She was born on Monday in 1983 at a hospital in Phnom Penh City. At that time, there was a huge lack of transportation. There were fewer cars and there was only train from Phnom Penh to Battambang. So, after delivered her, mum and dad must get a train to Pursat town. The train was their only choice.
Let’s imagine having to go by a train without knowing its departing time nor having had proper tickets and seats. I was told that they had to run and follow the train who had already left. They had to both walk and run for seven kilometers with HER on their arms interchangeably. Imagine a young woman who just delivered her baby for 14 days who had to run after the train for seven km. Imagine the husband. Imagine the baby. You may feel their breathless journey, tiring, and long journey to finally get the train. The running accident caused mum a serious post delivery health issue that she had lost a lot of her weight long afterward.
So, after the train running incident, mum and dad had to name her something related to the incident to remember the worst journey they had made. They had to come up with two words for HER name. Since she was born on Monday, ‘Chan’ is a word for the name. Then, the word ‘to run’ had come to their mind too. Yet, it was not nice to name their new born baby daughter ‘to run’. Eventually, we found that ‘Routh’ sounded quite similar to ‘Rut’ which means ‘to run’ in English. Routh is a name of a jasmine which has bigger bud than the other types of Jasmine family. Finally, they decided to name her Chanrouth.
People somehow robbed my childhood and love between my sister and I. Even before her birth, people used to tell the younger me that my parents would not love me any longer. They constantly told me and made me believe that parents only love their youngest one and won’t have the love for the older children anymore. I used to strongly believe them. I was growing up dislike her because I believed she had taken away the love my parents once had for me.
I was growing up hating and loving her. We argued a lot. I hate it. I hate it that I could not love her. I had tried though to show that I was her older sister and that I deserve her respect and maybe — I was searching for love of her toward me. We were growing up differently. Very different.
I was growing up believing that we would have many tomorrows. Maybe, when we wake up on one fine morning, we would be able to talk and act like sisters. Day after day the expected tomorrow had never arrived…it just went by simply and quickly like rain that come and go, wet and then dry which people take for granted everyday. So did I.
I hate myself due to the fact that I could not have her love and that I could not tell or show her that I do love her. It was too late forever. She has gone without realizing that her older sister did love her but had difficulty expressing the love. Tearing could not mend the bond. Time could not heal the wound because the wound was not realised sooner.
The fact that she did not mention me on her last letter was my deepest karma.