Long Life

My Last blog post of the year! So I take it to do a small “family letter”, or as close as I’ll get to that in a while  🙂

As two of my brothers have already written or expressed through video, this has been an “eventful” year.

Maureen and I, as well as Andre and Areza, celebrated a decade of marriage, Miriam did well in school, although she says she did not do so well, her overall percentage fell, but she did her best and we are proud of her.  Joan Ann got married to Jerry and has migrated to Barbados, God called into his arms two of our loved ones, Granny Correia and Uncle John (Moll), they are both missed and we pray for their souls and the strength to carry on without them.  Aunt Kumarie (Maureen’s mom) was diagnosed with Gastric Cancer, the surgery was successful and her chemotherapy begins soon, we hope we have the strength to support her, but she is a strong person and may be our support even through her own trials.  I started my own blog and am enjoying my photography even more through it.  Nikhil and I were robbed whilst in pursuit of our photography endeavours, quite an experience.  This year I also went with my family to Sint Maarten, where I got some amazing photographs and was called Blog-o-matic for the frequent blogging I did from there, and we had a thoroughly enjoyable time.

Areza and Ariel migrated in time to begin Ariel’s new school, and she is doing wonderfully, a real champ, my niece.  Andre followed them shortly and their family is now re-united and moving forward.

Of all these events Andre’s parting has affected me the most, I couldn’t even take a focused photograph at the airport as he was leaving.  Don’t get me wrong, I miss my grandmother dearly, and I do miss Joan a lot, but there is something about the three eldest brothers that was just different.  Together we were MAN (Michael, Andre and Nicholas), we complimented each other, as different as brothers usually are, but we grew to be not just brothers, but friends.  That friendship with my other siblings is still developing, but with the three of us it was forged in growing, in fights, in scheming together, in church and in the schools we attended together, in Karate classes, in playgrounds, and even in our varying tastes in music, and with Andre, we were in the choir together (shhhh!), both of us later found mutual friends at University, and a common interest in photography.

 

Father and Son
Father and Son

This photograph is not the one I wanted, I really wanted a good one of him boarding the aircraft, but my eyes and hands betrayed my at that time.  But this one is typical of the males of the Lam family, we hug very seldom, we shake hands more than not, and even more often we just smile and acknowledge each other.  We seldom say “I Love you” or “I am proud of you” or say in words how much we care, it is mostly a nod and a smile and that is enough for us, we KNOW!

This photograph gives thanks!  Thanks for the many years God has given us with our Dad, his wisdom, his sense of right and wrong and his commitment to the family!  On the wall in the background is the transplanted family photograph or Andre, Areza and Ariel.  Thanks for all that they have been, for what they mean to al of us, and always will.  And the brass Chinese character hanging on the wall, a reminder of our ancestry, where we have come from, the generations of Lams who have been born on Guyana’s soil, and those from mother China whom we never knew but owe our genes to 🙂  That chinese character is the symbol for Longevity or Long Life, symbolic and serendipitous.

To all our friends, our family, and anyone reading this, we wish you a happy and prosperous 2011, and Longevity.

The Lunatic

Do you see the humanoid looking speck at the top of that hill?

That’s my brother Andre, also known as The Lunatic.  Always willing to go the extra mile or the extra climb for that perfect photograph,  We were already on top of a hill and could see a nice view and a good distance, but Andre just had to go for a higher vantage point.

That’s my brother for you!  When he was a teenager he rode from Georgetown to Lethem, he will tell you that he actually didn’t start riding until Linden, but that’s like saying the glass if fifteen-sixteenths full and not full all the way.  Anyone who has travelled the trail in recent years knows that its rough, well that trail didn’t exist in that state when he rode it, it was rougher, with steeper hills and swamps.

He is the kind of person who will run towards the tornado to get a good shot, instead of running for cover like the rest of us,  he will hang off the edge of cliffs looking at waterfalls, and jump out of a moving vehicle on a precarious hillside just because he sees a photo opportunity, leaving the rest of us panicking in the vehicle, worrying more about him than ourselves.

When Andre makes up his mind to do something, he’ll move mountains to do it, and accomplish it with style and a smile on his face.

Why am I saying all these things about him now?  Men in our family generally don’t express that much emotion to each other, we acknowledge things like pride and love with a nod of the head and a small smile.  Andre is the second member of our family to migrate this year, Joan married and migrated a few months back, none of the family have done so before, and the feelings are bitter-sweet.  We are happy for them and wish them well in their lives, a future that is unsure as always, but sure to be filled with many things new and wondrous, yet we are sad that we are losing them, it is hard to say goodbye to someone who has been a part of your life for all of memorable time.

When this blog-post goes live, I will be at the airport saying goodbye to my brother, my friend.  Vaya con dios!  Hasta la vista!