“So Grampi, was it love at first sight when you saw her?”
Daughter’s eyes widen, jaw drops when Maternal Grandpa lets out belly laugh.
Her romantic notions of darling-sweep-me-off-my-feet-I’m-yours-forever are shattered.
Sister and I glean bits and pieces over the years.
Dad’s story –
“I came home from work one evening, and Mother told me I was fixed up.”
No further discussion …
(Rumour has it that Paternal Grandma in her heyday was a tough bird.)
Fixed up is a direct translation from the vernacular. There’s a sense of no-way-out about it.
Matchmakers are Aunty Ruby’s in-laws.
Dad, up-and-coming young banker, is desperate to see what the girl looks like before formal introduction when he and parents visit her home. Enlists help of Friend Gunam. Friend and he ride Dad’s scooter up and down Mum’s lane. Young Lady finally makes an appearance on front porch.
Dad and Friend ride away. Dad is glum.
Friend Gunam’s version: “He was speechless. He fell instantly in love.”
Dad’s version: “I didn’t know what to say. She looked like nothing on earth!”
Enormous relief to meet the girl a few days later. Accomplished. Demure. Long dark hair. Pleasant to behold.
Turns out young lady on front porch was Neighbour’s Daughter!
True story – honest – straight from the horse’s mouth.
Mum’s Story –
Me: “Mum, so what did you think when you saw him?”
Mum: “He was so handsome, darling. My heart skipped a beat!”
The date is fixed. Here comes the bride …
Uncle Gunam – comrade, confidante, fellow sleuth – is Bestman.
Fast forward fifty years. Golden Wedding Anniversary celebrations.
They all said it – grannies and great aunts, aunties and elderly widows:
“Love comes after marriage, that’s how it happens.”
Thankful for Husband’s recovery. Things could have taken a terrible turn. Thankful for Pastor George and those who cared to pray. Thankful for Our Friend Jim without whom we would have no Backyard Eden this year.
So blessed …
P.S. All the photographs in this post are random clicks from my camera phone.
Rush hour traffic on Friday morning. A chopped-off bar of colour appears ahead, directly above the steering wheel.
A sideways glance at my passenger. “Look at the gorgeous bit of rainbow!”
No response from Daughter. I turn into the bus station, and …
An equal-opposite matching wedge in pastel colours. The slices cling to the sky, like two pillars on either side of the building.
Enchanting. Delighted …
“Look, another piece. Heaven is smiling!
! It’s going to be special!”
Daughter throws a puzzled look and hops out of the car. “Bye, Mom.”
I park some feet away, remove sunglasses, raise camera-phone to click. No rainbow.
Disappointed. Turn key in the ignition, put sunglasses back on and … my chunks of rainbow are back!
Lower the glasses to the tip of my nose. Rainbow-chunks disappear. Realization dawns. These stumps of rainbow are only visible through tinted glasses. Daughter never saw them. She must have thought I was nuts.
I’ve just seen beauty un-visible to the naked eye. Life’s like that sometimes, isn’t it?
I drive home realizing that
because Inner Me wears tinted lenses born from the dark seasons she’s lived through.
I suppose the soul-sunglasses are to blame for how my eyes perceive things. Like last week, when I was in the mall minding my business. I had this serious urge to step into Hallmark Cards and …
Three ceramic ornaments in different spots — two below eye level and half turned away from where I stood — held hands and stood up to shout with one voice –
Message for the day?
– honest! I’m
to convince me and
I took this picture some months back.
How I laughed. That’s me. I can’t help it!
P.S. Keep the sunglasses on!
This post is dedicated to my friend Marietta with my thanks for the pictures she took and shared with me. I’ve used one of them in this piece. All the other photos are digital moments captured on my phone.