As I write this while sitting on my cosy sofa in the living room, my husband is in the kitchen, preparing and cooking dinner. It has been about eight months since the COVID-19 pandemic took over our lives.
And we have been bombarded with so many unfortunate news — from how tens of thousands of Malaysians have lost their jobs to how retailers are struggling to keep their business afloat.
The issue is becoming worse amidst the spike in COVID-19 cases lately.
Although we may face uncertain times ahead due to the unstable economy and the political turmoil in the country, we must also take this chance to reflect on the good things in our life.
Admittedly, I must say that COVID-19 has been a blessing in disguise for my marriage.
Before the pandemic, there were days when we were able to roam around, travelling from one place to another, and meeting our friends
That was the time I treasured the most with plenty of my 'me time' and I could freely roam around to sample plenty of local delicacies.
Bak kut teh in Klang. Wan tan mee in PJ New Town. Nasi lemak in Chong Kok Kopitiam. Fried Hokkien noodles in Damansara Uptown. A glass of cold coffee in Weng Koh Hainan Kopitiam.
At times, I went out and beyond Klang Valley, travelling to Melaka for authentic Nyonya cuisine or sometimes, to the north, and had a plate of Ipoh chicken rice while bringing back my favourite local delicacies like tau sar peah.
Those were the glory days… But undoubtedly, it was quite a lonely moment for me too.
My husband was not there for me 'physically'
On most of the weekends, my mind was merely about work and of course, looking forward to meeting my family. Whereas my husband would literally 'disappear' for weeks and, occasionally, months as his job requires him to be outstation.
While we frequently argued about his work schedule, we would always end up with no solution. All we knew was to make our peace and live with it til the days where we both became 'stable' in our career. And indeed, it was a rollercoaster ride both emotionally and physically.
Emotionally, we love each other very much and were there for one another virtually.
But physically, we have to stand firm with both our feet and grow stronger in our ways and wills. In particular, when friends and family members' started nagging about the husband's whereabouts and leading to the topic of building a family that has amounted to some pressure.
During the day, it didn't bother me much but, when night fell, undeniably, there were times that I hoped he was there for me physically, to listen to how my days went by, to become a huggable 'pillow' for me to lean on when I needed it the most, and to cuddle with someone I love.
Then the pandemic became the reason behind my 'little' bundle of joy
With the pandemic came government orders telling people to stay home. And since my husband has to work from home, I now feel the joy and happiness of having him with me 24/7.
At the initial phase, it was quite weird to see my husband at home every day but, as time went by, the feeling of appreciation and gratefulness became so strong that I don't want him to go outstation anymore.
Imagine, we can now spend so much time with each other, talking about matters that we care about, movies that we love, and dreams that we share. It is no longer like the days when I had to do it alone but, now we cook meals together, we do laundry together, and the best part is we get to see each other every time we open our eyes and before we call off the night.
Beyond that, we are truly blessed that we are about to welcome our little bundle of joy in the coming month. The plan to have a baby was always put on a back seat due to our work commitment, however, with this pandemic, and with God's plan, we are excited to become new parents.
The future may look a little bleak at the moment but having someone whom you love and are able to brave through the current times is something that we should treasure and cherish.
Counting the days off together and precious moments like these are one of the best gifts ever.
This story is a personal essay by the writer. You too can submit a story as a SAYS reader by emailing us at [email protected]