Christmas at Jennifer's Place Though Santa did not visit our home delivering christmas presents for the kids on Christmas' Eve, the J&Fs Bunch was happily sharing the Christmas spirit with those who had the Christmas trees installed in their homes. Right after Zohor, we zoomed to Jennifer's place, our former next door neighbour. We were neighbours for 6 years but I had known Jennifer and her late husband Paul since the day I started working at Mesiniaga in 1990.
Paul passed away about 7 months ago due to a heart attack at the age of 47. And this year's Christmas is the first year the family is observing Christmas without Paul. Unlike the traditionalists, who would adopt a "No Christmas" for the first year of one's demise, Jennifer opted to observe Christmas just like all these years.
To her, Paul enjoys Christmas. Paul likes Christmas trees. And to keep Paul happy, she dishes out all the Paul's favourite dishes. There were Putu Mayam, Fried Chicken, Lala Sambal, Mutton Curry and Mixed Vege.
Jennifer is Chinese and Paul an Indian. Therefore, all their kids are more like Malays. The eldest is getting engaged to a Malay girl, the second married to an Iban of Sarawak. The third and the fourth are still young, so I can't speculate on whom would their life partners be.
So, the family being a product of an interracial union, is very comfortable with more and more interracial unions. And the best thing about this type of family is the absence of any racial prejudices. In short, the family is racial blind, and I could testify that the children in this family is perhaps the most well mannered people in town.
When FJas (my daughter) was born 11 years ago, it was Jennifer who volunteered to take care of her before we could get a real baby sitter to leave her with. And she took care of FJas for more than two months.
When we were there at her home yesterday, she was excitedly telling us of her son's forthcoming engagement and sought for our guidance in preparing all the necessaries for the engagement and eventually the marriage in accordance with the Malay customs.
Though the absence of Paul is clearly felt, the family has managed to sort things out one by one. And for this, Jennifer has my fullest respect.
Christmas with the Chengs We were at Cheng's place for dinner. The Chengs is our current next door neighbour for the past 7 years. They are not of interracial union, but inter religion union. Cheng is a Buddhist but Lilian a Christian. So both Christmas and Chinese New Year are of equal significance to this family. Just like Jennifer's, the Cheng's juniors are also among the best well mannered kids in town. They don't talk much but they know how to respect people, especially all those elder than them.
The eldest is awaiting his SPM results and would be reporting for National Service next week at a camp in Kelantan. The youngest, Li Zen is fast turning into a cute young lady, sporting short hair and contact lenses.
Though we visited only two homes for Christmas this year, it was still a Christmas to remember by. We now are looking forward to Gong Xi Fa Cai.
Oh, what a wonderful Malaysia. Festivities all year round, one after the other.
Till the next posting, Good Night and thank you for visiting.