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.

 

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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.

motherteresa121813

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
rodaimpian

 

 

P.E.A.R

 

Act of kindness change lives

We were waiting for our friend  to meet us at the café.  It was about 9.00 am on a Saturday morning.  Then when she arrived we went to order our food and my sister Bel bought her favourite fish burger and a breakfast set for me with my favourite coffee.

Then she said “There is a man sitting outside and he took some food left by a customer of the café at a table near him.”  I turned to look and there was this man dressed in a green shirt looking slightly shabby and timid.  He was looking around and the tables around him.  He had a cup at the table, we were not sure if it was his.  Bel said, “I think he must be hungry.  Maybe we can treat him with this burger and we share the breakfast set. “  I replied, “Hmm…  random act of kindness for today.  Why not?”  “I am ok if you are.” And so Bel went over as the man was standing facing outside with his back turned. Bel quickly left the burger at the table and came back to sit with me.

Then we peeked and watched him turned and suddenly he saw the box and opened it.  He then took it and ate it. We were very happy .

Bel and I decided years ago that every day, if we could, we will practice at least one act of kindness each day; be it a smile (a real eye contact smile), a greeting, a treat, a helping hand, etc.   Some times we did more than once and it was something we felt blessed doing.

A simple reason for me is because all these years struggling to find my purpose and my life,  I have received many act of kindness by strangers before.  Then in the later years, I noticed that I have been in situations where strangers would appear in front of me and talk with me as if he or she needed a shoulder to ‘cry on’.  From then on, I realized what an impact we can give another human being who is in need. How, the universe or for me,  God,  would arrange the meeting for such events to happen.  I believe it very strongly as it has happened over and over again with me.  Every where I go I would meet strangers who would talk with me and asked about my ‘condition’ and they share their problems with me.

I am like everyone else who go through many ups and downs; still because of my awareness and how I felt  after each act of giving that makes me happy, I began to use that as a way to heal my own pain and sadness .  Giving is an act naturally as serving another human being brings tremendous joy and healing to both parties. Again, it can be any small act; even if it is a smile or just a ‘hello’.

I never knew how my smile and laughter too have changed someone’s day.  I have been told my laughter was always loud and it was not appropriate for a girl.  Of course, I felt as if I was created all wrong (besides my loud laughter)  and I just kept all these comments and tried to change so that I would not be criticized.  However, laughter is natural for me and I would just have a hearty laugh no matter how hard I stifle it.  Until one day (in my adulthood),  an elderly gentleman came up to me and said, “You know, I was feeling so tired and fed up just now until I heard you laughing.  It rang in my ears and it gave me a sense of joy and suddenly, I feel so much better.  You changed my entire day, thank you.”    I was stunned and I did not know how to respond to him because I have not received many compliments in my life. I went back reflecting on how I was snubbed for laughing out loud but today someone actually said something good about my laughter.  Is this an act of kindness?  I believe so, for both the gentleman and me.

Bel would not hesitate to help anyone. She even helped a worker in the supermarket to pushed a long stretch of trolleys because he was struggling.

There are just so many incidents  where I received kindness and practice kindness. The world does go around.  For me, it is a blessing each day just to do one small but meaningful act; even saying thank you to a cleaner or wave good bye to the garbage man.

Florence Littauer in her book on Silver Boxes talks about how to make others feel special, mend broken dreams and giving affirmation messages of the gospel through encouragement.  It is through that book Bel and I understood that we have been giving silver boxes to others and receiving silver boxes from others too.

We still continue today and will continue to do each day so that at least one person who needs a silver box will receive it.  We do it with no expectation but we know the blessings are a thousandfold and  we shall return these blessings to others and it goes around.

For me it is not that our acts are extraordinary but how extraordinary that act can be for the person receiving it.  I am always humbled when I received extraordinary acts of kindness from strangers and I can only return it with me practicing the same; even to animals and plants.

 pear

“At the end of life we will not be judged by how many diplomas we have received, how much money we have made, how many great things we have done.
We will be judged by “I was hungry, and you gave me something to eat, I was naked and you clothed me. I was homeless, and you took me in.”
― Mother Teresa

 

PAPA

I want to scream to tell my father how  much I love him that I want him to get well.  It is so challenging to tend to an aged man whose mind is almost like a little child.

 He fights when we tend his wounds, tell him to stop scratching so that his wounds don’t break out.   He loves spicy food and that was one of the things he has to stop.  That is when tantrums come in.

 Consciously, I am telling me that I have an old man who has a mind of a child and that I should love him like a would love a child.  Yet it is difficult because he fights back saying that we treat him without respect.  He has his good moments and bad moments.

 Yet, we love his happy personality and playful self when he is fine.  When he is angry, he drives us all up the wall with his words and threats.

 Papa, we love you and want to care for you.  We also understand it is tough for you too because we know that you are afraid when you know you cannot remember and you have no control over your memory.

 It is our duty as children to care for you now and I  will grit my teeth and remember that no matter what you are here with us and that it is our honour to love and care for you.

 Papa, we love you and we will do our best to care for you.

 God bless you for being here to teach us patience, honour, dignity, and how growing old would be like for us.

Thank you mama for supporting for your patience and guidance and understanding. Despite your own frail health, you still cared and made sure papa does what he needs to do daily to care for himself.  It is tough on you too when he fights with you and ‘war’ breaks out.  We love you both very much and we are proud we can care for both of you on our own.

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GONG XI FA CAI

sheep

 (Credits: sheep made by Nicole Chan)

 

May the Lunar Year of the Goat (sheep, ram, did I miss anyone?  :P)  ram all the negativities and bad omens out of our lives to allow the  Blessings and Prosperity into our lives.

 

HAVE A PROPEROUS AND HEALTHY LUNAR NEW YEAR EVERYONE!!!!!

Choy san Yeh

You will have Mixed Feelings Watching This!

In the beginning, my emotions were all over the place watching this film.  As it progressed further, I became angry and disheartened.

I was angry when he was imprisoned. That familiar emotion ran through my body.   “Why should I be in ‘jail’ for being good.  Haven’t I suffered enough.  What have I done to deserve it?  What more do You want from me?”

Towards the end, I  believe and know that in life, our good deeds will always help us through our toughest time, when we least expect it.

Have you experienced it yourself?

How much do you and I take for granted the things we possess?

How often are we grateful and thankful for what we already have?

How often have we shared with others even when we think they don’t deserve?

Mark 12:41-44

41 Jesus sat down opposite the place where the offerings were put and watched the crowd putting their money into the temple treasury. Many rich people threw in large amounts. 42 But a poor widow came and put in two very small copper coins, worth only a few cents.

43 Calling his disciples to him, Jesus said, “Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others. 44 They all gave out of their wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything—all she had to live on.”