Sunday, February 10, 2013

Priceless, the real ‘kuih kapit’ by Soo Ewe Jin - The STAR

Letters and cards help to build up your treasure trove of special memories with loved ones.
SOON after I got married, I was privileged to be selected for a short-term press fellowship in the United States. It was only for six weeks, but for someone who had just tied the knot, saying goodbye to your better half while still in the honeymoon phase was not easy.
At the airport, my wife quietly slipped me a letter with clear instructions not to read it until I was up in the air.
Well, if saying goodbye was tough, the letter made it even tougher. Her words, so poignantly woven together, were guaranteed to make even a grown-up man cry. In my short sojourn there, we would faithfully write to each other, trusting the postman to always deliver.
At another phase of our life, she was the one going away when she was awarded a press fellowship to be in Cambridge for three months.
I was then a full-time househusband and though our time apart was longer, the two young boys kept me well occupied.
There was still no e-mail and Skype then, so the hand-written letters were something to look out for.
I reckon that we suffer less from separation anxiety these days because there are so many ways for us to stay in touch, no matter how far apart we may be geographically.
But in my household, we have maintained this wonderful tradition of writing love letters to one another for special occasions, and even for no apparent reason.
Early in our marriage, we had read a book that taught us how to store such treasures, from letters to cards to little mementos. There are many such boxes in my home and it is a joy to rummage through them to bring back those special moments.
And our sons also joined us. The cards they send to us are always special, never a Hallmark card but always homemade ones that reveal the creative streak in them that make the words truly meaningful.

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