It is now more than 24 hours since CNN Breaking News carried Malaysian Prime Minister’s confirmation that Flight MH370 which disappeared 17 days ago had ended in the South Indian Ocean and that there were no survivors. I can understand that the world and most of you were watching the developing news; and while that was happening, I was having breakfast with my daughter, one on one, at Norma’s in Le Parker Meridien, New York. This is the Breaking News I want to share with you.
I could not recall the last time father and daughter ate together, but it could easily be over 15 years ago, probably in San Francisco when she took me to a small restaurant by the name of Stinking Rose which served Italian or Spanish food. That is why this is my Breaking News.
It was not that we had not met or eaten together, but typically there were others around which would not be conducive to free and frank exchanges. After Rosita died, she returned to Davis, California to continue her vet studies while her brother stayed in Hong Kong until mid 2006. She told me afterwards she had had a hard time grieving and accepting the loss; and I am sure it had not been easy. Grieving would have been more effective or conducive to relationship building if it is done between family members. A lot must have happened to us separately since; but sadly, circumstances had been such that I had been unable to create the necessary conditions that would bring the family closer. The family comprises the father, the son and the daughter, but for some time and certainly since 2006, they all live in different cities. I had suggested meetings in a city convenient to all, but somehow we did not meet until April 2009, almost five years to the day, when Su and I travelled to New York to break the news of our impending marriage to my children. At the time, Lawrence had just completed his studies in fashion design and was in New York looking for jobs while Stephanie was doing internship in Ventura, California. She flew to New York for the meetings but did not stay long. She flew back I recall after our dinner. Our next meeting was two years ago in Hong Kong, but we all had lined up things to do. Stephanie stayed in a hotel with Auntie Gloria; Lawrence stayed in the Park Road flat; while we were preparing our trip to Vancouver and Whistler. I had chatting sessions with the children, separately and together and we had meals together and with many others, mostly from the families of my siblings, but the sessions and meetings left me with more questions than answers to many other questions which I could not even begin to ask.
Back to our travels this year, Su booked the main flights a year ago through air miles; which included a draw between Toronto and New York. The children were not sure of their work schedules, which is understandable, and in the end, we decided to book our stay in New York for five nights from 21 March. Stephanie has since moved to work in Richmond, Virginia, and she cannot be away too long. She decided to fly in on 21 March and return yesterday, which brings us back to the present, well almost.
I saw Stephanie every day while she was in New York and we had plenty of time together, going through the more important issues which must have been bothering us separately or together. I am glad that we have become closer once more. We think that the trip to New York went well for the family; and we thank God for that.
Such is how life works: as long as there is a willingness to communicate and to understand the other person or persons, there is hope. One should not and cannot expect to understand a situation or what presents before one’s eyes, visions or minds, which often could be deceptive. One must learn to understand why things happen or present themselves in certain manner or fashion, and must pray for guidance and inspiration from above, bearing in mind that even logic has its limits and that good things may not happen to individuals simply because they are good. Things will only happen when all the necessary conditions conducive to their creation or being there present themselves at the right time and in the right place. Christ has taught us to pray and have faith that God would always listen to our prayers and give us what is best for us rather than what we pray for.
On this note, I would sign off and would tell you more about what I did and whom I met in New York in the next letter; and I hope to do that soon; for tomorrow we leave New York for Vancouver.