November 4th 2008
November 4th marked a defining moment in our lives. It was the very day we step foot in Melbourne. Our lives were changed right that moment. No matter how much I prepared for it, I wasn’t prepared for the real feeling of “no turning back” and that we were moving on. I never had the chance to write about how I felt when the plane took off. Perhaps this will be an interesting time to share it.
The finality of our big move finally struck me when we took off. Yes, the finality of it. Just 20 minutes ago we had bid farewell to our family and friends. Now I was on the plane, with Janna beside me. We had the window seats. Dad & Mum and Jirene were sitting in the middle row, separated from us. I wonder what they were thinking.
I knew what an enormous step it was for my parents to take. I admire them so much for it! Also all the more because we didn’t have the money like most people did when they migrated, or a secure job, or even friends or relatives we could fall back on when in Melbourne. I wondered how big a change it must be for Dad & Mum. They’ve been in M’sia for over 40 years. I’m sure it must take a lot to let go and move on.
No one said a word when the plane went up. No show of excitement or sadness. But it was the silence and the reality of it that finally got tears rolling down my cheeks. No one saw it. Not even Janna, who was silently sitting beside me. Although just half an hour ago I had been quite cool at the farewell, I finally felt a raw tinge of sadness.
In that moment, I prayed. I think I prayed aloud. No one heard me because of the dull roaring of the plane. Honestly, I was also afraid. The only comfort and hope I knew was that God is watching over us and that He was hearing my prayer right then. At the same time, I decided I would savour the unique experience and remember it well.
Interestingly, November 4th was also a very significant day in history for U.S. and for the world! It was the day when Barack Obama’s victory was announced. In his victory speech, he said, “It’s been a long time coming, but tonight, because of what we did on this day, in this election, at this defining moment, change has come to America.” Reading his victory speech really got to me. This man spoke passionately of change. And for that, he was different.
Early this morning, I stayed up with my parents to watch Obama’s inauguration. It was around 4 am Melbourne time! Boy it was worth watching. His inaugural speech will be in history books and I glad to be hearing it live on TV. Here’s the link where I read his speech. If it’s worth listening to, it’s even better to read it.
I find it intriguing that November 4th, being such a significant day to so many others in the world, was also our day of change and an opening of a new chapter. At that time I wondered how things would play out by January 2009. Now here I am writing this. I thank God so much for leading us up to this point. For the people we've met, and the places we visited. For the few open doors of opportunity. And yes, I am now wondering how things would play out for the next few exciting months to come!