The holiday today means that literally everything is closed. There is left rubbish piling on the streets, rats, the smell of decay and filth.
I had hoped to wander the streets of the desolate city, but the stench was too much.
I retreated to the sanctuary of my hotel. Poolside with a chilled beer. There I met a group of Australian NGOs. A foundation by committed individuals focussed on sustainability, to help Cambodia – free of bank debt and paid off corruption. They spoke of genuine passion for their cause – a reminder of the beauty seen by others of Cambodia and willingness to encourage growth and education.
One of the women had a young baby, I learned the baby was called Mia. She was tiny, overwhelmed by stimuli and fighting sleep as babies often do despite looking exhausted from her afternoon dip in the pool.
The mother wanted to dress, but the baby cried out alone, frustrated. Naturally I went to the baby, afraid to pick her up, not trusting my left arm’s weakness. But I played and distracted her. Leaving the mother free to dress and converse with other friends.
For me, there was no motive. I wanted to help the mother, distract the beautiful baby girl.
When they left I began clearing their wet towels and empty drink bottles – aware that today is a holiday and I wanted to unburden the staff.
Retrospectively I realised these things came naturally – helping others. Making life easier.
But why not shown to my own family? Why not embraced daily?
In contrast I feel selfish at home. I can do the tasks around the home, laundry, tidying etc. but why not show my family my own compassion and regard?
I am an anomaly. I am so strung on the past, so bitter, so jaded, I don’t offer my family the same unbridled care and attention.
I feel I have failed. As a mother and wife. But I want to change, I want to admit my faults and imperfections. But I fear it’s too late.
I was given the gift of a beautiful family. And I spent so long tearing it down.
I accept my blame, my failings, my ignorance.
I must accept what I am, what I have become and I must learn. Even though I may have lost everything.