Did you know? I used to be very poor
Yesterday I had to undergo one of my biggest fears: needles. I took vital vaccinations which was a consideration before going on vacation. Before my graduation, which took place not long ago, my family decided to book a trip to my native country Thailand. I followed their lead and now my family, me and my love is going there together. Hence, the vaccinations. Maybe I have some childhood trauma including needles and vaccines? I do suspect all the injections I had – to get rid of my many childhood teeth- is the reason why the idea of needles terrify me.
Visiting my native country will be great – and heartbreaking. More than a year ago I lost my grandmother to diabetes. As it happens to be, although everyone’s life of my family in Thailand is better, it’s not the best. There were not enough help for my grandma to survive the diagnosis. Losing my grandma still hurts today. But I know she’s in a good place now.
My grandmother had a huge impact on my childhood. When I was about two years old my mother had to leave us to study in the capital so she could find a job and earn money for us. The thing is. It was only urgent for her to leave, because my dad left us for another family. Therefore, my mother left me and my grandmother took care of me like her own. In later years, this impacted me in a way where I despise every father there is, I even hated my stepfather because of my biological father – although my stepfather only did good to me. Today, the only father I have is my stepfather, and I’m happy I have one, I’m more than happy for my little brother who have both his biological mom and dad for his childhood.. Which I didn’t, I had none of them in fact.
We were very poor. Although, as a child, I didn’t know what being poor meant, I thought, it’s a natural way of living. Honestly, I didn’t even know we were poor until I got told so, as well as some of the childhood memories lingers: The house we lived in was more of a hut. I did all my deeds outside, including showering. The food we had was from gathering, fishing or farming. Those long walks and those long waits was gladly played away by my inner child. I didn’t mind a single bit. I had a crazy imagination when I was a kid and a huge heart for dancing. Why I completely stopped dancing is for another story..
How poor were we? The one major incident I can recall, which could describe me as poor was when we had to rent my grandmothers brothers hut which was our neighbour because we decided to hammer down our hut, sell the material of the old hut and hold film events on the small area to earn some money. Back then no one really lived there so we were allowed at the time. This new hut , alike our old hut, had no windows. You have to imagine there were a room and each side of the room was a square window of open view. So we put up metal plates we borrow from roofs to protect us from the cold winds during night.
However, one day my uncle, who had his own house, was in need of the metal plates we borrowed so he took all of them down. The same night, a storm was passing through our village which made the night catastrophic, we tried covering the open windows with carpets we made ourselves out of corn, my grandmother and my aunt had to hammer them to the wall, as I was trying to calm my little cousin. We fought through the night, soaked in rain, until the storm settled. The house hut hold and no major incidents happened.
This was only one night out of many.
Thinking back at it. I didn’t really feel poor. I didn’t know the definition of rich either but I sure didn’t feel poor. I had a mattress, a bed that is, my grandmother makes delicious food, I had many friends and was oddly popular because of my long hair and pale skin, we had a huge farm and the farm had a hut, a great napping place. I had my cousin, which I took care of like a little brother. I was never lonely. If you asked me when I was little, and if I knew the definition of poor and rich, I’d say, I’m pretty damn rich.
Going back to the house.. to the farm.. without my grandmother there – will be more than just hurtful. The truth is, the only reason people still hung around the house, which was renovated a few years ago, is to be close to my grandmother. Now, today, it’s silent, it’s empty and it’s dead. I always wanted to make her proud… I hope I did. I owe her so much for still taking care of me although the circumstances and although she already took care of so many children of her own.
Altogether she had 6 children.
And we all miss her.
I miss her.