Location: Irvine, California, United States

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Thursday, September 16, 2004

Why I am in California

Someone asked me the other day why I am in California. Here is part of the answer...I was born in Malaysia. As a young lad, my father lost his job and could not find another position anywhere because of his age. My brother at that time just completed high school and got an offer to join the Singapore Army. My father had served with the British Army years before that and happened to meet an ex-Army friend. Through this friend, he received a job offer to work in an Australian offshore territory called Christmas Island. My Mom initially could not join him because he had only a single room on the Island, but the plan was that as soon as he got himself a "Married Quarters" he will send for Mom. He was on the waiting list, and apparently it would be rather "soon" that he would get one. So, it was decided. I was to be sent to live with my Uncle and Aunt while my Mom moved into a one-bedroom apartment near a factory where she worked. My Uncle and Aunt were my surrogate parents for a number of years. Our family of four were broken apart then and never really came back together again... I was a young adolescent who needed guidance, love and care from his parents but were unable to have it. I missed Mom and Dad so much during those years. One of the shows on TV that I used to watch was the Waltons. I remember thinking, "That is the family I want to be in! I want to go to America and find the family that I don't have!"

Years later, my dad came to take me with him. Even though the entire family had then made our home in Australia, and I lived there for many years, and started becoming one of the locals in terms of vernacular, a little bit of the culture, and even being an Aussie Rules Football fanatic, something was missing for me there. It was home in one sense, and yet I was still longing for the land of the Waltons. To cut a long story short... almost twenty five years later, my wish almost came true... I arrived in California! It had been a long road, and I have not yet found the Waltons, but perhaps, by God's grace, I can recreate our own "Waltons" here in this land...