Things Change in Your Absence

It has been a good 4 months since I last came home and some things have changed, sadly. The fact that people/animals grow older and age with time is something I’m well aware of but perhaps have not internalized. It only hit me a few days ago.

My grandma and kevin (her dog) have been living with us since her bad fall back in 2010. They came together (we always joke that they’re buy 1 get 1 free) as one could not live without the other. Their arrival was timely as my old Bichon Frise, Max, had passed away in 2009 and Kevin helped to fill the empty space in our hearts.

Here’s some pictures of my grandma celebrating her 90th birthday (last year) and Kevin when he was 15 years old (two years ago, 15 x 7 = 105 doggy years 0ld).

In just 4 months, old-man Kevin has aged a lot. His cataract has clouded both his eyes and he’s now completely blind. We’ve tried not to rearrange things around the house because he constantly knocks into the walls and furniture, squealing with pain each time. He also seems to have lost his sense of hearing and has forgotten how to bark. Up to last year, whenever one of us got home, he’d bark at the top of his voice, pouncing on us in excitement. But this time round, he hardly responds to us coming back, sometimes only lifting his head and letting out a soft whimper.

What saddens me most is his drastic weight loss – when I stroke him, I can actually feel his entire backbone and skeleton beneath his thin bed of hair. Before Agent D returned back to Jakarta on Sunday, he insisted on feeding more treats to Kevin. He said, “I’m not sure if he’ll still be around for us to feed the next time we come back.” The thought of that made me really sad.

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Now 17 years old (119 doggy years old), Kevin no longer reacts when I come back home.

As my grandma is really attached to Kevin, we’re afraid that she’ll lose the will to live should Kevin pass on. In recent months, her memory has worsened and her memory lapses take place even more often than before. When she first saw me, she whispered to my helper somewhat loudly, “Who is that girl and boy (Agent D)?” I asked her how old she was and she giggled, replying that she was thirty-three years old (she would say that she was sixty years old a few months back).

Nonetheless, we’re thankful for her cheerful and giggly disposition all the time. At 91 years old, she’s seldom grumpy and almost never throws any tantrums (opposite to what TV dramas often portray old dementia grandmas to be). In fact, her child-like mannerisms often crack us up.

Just yesterday, Aunty Anna and Val came to visit mama and we all had fun playing JENGA with her. Mama was trying to play cheat all the time like a small little girl – skipping our turns and jumping to hers, drawing a block from the top and placing it back, and so on. It was hilariously cute. 🙂

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Bought mama some of her favourite Ang Ku Kueh from Chinatown’s Fatt Soon Kueh.

It has been a blessing having both mama and old-man Kevin with us for the past couple of years and both have taught me many things about growing old. Life on this earth is fleeting and our current worries are transient — treasure the people around you and leave no space for regrets.


On a lighter note, I’ve been trying to catch up with as many friends as I can during my stay in Singapore (in-between my many errands). So happy to have finally fulfilled my FRESH GREENS craving (good clean create-your-own salads are a rare find in Jakarta) at Toss & Turn with Elaine yesterday. We went on to share a berry yummy acai bowl from Project Açaí, continuing our girly conversations later into the night.

Project Açaí is Singapore’s first dedicated açaí superfood cafe. They serve Sambazon organic açaí from the Brazilian Amazon Rainforest and their bowls are prepared fresh everyday, with a heap of fruits and superfood toppings. HEALTHY YET YUM. (Thanks for recommending Sasha!)

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Nothing beats great conversations over a wholesome bowl of fruits.

Today I got to meet farty fatty, momma Juli and Estelle for lunch. Although sick for the past week, baby fatty gained yet another 0.2kg. He’s growing wider (and cuter) everyday!

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My fist is the most delicious thing in the whole wide world.

‘Twas a lovely day spent playing with baby fatty and talking about life, recent on-going events with Juli and Est. Time flies especially fast in the company of good friends. Before I knew it, it was 6+pm and time to go back home for dinner.

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Visibly annoyed at having to pose for a picture.

I better turn in soon, have another long day of catch-ups tomorrow. Good night! x

 

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