I'm going to share something really personal to me today. Not something actually... but someone. Her name is Aunty Nancy.
To understand how Aunty Nancy came into my life, you'll first have to learn a bit about my growing up. For most of my time growing up, both my parents were working parents. They spent a lot of time away from home working really hard to afford me the best education and the best lifestyle I could ever ask for as a kid. Knowing that they needed someone to watch over me and take care of me, they found help in Aunty Nancy who acted as our stay-in Baby Sitter for many many years.
Aunty Nancy was a mother herself at the time. She had 4 kids but she spent almost every day of the week with my brothers and sister, only taking some time off in the weekends to go out with her family. She watched us grow... from helping me with my Bahasa Malaysia homework in Standard 1 to even breaking up fights between my brothers and I as I grew into a teenager. She had many war injuries, from the childish but mean things we said to her to the punches from my brother that she deflected off me. Nevertheless she stayed with us throughout.
She wasn't just any baby sitter. She taught us manners. She taught us how to greet people, how to behave around people and even small small things like how to bring our dinner plates back into the kitchen sink right after dinner. Every time we got back from school, she was there.
Aunty Nancy eventually left our home when we all grew old enough to take care of ourselves. I went off to KL and then on to London to study but we kept in touch. Every time I came back to Penang I would look for her. She would find out what's going on with my life and sometimes give me advice that she thought I needed at that point in life. When she first met a girlfriend I had in Form 5, she told me "Don't break girls' hearts ar!"
Up till today, every time I get a chance to when I come back to Penang I would go pay her a visit and if I have the opportunity to, give her an "ang pow" out of my salary. Just out of gratitude for helping shape me from the rebellious boy I was to the working man I have become today. As I slowly grew older I began to learn that Aunty Nancy had gone through a lot in her life. Ups that she often shared with us... and downs that she hid from us to protect us or to keep us from the sad realities of life some of us sometimes face.
Perhaps I hope that with these little things I do.... she may look back and realize that she had made some mistakes in life but she had also done some very good things. One of those good things... I hope... would be raising me.
A day after I visited her and gave her the "ang pow", she called me up and said she wanted to pass me something. She had baked me this chocolate cake that she used to bake all of us while we were young.
I loved that chocolate cake and having another bite of it many many years later brought back memories. I don't know if it was just because of the nostalgia the cake brought .... but either ways... it was a damn good cake. The icing is amazing and the cake is not too dry... but moist. I sometimes think that she would be able to sell this cake and make some good money.
Attached to the cake was a "Thank You" card.
And a personal letter.
In the card it read
Dear Aunty Nancy.
While you may not read my blog or spend much time online at all. I just have to tell the world and have it documented somewhere in history... that it is me who owes you a "Thank You".
Thank you for helping both my parents raise me to the person I have become today.
No matter where I am. You will not be forgotten.
I wish I could do more for you in the years to come.