Thursday, 6 February 2014

4 Years of Memories: Goodbye Cooper

Hi everyone,

How have you all been?

I know a lot of you have been wondering what's been keeping me so quiet around here - especially on Youtube. This will be my update post. Personal, simple, honest. Is that ok?

I can't even describe how my life has changed ever since moving to Korea.

My family, circle of friends, church, environment, language, culture and home. Everything that was once familiar has been stripped away. And of course, Cooper.

I can't say that it's been a walk through the park.. but I never expected that in the first place. And although it's only been 3 weeks I do know that even I have changed so much without realising. More on these things in my next posts~

* * *

Firstly, my dear friends, my sweet bird Cooper has still not returned. (If you don't know what happened, read my previous blogpost.) Whether he has flown into the wild and found a group of birds who accepted him into their flock, or flown into someone else's balcony and been adopted, or even - I won't say it but you all know what - I will never know. But now I'm finally... at peace.

Can I be really honest? At first, of course I was upset. Even a little angry. I am human after all. Cooper has been with us for 4 years. He was a part of our family in a way that no other pet could ever be. He went through the motions with me and oppa as we progressed in our marriage life. He was there as my Youtube channel grew from 2,000 to 78,000 subscribers. He was there as I matured from student to teacher - all the nights stayed up doing assignments, preparing for pracs, skyping with my project groups. He was always there when I filmed my videos, annoying me, grooming me, talking to me. He was there even into the night as I edited them, dozing off on my shoulder, his beak and feet warming my face.

Cooper making it his mission to annoy me in my 'Huge Collective Haul' video
Walking him for the first time (2010).
He pooped (a humungo one) onto my brand new $300 Sass and Bide jeans,
which then became redundant after a fail attempt at washing them.
Watching k dramas with me and oppa
Getting in my way when taking a selfie
hehe <3

Cooper always loved to shower with me. It was as if the sound of water turned on a switch in his personality. He became a totally different bird. As soon as I turned the shower head on, he would sweep straight into the bathroom, land on the highest altitude possible, and then, proudly proclaiming a wolf whistle, he'd begin to sing (in my voice.. and no he wasn't a good singer).

Fluffy and fat after a shower.
He was always in a good mood afterwards = nonstop chatter.
Round as a ball, sleepy after drying himself after a bath

The most adorably annoying hobby of his was assisting me as I put on my makeup. Everything would have a go being in his beak - brushes, sponges (he thought they were tofu - one of his fave foods), my Shiseido eyelash curler.. He especially loved the long, thin items that made a 'clink' sound if he tapped his beak on it. The next moment, before I knew it, it would be in his foot. He had a very unco foot too, so I always laughed at him as he would try to raise it to his beak but it wouldn't listen to him. Round and round it would go, sometimes hitting his own face. If I laughed too loudly and point at him, he would accidentally loosen his grip and it would fall out of his foot. I'd roar even louder.

Cooper holding my eyeliner pen. It was far too long for his own good.

Some of my friends called him candy beak, because his beak was shiny, smooth and yellow/orange. I'd call it a sticky beak. You know why? Because it was poking into every little crevice, corner and hole, peeping over the wall, looking into containers, sticking out of the curtains. Whatever we were up to, he wanted in too.

Watching intently what oppa did with the nails. He later went and stuck his beak
in it behind our backs.
I heard "helloOo?", so I looked up..
One of his first times meeting Viv
Cooper at 1 year old.

Whenever oppa and I sat down to have a meal, Cooper always insisted he eat at the same time. I would let him eat exactly the same food as us - the healthy picks - and cut his bits up into smaller portions. But no matter what, he would want to eat from our plates. Cooper surely suffered from the truest form of being a victim of 'the grass is greener on the other side'.

I spent days preoccupied with thoughts of Cooper, even with the business of chores and furniture shopping, spending time with William's mum, settling down in Seoul. Where would he be right now? What would he be doing? Would he be starving? What was he feeling? Would he be scared? What would he be thinking? Would he feel betrayed by us? Was he lying somewhere on the floor because he didn't know where to find fresh water? Was he in someone else's house? Would that person know how to take care of birds? What if he got abused? 

My emotions eventually turned into sadness as the truth sank in deeper. I realised it wasn't just news. It was real. He might not ever return this time. I don't know if you understand, but it was almost like the feeling of breaking up with your boyfriend for the 6th time, and expecting to make up again.. only the makeup never happens and you realise this time it is real.

Sadness then turned into sorry.. A part of me felt responsible for having left him in Australia. If I had only made sure he had settled and adapted properly not just with Viv but the rest of her family members .. or .. If I'd only been stubborn and refused to come to Korea without him.. If only I'd spent lots of time explaining to every member of the family about risks, not leaving windows open, not leaving him on the balcony, not taking him outside except when on a leash.. If only we'd just clipped his wings.. If only, if only if only.

Well I eventually did listen to my own advice: if onlys could not change the past. I eventually came to terms with what happened. Oppa and I have now let him go in our heart. He will always have a special spot there, and our memories together are buried deep beneath the surface in a safe place. I'll always cherish the moments we had together.

The times he flew back to us after getting accidentally lost out in the wild. The times we forgave him, and he forgave us. The times we yelled at him, and he would yell at us. The times he stole my mango pieces. The times we would be laughing and he would join in. The funny moments he would randomly laugh 'ha ha ha!' in the middle of a serious conversation with another, causing the tension to dissipate. The times he would comfort me when he saw my tears, or tried to join me as I prayed. The times he would walk quietly from another room and climb up onto my arms. Every time he said hello as soon as we entered the house.

We will cherish all of these.

I will never forget you Cooper. I'm sorry for everything. Please don't forget me.

To all those who have ever had a pet, or a loved one, and lost it, I know you will understand how I feel. To some, it might seem like I am making a fuss over something that I could just go, "it's ok.. the past is in the past", but I thank you all for taking the time to read this post, and the previous ones about our parting with Cooper. Thank you so much for being a part of my life, for being there to share my most personal emotions, friends I can lean on, and accepting oppa and I for who we are. I'm so grateful for every single one of you.

My next post will be back to normal Jen. I will continue my Move to Korea: Blog 2. Stay posted and follow me on Google+ or Bloglovin for automatic updates <3