Monday, January 02, 2006

Unforgettable Gestures

Happy New Year! My first post for the year 2006.

Today, I am inclined to share three of the gestures of my friends. Gestures, that naturally come from their characteristics, which they displayed with no expectation of any rewards in return. Gestures, that they (the givers) have forgotten about but I (the receiver) will always remember.

Saturday, July, 1987 – Miri - A Birthday cake!

My birthday! I was on a trip to Mulu caves with my friends. Didn’t announce to any of them that it coincided with my birthday. Don’t want them to bring any presents for me either. This trip itself was a birthday gift to myself, to be get out of town and explore.

It was early in the night. We just sat around the dinning hall and enjoy each other’s company. There was nothing else we could do. Can’t go walking – too dark outside. The other lights in the vicinity were from the other hostels. We were surrounded by jungles, river, sounds of birds!

Jackie said: “I have a surprise. Wait” She walked out of the hall and came back later with a box, undeniably a cake box. She placed it on the table and called everyone to gather around. She asked me to open it. My heart beat fast because I guess it was for me. Jackie knew the date of my birthday and she had noted the date of the trip. She didn’t tell anyone else. She wanted to surprise me. “Happy Birthday, Irene”, said Jackie.

I will never forget Jackie for that surprised birthday cake. Believe it or not, I had never had a birthday cake until then and it was my first and most memorable one.

Thank you, Jackie.

Thursday, 1 July, 1994 – Bradford - Food for you!

Vacation, with my family, in England, had come to an end. We were going home to Malaysia. Our luggage were packed and we were ready to leave. We were going to take the tube to the Heathrow International Airport for the 2200 hrs flight from London to Kuala Lumpur.

We had to pass the sitting room and the kitchen as we descended the stairs of the terrace flat. Jessie handed me a plastic container and told me that it was for us to eat at the airport. She is a soft spoken lady and she did not tell me what was inside. I didn’t ask her either, only thanked her and said goodbye.

We have gotten fed up with burgers, fish and chips and any other English food. Chinese food is expensive and not nice here.. What did I find in the plastic container that Jessie gave me? Boiled rice and fried fish. No wonder I smelled the aroma of fried fish when I was in our room upstairs. Jessie was secretly preparing food in the kitchen for us. In Malaysia, it is common for us to eat boiled rice with fried fish. But at Heathrow, it had never tasted so delicious. Furthermore, it satisfied our hunger and we did not have to look for food.

Thank you, Jessie.

January, 2005 – Kota Kinabalu – Midnight Angel!

It was past 11:30 pm at night. Unable to sleep, very upset emotionally, confused, and if I don’t let those feelings out, I am going to suffer depression and who knows what! Because of hurt, self-pity, loss of self-confidence, loss of reasoning sensibility, reality, enveloping anger or whatever negative feelings, I might commit some undesirable and regrettable acts. I had to talk to Agnes.

Agnes has been my pillar of strength and comfort. I had known her for over a year and we have grown close to each other. Although busy with her life as a single mother, she was never busy to take my calls and listen to me. I know if I asked her to help she would do so.

Agnes was not in bed yet. After listening to me, she said “Irene, I am going to drive over to your place after I have picked my son back home”. I told her that was not necessary because it was almost midnight and that I would be okay after I have talked to her. Tonight, she felt that she needed to come to me. She was worried that I might unthinkably do something foolish. She came as she said, visited with me until she knows I am sober and composed. It was almost 01:00 am in the morning when she left.

Thank you, Agnes. Change the last letter of her name to ‘l’ and she has all the letters to the word “Angel”.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Dear Irene: I hope you don't feel like I broached your privacy when I read this post. Thank goodness you have an Angel (Agnes) to be able to confide in. You have befriended enough people that you are surely entitled to have your Angel in return.

We love you,

Kent & Betty Broadhead