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Posts Tagged ‘reflections’

A week or so ago, a pretty little greyish pigeon appeared outside my doorway. Upon closer inspection, I found a tiny egg. Why, the dear bird is a mum. I noticed that she never flew as one wing drooped towards the ground. Soon I got used to her routine. By day, she will be on the right corner of my house amidst the broom and dustpan and by night, she will be nestling her egg beside my doorway oblivious to my comings and goings. Or perhaps she had to choice but to stay put for her egg’s sake.

I must say that I had gotten used to her presence so much so that I had taken to feeding her with rice every morning and even put a mug of water for her. Why, she even took to looking out for me and will come near me when I scatter the rice! Later I noticed a brown pigeon hovering nearby. Hmm, her better half I imagine.

Until that fateful day where I scrubbed the floor as I could not stand the bird droppings. She quickly hurried to her egg while I washed the floor. I did not washed the part where her egg was as I did not want to disturb that area. Unfortunately I must have frightened her as later in the night, she was no longer with her egg. She was nowhere to be found.

I could not believe how crushed and sad I felt upon the realization that she was gone. Yes, the next day I still put some rice in the hope she will appear but she did not come. Instead, the rice was eaten up by some sparrows. Darn, how could I have gotten so fond of some nameless winged feathered creature? Why did I have to washed the blasted floor and in the process frightened her off? The thought strike me that maybe she could have left for some other unknown reason. I just feel so bad when I see the solitary egg by my doorway.

I hope she will come back. Till then, I wish her well for she had to leave her egg behind.

Note to self : Stop being such a softie at heart.

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I am more or less writing this to convince myself. I am feeling a bit shaky. Business not so good. Profit margin down. I am just an employee but I have been working here for years. So, time to move on? Nah, I just hang on until it became intolerable. Sentimental loyal fool, that’s me.

So, how’s life been treating you, my friend? Is it well or cruel? If well, I am happy for you. But this is life. Sometimes, we go through some phases that are difficult to fathom. Perhaps, a much looking forward to baby born with a defect. Your closest friend had an unexpected life-threatening accident. A loving spouse inflicted with a terminal disease. Or a hideous one who abuse you. Swamped with a mountain of debts. Loss of job. Marriage breakdown. The list can be endless. Life is such.

But I believe life is beautiful too. If only, we take the time to appreciate what we have. Happiness is within everyone’s grasp. If only we open our hearts. And let go of the past and do not sweat over the small stuff. I have gone through several personal tragedies but still take pleasure in living my life. I was full of hurt and anger once.  Now, I am on the road to recovery.

Why do terrible things happened in our lives? Is it something that we have done in our past lives? Perhaps, God planned this to make us stronger and let us suffer so that we may come out of it wiser, more courageous, more compassionate…What we have gone through perhaps can help someone else in their times of need.

 

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He is eleven years old and is adamant not to go camping. I understand his feelings and fears. He is pretty much like me when I was a child. Insecure, painfully shy, timid. You get the picture. I wanted to get him out of his shell and learn to be more confident of himself and his abilities. At home with his family he is playful and likes to engage me in his football conversation. Oh yes, he is absolutely crazy over dogs and most kind with them. With other people, he like a tortoise in its shell, save for a few handful of his school friends.

How am I going to instill confidence in him? Opportunity came in the form of a camping trip held in his school compound. Perfect for a first time experience. This should be safe. At least it is not in some remote  jungle or near a flowing river. Still I was apprehensive. He is completely clueless. I am his mother but I know his shortcomings. I went shopping to buy the camping necessities.

The day came with him still protesting. ‘You don’t love me’, ‘you hate me’, ‘you just want to get rid of me’ were just some of the accusations thrown at me. Like the doting mother that I am, I smile lovingly and reassured myself. Of course, he does not mean a word that was uttered. Surely he will thank me for it later after successfully going through the ‘ordeal’.

My son wore his camping attire reluctantly and slung his bag over his drooping shoulder. He acted like I was sending him to the gallows. I walked with him to the meeting place. Not even one familiar face. This added to his nervousness and mine. More than a hundred students attended. Surely there was a familiar face somewhere. Reluctantly I left him. Doubts crossed my heart. Will he survive by himself? Will I? Will my younger son stopped grinning since we left his elder brother at the camp?

It was a very long night. At the crack of dawn, I got up. I had to subdue my impulse to rush to school to check on him. I told myself strictly to let go and consoled myself that he will be fine. I conjured a rosy picture of him chatting with his friends and having a midnight adventure. But it was no use. I had to go to school to sneak a peek.

Amid the numerous tents, I scoured the many sleeping bodies plus just as many early owls looking for my son. Panic hit me. He was just simply not there. I went to the field hoping to see him playing football even though I know he was not the sporty type.  As expected, he was not there. Wait a minute, there was a Talent Competition about to start. Maybe he has gone to support his friends who were taking part. Just in time to see his friend singing a One Direction son. By then, I was barely coherent. Where was he? Visions of him huddling in a corner and crying to himself came to my mind. He must have hated it and was desperate to escape!

I combed the school compound and finally found him in the Multimedia Room listening intently with other students to a leadership talk. My dear boy taking down notes and having that familiar frown in the middle of his forehead when he was concentrating.  I caught his eye and waved happily to him. Boy, was I relieved! He was adjusting to his new life! I hope he savoured his new-found independence. I went home. My mission accomplished. He survived the first night! And so did I!

The second night came. Oh dear, will he able to sleep? Will I? Will my younger son stopped acting so happy without his elder brother around? This time I resolved not to rush over to school and proud to declare that I kept my composure the whole day.

Finally after what seemed like an eternity, the day came when it was time to fetch him home. There he was, looking none the worse, patiently waiting for me. My heart soared when I saw him. He started telling me one by one his friends left because they could not stand the rigours of the camp. But he did not call me to fetch him before the camp ended because he was very sure I would not entertain such a request. Yes, absolutely. Whatever we started we have to see it through despite the hardship. We reap what we sow. He even had to perform in front of an audience and my heart burst with pride. Despite his paralysing fear of an audience, he managed to pull it off. He has learnt teamwork, persistance, courage, patience and found his inner strength. I was absolutely so proud of him.

You did it! I told my son. Will you go to another camping trip the next time your school organize one? His answer : Absolutely – only in my dreams, mum!

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It all started when my brother-in-law asked me whether I was working on Thursday. I said no because it was a public holiday. But what do you know, he had to work. Question he posed was who was going to take care of his kids because no one was available except ahem, yours truly. Now, I thought long and hard because it is not easy babysitting four kids. It would looked pretty bad if things got out of control and havoc rules. What would that do to my reputation and pride! However my conscience won and I found myself volunteering. With sweaty palms, I offered to take his two kids along with two of mine to a popular park.  Prior to that, I took them for breakfast. The woman hawker took one look and asked in a grandmotherly manner – All yours? No, I said, just two are mine.

Barely the car stopped, four kids ran out with a football in hand across the field. Mind you, one of the kids is a sweet girl who is crazy about football. They played, they ran, I chased, I huffed and puffed. In between, they enjoyed playing with the slides and swing. Later they blew soap bubbles in the air happily. Playing is hard work too. Finally the kids decided to call it a day.

Well, next I took them to a hypermarket. Did some grocery shopping and bought some chips and drinks for them. The youngest was clearly tired as he fell asleep in the shopping cart. We ate at the Food Court. There was no choice actually. No cafe, restaurant or fast food centre in the hypermarket. Just when you think their stomachs are full, they wanted ice creams. Of course I had to fulfil that request. If not, that would made me a bad aunt and mum, right?

By the time we left, I was tired too. So, I dropped my niece and nephew at their mum’s shop. I cannot believe it. There were no fights, arguments nor crying.  Could it be due to my superior handling? Maybe it was my interesting personality that captured their attention? Just kidding.

Thank you Lord for the wonderful and precious day.

 

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In human beings managing the church, that is. After years of attending church, I finally decided to be baptised this Christmas. The reason for the delay and hesitation is due to language barrier. One recent fine Saturday morning, I drove and waited outside the church gates until the pastor arrived. I voiced my reservations whether it will be problematic if I attended English classes but baptised in the Mandarin session. He laughed at my worries and said, whatever language, we are all under the same roof. My reservations melted and I looked forward to the phone call later informing me when my classes will start.

Just to explain, my mum attended the Mandarin session and I followed suit. During the sermons, I read my own English bible given by a good friend while the pastor addressed the rest.  My poor boys stood out like a sore thumb as they too unable to communicate with the rest of the children. We are there at the church faithfully every Sunday so that we can be by my mum. My beloved dad is at rest in Heaven.

The phone call came. Another pastor informed me that the management decided that it is not possible for me to attend English classes and be baptised and continue attending the Mandarin session later on. It seemed it is a conflict to do so. To put it simply, he explained that this is to avoid a situation where I will be ‘grabbed’ by either session. Further conversation on the phone became a blur. I simply could not believe my ears.  My faith was shaken there and then. I teared up just thinking about it. Instead of being encouraged and feeling welcome, I was…..

Today is Sunday and here again at church. This time I looked at all with different eyes. The ones I looked up to, the ones I though had wisdom, I felt let down and rejected by the very church I had been attending. When the time for Holy Communion came, I left and sat in my car. I could not bear to be there.

There is a church in my neighbourhood. Shall I attend to see whether I belong there? But my mum….

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Let’s see, I am happy because I have my job, family, health, basic needs satisfy (wish I could afford that Coach handbag though!), friends…My sons bring me much joy and meaning in my life. Every day being around with them is a blessing for which I am thankful. My mom, well in my younger days, I just did not get along that well with her. My dad who has departed for quite a number of years is the one I looked up to and still missed terribly. I absolutely think he is the greatest. Now that my grey strands are showing, I have started to appreciate and understand my mom. Yes, I am happy but…

My younger son who has Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis for more than 2 years is still under medication. I cannot bear to look at his wrist. Why is it still swollen despite consuming medication and having injections for so long? How long must he go on like this? I cannot imagine children with Polyarticular JIA. (five or more than 5 joints affected). My son has Oligoarticular JIA which means 4 or fewer joints affected. I should be thankful he can still play and run like others but when it comes to specific movements, he has limitations and he will feel the difference with other children when he is older. Or perhaps he already is feeling now…

Also because looking around I am aware there are tons of people elsewhere suffering, countries in political turmoil, families torn apart by earthquakes, floods and other catastrophe..There are people scavenging for food, their basic needs like shelter, meals, medical aid denied. Then, there are those women and children suffering in silence the physical and emotional abuses in the confine of their house. Why is all this happening? Thankfully my country is at peace and hopefully in the future too.

We have become immune to all this in our daily grind. We see these happenings in the newspaper, TV and other media but we just don’t feel the shock anymore. Perhaps for a bried moment, our mind emphasize with that deplorable incident. And then, we move on to other things that need our immediate attention.

So, there you are. I am feeling happy and sad at the same time.

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I hate festivals. And I waited with dread this coming Chinese New Year. I am not the type who socialise easily nor the type who can talk about anything under the sun. Small talk is alien to me. This is also probably due to the fact that not all is going well in my life. Oh, I am also kind of a private person so I shall not dwell on the difficulties of my personal life. Don’t get me wrong. I still find things to be grateful about.

What a surprise to find that I am having such great fun this festival. Yesterday was a glorious afternoon. Our lovely hostess and host did a wonderful job in setting up a reunion of old schoolmates of over 25 years in their mansion which I can only described as coming right out of a magazine cover! Faces whom I have not seen for more than 2 decades were there. Most of them looked hardly a day older. Of course if you scrutinized closer, you can see some find lines, grey hair (at least those not covered by dye!). Catching up with friends in a wonderful setting – truly the interior decoration was a feast for our eyes. Of course, the spread on the table was delicious too! All have become very successful in their own careers. High flyers actually..Though some have quit the rat race to focus on their families. I wish I could afford to do so! Sadly my pitiful state of finance forbids me..

Today I thought I was meeting with a couple of old schoolmates. And to my surprise, another reunion in an old schoolmate’s house. Today’s reunion was a different group of schoolmates. I must add that I could not recognized a couple of them but slowly my rusty brain started working and memories came flooding back. Oh yes, so some of them have added a couple of pounds but in the end, we started chatting and again time flew..

Well, tomorrow I am meeting another group of people but this group is in my current life – they are friends whom I have made in my working life and whom I kept in constant contact. I shall see whether with the earlier two reunions we shall keep in touch with each other as we have exchanged telephone numbers and email addresses. Due to our hectic working lives and family demands, there is no time for anything left…At least until the next reunion!

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