Every day, we go through life with some form of stress and challenges and no matter how patient we are, we still will lose it.
Life, like the road we travel, has bumps, humps, traffic lights, blockages, potholes… okay okay,,, we do have smooth rides… Or your kids or adults around us just drives us nuts!
How do you react towards those challenges? Do you get impatient, or just drive through those challenges ?
Whatever, you feel is just part of us. Most importantly, at the end of it all, we can laugh at our own silliness for those negative emotions as we are not able to change the situation that is beyond our control.
At least we are still alive to enjoy these life adventures… Be abundantly blessed and feel blessed.
So, remember to enjoy an ice cream and relax. Let your inner child out… LAUGH, BE SILLY, FEEL SILLY…….
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
It’s been a long time since I walked the morning market. Hustle and bustle of sellers and buyers. Fresh vegetables, fruits, trinkets, clothes, bags, dry food, canned food, coconut water, breakfast of sorts, you name it, we have it here in Malaysia.
This morning, I got up early and with my sister, Bel, we took a stroll and joined another sister of ours and my oldest niece and had breakfast. My niece has her favourite stall that sells the freshest cakes and breads and persuaded to see and then I bought a butter cake home for my old folks.
Both my sister and my niece left but l and I sat at the coffeeshop and had our breakfast when a lady with a file came and asked for donation for a underprivileged centred which is in another state up north. Usually, we reject such request because there are lots of syndicate involved. However, today Bel decided that she will not question and just gave a small some. Then we asked the lady if she had breakfast and we wanted to buy her a cuppa. She declined and thanked us for our kindness.
About 2 minutes later, an Indian gentleman approached our table and greeted us. We know him as he has been selling lottery tickets for many years and he knows that I do not buy them. Whenever we meet he would pass me but would greet me. This morning, he asked how we were and that he has not seen me for a while. We chatted and wanted to buy him a cuppa too but he declined gently and thanked us. Then I decided that today I will buy from him since we happened to meet.
I told Bel that 2 people rejected our offer for a cuppa but we contributed to their effort. That was the least we did.
It is somewhat a beautiful and fulfilling morning and the joy and satisfaction feeling inside of us gave us the sense of purpose that our life today is meaningful. We are creatures of giving and sharing. Being selfish is not in our system because you will feel dissatisfied and unhappy. I do.
The rest of the morning after that we went about getting some soil and pots for our plants and Bel did another act of kindness when she asked the workers in the nursery if they wanted coconut water as they were having a quick bite to fill their hunger pangs while entertaining customers. So we did.
What a day it has been for us and I should say that our life bank account has some good deposits today. I look forward to the rest of today and I want to enjoy every moment including writing this.
We received gifts from a good buddy of ours who went overseas just now and we are grateful because those gifts are blessings from above.
How has your day been today? Celebrate the small happenings thank the Universe for today’s path and the stops we are going to make before the day ends.
Live every moment, and respond rightly to events that occur. Be a magnet of positivity and greatness.
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.
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).
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.