Monday, August 18, 2008

The things parents do for their children

Shortly after I posted my last entry on Friday evening, Wayne told me his parents were going to head home the next night on Saturday, as Dad's fever did not seem to subside even after countless visits to the hospital. He was actually feeling better on Saturday, well enough to go with Mum to the National Grand Theatre (again), to sell off the tickets they bought for a performance this week, and to take an inside tour of the place. But guess they decided to play it safe and go back to the comfort of their homes where Dad can rest well.

Over dinner before they headed to the train station at night (brought them for Malaysian food at a local restuarant, Malacca Legend), Dad revealed that he was also afraid he would pass his bad flu to me. Aiya, there was no way I could convince him that Rosabelle and I are hale and hearty, but they were adamant about leaving, so it's a pity Wayne, I and Rosabelle could not spend more time with them and bring them around more.

Well, at least they managed to get some of the Olympic action on Friday, taking in sights of the renowned Bird's Nest, Water Cube, and 20 minutes of the All-Around Women's Gymnastics...

With them being away, Wayne and I have decided not to let the remaining sets of Olympic tickets go to waste. Instead, I will go with him for tomorrow's gymnastics events (yes, with Rosabelle too!) - we are setting aside more time to get to the venue so it won't be too hectic for me, I shall report more on my Olympics experience!

For Dad and Mum, they reached home safely on Sunday morning and thankfully Dad's feeling better. With such an episode, Wayne and I are hesitant about having Mum stay with us for too long in future to take care of Rosabelle - Dad is also at an age where he needs her to be around (as Wayne put it, they are really each other's "老伴" - companions for life), and it won't be fair to keep them apart for long, so guess we'll have to make longer-term plans for Rosabelle.

Still back to the Olympics subject, as I caught various events on TV over the weekend, there are some highlights and moving moments that stood out for me - it's not about Michael Phelps and his personal achievement of 8 golds (or a total of a record 14 Olympic golds); or the fact that China is leading in the medal tally over arch-rival USA; or even the trials and tribulations of Team China who managed many firsts this time round.

It's more of the personal stories like that of the below that show the selfless love of mothers and loved ones...
  • that of Chinese 75kg weightlifting champion CAO Lei, who dedicated her win to her mother who passed away just two months ago. Her family had tried to keep the news from her, and since her mother was the first person CAO always wanted to talk to whenever she called home, her father had to lie and told her to concentrate on her training and not call anymore. Upon urging by CAO's coach, the news was broken to her only much later.

  • that of 33-year-old German gymnast Oksana CHUSOVITINA, whose son Alisher was diagnosed with cancer before his third birthday in 2002, and she then moved from Uzbekistan to Germany, where better medical care saved him. In an arena of young 14-year-olds doing flips and stands, this mummy gymnast is also the first female gymnast to compete in five Olympics. She came out of retirement to take part in competitions to be able to earn enough for her son's illness then, and has been quoted as saying "If I don't compete, then my son won't live... It's as simple as that. I have no choice." Although her son is cured, she is not resting on her laurels.

Or even closer to heart is Mum's support for the China team when they were up against our own Singapore team in the finals of the Women's Table Tennis Team event last night. My sister even called her a "叛徒" (traitor) in jest...haha! China President HU Jintao was even present at the finals last night, so you can imagine the pressure on the China team (they obviously won). I heard that there were Singaporeans present at the stadium, cheering LI Jiawei (Singapore's strongest paddler) on, but they were screaming "ai zai, ai zai!!!" (Hokkien for "steady, steady!!!) - erm..maybe it's because she's a Beijing native and did not understand the cheering...

In any case, it's no mean feat for Singapore that last got an Olympics medal (bronze for weightlifting) 48 years ago - even our Prime Minster Lee Hsien Loong delayed his National Day Rally speech by a day to await the results of this match. Just managing to see the Singapore flag raised at such a mega international sporting event as this is really quite an achievement (though the paddlers are mainly from China, heh). Looks like the $750,000 awarded by the Singapore National Olympic Council to the silver medallists will pay for a big party...(oh, in line with all things Singapore, the amount is taxable, by the way, heh!).

More about Mum - she has been updating me of the various preparations she and my sis (and guess everybody else at home) have been doing for Rosabelle's homecoming: re-painting the house (and finding out there were white ant nests lurking in parts of the home in the process - yeeks!); getting a new set of dining table/chairs (in her own words: "scared that when the fat, pregnant woman sits on the old chairs, they might give way and fall"!); dragging out Simon's/Marianne's infant clothing and washing them clean; cleaning out the cupboards for baby's and Wayne's/my clothes; re-varnishing the wooden furniture;...

They really have been kept busy, and even my sis, who has started part-time work in a friend's law firm, informed her boss that she will not be working in November, as I was going to deliver then. So sweet of them all, and I'm also getting all excited about going home in less than a month!

No comments: