Nothing gold can stay

Posted by ~Summer~ on January 30, 2019

Nature's first green is gold, 
Her hardest hue to hold. 
Her early leaf's a flower; 
But only so an hour. 
Then leaf subsides to leaf. 
So Eden sank to grief, 
So dawn goes down to day, 
Nothing gold can stay. 
                   ~ Robert Frost

2019 got off on a rocky start for us.

Firstly, our beloved grandma passed away in the first week of January and although she left us peacefully, it was nonetheless a devastating loss. The kids had to handle the death of a loved one for the first time, they came face to face with grief, they put on mourning pins and were a part of the rituals, and they witnessed the cremation and picked out ashes too. It hurt a great deal for many of us and the only consolation was that Ah Ma was a centenarian, lived a blissful life in her late years, had dozens of grandchildren and great grandchildren who loved her and was surrounded by her family when she took her last breath.

My girls took it badly, cried buckets and even up till now, they will say they think of Ah Zor every now and then and tears will well up in their eyes, especially the secondborn. Their reactions took us and the relatives by surprise and the hubby concluded that they are just very emotional creatures like their mum, which worries me when I think of what a wreck we will be as we are forced to deal with more of such grieving processes in future.

Nothing gold can stay. It's so true. All life, all good things, all the beauty in the world has to, and will, come to an end someday. It's only a matter of when. When it happens, are we ready for it? Will we be able to bid goodbye with no sorrow? How does one actually live a life with no regrets?

And what happens when......

I'm the one who has to leave? How do I even bear to leave the kids behind? What will happen to them? Will I become that shining star in their lives? Can I see them from where I am? How do I even tell them I love them, hug them or kiss them anymore?

Morbid thoughts, I know. It's not very typical of me yet this month has been a sombre one filled with many unpleasant thoughts for me to ponder about.

Last week, the passing of Aloysius sent shock waves across our nation and even if we didn't know him personally, many of our hearts broke and we wept. Uncontrollably. I did and I still do nearly every time I read any related news article, come across his old pictures on IG, hear an eulogy or any anecdote about him.

Perhaps him being one of my favourite actors and the fact that I've supported him for years - seeing how he is a down-to-earth, sincere and hardworking lad - made the news all the more unbearable. Even my kids know him from his shows too and it's still a shock to all of us. Perhaps my heart broke because I felt for his parents and for Jayley, and it is shattering to know that the life of a filial son and a loving partner ended way too soon. Perhaps it was because he always felt like the boy next door, someone you can relate to, someone whom you see often, someone who could have been your family, loved one or friend and we feel the wrench somehow. Perhaps it reminded me of my life as a navy wife and how I will always be worrying for the sailor hubby who chose to put his life on the line and serve his country. Do I understand the need for that, for putting country before self? Yes, I do, even if it means he has to sacrifice family time and be away from home. I can't do the same for my country but I take pride that he helps to keep us - and many more families - safe in our land and the least I can do is hold the fort at home and support him in every little way.

I thought about it for a long time, of why this hit me so badly and I think it all boiled down to the realisation of how fragile life can be. So, so, so fragile. No one can ever know for sure what will happen tomorrow because the future is unpredictable. And it will always be so. One moment you're having the best time of your life, the next moment you are struggling to live. You take tomorrow for granted but forgot that every today is a gift. You might have big dreams and aspirations but it turns out that fate has other plans for you. You wish to see your kids growing up, attend their weddings and one day hold your grandchild in your arms, but the truth is, things might not happen the way you envision them to be.

We assume that this kind of tragedy will not happen to us or the people we love but one day, it just might hit you in the face. We might think we know what is grief, sorrow and loss but actually, we don't. Until the day we experience these unexpected, life-changing moments. It's a wake-up call, for me at least.

Death. It's not something I like to talk about on this happy blog of mine yet ironically, death is the one thing that made me think so much about life recently.

Have we, while we still can, made the most of our passing lives?

Have we, while we still can, let our loved ones know how much we love them every day?

Have we, while we still can, put down any grudges we have and spread more love and kindness into this world?

Have we, while we still can, worked hard towards fulfilling our dreams and minimise our regrets when the day comes?

Have we, while we still can, learn to be present in the moment and truly focus when we are with the people we treasure?

Have we, while we still can, tried our best to do something good for the less fortunate and do our part for society?

Have we, while we still can, learnt not to sweat the small stuff in life and find the silver lining in every cloud?

Have we, while we still can, cherish every breath we take, every moment we live and not take our precious, can't-be-bought life for granted?

It's easy to say that I wish to live each day as if it were my last but when you get bogged down by the mundane routines and endless tasks, we all tend to forget.

I hope I can remember and do better from now onwards.

Being a mum with three lovely kids, being a wife to a good man, being a daughter with still healthy parents who taught me that contentment is bliss - these are the real gems in my life and the things I need to better cherish each day. Because at the end of it, nothing gold can stay.

May they rest in peace and be in a better world.


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