It is difficult to describe the pleasure of reconnecting with a friend after several years and finding her happy and fulfilled. I had that rare treat yesterday when I met up with Suyan.
Ours is a rather unique friendship in my book. We go back all the way to being classmates in Pri 4. We had participated in some competitions and projects together but we never became close friends in the traditional sense. We run with different groups of friends and almost never do any activity together. But once in a blue moon, when we are alone together, we have always seemed to be able to open up quite comfortably and share our thoughts and feelings with each other.
I think it has been at least 4 years since we last talked. And sitting across from her yesterday, I was touched to find that she has undeniably blossomed since the last time. She loves and is loved by a down-to-earth and warm-hearted man who dotes on her. She has found meaning and peace in her life in large part through her experience with tutoring underprivileged children from Chinese-speaking families for the last 6 years. Listening to her share about the insights and revelations that she has gathered from sharing her life with those kids reaffirmed my own growing desire to serve the poor in our community.
And it was fun to find more similarities in our lives than we had before. She is getting married in a little over a month to a husband who is a year older, grew up in the HDB heartland, works in the aviation industry, is Hainanese, is the youngest in the family, has a father who used to be a sailor and who is a wonderful cook, and whose command of the Chinese language is superior to her and teases her about it. We both would like to have more than 2 kids (at least that’s what we think now) and from her description, it sounds like her husband-to-be is also a ‘salt of the earth’ kind of guy. In fact, I’m rather keen to have Zibin meet the guy as they sound so similar!
I don’t know when the next time will be when we meet like that again, but I sure look forward to it! :)