So the Little One has fled the Special Administrative Area of Hong Kong; reminiscient of Snowden, except she won’t be holed up in transit in Moscow and without the backing of Wikileaks. Courtesy of Cathay Pacific she has soared into the blue skies leaving a bare room and a big hole in my heart. I don’t do goodbyes, not of my marriage nor my offspring flying the nest. They say if you love them let them go. They will in any case, with or without your blessing. You might as well be magnanimous. This way you will see them again.
I speak from bitter experience tied to my mother’s ironclad apron strings till I finally plucked up courage to run away. But alas not till my late 20’s. What brought on this madness and uncharacteristic rebellion was one ageing hippy Science teacher whom I met at work. He was never going to get the seal of approval from my ultra-traditional parents who didn’t speak a word of English.
The timing didn’t help. I’d just broken off my engagement to a decent but boring Chinese man over in Toronto. Mum thought he wasn’t good enough for her little princess but then nobody would ever be. But she soon changed her mind when the ‘foreign devil’ appearered on the scene. Things were never the same after I didn’t come home one night. I had disgraced the family and she never forgave me. Nor did dad, he called me a slut. Apparently my sister with whom I am closest had phoned the police to report me as missing. They were worried sick as this was a first and no phone call to reassure that I wasn’t lying in a ditch somewhere. I returned the next morning with trepidation only to find the door bolted.
The rift intensified to the point I didn’t speak to them for a whole 8 months and then only intermittenly throughout my marriage. I very much regret this. Mum and Dad are now in their mid-eighties. Neither are in good shape and can’t communicate properly. Dad worse than Mum. I wish I’d made the effort to get to know them and kept the channels of communication open. The spirit is willing but the body is indeed weak. And ultimately, ready or not, I’ll have to steel myself for the final goodbye.
Don’t do goodbyes.