the same old crazy family|
When I think of you both right now, though, it's with this brimming sense of pride that I couldn't really have hoped for better parents. With the vehement streak of rebellion always coursing through my veins, I can't imagine what kind of nightmare it must have been raising me. Since I can remember, I have been losing things. From wallets, to glasses to notebooks and everything in between. You teach me the same lessons over and over again with a patience that I can only hope I will develop someday.
Both of you have your own ways of reading my mind; Pa, with almost identical gears working in the machinery of his brain as mine, does it without even knowing and Ma through her careful and meticulous skills of observation. Even though I am selective about the information I reveal, you offer the most apt assurance and support in exactly the way that I need it. You never expect much in return or boast about it. That is just the way it has always been.
At the same time, you have also let me solve many of my problems alone. Like how Ma left me no other choice but to learn to travel by bus to meet my friends or how Pa got me to draft every single DD I ever had to send for college admissions. That "you're a girl" thing that we can never agree upon has me storming out of rooms and slamming doors all the time, but I am thankful that your reins weren't so tight that I could not find out for myself the ways of the universe. What you have made me is, very simply, independent. It's not just by making sure I know what happens in the bank or letting me learn to drive but also by example, showing me that problems can be quickly sorted with a clear mind and that if you want something done bad enough, you don't wait for anyone, you just go out and do it.
|"Elton Jayan" as he calls himself|
The most beautiful lesson you two have unconsciously taught me is how fully life can be enjoyed if only you let yourself enjoy it. The stories that you brim with tell me that I am the flesh and blood of two people who will almost never say no to having a good time with friends and family. How many fifty-year olds will dress up in bright purple shirts or a white chattayum-mundum and throw embarrassment to the wind just to celebrate? There is still that sparkle in your eyes and a spring in your steps after all these years, which assures me that the child in me isn't ever going to fade away. You have taught me to enjoy my music, my food, my travel and my company as much as I possibly can. You've taught me that doing things not often done might just lead you to the experiences of a lifetime.
We're all flawed, aren't we? I can't write about you and hope to pen down everything I owe you for. That wasn't the point of this anyway. What this was, I now realise, was my way of trying to mop away how much I miss your daily phone calls and your assuring voices in my ear. Unfortunately, I've been unsuccessful.
Look what you've done over these 21 years, Zach and Sheba. You have made yourselves indispensable to me and now there's absolutely no way on earth I can function without you. Great. So much for being independent.