I went back to Penang and Taiping for Ching Ming over the last weekend. My mom’s side is in Taiping whereas my dad’s in Penang.
When I was younger, I used to loathe Ching Ming. It didn’t make sense to me the significance. I was just grumpy because of the long journey from KL and then, having to bask in the sun to clear graves and cemetery. Why can’t everybody just get cremated and get over with it?? Haha! Yes.. I was that moronically obnoxious! So, most of the time, I would just avoid going to Ching Ming. Afterall, if I were to go, there won’t be enough space in the car either. So, I stayed out of Ching Ming most of my initial working years.
As I grew older, I learned the significance of Ching Ming. It’s just once a year event for us to cultivate filial piety to our ancestors. I think, as a Chinese custom, this is considered one of the most significant events to foster filial piety. I know, I always argue that, it’s even more important for us to be filial to our parents and elderly when they are still alive and not wait till they are dead – to put up a show that we are filial.
Ching Ming is also a time for other living members of the family to gather together, after Chinese New Year event. Since we no more going back to Penang for Chinese New Year as both of our grandparents are gone, and the only uncle has passed away a few years back, we spent CNY within our own families in KL and Taiping. So Ching Ming is the only time we get to meet other relatives in Penang.
This time, we didn’t see one of our nieces as she has to work. Also, my cousin in law (her mom) lamented that she’s now 21 and she would spend most of her time with her friends. She would always go traveling with her friends and not her parents. Ah Ching is a quiet girl and she rarely speaks to her parents. But would be very animated with her friends. Well, I told my cousin in law that, this is her rebellious young adult years. Soon, when she starts a family of her own, she would remember how important her mother was to her before and she would miss her mom… and she would be crawling back for attention!
This is from my own personal experience. I used to be this young lady who refused to sit at home and preferred to spend more time hanging out with friends or simply going out. Now, as I grew much older and hopefully mature too, I rather spend more time at home.
Since the past 8 years, I could see my mom growing older faster by the day. She seems to repeat more times of what she say and would forget easily what we told her. She would fall asleep easily while watching tv and remained wide awake at night. She would nag and nag and nag with even more gusto! I am growing impatient but then, I keep on reminding myself that, I would someday grow old too and probably Ern Ern would be fed up with me. Haha.
Well, kids, appreciate your parents when they are still alive and well. It’s too late to say anything once they are gone.