Friday, February 08, 2013
40 Years Ago Today
It was the 6th day of the Lunar New Year in 1973 and I was home in my home town of Sitiawan for a very special occasion. It was a Thursday and with me and my mother were my wife-to-be and her mother. We were going to see the registrar of civil marriage in Lumut, Perak to be married in a simple ceremony (at that time I wasn't a baptized Christian and not worshiping in any church). Our mothers were there to witness this happy occasion. I had returned from my work in Kluang, Johor where I was training as a chemist with Revertex Ltd while I was under the employ of FELDA, the land development agency of the government. And my wife-to-be had returned from Kuala Lumpur where she was working as a nurse. The choice of the date was probably to coincide with the new year when both of us could take leave to be home, my wife hailed from Ipoh, Perak, some 2 hours drive away. It was also probably chosen, I cannot be sure, from my mother-in-law's referencing the Chinese Almanac to choose an auspicious day for an auspicious occasion. After all it would be the first marriage from both families and we wanted to ensure the marriage went off to a good start.
It was a Thursday and a sunny one too. February was typically a dry month and on that day my dad was busy buying in smoked rubber sheets from the smallholders. It was the designated day in the week for this trading so my dad couldn't join in or be my witness at my marriage. In any case someone had to man the shop.
We waited outside the office of the registrar, Mr. Chan Kim Teck (my memory wasn't that good, his name was printed on our marriage certificate). I cannot remember if there were other couples waiting before or after us. The proceeding was smooth. We affixed our signatures after Mr. Chan solemnized our marriage and then by law, Madam Chan Wai Har was officially Mrs. Yew Nieng Choon. There were no shooting stars, no glamorous celebration, just a decision we both took to be committed and faithful to each other until death do us part. We didn't have the time to have our honeymoon immediately but we had it after our traditional wedding dinners in our respective home towns 2 months later.
Well, exactly 40 years have flown and fleeting thoughts went through my mind, from our courtship years to the struggling years of bringing up our children, frequent relocation until my last stop in Nilai, N.Sembilan where I made the momentous decision to be a businessman and started my own company in 1988. Today my wife and I are retired but busy nonetheless. We have 6 wonderful grandchildren from 3 lovely and caring children and their spouses. We have peace and relatively good health. I know I made my right choice 40 years ago. Today is the testimony of it.
Of what use is life if there is no supportive and loving spouse to care for you? Every day must be a Valentine Day. Although no 'I love you's' are muttered daily yet through our daily actions and thoughts love is expressed and affirmed. And God stands between us and within the family to see us through every life's situation.
Today I cannot celebrate our anniversary with our children because we are traveling back to my home town for Chinese New Year. My dad had left us 15 years ago and we're back to visit my mother who will be 88 later this year. I think she'd remember today 40 years ago. In remembrance of this day I invited my mother, my auntie, my sister and my good friend PL and his wife to a simple dinner, to eat, chat and laugh. Life if sustained by these 3 elements is likely to be a blessed one.
Happy 40th anniversary my beloved wife. Thank you for being the ruby in my life. Here's some past pictures to show the progress of our age.
It has been a great 40 years during which we experienced God's marvelous grace and blessings. From two we added three who married and gave us six grandchildren who are all sunshine of our lives.