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.

 

Laughter is the best medicine?

You bet it is one that is  a gift since the day we were created.  It is a quality all of us used to have as a child but it becomes buried when we were conditioned and taught by our environment;

“don’t laugh so loud, it is shameful”

“you are crazy to laugh for no reason”

“you cannot laugh for no reason, only sick people do”

And the list goes on.

Look at babies, children. Why do they laugh?  Do they have a reason ?  Are they shameful?  NO!   THEY ARE JUST HAPPY!  Children in fact smile as many as 400 times per day.

It is written that “Laughter is your birthright, a natural part of life that is innate and inborn. Infants begin smiling during the first weeks of life and laugh out loud within months of being born. Even if you did not grow up in a household where laughter was a common sound, you can learn to laugh at any stage of life. 

You can decide to laugh for no reason as laughter makes you feel good; the good feeling remains with you even after the laughter subsides.  It helps you keep a positive and optimistic outlook in difficult situations, sadness and pain.  It gives you courage and strength to find resources to your solutions.

Laughter is contagious.  The best part is the brain cannot differentiate between real and fake laughter.  It gives our body the same health benefits. It has been scientifically established that laughter has amazing impact on our body and mind.  It helps to prevent onset of sickness by strengthening our immune system and also has a healing effect. A daily dose of laughter is one answer to de-stress and uplift your joy.

Extract from the Laugther Yoga “ Several studies are underway in many universities around the world. Clinical research conducted at Bangalore, India and in the United States has proved that Laughter lowers the level of stress hormones (epinephrine, cortisol, etc) in the blood. “

There’s so much to share about laughter so the next time someone says you are crazy when you burst out laughing by yourself, just tell them, “It is my best medicine.”

Fake it till you make it.  Fake laughter until it becomes real for you.

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(I am now a Certified Laughter Yoga leader.  It has been a fantastic experience and my childlike playfulness is the me even as an adult).

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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Comfort

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 Nobody can live without comfort.

But comfort is not like alcohol.

It’s no injection, no sleeping pill which merely numbs you,

And then plunges you into an even darker night.

Comfort is not a flood of words.

 Comfort is a healing balm on a deep wound.

Comfort is a sudden oasis in an empty desert, which makes you believe in life again.

Comfort is a soft hand on your forehead, that makes you feel at peace.

Comfort is the gentle face of someone close to you who understands your tears,

Who listens to your troubled thoughts,

Who sticks by you through your doubts and anxieties,

And who shows you a few guiding stars in the dark night.

 

WWYD

Scene in the pantry ….

Conversation in Hokkien and Mandarin..

A :       “whose tongkat (walking stick) is this? Looking at B at the wash basin area. Yours ah, B?”

B:        “Aiyo.   Don’t simply talk.   Chinese New Year coming. I want to wear short skirt n high heels wan ar….      ‘Choi! Tai Ka Lai Si!’  (means:  bad luck to wish her using the stick).

Then there was silence…

B:       It is Catherine’s..    I saw her use..

A:       I ask only. How I know.

B:       You simply talk. You die….

I stood up, took my walking stick and left…. didn’t want to know what else was said…  There were 3 other ladies there.

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My caliper was sent by my wonderful sister Bella to the city to get the screw replaced

How did I react, you might ask.  Nothing.  I just sat and let the conversation flow. 

That is the model of their world.  I am used to this already.  Since young, I have been listening to such comments and some directed at me personally.  It was hard to swallow when one was young and vulnerable; especially when one was searching for meaning of life and self identity.  What more when one was searching and looking for self acceptance.

Yesterday, when that happened, I asked myself inside, “what am I feeling?”  My reply was, “Nothing.”  It just tells about what those 2 ladies’ thoughts were.

I had always been told to be sensitive of what others thought of me.  My whole life was based on judgement of others until I wanted to kill myself for being so imperfect.

I was so frustrated until for a few years, I was so ill, I almost decided to live with such miserable fate.  The calling within (Thank God), questioned if there were others who could live better than I could emotionally, mentally, I could too.

It was hard learning to be ‘thick skinned.’  Been shamed, ridiculed, laughed at, mocked at, the works, I just gave up fighting.  In the end, I won.  How?  Well, trust your Calling Within. 

That faithful inner self that is connected to our Maker.

Along the road of life, there were teachers, angels, mentors, strangers, situations to help me realised who I truly am and can be.  My weakness became my strength.

With yesterday’s scene, some would tell me “Don’t be sensitive.”  Or would just zip their mouth, afraid I might be mad or angry.  I went home praying and telling myself, that’s who they are.  FULL STOP.

Judging would not make a difference.  Getting angry or upset will not do any good nor change the situation.  Just let it be and let it go.  They are my teachers.

I have learnt over the years to be compassionate, to have empathy, to be kind.  Hey, I am no angel because, I tend to judge others too at times.

Yesterday taught me and reminded me not to judge others as I would also be judged.

This is one portion of what my life is all about and also the type of people I am surrounded with in this world. The colour characters of human beings.  Self acceptance and its imperfections play a very vital role in my life. 

I am grateful for the lessons yesterday!  I did find it amusing too..     😛 

WWYD if it happened to you?

I welcome comments and feedback.

 

Are you aware of your senses?

I used to complain a lot about my physical disability and asked God why He cursed me.  Deep within I was always searching for the answer to my ‘curse’.  I refused to accept there were other people worse off than me.

Today, I am still awed and amazed how this woman in her time, overcame her disabilites and made it to leave such legacy till today. Without the current techonolgy advancement, she made it through and prove that it was and is possible to live amazing lives.

A real woman of substance.

A rebellious child lost in darkness but she became a woman who gave light and hope to the world.   Are we living in the dark literally, or do we see light without our eyes?

 

Have you tried closing your eyes smelling, listening, touching and seeing with your heart.

 

 

Please comment and share your thoughts of this video. I would love to hear and learn from you.

 

“Once I knew only darkness and stillness….my life was without past or future…..   but a little word from the fingers of another fell into my hand that clutched at emptiness, and my heart leaped to the rapture of living.”  –  Helen Keller.

As I see it!

cropped-as-eye-see-it1How the world looks at me  changes, when I change the way I look at the world.

Chasing perfection is imperfect.

Even in my darkest moment, there is still a tiny tinge of light; I need to open my inner eyes to see it.

Even the toughest tree faces the biggest storm; so I am no exception.

 

 Catherine Lim