Goodbye on a Rainy Day

I have lost count how many times we have said goodbye to one another. (Perth, Shanghai, Singapore and now here in Hong Kong). And I thought I am so used to saying goodbye to both of them. I thought to myself that this was only a short 6-month separation and it won’t be as bad as the one in 2006. I was so wrong about my thoughts. Goodbyes are painful – no matter how many times we have been through.

Thankfully, my Singapore buddies (Yifu, Meijie and Lilian) were in town to lend their support. Harshad and Tracy (and dad) also came to send them off. It was a big happy (and noisy) farewell. I thought their company will help to ease (and distract) the sadness. It was pretty okay from our house to the airport. Elkan was very happy today, he was looking forward to go home to meet his granny and cousins. Normally, he was the one crying at the departure gate and Felicia and me had to comfort him. It was the adults who were in tears and he comforting both of us.

Elkan was acting pretty different (very sensible and mature) today.
He knew he was leaving Hong Kong for good and he said many nice things to cheer me up. He is always a happy kid. When I asked him if he will missed me, he said I will miss him more. He said he will behave well so he fly back soon to play video games with me. He also left me with a lot of written “I love you, daddy” notes. Minutes before the departure, Elkan and me went to the loo. My mind was so occupied with my work and their departure that I left my pouch in the loo. I left the loo first. Elkan saw the cleaner picked up my pouch. He instinctively guessed it was my pouch and took it from the cleaner. He passed the pouch to me and said “Is that yours? I saw a uncle holding it and I told him it is yours. Daddy, please be careful, can?”

At the departure gate when we bid farewell to them, the smile on Elkan’s face slowly diminished. He dropped his backpack and started whining for me “I want daddy, I want daddy”. It was an unbearable moment. Holding back the tears, I gave him a tight hug and told him I will be back very soon. Do well, my son and take care, I said. I looked at Felicia, her eyes were wet. So were Tracy (and Harshad). It was an emotional moment for all of us. After all, we have been through so many good happy days in Hong Kong. For me, it was goodbye to my son and wife – Elkan is starting school in 2 weeks’ time – they had been on the road with me for 3 years. For Tracy and Harshad, it was goodbye to their favorite buddy. Some one who they doted so much during their stay in Hong Kong.

Meijie came to give me a hug while Felicia and Elkan went through the gate. They say big men don’t cry. I can’t help it. It breaks my heart to see my son and wife so sad. Harshad kept patting on my back, comforting me. Tracy’s dad tried to calm the situation with a good joke. “Hey, those weren’t tears of sadness. It’s tears of joys. You are a free man now!” Yes, today is my Independent Day!

I hate goodbyes. Especially on a rainy day when Christmas is just around the corner.


(Thank you all who came for the farewell office lunch and wrote us all those encouraging notes on Facebook and sms. We are really touched and blessed to have you guys around. It is moment like this that teaches us to cherish and appreciate each other more. And thanks Harshad, Meijie, Tracy, Yifu, Lilian for popping by our house today. Our Pink Christmas Tree is completed now – with all the farewell Polaroids!)

2 Responses to Goodbye on a Rainy Day

  1. KL says:

    i ‘m so touch……

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