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Confronting with Fear

i haven’t been feeling uneasily.

Granny has been going in and out of the hospital. It’s old age, and I think the body is degrading.

I have been putting off going to see her.

Because of fear. I fear coming face to face with the subject, of death. I do not know how to handle it. Because of the past that I have had. It seemed like I still do not know how to reconcile with the death of my loved ones even if it were more than 10 years back.

But today, i plucked up what little courage I had, to visit ah ma, my dear granny who is little in size but so strong in character all her life.

She single handedly brought up 10 children. My grandfather left her early.

But ah ma is so strong despite her small built. She was the one who came to my family and nurtured us when my mom passed away in illness.

She slept next to me. She made me dinner and ate with me. She said to me when i was weak: “be strong, treat it as if it were nothing.”

i have always always remembered her words when i felt weak. there was so much power in those seemingly easy words.

but now, i realise so much flavour in those few words, simply because they were extracted out of her hard life, or the very hardships that never thwart her,

ah ma was diagnosed with colon cancer a few years back, but she decided not to go for an op and she ‘s had a few more years till now.

i thought what boldness and character.

she’s not afraid of life, she’s not afraid of death.

i rem asking myself yesterday as i felt all the old energy dwell in me, because i couldn’t bring myself to see ah ma.

i rem looking at the sky, and thinking of some words i read:”if you do not know death, you do not know life.”

vice versa.

i read it in a book, The Tibetan Book of Dying. or something to that effect. that was when I was expecting hao.

And how true.

Today i finally plucked up enough courage to see ah ma.

I told my jittery self: create a new pathway and a new angle to this. i educated myself, that the fear was something old, and something i do not need now.

i can create another approach to this.

i just tried and i think i found a little light. Ah ma is old and frail, her voice has changed, and i felt just hurt looking at her.

But ah ma is so strong willed.

she’s taking it and i felt just dishonest and low and small not confronting her and just saying niceties.

opposite me, my dad was asking all the questions I wanted to know- what did the doc say? when can you head home? etc

i thought:”is this appropriate at all?”

but its honest.

and anytime better than me trying to put on a nice front.

ah ma is so strong, she ordered dad to go home, and us to go home. she says we have been working and dad’s been driving for a day and its hard work.

she’s pestering us to go for dinner. and she gets her way.

ah ma is the strongest woman i know, and it hurts me to see her.

dad held her hand when he left, and somehow that moment caught me,

i felt like going over to hug her, but i didn’t.

i said my goodbyes, but thought if there was a next time.

ah ma is such a warrior. she’s a fighter, to the end.

i love you ah ma, and i wish you well.

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Thank you for giving me a chance to confront my fear.

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Bangkok + Phuket 2017

终于有机会带姨姨婆婆出国。虽然只是去曼谷,但已经是很大的满足感。阿姨一向来不敢乘搭飞机,但两次出国都是和沁芝皓皓,都是mommy带的。

很希望她玩的开心。

这天,我们浩浩荡荡出发。沁芝特别的兴奋,自己准备行李。像是个大姐一样。

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出发前,让沁芝皓皓也有打电话给公公的习惯。

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上飞机了!皓皓说,他喜欢起飞的感觉。能够自己系上安全带,自己吃饭等等。好了不起。

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第一天,去了市场,看到这个,特别有感触,小时候我就是看着婆婆阿姨在巴刹买椰浆,然后回家煮面、卖面。

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曼谷的市场其实很干净,而且应有尽有。看得我眼花缭乱。第一天,收获甚丰。

然后晚餐。

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小瓜吵着回酒店,因为要泡泡。

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第二天上寺庙拜拜。

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最喜欢第三天,去了MaekLong Railway Market。

喜欢这里。真心喜欢。走在铁道上,很有感动。

感动的是火车来,摊贩便收起买卖,拉起帐篷。火车走了,再把帐篷拉下,然后继续摆摊。

每天如此,每天不只一次如此。

能够收放自如的人生。

能屈能伸的人生。反正有空间的地方,就能存活,就能有办法,就能有机会。

我很喜欢这里。喜欢那股切切实实,老老实实,实实在在的力量,我可以感觉到我的心都被撼动了。

才知道,原来限制,不过是没有什么了不起的东西,如果你不屈服,限制,一切的限制,仅仅能够让人发挥至极,让人想尽办法尝试开拓拉伸,然后,创意的突破。

喜欢这里的人不把这一切当作一回事。不在乎狭窄,不在乎局限,不在乎日复一日去重复这样的人生。

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之后去了水上市场以及mahachai市场。

一条河,是生活也是清洗,是过渡也是渡人

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隔日让孩子去kidzania,然后便回新。

隔天,带小瓜去普吉岛。这里是daddy mommy拍拖时经常去的度假胜地,这次去,惊觉普吉岛已经多了一座新的飞机场,变化好大。

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我们去了Anantara度假村,这里位于机场以北大约15分钟的Mai Khao海滩。

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早上,让沁芝皓皓喂小鸭子小鱼儿,然后去沙滩玩沙冲浪。

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小瓜不亦乐乎,根本不想离开。

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每天,重复着早餐、喂鸭子、玩沙冲浪,午餐,到别墅的游泳池嬉水,晚餐。

只是我们四口子。

简简单单。

恬静、幸福。

傍晚,daddy带我们去看日落,让小瓜荡荡秋千。

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这应该是沁芝的第一个日落。好美丽。

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短短几天,小瓜画画涂涂,度过精彩愉快的假期。

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没想过沁芝皓皓如此喜欢度假村,下次还要去。我听了,要多加努力,让皓皓沁芝每一个假期都能出国去。

问阿姨,还要不要去曼谷,她说要。

我要加油!

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7years 1month

沁芝7岁一个月了。已经是小美女一个。

好标致!

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daddy提醒,沁芝三四岁的时候,很喜欢亲mommy。但现在总是皓皓在亲。要学习顾及沁芝的感受。

沁芝长大了。

看到沁芝很多地方和我很像。胆小。没有自信。但沁芝啊,你一定要相信。你有无限的潜能。

不要担心不要害怕。

你绝对可以。

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这一天,去舅公家拜年。然后去阿祖家,之前有点时间,我们和阿妹姨姨、庚延舅舅和karyn姐姐午餐。玩成一团,沁芝很乐

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这一天正月二十五。沁芝的农历生日。我们带姨姨婆婆、davina姐姐去晚餐。之后去给沁芝买蛋糕。然后回家给沁芝唱生日歌

 

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周末,dandelyn带大家去吃,沁芝皓皓也去

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带沁芝去采访香港冰棒品牌,她有口福。之后去吃寿司晚餐

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很快学校加起来了,沁芝去了pasir ris住了一个星期。然后假期过去。

宝贝,mommy没有在假期的时候给你任何的额外功课,不像是其他家长那样。这一点对mmmy来说,也是一个struggle。要不要你多做一点呢?

但能要你做多少呢》多少都不足够。

最后,只是想让你过愉快的假期。

让你记得假期里你在阿姨家趴趴走,阿姨带你出门吃吃喝喝,和阿姨一家互动的时光。简单快乐的时光。因为mommy相信,这些都将成为你宝贵的回忆。

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A beautiful letter

Dear Little Daughter:

I have waited for you to get well settled before writing. By this time I hope some of the strangeness has worn off and that my little girl is working hard and regularly.

Of course, everything is new and unusual. You miss the newness and smartness of America. Gradually, however, you are going to sense the beauty of the old world: its calm and eternity and you will grow to love it.

Above all remember, dear, that you have a great opportunity. You are in one of the world’s best schools, in one of the world’s greatest modern empires. Millions of boys and girls all over this world would give almost anything they possess to be where you are. You are there by no desert or merit of yours, but only by lucky chance.

Deserve it, then. Study, do your work. Be honest, frank and fearless and get some grasp of the real values of life. You will meet, of course, curious little annoyances. People will wonder at your dear brown and the sweet crinkley hair. But that simply is of no importance and will soon be forgotten. Remember that most folk laugh at anything unusual, whether it is beautiful, fine or not. You, however, must not laugh at yourself. You must know that brown is as pretty as white or prettier and crinkley hair as straight even though it is harder to comb. The main thing is the YOU beneath the clothes and skin — the ability to do, the will to conquer, the determination to understand and know this great, wonderful, curious world. Don’t shrink from new experiences and custom. Take the cold bath bravely. Enter into the spirit of your big bed-room. Enjoy what is and not pine for what is not. Read some good, heavy, serious books just for discipline: Take yourself in hand and master yourself. Make yourself do unpleasant things, so as to gain the upper hand of your soul.

Above all remember: your father loves you and believes in you and expects you to be a wonderful woman.

I shall write each week and expect a weekly letter from you.

Lovingly yours,

Papa

From Sociologist and civil rights pioneer W.E.B. Du Bois to his daughter Yolande.

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Happy Birthday Mummy!

Dear Mummy

Happy Birthday!

Every year this time, I would be wondering where you are as I write to you this Happy Birthday note.

I know you will hear this, irregardless where you are.

Because you gave birth to me.

I have so much to say to you, there was so much learning in the year that has passed. It was steep the learning curve and i m glad i persevered .

I met important people who would guide me and point things out to me, thru them, i identified myself, and how much i wanted to be like them.

I also met important people who taught me about life the other way round. Thru them, i recognised i didn’t want to be like them.

Either way, there was a lot to be learnt.

Your 2 grandchildren are lovely, sometimes i wonder how nice if you would be able to meet them.

May you be well and happy, Mummy. And continue to guide me, protect me and bless me from above.

Your girl.

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Slow Down Mummy

Love this!

Slow down mummy, there is no need to rush,
slow down mummy, what is all the fuss?
Slow down mummy, make yourself a cup tea.
Slow down mummy, come and spend some time with me.

Slow down mummy, let’s put our boots on and go out for a walk,
let’s kick at piles of leaves, and smile and laugh and talk.
Slow down mummy, you look ever so tired,
come sit and snuggle under the duvet and rest with me a while.

Slow down mummy, those dirty dishes can wait,
slow down mummy, let’s have some fun, let’s bake a cake!
Slow down mummy I know you work a lot,
but sometimes mummy, its nice when you just stop.

Sit with us a minute,
& listen to our day,
spend a cherished moment,
because our childhood is not here to stay! x

Poem by Rebekah Knight at https://www.facebook.com/slowdownmummy1 — with @Rebekah Knight.1 and @slowdownmummy1.