Friday, December 26, 2014

To an old old friend.

Today, I chatted with an old old friend.
I recently connected with her.
It's been 40 years.

I think of how Jesus told the crowd,
God cares for the flowers of the field.
I thought of my friend.

I told her of Andrew.
I told her because I empathise with her.
I told her, life hurts.

I used to sing,
Nobody knows the trouble I seen,
Sometimes I'm up, sometimes I'm down.

To my old old friend.
I love you.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014


To the Momma of a Chronically and Critically Ill Child,
I’ve seen you in those hospital rooms. I’ve seen you hand your child off to surgeons, not knowing if you would ever get to hold them again with a beating heart. I’ve seen you pray, hope, and hold on to faith with a sheer will that would put most to shame. I’ve seen you hold your babies with tears streaming down your face because this kind of sickness isn’t the kind that just comes and goes, this is the kind where no one can assure you that your child is going to be okay.
You are brave. You are strong. You are loving.
You fight for your children when they can’t fight for themselves. You hope for them and you stay positive for them, and then run to the bathroom just to cry in the stall where they can’t see. You research and talk to doctors and talk to other parents to find the best possible treatment plans and solutions to give the best life to your child. You take part in care for your child in ways even some in the medical field are intimidated by, dropping NG tubes, changing trachs, giving IV meds through a Broviac at home.
You go to the places no one wants to go. You know a side of the world that most would like to pretend doesn’t exist. You call your children’s hospital your home away from home, and while the rest of the world may find that sad, you see the hope. It’s the place that gives your child a chance at life.
I see you, momma. And you are loving that child unconditionally, just as you should. You are standing beside them come hell or high waters, and you are doing a good job. You are giving them the best.
You are their cheerleader. You are their smile maker. You are the one that knows their favorite songs and favorite toys. You are the one that knows how to calm them down, how to hold them, how to love them best.
While other parents know everything about their child’s sleep habits, you know everything about your child’s vitals– where their normal sats should be, what their resting heart rate is, their normal pressures. While other parents can talk about their kid’s feeding schedules, you could talk all day about your kid’s anatomy, what surgeries are next, or what treatments are on the radar. While other parents are teaching their kids to crawl and to walk, you are teaching your’s to drink from a bottle just to get rid of that dang NG, teaching them to bear weight on their legs and rebuild their core from weakness of lying in a hospital bed all day. While other parents look forward to going out on a date night without kids, you look forward to the moments when you can grab enough hands to shuffle around a bunch of machines and a hospital crib to just hold your baby.
You are brave. You are strong. You are doing a good job.
You are a mom. You would do anything for your child. And some of you have to brave the path that no parent should have go down. Instead of debating the best way to introduce solid foods to a baby, you are making decisions with doctors on quality of life for your child. Instead of choosing diaper methods, you are choosing between cremation and burial. Instead of planning a first birthday party and stressing over the details to make it perfect, you are planning a funeral… You are a mom. You would do anything for your baby, even when it means they are in heaven and free and you are the one left here to suffer.
To those of you, I see you. Hold on to hope.
This is not a path anyone chooses. You did not do anything wrong to make this happen. Your child did not do anything wrong to make this happen. This does not make you worse or better than any other parent. It just makes you different. You love your child the same, you just experience things differently than the “normal”.
Keep on doing what you are doing, loving that kid no matter what.
You are doing a good job.
You are a good mom.
A Momma Who Knows

Monday, December 8, 2014

Christmas and Andrew's puppy.

I am glad my niece Katie put up Christmas decorations to her late mum's memory. This is the second Christmas her mum Karen had gone to heaven.

I don't feel like putting up the tree. Unlike the Chans, the Chins don't have the tradition of the Christmas tree. I will put the tree in my heart and putting up Andrew's puppy.

October 4th, 1989
I had no recollection who I went with and how I went; or if I did the things I intended to do. I did go to Newmarket and was at the Chemist shop at 277, Broadway. Suddenly, I wanted to buy things for Andrew. I had not prepared anything for him. I grabbed an armful of soft toys, and as I was about to pay for them, a torrent of tears flowed.

What was I doing? Andrew couldn’t play with them? Andrew was dying.

The girl at the shop saw me and asked if I was okay. She probably thought I was sick. I held the toys to my chest. My poor Andrew, Mum hasn’t given you anything. Eventually I composed myself and chose a little brown puppy with floppy ears and big brown eyes. I gave it to Andrew and put it in the bassinet. Deep in my heart, I had a sense of satisfaction. Sweet Andrew, Mum did give you something after all.
When Andrew died, I gave away all of his things except one, that little brown puppy dog. I kept it with his lock of hair. Then I kept it with my Christmas decoration. Every year, when we decorated the tree, I have told the children this is Andrew’s dog. In my heart, I grieve for Andrew. This is another Christmas he won’t be joining us. I told nobody about this.

This children’s song I used to teach my Sunday School class came like honey. Count your blessings, counting your blessings one by one.

When upon life’s billows you are tempest tossed,
When you are discouraged, thinking all is lost,
Count your many blessings, name them one by one,
And it will surprise you what the Lord hath done.
I couldn’t remember all the lyrics, but the words “count your blessings, count your blessings” became real and comforting. I thought of all my loved ones, my husband, even though I had threatened to leave him the day before, my two beautiful and healthy girls, and my many friends.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Farewell my friend Leni

I wore this top Leni gave me.

Today friend M tells me that Leni has died.
Leni and I were facilty wives in NTU in Singapore.
Though I left in 2006,
Our friendship had not diluted.

I was most touched my Leni's act of generosity.
In 2012, I went to visit Singapore,
I remarked her beautiful top.

She took me to a boutique,
And bought this top for me.
The girl in the shop said, you must be a special friend,
for her to buy such an expensive top.

Last year, when I visited,
She took me to the Marina gardens.
Today, she has joined my Aunty,
and my baby Andrew in Heaven.

I will  miss you, Leni.
When I wear this top,
I will remember you.