I was born in a women’s hospital in the Eastern Suburbs of Sydney which has since been turned into a park. The hospital itself was transferred to a nearby campus where it maintains itself primarily as a teaching hospital of the University of New South Wales.
I’ve spent the past 20 years of my life in the Inner West of Sydney, but before that I had spent the first 3 in a coastal town south of NSW. Coming from a working family, my sister and I spent most of our time with our grandparents during the three years that my parents had run a Chinese restaurant in the South Coast of NSW.
I actually can’t remember much from my time in Mollymook, but lucky for my sister and I, dad had captured a lot of the memories created in our first few years of life with his camcorder. There are so many videos of us flying kites as a family on Mollymook Beach, of me crooning a song that I’d learnt at pre-school the day before, and of when my grandpa gave Joanne (my sister) and I bowl cuts on the balcony where kookaburras would perch themselves whenever the humans were out of sight. My mum was the camera wielder… sadly most of the photos she took were destroyed when my sister and I decided it was a good idea to rip them all up when grandma’s back was turned.
Since then, my grandpa has passed away and my grandma, I guess her health and general wellbeing slowly deteriorated after losing her husband. She was admitted into hospital in the early hours of today, with several of her vital organs showing signs of failure. I can’t put into words the hurt that I felt while my aunt was relaying what the doctor said was happening to my grandma’s body.
Seeing her lay there sleeping under the cold, sterile hospital lights in her medically-induced daze had made me realise how stupid I was to have gotten so caught up in conflict with some stupid girl I’d never even met for the past year or so. Seeing her reminded me of all the times my sister, cousin and I had helped her set the table for dinner each night that our grandparents babysat for our parents while they worked hard. And most importantly, it reminded me of the quote Joanne had posted on Facebook earlier today, and it read:
Love your parents. We are so busy growing up, we often forget they are also growing old.
We get so caught up in trying to uncover what we want and need in life, it’s easy to forget that we are the future of those who have taken their time to nurture us and teach us things we can’t learn from a book.
All I’m hoping for as of now is that grandma puts up a good fight, and when/if? she recovers and gets back onto proper food I will take her to eat(is that the right word?) yum cha to get some of her favourite scallop dumplings in her belly. She can also finally meet my stupid dumbhead of a boyfriend, and we can both laugh at how he holds his chopsticks better than I do.