Last night, the boys and I went back to the old home for dinner. After getting caught in peak hour traffic for most of the way, it was such a nice feeling driving through the secluded windy road lined with tall trees again. As we drove through the big iron gates, the dogs came rushing out to meet us, doing their song and dance routine we've grown so familiar with.
My niece ran forward excitedly, showing off the stickers her teacher had given her. The poor girl has been unwell for several days now. Like me, she has lost some weight but not the vitality. I hugged her tightly and carried her in my arms. Her little sister who was dozing off sprung to life upon hearing our voices. Rusty stood on his hind legs, nuzzling our legs to demand some attention.
We sat down to a delicious dinner. Home-cooked food of chicken curry, boiled lotus root and peanut soup, stir fried cabbage, brocoli stired fried with fresh prawns, steamed fish and fried kailan had never tasted so good. Kudos to Wati, our domestic helper, for cooking our favourite dishes.
Dad was his usual quiet self but I could see his eyes light up when he saw us. Was I imagining things or did he appear thinner too? Mum kept urging the boys to eat more, worried that they're not getting enough wholesome meals outside. After dinner, we helped ourselves to the succulent plums and peaches in the fridge.
When it was time to leave, my eyes welled up again. I think I love my parents and my dogs too much because it happens everytime I have to say goodbye. I would drive home silently with tears blurring my vision and I had to look away when the kids speak to me. I get so emotional even thinking about them now, I wonder when this is going to stop.
I guess for now, home is where the heart is.