I wake early but at 4:44 a.m. this morning I was ‘chatting’ to my friend, Brenda Lo of Radio am 1470 in Vancouver, Canada via email in Sydney, Australia. Who would have thought this possible when we first met, more than half a century ago, as Primary 1b students at Good Hope School in Hong Kong?
Brenda is a few years my junior; a clever girl who skipped grades more than once whereas I repeated kindergarten several times (my five years of kindergarten is another story).
Silent Brenda, as I remembered her became a popular radio host and singer/songwriter whereas I trudged along behind her but always side by side, as friends. This morning we spoke of dreams – not those that we remember as we wake but the well buried, almost forgotten ones deep in our being. Don’t get me started she said but one of mine bubbled up as we spoke.
I had wanted to be a Cantonese opera singer. When the famous Lady Phoenix 鳳凰女(who played mahjong with my mother) turned down my plea to study with her, this kind lady said to me Don’t be silly – it’s a hard life – it’s best you study hard at school.
I want to say to Lady Phoenix 鳳凰女 wherever she is now – it’s a hard life whichever way one turns. The hard part is to face every challenge that comes one’s way and overcome. I wish I was not too shy to plead my case at the time. Who knows; I might have become a singer too, like my old friend, Brenda.
Postscript: I’m in the front row, third from the right.