On the Eve of an Eleventh Anniversary

Last week, I reminisced my trip to my parents-in-law’s to ask for their permission to marry their first daughter. Tonight, we are looking forward to our eleventh anniversary tomorrow, over a quiet dinner, just between us. We had thought about some eating-out plans to break the monotony of home quarantine and an excuse to wear something other than tracksuits and running shoes, but we couldn’t decide what to do tonight and we haven’t yet decided what to do for tomorrow. Tomorrow is still some hours away.

I asked Su for some first-line responses, but she had just written some thoughts based on her ballpark-50 which had already attracted some followings. I began to cast my mind back on what it was like when I had my eleventh anniversary of anything at all or in short when I would have been much younger and more impressionable. The answer is really simple. One can never turn the clock back, which argues all the more the importance of always living in the present moment. What happened in any past period would only make sense to the people who experienced it during the period or more importantly to the people with whom one was together throughout the period preferably, which is why people would normally mark or celebrate their anniversaries with those who have grown up with them.

As I look across the dining table, I see the silver candlestick which we hardly used and the crystal candlestick which we never used until tonight. It took Su a good ten minutes to locate the candle stubs and she had to re-arrange the dining table a bit to allow the candlestick to stand out. We like what we saw and we felt happy. It was part of our wedding gift and we had thought of acquiring another set to make up a pair, but decided against it at the time for cost reasons. Once again, it’s all attachment, which one should learn to do away with.

I asked Su to put on some background music. She put on an Elvis album, which reminded me of a very dear friend who must have passed away for nearly 20 years when he was just 50 or in his early 50s. When we were young or younger, we live our lives like there was no tomorrow and that we would never die. I had breakfast with a friend, actually I had breakfast with three fiends but he came early, who lost a friend of his age over the weekend and he felt rather upset. In time, the list of friends, relatives and acquaintances who have gone would become longer and we would find that we could be spending more time remembering these absent friends than celebrating other anniversaries.

No, there is a time and a season for everything. We would remember our absent friends at a certain time of the day, every day if we remember it, and drink a toast to them; and we would celebrate life, ours and our friends’ as often as we can, when we can, in the manner and fashion that we can, and as long as we can. This is what living and life is all about.

I hope to talk to you again soon.

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