BalloonsEvery Chinese New Year when I was young, it was the tradition that all the young children in the family would get a balloon each to amuse ourselves.
How we loved it! Our older cousins who had the all important driving license would drive us to the balloon man and we would wait impatiently as he filled up the balloons with helium. Then we would drive back home with the car full of balloons to play with.
Inevitably someone would accidentally let go of their balloon and tears would result while everyone else watched as it sailed away - higher and higher until it was just a small speck in the sky. However, there were always spares and the poor child would be consoled with a new balloon. The rest of us would be reminded to hold on to our balloons with our dear life or tie it onto something if we wanted to escape the same fate.
Towards the end of the day when the balloons started to lose their buoyancy, it was time to use up the remnants of helium to impersonate Donald Duck. And that was that - another New Year gone and another year to wait.
To my dear cousin who is now not with us anymore - thank you for your kindness to us younger cousins and all the good memories that we have with you. I will always remember with fondness your cheerful nature, your generosity and most impressionably, your aura of confidence and self-assuredness.