Monday, March 28, 2011

The Good Times

I can't recall the last time I spent quality time with my siblings.  It has been so many years ago.  Perhaps, when we were little when our parents were still around; where holidays were created to bring our relationship and family bonding closer.  As we grew up, each becoming an adult and having a family of our own, rarely we get to spend quality time together.  Rarely that we make the time to sit down and talk about ourselves to each other.  We may meet for our weekly family dinner, catching up briefly on telephone calls but we never relive the actual sibling togetherness. 

Fact is, sibling relationship plays a strong dynamic and atypical the longest that we will experience in our lives.  Relationships between siblings have often been termed "life's most influential" and longest lasting relationship lasting longer than ties to parents, spouse or children.  Brothers and sisters typically spend large amounts of time together, serving as one another's first playmates and companions.  It is, therefore, not surprising that sibling relationships influence social and cognitive learning.

Perhaps, because we place so much emphasis on the parent-child relationship that there is a relative lack of understanding among our brothers and sisters.  Yet, sibling relationships play essential roles in our development as individuals and often bring just as much, if not more, joy, rage, pain, frustration and pleasure.  The dynamics among siblings are so complex and so diverse that they almost defy any attempt at scientific observation.

I am glad that I come from a traditional and conservative family where we were taught to respect for each other, regardless of our age differences.  Regardless of our educational abilities.  Regardless of our lack-offs.  The good thing that came out of my family poor economic life made us to accept each of our existence and to be supportive for each other.

Two weeks back, I had the opportunity to renew my bond with my siblings.  To spend a good eight days to know each other all over again.  To acknowledge our presence for each other.  To bridge our understanding for each other.  To remember that we are interconnected; that we are family, no matter the outcome of who we have each become today.   To accept our differences.  To recognize our roots.  Importantly, it was a time off away from our busy schedules to bring back our love for each other.

True to our intention, our holidays were blessed throughout.  It made me to think how much we actually missed each other.  We missed our younger days whether we were then bickering or just playing games together.  We missed the time where we held each other for granted for our well being.  We missed the good old days.  We missed our parents dearly too.

On our arrival in Penang, we were able to check-in into our hotel even when it was only about ten in the morning.  Our reservation was not to take effect only at two in the afternoon.  And, what a delight, we were given three inter-connecting rooms.  It was, as though, the Universe wanted us to be under one roof to replay our life.  Back to our childhood days living in the small house.

Night View of Hotel Royal Penang

Two of the Connecting Rooms

Aerial View from Hotel Room

The second blessing came, as a big surprise, when we had our first meal in Penang in the hotel coffee house.  We wanted to have a quick meal and not wanting to explore the island on arrival but to rest for the evening outing.  All of us had such an early rise that day.  To our delight, the waitress offered us a 50 percent discount on our meals.  She said it was a welcome treat!

There were more blessings throughout our four days' stay in Penang.  From the kind gesture of a bellboy in another hotel that offered us with four big golf umbrellas during the heavy downpour, the taxi driver that voluntarily became the tour guide to the bus driver who transferred us to another bus that would drop us right at our hotel.

G Hotel along Gurney Drive

But, the biggest joy was how we spent the time together.  How, with all our rooms inter-connected, we just had to spend our time talking to each other.  Just like our childhood days where we had no way around in the small house but to spend time together.  To catch up on our lives.  To catch up on all those lost times where we were busy chasing after our careers and life elsewhere.

Penang brought the beauty in our relationship.  It revealed how much we had changed yet still that dear brother and sister to each other.  How much we had forgotten to be thankful, and taken each other for granted, and how much we had missed to say 'I love you'.  The day we departed Penang for Kuala Lumpur, we knew we had each other all over again.  We knew we could still find support and strength from each other.  We were never separated in spirit.  It was a superb sibling relationship - just as good as Penang's chendol!  Ever so yummy and delicious yet subtly supreme and gentle.

Yummy Penang Chendol

The stay in Genting, for two nights, and another two nights at Le Meridien Kuala Lumpur was just an expansion for our renewed understanding.  By this time, we understood each other better.  We saw, through our separate life journeys into our adulthood, the desire to be one again.  To be partners as we continue to create separate goals.  To live the dreams and hopes of our departed parents.

Genting Highland

What a big corridor!
and a tiny room!
First World Hotel, Genting Highland

And in contrast, the Le Meridien Hotel in Kuala Lumpur.  We had pretty good rates when we booked this so-called 5 stars deluxe hotel.  Smacked in Sentral Kuala Lumpur, it can be a little bit far for shopping.

Le Meridien, Kuala Lumpur

In Kuala Lumpur, we relived our childhood days.  My youngest sister insisted that we should try the crispy fried Kampung chicken and Malaysian malay dishes.  Indeed, the chicken - though skinny and small like a spring chicken, tasted really delicious.

The delicious meal

The Restaurant

Looking back, I am filled with warmth and affection.  Sibling relationship is something that we should not take for granted.  Our brothers and sisters are people whom we often forget when we move on further in our lives.  Their love is irreplaceable.  Only when we take the time to relive the relationship that, sooner, we will realize the sibling bond that is more precious than gold.

To all my sisters, Thank You for such a wonderful trip.  I just want to say to each of you that I Love You with my whole heart, that I will continue to love beyond this lifetime.  May such a wonderful time be repeated again.

"Partnership" - a beautiful vase display in Le Meridien

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