29 November 2013, by Petrina Kow
I know we don’t celebrate Thanksgiving here in Singapore, but as I sit in this lovely air-conditioned cafe, scoffing down my pancakes and sausage, (hence the corny title) contemplating my life, I realised I have much to be grateful for. It’s not often I write such heartfelt and slightly sappy posts…so enjoy it while stocks last. Maybe it’s the lethal combination of bratwursts and carbs that are making me a little vulnerable this morning, but I’m consumed by a overwhelming sense of gratitude, and I feel I must share my “Top 5 Things I’m most Grateful For”. (in no particular order of preference)
A Faithful Husband
As I write this, I know of several friends and relatives going through divorces and difficult relationships. It is really easy to take your partner for granted after 12 years of marriage and even though we are far from perfect, I am grateful that we have dug our heels in and worked through the tough times. I’m thankful that my husband does not judge me or complain when I bring home too many pairs of shoes or come home late without calling. I’m grateful that he supports me in my passion for theatre by being there for the kids when I can’t be. I’m in awe of the fact that he can still surprise me with the depth of his compassion and his hunger for knowledge.
Oh this is a doozy. I wake up every morning, and I still feel like I won the lottery with these two. I’m grateful that my daughter’s sensitivity and compassion has taught me to be a more patient mother. I was always and still am blown away by her perceptive wit and her capacity for learning that she’s now inspired me to broaden my horizons. I love that she laughs hysterically, cries uncontrollably and hugs tightly. It is entirely possible that I’m completely biased about my son, but based on 6 years of research and anecdotal evidence, but I’m pretty certain that he was born with a magnetic personality. (Quite like his mother really…ahem!) I’m thankful that his sweet and loving nature allows him to like and be liked by most who know him. I’m secretly chuffed by his ability to amuse himself and be lost in his own world.
My late mother who instilled in me a sense of discipline and having passion in whatever you do. It was clear with all who knew my mother that she was deeply passionate about teaching and living life to the fullest and this knowledge keeps me going on those days when I am consumed with self-doubt and would give anything to have her back. My father who is not only a completely ‘spoil-market’ grandpa, but who’s generous spirit and forgiving nature has taught me the importance of filial piety and respect. I love that we genuinely have a great time hanging out and I know I can count on my Dad for anything. My stepmother, who has completely redefined compassion for me and has selflessly taken care of our entire family so whole-heartedly that it’s become infectious. My mother in law for her patience and kindness and her eye for detail. I’m grateful that I have a great relationship with her and that I love her and cherish her like my own mother. My 90 year old grandmother who despite suffering a fractured skull and dementia has taught me what it is to grow old gracefully and graciously. My sister for her steadfastness and loyalty to her family and friends.
Even though we are separated by thousands of miles and decades of living apart, I’m grateful that my best friends from school are still my best friends. We are living proof that true friendship does survive the test of time, distance and divergent paths. I’m grateful for friends whom I can have deep conversations with, enjoy a plate of char kuay teow with, or just talk cock sing song with. I’m constantly inspired by their tenacity for getting on with life despite what life throws at them, awed by their talents and humbled by their successes.
I sometimes catch myself with a cheesy grin after a great workshop or voice-over gig and I realise then that I am so fortunate to be able to offer my talents and abilities in this way. I love what I do and I am grateful for the opportunity to learn, contribute and teach in this way.
Phew, it was tough getting through this article without pretending like there was something stuck in my eye causing tears to flow uncontrollably, but I’ve done it. I started out wanting to write about frivolous things that one can be thankful for like cheezels, 24 hour convenience stores and elastic bands, but as I got down to it, I realised none of those things really mattered to me. I realised that it’s always people we care about, and I’m really nothing without these people and at the end of it all, it’s the memories and legacies you leave with people that really matter the most. So…thank you, my people.