It turned out that my client who came last minute yesterday was a very nice gentleman. Although he said previously that he would come at 230pm, being retired and probably really free, he actually came at slightly after 1pm. Not wanting to interrupt my lunch (which he believed would be from 1-2pm), he actually just sat around reading his book. He waited until an hour later before giving me a call to inform that he was already here!

I was genuinely surprised and told him that he didn’t have to wait (especially for such a long time) and could have just informed me, but he simply said that he didn’t want to disturb me. Haha so sweet and considerate. I would have stopped my lunch halfway just to see him first because I think customers always come first, and it’s not right to let customers wait unnecessarily. I mean I can always continue with my lunch after I settle the client in. I don’t always like how my colleagues let their customers who come during their lunchtime wait while they’ve their lunch.  Especially when our customers are not exactly normal customers if you know what I mean. 

Well, anyway back to my client. When we were chatting, he told me how his “missus” (that was how he called his wife) died of heart failure 5 months ago. Instantly, my heart went out to him. If there’s one thing in life that I’m most terribly afraid of, it won’t be heights or butterflies or losing my hair (even though I fear all of these as well). It would be the loss of a loved one, which I feel painful just to think about it. Yet, the way he had talked about his wife’s death is so peaceful and calm. I guess Time can wash part of the pain away, and perhaps he has found peace with the undeniable fact. But it’s all of this that makes me feel even more for him.

Later on as my boss was talking to him, I saw for the first time that he had 2 wedding bands on his ring finger. One was his and the other was his wife’s, I was sure. I felt a twinge of pain in my heart then. He must have loved his wife tremendously. Suddenly I thought of all the coming years that he is going to spend by himself and I felt sad. After all, he’s only 60. There’s probably another 10 to 20 years ahead of him. Yes, he has children but they’ve their own families now. I don’t think that they are neglecting him but a lot of parents don’t really like to interfere with their children’s lives. I think he’s such a good parent, and nowadays he spends his time doing voluntary work and reading. Very meaningful indeed.

My work makes me realize the importance of a life partner. Especially one who can stay by your side and supports you when you are old and ill. Now we might not be able to see the importance. I’ve friends who find meeting up with their boyfriends on a daily basis annoying and unnecessary, often questioning the purpose of doing so. “每天见面不会很无聊 meh” is something that I hear frequently. I myself find it scary having to face the same person every day for the rest of my life. I’m afraid that the love and passion will gradually turn into something habitual, and eventually even loathing. But just like what people say (including my mum), marriage is a gamble. Because you’ll never know if he’s really the right one until you try. Well, it’s a gamble that I’ll be glad to take on one day. Eventually.

I’ve seen far too many old people who are sick and single, with no one to take care of them, to give them moral support, or even to talk to. I always wonder if they were to be given a second chance, would they choose not to marry again? I’m not implying that the purpose of getting married is only to have a lifebuoy for you to hold onto when you are old and sick. But I think if you can find the person whom you really love and spend the rest of your life with, it seems to be the most beautiful thing in the world.

What happens then when your other half leaves for a better place before you do?

Well, life has to go on because if your other half really cares for you, then this is what he or she will hope for. And if you feel the same for him or her, this is what you will do. It will be hard but it can be done.

Yesterday I saw him reading his book at a corner of the room. I thought I could sense loneliness even by looking at his back. 5 months have passed and he seems to have gathered his life back together again. As hard as he may be trying, I suspect that there’s always this little part of him that is still hurting. From time to time, this will seep out of his peaceful front. I wish that I could have said more to him, but I’m not good at consoling people.

Whatever that has happened or will happen, I only wish the best for you, Mister. All the best.  

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