The envelope arrived. In it, was a card scribbled “Happy Birthday. I love you”. He remembered my birthday. Not only he took the effort to find a card and post it, most importantly my existence mattered.

I never really appreciated the value of the card. How could I, I was only twelve years old then. To me then, it was just a card.

The house phone rang. It was him. My brother. I picked up the phone and the familiar voice warmed my heart. Exchanging news of his family well being, I was giggling away. Mother stood next to me, nudging me for her turn to speak. She can’t wait to hear her grandson’s voice. Suddenly, the line went dead. We waited. Nothing. I took out my calling card, TM iTalk and dialed away. Apparently, my brother ran out of credit on his phone card. Mom continued her chatter, making baby sounds. She sounded almost like a 2 year old. Daddy was eavesdropping, seated nearby. I could see from his grinning ear. Such attentiveness he showed. Father has his special ways in showing love.

The strings that tie Malaysia and USA lies on the phone cord. The bridge was a calling card, for this instance, my faithful TM iTalk.

Every other day, we will then take turns calling each other. We spoke more often that we used to when he was physically at home. The presence of the calling card in my wallet became part of the PVC coverings. It has become a norm. To own a calling card is not a luxury, it is a necessity to me. The love I share with my kin is nourished with this necessity.

A birthday card I do not get in these passing years. Instead, a number I dial every other day. It’s just a phone call, a calling card, although, one may never seemed to notice, something even greater than that was happening. In the future, I know I’ll look back at those cards I have and cherish my life even more.

An additional RM30 to use from TM iTalk, compliments from participating in Traffic Jam. What else can I say, besides, Thank you.