Love for Beginners

Letters by Kenny Mah

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The sweetest years

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Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
January 18, 2017


My darling, my love,


These sweetest years, they are made up of hard months, bitter days, quiet hours, belly-roaring minutes, and oh, seconds — seconds of such fiery passion we can’t help but believe they would last forever. They never do, and these years will pass also.

That’s the nature of it, my baby. We grow old and our bodies grow weaker, more fragile. Can’t take coffee too late in the day now. Milk upset us. We have to chew our food more slowly too or our tummies will find a way to make us regret it later. We will become decrepit, senile in all likelihood, and then, we will pass.

Everything that lives do. There’s no escaping it.

But that’s not the reason we share our life together. We are not trying to escape death or the tribulations of each day. We accept them, welcome or not. We are no different than anyone else; we will go through what they do, and if we are brave, if we are strong, we will have a smile on our face as we go through it.

No, these years that we have been together are the sweetest not because they are the easiest or because they guarantee a longer life, free from pain and suffering. These years have been the sweetest simply because we got to experience them together.

From driving you to work in the morning to you patting my love handles when I fret about their unchecked expansion. From you showing me how you used to practice Chinese calligraphy as a child to me explaining the intricate and near-incestuous family histories of various comic book characters to you, neither of us quite understanding what the other is saying but happy to listen nonetheless.

We are blessed because we are aware of the privilege we enjoy, being able to listen to each other ramble. How precious these things are, that mean nothing at all to others but mean the world — our world — to us, and so, to each other.

To be there when we are crying the hardest, to be there when we are laughing like maniacs, to be there to cradle each other and hold hands and say nothing at all — what a goddamn gift.

These are the sweetest years because we know they are a gift. Never something to endure or to watch pass us by, but to savour every single moment like it’s our last. One day, my baby, it will be. That’s the nature of things, after all. We know this.

And we will be so grateful, as we are now, for every single one of them: these fierce seconds, these magical minutes, these joyful hours, these weeks and months of love — such love! — and these sweetest years.


Yours always and always,
K.





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