Don’t wait until another special occasion before we connect with family and friends again!

A few years ago when we celebrated my grandmother’s 100th birthday, we invited a few hundred relatives, family and friends for a HUGE birthday celebration.

Many of my grandmother’s close relatives and friends made it back for this grand occasion to be with her. Many of them flew back from overseas. I was amazed that I had not met most of them before, especially those who lived overseas and interstate.

They had a great time connecting and catching up with each other, and spent many hours reminiscing over the good old times, sharing amazing stories and experiences.

Before they said their good-byes, my grandmother mentioned to a few of her relatives “please let’s visit each other often. Don’t wait until another big occasion before we talk to each other again!”. They agreed, but unfortunately never followed it up. My grandmother passed away not long after her 100th birthday. I wished the relatives would visit more often, as I could see how happy they were to reconnect.

My grandmother’s short statement spoke volumes – How true it was!

Why do we talk and see each other so infrequently?

Why wait until people’s birthday or special occassions to make an effort to see or connect with each other?

Why do we travel thousands of kilometers to attend a loved one’s funeral?

When my father had his leg amputated a few years ago, I was back in Penang to help my mum to care for my dad. During that time, I took the opportunity to visit a few old folks home (retirement home) in Penang together with my aunty. I have to honestly say that I was totally saddened with the situation the senior members of the society are facing daily.

It is not so much of the condition of the home, but the sheer loneliness of the elderly citizens. Up to today I am still haunted by the sadness in their eyes combined with the un-stimulating music, activities and TV programs that are being broadcasted to the residence there.

I can still remember one elderly lady sitting in one corner with her lunch: eating ever so slowly, not that she could not eat, but because she knew that once she had finished with her lunch, it would be another few hours before afternoon tea was served.

Luckily, my grandmother lived with my parents; she still had contact with relatives living close by, my mum and dad to talk to and a home to live in.

Yes, we are all busy; we have our own family to look after, I know, as I was one who knew too well what being busy is all about – but I have looked at things differently since then.

Everyone has 24 hours each day. How you set your priorities, according to what is important to your life, i.e. family, work, health, dreams, home, friends etc., will determine whether you have lived your life fulfilled.

Whether we live interstate or overseas, do make some time to drop your loved ones a call or a letter when you can spare some time. Or better still, ring them. Nowadays, we have great deals with the phone companies.

As my husband puts it…” By the time you have the time, that person may not have the time for you!”

So don’t wait until another celebration or special occasions before we talk to each other again! Let’s pick up the phone and start connecting with your family and friends now!