Today, the bodies of the victims of the MH17 crash returned to the country and I can’t help but feel sad all over again. But I don’t want to dwell on the sad thoughts because what MH17 has taught me the most is to appreciate the ones I love. So, here’s 5 memories of loved ones that I hold on to.
1. Surprising my grandmother on her birthday last year.
My whole family kept this big secret and had a big bash for my Lola last year. We flew back without her knowing and waited at the restaurant that they booked. She was so surprised and so happy. I’ll never forget that.
2. Having my mom’s side of the family over for Christmas for the first time
Family relationships have always been a little strained, especially for my dad. So, when he agreed to have the annual Christmas get-together at our place about 4 years? 3 years? ago, it was huge. He was polite, he was happy, he laughed, he charmed everyone. That was so rare and meant a lot to my mother.
3. The day my dad came for one of my stage performances
It’s silly but my father doesn’t do church or church activities. He’s not Catholic to begin with. But 3 years ago, when I did The Witness, he turned up. He came and supported me, he clapped, he came for one performance. He doesn’t usually come for anything my brother or I do. But he came for this.
4. Watching a movie with only my brother for the first time
We watched Phantom of the Opera in the cinema by ourselves in December 2004. It was the first time we both went out for a movie without our parents. And it’s been a tradition. Aaron and I watch almost every movie we both want to together. We go for the opening weekend show or we wait for when the other person is free. It isn’t much but it’s something we’ve done ever since.
5. Leaving home for the first time
That is super recent but the day I left for JB was an awful day for me. I cried so much, my mom cried hugging me goodbye, my dad wasn’t in a great mood but he mustered up some sentimental thoughts. It was hard for me. I didn’t want to go. But i have grown since then, since the tearful 6 hours drive stuck in traffic. I’m alone for this weekend and I’m okay with that. I don’t mind it.
I like to hold on to memories like these and other that I have because life is so short. If a freak mishap like the downing of flight MH17 has taught you nothing about international relations and the horrors of war, let it at least teach you to love your family, your friends and those important to you. Things can change so drastically. Learn to hold on to what you have.