Review – TKFTBA2- Before We Forget

I was feeling under the weather the past few days and to get myself out of the house for a movie helped. I decided to write this to share my thoughts.

Overall, The Kid from The Big Apple 2 got my attention to many issues about family, communication, forgiveness, judgement, childlike playfulness, love, sacrifice, change and the disease called Dementia.  You could hear sniffles here and there as certain parts of the movie do make the audience cry.

This Malaysian made movie has so many elements and values that are slowly missing in families and relationships.  This time Director Jess Teong delivers about dementia and old age where we see dignity in it. I see how grandpa is portrayed to understand his deteriorating memory and he was afraid of causing hurt to his family whilst fear that he would forget his family.  A dilemma I believe most old people will experience.

What is beautiful about this story, that his daughter Sophia and granddaughter Sarah adores Grandpa and their love overcame every obstacles they have.

Sarah and Bao truly show the innocence of children and their positive mindset which we can all use and learn from.  As adults, most of us including me see problems as problems rather than something which we can find solution or alternative to overcome.

Neighbours he had when he was living in the flat were truly family. With their unique behaviours and attitude, they held on to love and friendship and that kept him going for so many years living alone. I love the fact I used to experience such love and friendship from the neighbours, overlooking their inquisitive and ‘kaypo’ (nosy) behaviour.

Sophia’s past with her husband and at first it was all the bad, irresponsible man played by Shaun Tan.  He played his role well and when he told the reasons he left  so that Sophia can graduate (he sacrificed his studies so that financially, he can support her) and how much he regretted not being there to see Sophia succeed, receive their daughter together, change nappies, etc). Whatever the excuse, we do make decisions based on what was right at that time.  Here, the communication between 2 persons is reconciled and mended broken fences which is important.

I love Ah Bao (Jason Tan) fun loving, silly but innocent child character.  He really brings everyone together .  I can say he is the highlight and the hero in the movie.  He teaches us trust, integrity, creativity, how to have fun, how to love, etc.. all the values we have to be.

Ti Lung, the actor who played Grandpa was my hero when he was the Kung Fu (martial arts) movies.  Seeing him at this age was totally a surprise.  He suddenly changed from a kungfu fighting actor to become a frail old man.

I understand that part where he and Ah Meng went to an old folks home to see if he can live there so that he does not burden his daughter. He changed his mind after seeing the condition there and what Ah Meng shared where  he (Ah Meng)  did not have a chance to spend more time with his mother because he put her in a home.  He regretted it.

Grandpa also talked about how he wished he could travel the whole of Malaysia and spend more time with his daughter and Sarah.  The biggest fear is that he would forget them both.

My own father wish was to visit his hometown and we made that wish happen 2 years ago, but sadly he cannot recognise even his own school.  I am glad we took that trip though.

This movie touched the core of my being because I am living with my nearly 90 year old father going through his 2nd childhood.  I admit that I struggle accepting my formerly strong, easy going father to a grumpy, stubborn, lazy old man who at times forget what he does or what he has eaten, he is living in his own time zone; totally not the man I used to know.  He has his moments but it is still alright.  I just thank God he can recognise us at home. Whilst watching the movie, my father flashed through my head and I cried knowing that I have so much I still have to do; to accept my father as he is now and to love him as he is.   I love him and it is my duty to care for him; no home can care for him and my mother like our own.  I am blessed he is still physically alright.

In real life, my father is not like Grandpa, with such good behaviour as he can be quite a handful, like a child who refused to do things when called to, but he has his good times.  Thank God he knows who we are and is still able to argue with us.

Congratulations Jess Teong for one of the best family drama alive.  You truly bring back and remind us the values which we a losing in our current society.  Bring more to our screen such valuable lessons we need.

Whilst my father is breathing, I will do my best to love him and spend that time with him until he goes home to his Maker.  TKFTBA 2 – Before we Forget is a reminder to me of my situation and how I should ‘handle’ it.

Live another day, live it well.  Make it count each day knowing we lived.  –  Catherine Lim

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My father enjoying his coffee.

 

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One’s Life Journey

Today, I have met so many people with so many different life story and how they came out strong and persevered.

Best of all coming out still loving and kind although still with feelings of hurt.

Gratitude and sense of abundance are so important elements which we need to hold and send out each day so that blessings continue to be showered on us as we journey each day.

Life is precious and whatever we do today, will affect tomorrow and those we touch.

One’s life journey is truly important and precious no matter where it leads.

How our little actions or even just a smile can actually change or move someone’s heart and even bring joy.

 

Every time you smile at someone, it is an action of love, a gift to that person, a beautiful thing. – Mother Teresa

 

 

 

 

Friday 21 July 2017

Holding Starfish in Air

Today I have had a very personal journey of self.  I am in the world but yet I am in my own world.  Connecting my self with the world outside and the happenings as I interact with strangers and friends wherever I was.

I found my sense of peace and being able to stay calm and be kind to my emotions and my own state of mind is clearly an achievement.  I am so proud of myself.

I allowed my peace in midst of chaos or misbehaved adults.  I chose to speak nicely and not allow anger or impatience take over.  I allowed myself to be more open and vulnerable in a positive manner.  I glued my smile the entire day – inside and out, sending that positive energy and it worked.

I chose to swallow my ego and be patient with my aged and forgetful father who actually put his dentures in our jug of water.  He seemed to be disoriented today.

Today was definitely a good day and a new day for me.

I am starting over and will start over tomorrow.

Be Aware that there are things one cannot control.

Accept situations and people as they are

Achieve success in small portions and continue from there

Acknowledge those victories and celebrate no matter how small or simple it may be.

-Catherine Lim

Strange Encounter

 

We were spending quality time over toast and coffee catching up.  It was such a great breakfast that we just let time pass us by.   Mad and I are really kindred spirit as we share dreams and aspirations to make a difference in the world.  To have this moment was truly something I treasure very much, like a child all excited about the moment.

 People were walking about and some passing by our table. Then suddenly a lady stood at our table obviously trying to express herself.  We were stunned as she stood there for a few seconds before taking the courage to ask me about my caliper.

 She asked, “Is it alright if I ask you about your leg. What is it called?”

I replied, “Sure you can. It is called a caliper”

She then said, “My son wears a plastic cast like and it is giving him blisters. He walks slowly and needs assistance.  I was wondering where you made your caliper.”

I told her, “It is made in XXXXXXXx. Where did you go?”  She showed me the contact and it was the same place. 

 She asked me permission to see my caliper and I showed her how I put a towel to protect my thigh from blisters.

 We invited her to sit with us and chit chat with her. Her  son  is in university aspiring to be a doctor ,and  his physically  challenge because of spina bifida.  She said that he is very strong willed and very intelligent.  She became emotional.  She felt she was not good enough a mother.

 I felt really proud of her and told her, “Kak, you are an inspiration to all mothers because you are a motivator and the pillar of strength to your son. You should be proud of yourself to have a son like him because he is a gift to the world. You have brought him up well. He was given to you by Allah for a reason only HE knows.  Your son definitely is the greatest inspiration and motivation to those around him.  Be proud of yourself Kak,  be proud.”

 She cried as we held hands and chatted about her wonderful son and I shared stories of how some adults who hid themselves from the world because of their shame of their handicap.

 Kak Mumtaz, travels down from Kedah to KL every week to spend time with her son and help him with errands despite him telling her not to trouble herself. She said it was important for her to spend that quality time with him and encourage him because he has difficulty but he never complains.  She told me that it was not easy for a disabled child to enter the university to study medicine.  Her son aspires to be a doctor and I told her that he will be a great doctor because of his passion.  She said it would be very difficult for him to practice here.  Mad and I told her, that nothing is impossible eventhough difficult.  She ought to place her faith in Allah and let Him plan her son’s life mission.

 My life journey is centered in trusting my Creator and have fallen so many times I almost gave up. The calling within is the one that always pushes me to move forward and place myself in His hands.  Today, I can proudly say that He plans everything in HIS Time and not mine.  He has sent many angels into my life and to reach my potential.

 What a fruitful and beautiful day it has been for me. My future is certainly beautiful with my imperfections because through my physical handicap, I am a motivator and an inspiration. It brings joy within me that even money cannot buy.   I am grateful and I am abundantly blessed!

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If the role is reversed!

As parents, to care for a child from birth to adulthood is no easy task. Changing diapers, feeding, caring for them when they have a fever, bathing them, dressing them, spending those times with them, financially, economically.

Mothers especially, and when fathers play a lesser role in the physical tasks.  Fathers who share those tasks would understand the stress or the joy of caring for a helpless little human.

What if you’re the role has been reversed?  What if you are now caring for your parents; either father or mother or both?  Old and fragile like a baby and requires all the attention your parents gave you as a baby.  Are you doing it or sending them to some elderly home or hiring a nurse to do all the work without you sharing some of the tasks.

I am writing this while both dad and mum are resting after this early morning episode. This is the second episode which both my sister and I were afraid of because the first one we almost lost him. That was last year.

At 3.15 am my mum rang the bell I placed in their room so that she can call us for any emergency. I went to the toilet that time when I heard the bell.   I quickly got my sister and we rushed downstairs and there my father was in the toilet vomiting and he also had diarrhea.  He was throwing out so much of phlegm  and he kept throwing up until nothing was there.  It was painful for him.   My sister being the physical person would help clean him up and I quickly fetched whatever she asked for to discard soiled clothing, etc. I gave him hydration salt water and some warm oats to  fill his empty stomach. The episode went on about 3 times and we fed him after each episode.  It was really tough to see him so weak and yet stubborn, refusing help and to listen to our instruction.  Just like a rebellious little child, but sick and feeling helpless.

He wanted to lie down despite telling him to sit up and rest because the moment he laid down, he would throw up again. That went on until about 5 15 am.  After some gentle coaxing failed, we had to be firm and strict with him which he hated but when I asked him “is it difficult to understand when I ask you to just follow our simple instructions to help you”  He replied,  “Ok, I will follow.”  Of course, he forgot  after that and we reminded him again and again.

After cleaning him up and wherever that was soiled and dirty, we managed to calm his stomach and my partner who is a therapist gave him massages to help his muscles to relax, dad managed to sleep soundly.

I sat down looking at my mum seated at the dining table looking helpless and sad.  I said myself, this role has now been reversed and I cannot imagine how much they have gone through to bring us up. When this role was reversed eversince they started living with us, it taught me so much about myself and how much patience and  sacrifices they made, especially my mother.  My patience was tested when father behaved like a spoilt brat.  Sacrifices, I made, I made that choice even to give up a good career opportunities to be close to them many years ago so it remains as they are my parents.  I have been blessed many times over even with those sacrifices.  Many doors are open when one door is closed.  That is so true till today.

I pray my father to live a little longer so that he can enjoy his life and should he be called home, let him go in peace knowing that we love him.

Our role to be ‘parents’ is our natural duty because they could do it, so can we, as children.  They gave up their dreams, their time, their lives for us. We can do the same.

Money may buy many things and services but it can never replace the time and love spent with them as they have spent their entire lives with us and for us.  Even if they have not, they are still our parents.

My mother used to tell me much later in her life, “whether we eat rice or eat porridge, we are together.  It is not the money, it is the time.”

We are blessed our elderly do not cry because they are neglected or unloved, but they cry because they know they are loved.

Note:  I have to stress that I am not writing this to judge anyone. I am writing to share  my own experience. So, please share your experience (but no judging, thank you).

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Deuteronomy 5:16

‘Honor your father and your mother, as the LORD your God has commanded you, that your days may be prolonged and that it may go well with you on the land which the LORD your God gives you.

Proverbs 23:22

Listen to your father who begot you, And do not despise your mother when she is old.

 

You can save a life

 

Your simple smile can save a life.
Your hug can save a life.
Your laughter can save a life.                                                                                                             Your ‘hello’ can save a life.
Your encouragement can save a life.
Your text message can save a life.
Your email can save a life
Your compliments can save a life.
Your pat on a shoulder can save a life.
Your helping hand can save a life.
Your stories can save a life.                                                                                                                     Your presence can save a life.                                                                                                                 Your prayer can save a life.
You can save a life.

Do you know how powerful every human being is?  We are capable of goodness and greatness.  Our life experience can heal others.  That our life journey and mission whilst creating greatness for ourselves, we also create greatness in others.

Isn’t life a journey ?Not so much to a destination but toward transformation.     

The richest and awesome times of our life also comes come right in the midst of our hardest times.                                                                                                                                                               
God made us to live in community, to laugh and cry, to hurt and celebrate together no matter what we are going through.

Transformation is tough and sometimes we don’t always end up where we want to be but we live in believe because God believes in us. He fills our life with purpose and passion, if we just let Him into our life to walk the journey with us.

The best part of the journey is God of the universe allows us to play our part in changing the world.

The world is you and I.   We need each other.

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Memories of Wheel of Fortune

Have you ever experienced times in your life where life was so rocky that you felt as if the world had no more place for you and it would seem that the dark cloud would follow you wherever you go.  Nothing seemed worth living for.  Then as if by some miracle, something good would shake the dark cloud out of the way and lifted up your spirit even for a short time; but enough to lighten the pain in your life?  This was one of those miracle for me.

In year 2000, I went back into my depressive state for months. It was painful because it was of my physical condition that I was jilted.  Anyway, at that time, I was crushed because I gave my full trust and love to the man whom I had so much respect and faith in. Through that pain and suffering, I walked out not allowing myself to dwell into it but it was one of the toughest journey I had ever travelled. I was also suffering from hyperthyroidism at that time . Now that was another journey altogether which I hope to share with you the miracle of it.

I lost my self esteem and I lost my self eventhough I was consciously aware I had to get out of it.  It was as if I was in a dark pit looking for an invisible rope to pull me out of that black dark pit of life.  I lived my life unhappy although externally I would still smile but I was struggling inside.  I prayed and prayed that I could get out of this situation and continue to live my life.  I cannot change my physical disability so that’s that.

At the time, one of my favourite tv show was the local ‘Wheel of Fortune’ and people were talking about how to get in for the audition to be in the game show.  Without a thought, one morning, I decided to just call the tv station and asked about it. I gave my name and told them I was interested to take part in the gameshow.  The voice at the other end said that I would be called for an audition and I would need to wait a month or so.  I left it at that because I did not believe I would be even lucky to be called for an audition  Good fortune was not on my side r so I believed.  2 weeks later, I got a call and was asked to attend a series of tests 3 days’ time.  Was I excited?  I was numb and I could not find my joy. I called my godsister and she accompanied me 3 days later for the tests.

Believe it or not, that took me away from my pain and emotional stress. I had fun with the tests and auditions and I passed.  Of course, as usual, people were looking at a woman with a leg brace going for audition and wondering what can I do. I had to act out a script, be interviewed, take photo shoots, etc.  I really had fun and laughed so much doing them.  I did it and I got through into the game show.  Throughout the game show, I discovered how good I was and my confidence level was challenged. Still it was a great learning experience and I was in a different kind of world for a short time; short enough to help me heal a little bit more and gave me my self confidence back.  I got through up to the semi finals.  I was disappointed I could not get to the finals but it was, I believe a distraction for me from the Almighty.  It was indeed a miracle and a dream come true.  I  can still feel the joy and excitement today as I am writing this.  The chandelier I won is lighting up my home. I still can talk about it with excitement and pride.

I am blessed to be watched over by my guardian angels because, something good always happens when I am in my dark moments.  The Wheel of Fortune got me out of the dark pit and it helped me avoid dwelling over my pain of being rejected and cheated.  Now as I think over the incident, I no longer feel anything.  It’s just a passing memory and experience.  I am a better person today.

People treat imperfection like a disease and in the end, they are the ones who are diseased. I count my blessings and whether I want to experience those dark roads, it’s really not up to me but I know there’s always hope and light at the end of it.  This is one of my champion moments where I find my strength I have forgotten I had.  My physical imperfection is my greatest blessing because it has power in it.  After all, God blessed it and blessed me.

“You’re imperfect, and you’re wired for struggle, but you are worthy of love and belonging”   – Brene Brown
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