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).


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.



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





28356_395491988619_7743438_nI am reminiscing one of my champion moments to remind myself what I am capable of.  One of them was the time when I just decided to try parasailing.

That was in the 90’s and it was in Penang, I would just decide to go for a holiday to visit my friend and colleague then.  He  and his wife took me to the beach and there I was fascinated about being up in the sky on parachute.

I saw from a distance a man was being pulled by a speedboat and then the boat stopped and the man was still flying but suddenly he fell into the water when the wind stopped blowing.   I was excited and asked the operator about the parasail and if I could fly because I cannot run.  I saw one person had to run while being pulled by the speedboat.  He said I need not run and so I decided to do it.  Without a thought I said I  want to go up on my own without assistance.  And so I was being prepared for my flight up.

No thought came to mind except wanting to be up there in the sky like a bird.

I was pulled up by the speedboat so fast  when I reached up the sky, I have never felt so free and so happy in my life.  I understand what a bird’s eye view mean and how a bird’s  ability to feel free. I thoroughly enjoyed the moment.  I was called out of my happiness and trance in a very short time when the operator shouted me to pull the cord to come down.  I refused because it was not long.  He insisted because the wind slowly becoming strong.  I reluctantly pulled the cord and landed on the sandy beach.  I landed on my bum on the sandy beach.  It was the best although short moment of glory for me.  It really, really felt so good.  I can still feel it now.  I am anchoring this feeling right now.  Then  my colleague’s wife wanted to fly but got one of the operators to fly with her.

One American lady came up to me and asked me how it was and I shared the excitement with her.  She said I was so brave because she was still contemplating of doing something different that day being her 50 birthday.  I encouraged her to do it. Not sure if she did or not.

I shared my excitement and my experience with my friends and then my excitement died down when they told me horrible stories about parasailing. I was glad I did not hear anything negative when I was in Penang.

You see, I am someone who takes chances in life when I was younger.  As I grew older over the years and through the conditioning of my surrounding, I became somewhat a person who began to fear starting anything.  Then of late I realized how a coward I have become when I look back after that parasailing experience, I have lost my own potential.

I dared live life to the fullest without a thought because being alive each day is a risk.  I have just recently been brought back to this beautiful exciting memories as I needed to achieve my goal and through NLP coaching exercise, it has helped me realise my potential and my qualities are still there (which I have buried deep in my unconscious level) and to bring it forward so that I can fully reach my potential and goals in the future.

Those who know me know that my caliper can never limit me to do anything I put my heart into.  Perhaps I need to do twice or three times harder.   It is my limiting belief that stops me.

As I look back again, yes, I have achieved so many things I wanted to do.  There were difficult moments. I  was a semi finalist for the local Wheel of Fortune, acted in stage plays, volunteer for charity works, swim, walk 5 km marathons, bought a tricycle so I can cycle, drive, dance, sing, and training, coaching, conduct laughter therapy, and looking forward to be a motivational speaker to change lives and make a difference.



A Fruitful Day

Today has been a very productive and fulfilling day. Not only have I filled my tummy with delicious local fare but also filled my spirit with positivity.

It is a challenge to plan to meet up with friends or go places or just to have fun because every weekend is filled with tasks, errands, calls for assistance, etc.  I have put aside many things I want to do for myself.    I also feel guilty when I do not stay home to spend time or even be there physically for my aged parents every weekend.  Almost every Saturday and Sunday is filled with activities outside.

I finally decided to take my shoes to my shoemaker in the city for repairs.  At the same time, meet up with a good friend to visit and also go on a food spree.  Talk about killing more than 2 birds with one stone.   With half the day to spend, I could say that those hours were fulfilling and filled with motivation.

It was important for me to have at least one motivation or to make a difference to someone or even learn something from someone. I had all of them today.

When I went to my shoe maker, she was wearing a face mask and a cap and I knew what she was going through.  We chatted about her condition and she is still going through chemotherapy.  She is optimistic and living as every other day.  I pray she would recover and need not go through the series of chemo.

Then I met a wonderful 73 year old widow, Cynthia (I wrote about her in my Facebook page),  who was cleaning tables making sure walk in customers have clean tables to enjoy their meals.  She would greet everyone and smile.  I greeted her and got to know her .  She really inspired me with her pleasant and cheerful personality.  She has good work ethics and she enjoyed what she was doing.  Walking around, making sure all the tables were clean and trays put away, despite having rheumatoid arthritis.  She continued to work because she wanted to keep herself busy.  She lost her husband a year ago.  She has 3 sons and 5  grandchildren (I believe).  All doing very well.  She did not want to trouble them and wanted to be independent.

She told me to keep smiling because I bring sunlight to people who see me smile.  I think that was so beautiful.  A stranger who gave me ‘silver boxes’ like that.  This affirmation made a difference to me.  It has been a long time, since someone said that to me; or I have not been smiling that much.


Then meeting up with my good friend and going on an eating spree was something I have not done for a while.  It was fun.  We had small portions of many different types of food where she lived.  It was fun.  The roasted duck, meatball soup, braised pork, coffee from another state, shaved ice with fruits, watercress in sugar water….


Wanted to have our King of all fruits – Durian, to end our spree but we could not find any.

We stopped by a little truck selling roasted pork and had a good chat with the boss.  He is young and handsome.  Jeremy is his name.  He said that when he has extras and bits and pieces,  he would give away to homes. It was good and my friend gave her number to him so that he can call (hopefully) to give her so that she can share them with poor communities that she knows. What a great day to meet like-minded people.

It was truly a day of pure fun and hanging out with good company.

Dinner was done for the day with so much calories during lunch.  Still I took my parents out for  dinner and hang with them

Overall, today was a good day and I can remember what I did. Usually I would run around like crazy and forget what I had done for the day.  There is so much to tell about today but my brain can only remind me so much for now.  Tired I guess!

Thank God for an inspiring and fun day!  How was yours?

The Tree


I remember one day chatting with a young friend who had issues with life. He was unhappy with life and the job he is holding. He seemed to have lots of reason to be unhappy .

Then I asked him if he ever noticed the trees. “Huh?”, was his reply. I asked again if he noticed how some trees stood tall and strong. He nodded his head. Then my next question to him was, “Do you realize that trees experience storm, hot sun, rain, strong wind, breeze, etc. They are batted but not beaten. These trees continue to grow strong and tall. Birds will surround the old tree and even have blooms. When I see that I see joy and pride in a tree.

I could imagine how the tree would feel being exposed to sun, rain, storm, dry season, rubbish, people abusing it. Our life is like that too. We are exposed to a lot of hardships, abusive people, difficult experiences, etc. At the same time, we are exposed to happy, joyful, funny moments and people.

Are we batted and beaten or can we choose to be like the tree; Standing tall, strong and proud. To have birds chirping and singing beautiful songs and flowers blooming is probably a wonderful feeling for the tree; that it is appreciated and loved.

When we stand tall and proud of our life and we will be surrounded with positive people and loved. We need to be deeply rooted , always searching for good, positive things and people to grow and make life better for ourselves and also for others.

Are you a strong tree, deeply rooted holding strong to survive and live life to the fullest?

By Catherine Lim June 5, 2010

GOD’S Voice Through A Child


“Aunty, please don’t play that piece again…”  That was a remark from a 4 year old to her aunty.  Aunty was puzzled and asked her, “what piece darling? ” ” The piece you played the other day.  I cried when I heard it.”  Aunty asked, “Why, is it not nice to hear.”  Little niece replied, “Oh, it was so beautiful, I cry when I hear it. Please don’t play it today because I will cry again.”  Something stirred in aunty’s heart.

She was asked to compose a prayer and she prayed for inspiration to put music into that prayer.  Whilst writing the music, she doubted if it was good enough.  At the same time, she felt goosebumps playing the full piece later.

She played it again later in the day and her niece heard it.  Aunty saw the teary eyes of the little child but did not understand until she played it the second time..  The little child had tears in her eyes again…  That was a few days ago but the child said nothing until the next day during lunch.

Indeed it was an answer from God to tell aunty that her composition is indeed beautiful and it touch the core of that little child.  Isn’t God wonderful..  To pass the message through a little child who usually doesn’t express herself in any circumstances.  But that afternoon during lunch, she openly told Aunty how she felt in her own chidlike manner.

God does speak to us every day and every moment, if we only take the time to listen….

Original true story from Catherine Lim – Published May 27, 2011 via her personal fb note page

Rising From the Ashes (Part 2)


………Life continued and I lived as I would like any girl. Looking for relationship, someone who would accept me for who I was. I was disappointed, jilted, hurt, you name it. I hated men as I hated my father. I hated most women as I hated my mother.

That didn’t stop me either. I continued to do what I did and enjoy the freedom I had.   Over the years, I began to have this urge to discover myself internally. Within me, there was this belief that I am worth something and I can be something; most importantly, happy and confident.. I wanted to walk tall and proud and just be me.

As I grew older, I desired to be better and wanted all the more to break free from the devil and negative emotions and behaviours I had inside. I was interested in the psychology of the human mind. My mind was so tortured, I needed to do something. I could spend hours sitting in a mall and just observing people and thought why these people who are physically perfect not smiling.. What is so bad about their life? I began to look inside of the human particularly myself. I read books and would seek spiritual advice too.

That desire to be free took me to many more adventures and I have found many wonderful friends, acquaintances, strangers and good samaritans. The not so kind ones also taught me valuable lessons about life; Never to be like them!

Today, as an adult, I am a totally different person. I love being me with a physical disability which is a blessing in disguise. I see myself in a different light. I am able to embrace each day knowing the God has a BIGGER PLAN which you and I will never know until it happens.

When I see children, I see their beauty of being a child. Children should just be them, they are the greatest teachers to me. They teach me to be simple, forgiving, happy, love unconditionally and so much more.   Adults confused children as I was confused by adults in my life. They make life so difficult for themselves hence their children.

Physical disability is a blessing because it has taught me painful but valuable lessons about me and what I am capable of. I stand proud eventhough not straight, with my chin up and a big smile on my face.

My life has been painful and many times traumatic. My whole world collapsed a few times, but I managed, through my stubbornness and spirit within to fight for survival.

GIVING UP LIFE IS AN OPTION! I have fallen into the dark pits so often, I could have given up but I didn’t.

I have forgiven my parents as they were just doing what they know best in their circumstances and their ignorance. Most importantly, I have forgiven myself. I love me! When I love me, I love others around me.

Today, I coach those who need my help because I understand the struggles inside and get out of the dark pits of life. All one needs to do is make a choice.

LIFE IS GOOD AND WILL BE… There are two sides to life, which do you choose. I chose the better and brighter one! I want to always shine even when the sky is dark.

Published on 28 July 2011 – the Star