I don’t come from a family culture like my husband’s, where him and his mother and his brother openly hug and say ‘I love you”. Come to think about it, I don’t think all through the years of my life, have I ever said it to my own mother directly. Even hugging her sometimes feels awkward.
But since it is the new Gregorian year and all, I decided that I would do away with all the lofty ideals of resolutions which I cannot keep, year after year. This time round, I decided to make just one effort and to keep it consistent. I decided to ensure, if possible, on a daily basis to let my immediate family know how much I love them and appreciate their presence in my life. It sounds easy, but it is not. At least it is not for me. What seems like something natural for people like my own husband, is in fact quite a gargantuan awkward task for me because I was so not brought up to show PDA (public-display of emotions) where family members are concerned. We show it by showing concern about each other’s lives or by buying them things or by being there, but not by saying it out loud directly to the person.
This morning, I sms-ed my mother a happy new year message and thanked her for bringing me up and I ended the sms with “I love You”. I know I should have called, but I don’t have the guts to be mushy over the phone–yet. And then I sent a separate message to my father and my sister, a personalized message each btw and also ended it with letting them know how much I love them.
Within minutes, I got two replies. My mother replied with “Have a safe trip to Jakarta and I love you too!” and my father replied with ” I miss you…”. That wasn’t so bad wasn’t it? 🙂
For my sister, I didn’t get any reply from her at this point. She’d probably be rolling her eyes with ‘she must have woken up on the wrong side of the bed’ or her signature ‘whatever’. But hey, at least I tried.