These past months have been surreal for me. Suddenly, I am re-acquainted with people whom I have not seen for decades. Thanks to the internet, locating a lost acquaintance is much easier now than pre-internet era.
Getting re-acquainted with someone whom you have not seen in decades may be a concern. After all, the person may turned up to be someone you absolutely have no desire to have a relationship with, or worse, someone on the other side of the law. Then there is the ego issue – what if you turn out worse than what was expected of you? Can a shared history decades ago overlook these disparities to move the relationship forward? Fortunately, in my case, the majority of the people are pretty normal, even boring to the extend and the most extreme I have come across are divorces and remarriages.
Getting reacquainted with someone from way back in history not only brings back the nostalgic feeling, it fills the gap from your childhood’s ignorance and innocence. Suddenly, your life is more fulfilled from having these people being part of it.
My regular primary school reunion is now more robust from having more participants. Perhaps as mortality beckons, we treasure our childhood friends even more.
A high school gathering last year, after three decades, renewed friendships with inspiring stories of courage and strength. Sadly, there are some who would rather not attend, perhaps for reasons I mentioned above.
My sister’s recent visit to our childhood nanny living in Perak brought her gratification, and childhood stories I had long forgotten when she shared her visit with me. Travelling back in time do make the future much easier to look forward to somehow.
Recently, my siblings and I have also re-acquainted with my paternal side of the family – specifically with our youngest aunt and uncle and their family. I am touched they feel the need and take the trouble to meet us, the nieces and nephews whom they have not seen since even before the divorce of my parents more than three decades ago. The care and concern they have shown makes the Chong in my surname more relevant than ever.