Wednesday, April 17, 2013



This is my certificate. I left my medal in school. The kids love wearing it.

My new pair of running shoes are still very new because I don't run anymore.

 The Oval, running track at NTU, where I first trained.

Few years ago, I was this middle aged turning 50 year old woman. One day, I challenged myself in a 3.8k after not running since my early 20s when I ran the "Round the bays.".

The university announced its "President's run." I had been doing short runs in the Staff Club gym, and was interested. D was with me and challenged me to run two kilometers. After I had done that, she said, "Mum, you can do it."

I got two girl friends to train, 6 am in the morning, we were at the oval, from 400 meters, and adding on, we completed the race as we pounded the pavement of the university route. We even beat many men and university girls much much younger than us.

After that, me and another girl friend 44, we trained for the Singapore Marathon.10 K's marathon.

It was in humid Singapore, but we did it in 3 months. We were two university wives, and the young uni kids were wondering why these two "Aunties " were doing in their turf at the running oval and in the hilly campus. We managed to complete 10 Ks ten times. The first time were so satisfying. We High 5 and hugged.

Came early Dec, we woke up at 4am we ran with the Marathon greats from Kenya and Ethiopia. We both did it. The water engineer and the kids were there to support me. The Australian runners told me that the Singapore run was the most difficult to do because it was humid and hot.

It was the best thing I have done, and am still very proud of it.

Yesterday, I shared with my adult students, I knew how hard it was to train for the Marathon, even though I trained for the 10 kilometers only. I would be very angry if I was one of the runners in Boston, to be denied of crossing the finishing line.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Explosions at Boston Marathon.

Two Explosions At Boston Marathon

US Correspondent Jack Tame with details on the explosions at the Boston Marathon.

I woke up and my husband told me of the bombing. So sad, people using sports for their political ends. I remember I ran the Singapore Marathon in 2005. At the end of the run, I just just so tired that I wanted to lie down.

My sympathies of the mums of the two who had died. Sorry you are forced to join my club. Club of the bereaved parents.Two dead in Boston Marathon blasts: police

BOSTON, Massachusetts (AFP) - At least two people were killed and 23 wounded when two explosions struck near the finish line of the Boston Marathon on Monday, sparking scenes of panic, police said.
The streets were littered with debris and blood and paramedics raced off with stretchers as police locked down the area, witness said. TV footage showed an explosion sending up a white plume of smoke along the sidelines of the race.
Boston police confirmed the toll of dead and wounded on its Twitter feed.
Local radio said the first explosion took place near a sports store and the second went off near a viewing stand. It was not immediately clear whether the explosions were accidental or the result of a terrorist attack.
"There were two bombs that exploded near the finish line in today's Boston Marathon," race organizers said on the event's Facebook page, without providing a source for the information.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

It's ok to cry

To the mums of the Boston Marathon victims.
I like to tell them, It is OK to cry.
As a bereaved mother myself,
I cry with you.
I lament the senseless killing.
Cry, don't hold back. this youtube was a TV documentary on a group of bereaved mums. Titled It's ok to cry.

Mum's the best. by Emily Chan

I am a very proud aunty. This is Emily Chan, my brother Charles and sis-in-law Karen's baby daughter. Yes, no matter whether you are 23 , or you are 2, you are always your parents' baby, especially if you are the youngest child in the family.

Emily plays the guitar, piano and sings. She writes all her own songs and had recorded her music. Her music style is alternative/indie rock. Here she sings this aged old Chinese song for her Dad this father's day. She performed in Canada.
Download Emily Chan - Mum's The Best .

This is Emily's song: Mum's the best. Click on the link to listen to her lovely voice.

When I was little, my mom used to sing it to us, we tried to sing, but because e didn't know the lyrics and enough Chinese, we couldn't really sing it well. I was privileged that Emily asked me to teach her the song as a tribute to her Dad, my brother.

Almost twenty three years ago, on a Saturday morning, I was singing in this song,
I was "without a mom you are like a stalk of weed", I really needed my mum.
I needed my mum because my new born baby was dying, and I wanted my mum, but my mum had died eighteen months earlier.

It was Easter when I did the post of Mum and her chicks, I stuck these two chicks on my monitor. They remind me of Mum.

Mum's the best by Emily Chan
Shi shang zhi you ma ma hao
you ma de hai zi xiang ge bao.
tou jin ma ma de huai bao
xin fu xiang bu liao


Mommy's the only dearest in the world
Those with mums are like treasures
Run to mum's bosom
you will be so happy

shi shang zhi you ma ma hao
Mei ma de hai zi xiang ge cao
li kai ma ma de huai bao
xin fu na li zhao.

Mommy's the only dearest in the world
without a mom you are like a stalk of weed
away from mom's bosom,
where will you find happiness?

Shi shang zhi you ma ma hao
you ma de hai zi bu zhi dou.
Yaw shi ta men zhi dou
mon li yie hui siao.


Mommy's the only dearest in the world
Those with mums don't know
If only they know,
They will smile even in their dreams

Mei yu mama zui ku now
Motherless kids have most worries.

I posting this early for Mother's day. I will be traveling  to visit Emily and the rest of the Chans in Australia.

Stay mellow with yellow!

Saturday, April 6, 2013

家家有本难念经 Every home has a difficult pray to recite.

I post a plant which I found in the jungles of Singapore. The plant hardly blooms and the flower is very precious to me, because my friends' plants didn't bloom at all. The plant is like some bereaved parents. The flower blooms for one day and dies.

念经  Every home has a difficult pray to recite.

Today is the first Sunday after Easter. Last Sunday, my pastor talked about feeling sad. He thought of his first born son who had died. I was thinking, if  the pastor can feel sad, then it is OK for me to feel sad too. 

I don't feel sad any more, after I wrote my book "Diary of a bereaved Mother,  丧失儿子的母亲的一本传记" God gave me a different role. I no longer felt a need to be comforted, but I am able to comfort others. I belong to groups of bereaved parents and I use my experience to tell these mums and dads that it is ok to cry.

While writing my book, I cried all my tears. While I remember  writing and thinking 家念经, my grandmas, my aunties and then me. In the early days, I didn't accept this, I asked God, yes, everyone has a difficult prayer, but why is it mine is so much harder to recite.

Before my book, I already blogged about my 家念经, I found fellow bereaved parents. That was partly what instigated me to write my book. A News Paper journalist and a Television producer asked me why.

One evening, a cousin chatted with me on Facebook. We do not know each other well because I am much older than him. I had gone abroad while he was in his formative years. I had heard that his wife was barren, a stigma over there.

Our Grandma had lost 2 babies, his mum had lost one. He told me about the still born, and I thought he was talking about the baby his mum had lost. God told me to stop and listen. He was relating to the baby he lost.  He had not told any one before because society was not so accepting of people talking about their bereavement of a baby. He opened his soul and his heart. I imagine he was crying too. It was heart wrenching. The pain was excruiating.

My cousin has a 家念经 and it was not acceptible in the culture he was living to talk about it. I told him he could chat with me anythime.

I am glad I had left Malaysia to New Zealand where I can recite freely my

Friday, April 5, 2013

Spring and missing my baby

A heavy rainstorm,
A deluge
Our garden, a paddling pool.

It was the first spring after Andrew died.
It was lambing season.
I missed my baby.

I was the crazy mum.
Not crazy to other mums,
 but to a Chinese Mum.

Against the Chinese beliefs
You mustn't  be in the rain,
I let D, then five to enjoy,
"I am singing in the rain."

I bought her a raincoat, gum boots.
I sewed her a pair of leggings.
She had great fun,
You can see from her face.

I was there too, but with an umbrella.
While D was happy
splashing, and sploshing in the rain.
The tears were splashing and sploshing in my heart.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Lantana and a good friend.

Last week, I walked past this Lantana bush, (Close-up photos) and thought it was time I repost on the Lantana because it's been 5 years since I did the original post. Today, my ABC meme, there were 2 post on the Lantana. The flower reminds me of my flatmate and best friend when I first came to New Zealand, and other story is about family in Australia. Grace was a very exceptional friend, she came to Andrew's funeral and burial.

The name is Lantana. originally from Mexico. In Malaysia and Singapore, the common name is Bunga Tahi Ayam or in Cantonese, KAI SEE FA, both meaning Chicken Shit Flower. There is no prize for guessing why.

I remember this with fond memories of my flatmate of two years, Grace. from Penang in 1978.

One summer, her parents and sister came to visit her. The sister went to pluck this pretty flower outside the garden to put as a centre piece on the dining table. We were have a big feast cooked by Grace's mum.

Then she said," CHOW! CHOW!" meaning smelly. She had to take a shower because she felt smelly all over. Even then, she still felt smelly.

As for the bunch of flowers, needless to say, it was thrown as far as we possibly could.

And the food, we waited for the bad smell to dissipate before we ate them.

When I was living on the campus of Nanyang University, I was the secretary of the gardening club and had a online gardening journal. I wrote about wondering why people would want to plant this KAI SEE FA. There was a bush in NTU.

When my plants get stolen, I concluded that the person planting this KAI SEE FA is actually smarter than I think. Nobody would want to steal his KAI SEE FA,

Come to think of it, it relates to the Lady of the Night flower or the 7-mile flower. This must be a sister. The flower looks very pretty, but is rotten inside. The Chinese have a song, LU BIAN DE YIE WAH BU YAO CHIA, translated as the wild flowers on the road side, do not pick, the actual meaning is don't go for outside women when you have a wife.

In Australia, Lantana is a obnoxious weed, and there is a lot of studies devoted to this plant.

My older brother was a gentleman farmer before, and he had first hand knowledge about this plant and has this to say about Lantana.

This lantana plant is grown in Perth as an ornamental decorative potplant and they are only a small plant.

But in Queensland the plant love the climate and in the wild they can grow up to 10 feet tall and about 15 feet diameter and spread very rapidly. They are very hardy and hard to kill.

When we were in the farm there were about 150 acres of lantana in our farm. We need to use helicopter to spray and then use a bull dozer to dig up the roots and then burn them. After that we need to use the helicopter to sow the grass seed and fertilise and hope for the wet weather to grow the grass. After we have cleared then we need to repeat he whole process once very 3 or 4 year or they will grow back again! Very hard work and expensive. In the 6 years in the farm we only managed to clear about 50 acres of lantana!

The local farmers told us that in the early 1950s they hired cheap Chinese labour to use their parangs to cut and dig them out and then burn. In those days they didn’t use machines or chemical!


My second sister, and her husband, both retired principals and now are hobby farmers suggest that the roots be dug up and burnt. The trouble now with environmental issues and the haze, the Malaysian government has banned open fires.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Easter after thoughts.

I have been wearing these blue bands for a  long time.

People ask me what I am wearing them for.  I explained what Sands  is for. I told them Sands stood for Stillbirth and Neonatal deaths. I am a Sands mum. They are good  talking point.

Throughout this Easter, I notice a lot more postings to be bereaved mothers group. I read about their hurts and am glad I have moved on.

 On Easter evening, I sat down and spoke to new friends and I share with about losing Andrew and how I have moved on.

This morning, I saw this beautiful bracelet with bits and bobs. That would attract people to my bands.