Wednesday, December 24, 2008

For Appleteas...

I visited your blog today. My purpose is to send Season Greetings to you. After reading your post, I realized that I have overlooked you. Sorry for being insensitive.

You have been very brave. You have been very considerate and supportive. Since you said my blog is 'medicine' to you, now I am giving you another dose.

Appleteas, your blog belongs to you. It is a place created to put down your feelings. You have the right to post happy things when you are happy and say it when you are not. When you said that you are not happy and all these while you pretended to be happy pains my heart. You did it because you do not want us to worry about you. That is very sweet of you. Your family have caused you much pain. You have been enduring and that is why you have a blog..and that is to release stress. It defeats the purpose if you no longer can do so. You need not hide your feelings.

On my blog, I say all I want to say. I have the right to my opinion. I am human, I make mistake, I can be hurt, I have grievances, I want to voice my happiness and I want to voice my unhappiness. I do not want to hide. I know I have family members reading it as well as friends too. I want them to know how I feel. I am not GOD and I am not infallible. They either accept me for what I am or if they think that I am not worth being a friend, a sister, as sister-in-law, an aunty... I am fine. If being associated I need to hide my feeling, that is not me. I communicate my feelings and I never hide. I never avoid problems and I will talk about it and sort it out and clear the misgivings. I accepted the fact that not everyone can face a problem head on. To me, there is no forgiving or unforgiving.

Recently I am hurt both physically and emotionally by people from 'bloodline'. There are so many incidents in a short span of 3 months. I had an accident recently and I hit my chest on my driving wheel because I brake to avoid a collision with a car in front of me, he already hit another car in front. None in 'bloodline' asked. I posted it on the blog and Alice and family asked, my friends asked, 丘妈妈 and my cyber friends too - so does this speaks volumes?

I believe in the spirit of Christmas. It is the time of the year for Joy, Peace, Amendment and Thanksgiving. However I started with these thoughts and went about buying gifts but now it is meaningless. Wishing me a blessed Christmas… how blessed can I be and blessed by who? Instead of praying for me, pray so that you see light in your heart. Christmas is a few days away. I do not pretend it is Merry... not for me. A person can only be happy and blessed when the person is at peace with himself and others.

I have not washed dirty linens in public but I supposed these are washed behind my back. How many are affected by the ‘bad odor’? I already know. I am accused of being sensitive so if I am not told and I have to guess – am I sensitive? Therefore I decided I better wash it up here and not behind the back of anyone. I am doing it with compassion. After this, I am letting it go……

To Ed, thank you. I am sorry I soiled your Armani shirt. Thank you for giving me a shoulder to cry on and I shall buy you a new one.

To Alice and Philip, thank you for giving me a roof above my head, for all the herbs and soup and food, care and love so sincerely.

To Junice and Family, thank you for having me with you and giving me the warm of a family. I love MingQian so much and he gives me so much joy.

To Joo, thank you for keeping me company on the anniversary of my mother’s death. You do not know how much it meant to me during this period when I am so hurt and alone.

To HwaLing – I got lots to thank for. Although you never asked what is wrong with me, you gave me a family to spend Winter Solstice so that I am not alone on such day of family reunion.

To SuiHunn, thank you for your unfailing believe in me.

To all my Gurus and Teachers – Kalachakra timely arrival showed me the way out.

To all my protectors – thank you for the punishments. Thank you for keeping at bay all harms and let me learn from all hurts. Not to be bitter but with compassion and love.

To all my readers and visitors, thank you for making my blog valuable.

I may not be a Christian but I know the message of Christmas. Merry Christmas everyone...

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Festive Regards



I am sending out an early Season Greetings. Hope you like the above graphic done specially for all my readers.

Festive Regards
Lotus

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Reflection....2008

Another year is coming to an end, ten days more to go and its over.

2008 is a happening year. People will remember it differently. It brings joy to some but this year brings sadness to many. Be it a micro or macro aspect, it did make an impact.

Today while reading the papers, the stock pictures of Sizchuan Earthquake makes my heart ached. The picture of dug up bodies of a mother bending over her child trying to protect him/her but both perished in this disaster. Further picture of two pairs of legs with bodies buried under concrete. It has a picture of a water bottle and books neatly by its side...whose children are these...did their parents make it safely? This is not the pain of China and her people. This is the pain of all who are human. Such pain knows no boundary...it is universal.

There are pictures of Typhoon Nagris in Myanmar. People looking at submerged home. Many lost families and love ones. Countries in the world responded to a Military Government who blocked immediate assistance in such time. I tried contacting the people here and organizations etc. Effort to collect items for Myanmar is not a problem..the problem is how to get it into the country and after that how to get it to the people. I have no words for such actions.

The Mumbai bombing...what does the terrorists want? Singapore lost one of her citizen. She is a heroine. I wonder at that point of time, what was on her mind? Her parents, her siblings, her beloved husband, will she make it. Apparently she did not. I lost colleagues in this saga. Did the terrorists get what they wanted? Is this the best way out of frustrations for unfulfilled expectations? Who are the masterminds? Probably w
ith tons of bloody monies and hiding somewhere and let innocent do the job and die for them. The World system has its cause. Everything has its Karma and its timing - all these shooting will not change anything. Hatred only begets Hatred.

Final call from God. Time is up. The Bali Bombers get what they did unto others. They are saints in the eyes of supporters. They fight for a course. They believe they are doing the right thing. Is there a better way out other than killing? A friend said 'Aye Kawan, cannot hurt the government, hurt the people lah.' When I saw pictures of them, their families and friends - is there a better way to proof what they do is right?

The Financial C.R.U.N.C.H .... left many jobless, homeless and 'moneyless'. Before this happen, every country is holding up their power. The citizens are holding up their pride. They fight and look down on each other - what first world country, third world country and the stateless. What now? Did you realize we are Global Citizens? Something happen to one country, the whole world is sitting on fire. Previously the Rich gets Richer. Now they are poorer by half or even more. What goes around comes around.

I recently heard a joke..and I fell of my chair laughing. One man A asked another man B - how are things with you? B said 'I am getting along'. A asked again 'Can you sleep?'. B said 'I sleep like a Baby'. Isn't that wonderful to sleep like a Baby... I was thinking to myself. Before I could open my mouth to comment... B said 'Ya, like a Baby, wake up cry lor'. Ha.a.a.a.a, so very true...Baby wakes up crying...ha.a.a.a.a.a. I have nothing against the Rich. Lessons in life are planned up there... only the Universe can have the 'unseen' hand to teach mankind a lesson. Maybe it is time we do away with money and batter trade instead.

The World is melting.. 'O'-zone, that 'Hole' up there is getting bigger. Why is it getting bigger? If you saw the movie 'An Inconvenient Truth', you probably already have an answer. I recently saw a picture....something about North Pole...closest to the 'Hole'. Penguins line-up and one by one got suck up by the 'Hole'. To where? God knows. Maybe to a better place in another dimension. Even the penguins do not want to live in this World. Should we all go there and line-up and get suck up as well? Chances are 'It cannot be worst than here', right?'

The above are some issues.. I got more and if I continue to write. You guys will fall asleep and I probably go into G-Book of Record 'Longest Blog Post' and win myself some Awards and recognitions.

So much for my wise cracks...Actually I am doing a 'stocktake' or maybe the word 'Reflection' sounds better. I always tell people to look inside, so I better look 'inside' too.

2008

1) Got promoted. Never dream it will happen. What it means? More benefits, higher pay, allowance is a one month salary of a junior manager and allocated shares. Sorry, I am not boasting. I suddenly realized - all these come too late. My Mother is not here to share it with me. Given a choice, I want my Mum.

To those who aspire to move up the corporate ladder, it won't come overnight. It is years of hardwork, commitment, willingness to walk step by steps, upgrade my Brain, don't politic, don't back-stab, don't curry-favor Boss, don't get 'scare' to be shoot from behind (only people who are good get shoot from behind you know why? I just told you the answer). Remember, I only need a place to sleep, food to fill my stomach, clothes to cover my naked body...and finally a piece of land the size of a grave or a niche in Mandai or some temple. Maybe my ashes will be food to some fishes in the sea. I count my blessing and take stock...

2) Money is not everything. It cannot buy happiness and health. It cannot buy true friends. It cannot buy family as well. If you have all these, they are your greatest TREASURE but only when it is true and cordial.

3) Family is no match for friends. I take stock …

4) Oh, my BAD temper. My temper is so.o.o.o BAD. Am I going through menopause? Ha.a.a.a.a Maybe, maybe not. I meditated the whole night and I am having 'panda' make-up around my eyes. I finally realize why my blood pressure shoots up to 180. It is 'communication'. It is beating around the bush, finding excuses, not coming up front to share, to discuss, to communicate. ‘Communication’ is all I wanted. I did not get and I got to guess – I responded to ‘fanning’. Aya! Now I am branded as BAD temper to the extent that I need to be avoided. I need to take a re-look at myself. I asked myself WHY the hell did I lose my temper?.... Aya! still the same thing ‘Communication’ but this time it coupled with ‘Care, Concern and Love’…. If it is people I HACK CARE…. Will I respond the way I did? ‘Hor!, so now I see’. I take stock....

5) This do not belongs to me. I heard it 1000 times and I am sure you guys heard it 1000 times or more. ‘You just have to make one mistake (not even your fault), the 1000 good things you did cannot be use to balance the score. I am told that I am nice, I am good …. Ha.a.a.a my ‘niceness’ and ‘goodness’ – cannot balance the score card.

My friends, let me tell you this – if someone you think is not nice to you, think again. Don’t point finger at that person too fast. Don’t be defensive. ASK … ‘did I invite the BADness’. Many of us are so use to nursing our so called ‘wound’ and forget that we have ‘woun
ded’ others. I take stock...

6) Happiness is relevant. I realized that I have caused ‘unhappiness’. That is never my intention. Now I do not deserve to be happy. The unhappiness will go on… how can one be happy and go around pretending that nothing happen? Let alone family, even if it is a non-family member, I cannot be happy too. My bad Karma.

7) I thank MUM. Since young she drilled into me and my siblings ‘When others give you assistance and kindness, always remember – 得人恩惠千年记. Old school right? MUM is from old school, what to do. She also said ‘When you do kindness and assisted others, no need to remember’. You do not seek gratitude. If you do, your actions are no more pure. Therefore what I do for my siblings and others, I have forgotten. Lucky my brother and my sister who are with me in this adopted family have the same thoughts – we go all out to help.

Influence of a Mother is GREAT. Count yourself lucky if you have a Mother who is able to speak to you wisely in time of trouble. But now a day, Mothers are protective. Their children are always right and that is WHY discipline went down the drain. I take stock of this too…

So look likes 2008 to me is more emotional and family based. At work, I am great until the Credit Crunch. I am not thinking of my own pocket, I got more than enough. I am thinking of junior staff. Looks like no bonus this year. How are they going to buy books, make uniforms, pay school fees for their kids and with all the festivals around the corner?

I posted pictures of beautiful scenery. You saw the reflection on the water
? Reflections are beautiful… they are so because the real things are beautiful.

Taking this opportunity to wish everyone a Safe 2009… safe in health and safe in your career. Be prudent this period. Let the World sort herself out and we will see a new Tomorrow.

Today is 'Dong' Festival (Winter Solstice). Wishing everyone a happy and peaceful day. It is a day of family reunion and a day to consume 'Rice balls' to signify 'completion' and happiness. My planned dinner for the family is not going to materialize after all. What a way to end 2008!

Cheers

Thursday, December 11, 2008

My Beloved Mum....

The month of December is a festive month but to me it is the saddest month.

12th December... the day Mum passed away two years ago. I have never imagined a life without Mum. Mum, someone who loves me unconditionally. Mum someone who protected me, standby me, praised me when I did right, scolded me when I am wrong, provided me a platform to learn and reason, taught me how to put others before myself. Mum, taught me gratitude. She taught me to remember what others did for me and return kindness.

The final hour is still so vivid in my memory. She looked at me, just looked at me. There were unspoken words because she had said all she wanted to say. She had given instructions to my siblings. I only learnt about it now, thank you Mum for being so considerate.

You have complimented me on my contribution and dedication to the family. You have expressed that you have lived a full life with no regrets. BUT Mum... I have prayed for you to stay on, do you know? Even if I have to carry you on my shoulder and run around the World a million times, I am not able to repay your Love.

I saw you weaken every time you went into hospital and back. You stayed because I prayed for you to. I was reluctant to let you go but finally I realized that I am selfish to hang on to you. I stopped praying for you to stay but instead for you to leave if time is up and that you leave in peace. You did.

When December comes, the sky rains and my heart bleeds...for a Mum I missed so much – my anchor, my pillar and my strength!

When I was a baby you picked me up
Cuddled me in your loving arms
Provided me a sanctuary of safe haven
Away from the 'elements'

When I started running and went to school
I discovered a whole new world out there
Playing, learning and all the extra
activities to try and bring out my talents.

When I stepped into secondary and JC's years
I was engrossed with school works and making friends
Moving away from parents were subtle.
I no longer want to tail behind my mother.

Mum watched and nagged, guided and scolded
For my good, for my safety to guard my modesty
I rebelled, I bargained and compromised
to get my way around
mostly, because she loves me so.

Years slipped away so quickly
I stepped into the working world
A young lady
Ready to play my part in the society
To realize out there is not as fun
As it seems to be

Along the way I stumbled and fall
Achieved some and lost out some
I learnt as I went along
Full of burises from trails and errors
Something I have to learn to tender.

One day I woke up to know my parents were aging
My responsibilities were increasing
For love, can I just walk away into matrimony bliss?
Away from my parents, my country, my home?

I chose to stay, I buried myself in work
I do courses after courses
to be on par with my peers
And to match up to the working world

With a blink of an eye,
Dad said ‘Good-bye’ and
now Mum did same
leaving me at lose end....

Like a kite, the string is broken
Where is my anchor?
Where is my solace?
Who to confide and
who to wipe away my tears?

Come December, the last month in a calendar
A full stop to a life force….to loosing Mum.
Mum, I will never stop missing you
If there is another life time
I will still be your child.



TRIBUTE TO A GREAT WOMAN, A GREAT MOTHER AND A WONDERFUL PERSON....My Mum

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Vesak Day...2008

Vesak Day is a special day for all Buddhist.

Buddha was then Prince Siddhartha. He was born under a tree when his Mum was holding onto a branch when she went into labor. When he was born, he walked 7 steps and pointed a finger towards the sky and said "Of Heaven and Earth, I am the Enlightened". It was a joyous occasion however Queen Maya died after giving birth to the baby. The Prince was raised by his Step Mother and he grew up with much love. During his Birth, the King got all the astrologers to predict the Prince's future. A very old and learned one said "The Prince will either be a Monarch or he will be a Buddha. Unfortunate I am too old to benefit from him". The King was worried and he made sure that the Prince will always stay within the Palace vicinity. All people around him were young and everything was perfect. When the Prince came of age, he was learned, kind, compassionate and good in warfare planning. The King also got him a wife. However the Prince felt that something was missing. The break came when he saw 4 signs. The Birth, The Aged, The Sick and The Death. No matter how the King tried to keep these away from him but they surfaced when the time ripen. The Prince pondered - Birth, we come into this world not by our choice; we Aged not of our choice; we fall Sick not of our choice and we faced Death which is not our choice. The Prince decided he needed to find a way to stop these because he saw the pain and suffering of sentient beings. Leaving the Palace, leaving his wife and new born son he went into the forest finding The Path. He tried all kind of methods and he realized extreme ways will not help. One full moon night, he ate something offered to him by Lady Sujata. He washed his bowl in the river and floated the bowl. The bowl floated 'up stream'. This was unusual and he knew that his achievement was near. That night he mediated with undivided concentration and attained Enlightenment. His Enlightenment shook the Universe. There were divine lights all over the world and the place he sat. All sentient beings rejoiced at the birth of an Enlightened Buddha. If you notice Buddha statues, you will see a posture whereby he sat with one of his hand over his knee cap facing the ground. This means the Earth is the witness of my Enlightenment.
There are many legends about Buddha. To the Buddhist, Buddha is not GOD. Buddha is our Teacher. He taught us the way out of sufferings. As a Buddhist, you must know Buddha fundamental teachings and if you do not, it means you have more to understand about this GREAT Teacher. Buddha was very humane. Because he was like us, he realized that we all feel the same over the same issue. We all go through the same process of life and death. In this process there are things that you can do, a choice you can make as to where you want to be. Many people have not seen heaven and they doubt it. Same with hell. Therefore they go on to do all kinds of unkind actions to harm others and take others Life.Other religion commented that Buddhist worships statues etc. What they do not know is they use the wrong vocabulary - it is not worship, it is venerate. When we knee in front of a Buddha statue, we do not pray to him. We venerate a Great Teacher and Enlightened Beings. It is like he is with us therefore some speak out to him. Buddha said "For those who know my Teachings know me".

I am a non conformist type of Buddhist. I like to ponder over Buddha Teachings. I do not want to pretend I am devoted but nothing can shake my fate. I like Zen and next time I will share with you Zen stories that I like. Zen is Wisdom. If you are intelligent and well educated does not mean that you are Wise. Wisdom does not come with education.
To seek understanding from others is like begging to be acknowledged. One should seek understanding within oneself. You wash your house when it is dirty, you do not wash other's house and said that you have washed your house already. Being Vesak, I like to share with you a postcard I bought in Bangkok which shows the 108 auspicious signs of Buddha's feet. Check your feet. You may be a special being yourself. I also put up some bookmarks that I have collected. I hope it brings home a message to all those that read my blog. May all Sentient beings be well and happy. May those suffering in the traumatic events in both Myanmar and China have peace of mind and continue to live well. For all those that did not survive, may their souls rest in peace by the merits of the Buddhas and Bodhisattva!!!! Sadhu Sadhu Sadhu !
"Giving Life - Releasing Life Back to the Sea"

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Sizchuan Earthquake...

Ohm Mani Padme Hum...Ohm Mani Padme Hum...Ohm Mani Padme Hum. This is the six syllabus mantra of The Buddha of Compassion. Most know her as The Goddess of Mercy or in Chinese 'Guan Yin'. Before I go further I wanted to thank whoever that wrote the beautiful mantra and hope I did not infringe any copyright as the picture was sent to me.

Today I decided to do my post in white. This is a mark of mourning and respect to all those that died in the China earthquake and the Myanmar cyclone. The news reports and pictures of people losing their love ones are heartrending. Just by looking at the pictures in the newspaper brings tears to my eyes. Therefore, tonight I am not doing any long posting, but dedicate this prayers to all those that passed on. May they be at peace and may the pain of those who lost their love ones come to term with the situation and continue to live well.

Ohm mani padme hum, ohm mani padme hum, ohm mani pade hum, ohm mani padme hum, ohm mani padme hum, ohm mani padme hum, ohm mani padme hum, ohm mani padme hum, ohm mani padme hum, ohm mani padme hum, ohm mani padme hum, ohm mani padme hum, ohm mani padme hum, ohm mani padme hum, ohm mani padme hum, ohm mani padme hum, ohm mani padme him, ohm mani padme hum, ohm mani padme hum, ohm mani padme hum, ohm mani padme hum, ohm mani padme hum, ohm mani padme hum, ohm mani padme hum, ohm mani padme hum, ohm mani padme hum, ohm mani padme hum, ohm mani padme hum, ohm mani padme hum, ohm mani padme hum, ohm mani padme hum, ohm mani padme hum, ohm mani padme hum, ohm mani padme hum, ohm mani padme hum, ohm mani padme hum, ohm mani padme hum, ohm mani padme hum, ohm mani padme, ohm mani padme hum, ohm mani padme hum, ohm mani padme hum, ohm mani padme hum, ohm mani padme hum, ohm mani padme hum, ohm mani padme hum, ohm mani padme hum, ohm mani padme hum, ohm mani padme hum, ohm mani padme hum, ohm mani padme hum, ohm mani padme hum, ohm mani padme hum, ohm mani padme hum!

May all being be well and happy!

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Animal Beauty 2

I am coughing badly. Caught this virus overseas and took medicine from Doctors. It is stubborn enough not to go away.

Tonight I wanted to share more pictures with you.
I caught this frog giving birth. This is really candid. She was so still and initially I thought that she was a fake frog. Can you see how many little frogs? Look at this two. Unusual right? A tortoise and a Mandarin Duck. So are they friend or foe? The tortoise looked as if he was turning his head away. The Duck looked so forlorn and sad.
Here is a playful pair. They were trying to pull that container down. One allowed the other to use her back to reach higher. Does this remind us of some playful kids or we did this before? Elly has long memory. Don't do anything nasty to them when you are near them or they will remember you for Life! This creature with such a huge body and yet so gentle.

So much for tonight. Wanted to continue my story but this uncomfortable cough is hurting my throat. My mind is exhausted too...haiz....!

PLEASE ENJOY...THE BEAUTY OF NATURE.

Big Cats...

I attended a roadshow today and just got back home. My mind is fuzzy so I am going to sidetrack again. Here are some pictures I took of animals with my camera. You will agree that these animals are beautiful and dignify.

Sleepy Lion King

Awesome Handsome Big Cat

The lean & Mean
The Prowler &

The Elegant

I have more pictures to share ...... the next round! GOOD NIGHT....

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Meeting Jiu Ma...


Yesterday I was shopping for groceries in a supermarket and suddenly a thought came to my mind. "Hey! why don't you call your Jiu Ma (舅妈)" and I did. Fortunately she was at home so I bought some gifts and hopped over to her resident.

Jiu Ma and Jiu Jiu are not blood relations of Mum. There are friends since kids and became sworn siblings. Jiu Jiu and Mum were very close. He addressed my Mum as 'elder sister'. Naturally Jiu Ma knows all about my family.

This was the first time I visited her after Mum's death. She was very glad to see me and it cannot be more apt in timing because it was Mother's Day. After one round of greetings and catching up with Jiu Ma and Cousin Sis Sim, the subject went to Mum.

Jiu Ma said that during the few days before Mum passed away, she felt uneasy and restless. She did not want to stay at home alone so she went to sit outside the house or went to the playground to watch children ran around. I asked 'Are you frighten?' She did not further emphasize. She mentioned that after Mum passed away about a few days, one night at about 11pm, she woke up to go to the kitchen for a glass of water, SHE SAW Mum !!!! She said Mum was standing at the main entrance of the house. I asked "Is it a dream?" She answered 'No'. I asked "Were you afraid?" and she answered 'No'. I asked again "How did Mum look like?" She answered "the same like she was alive".

What can you make out of this? Mum returned to visit Jiu Ma because she was concern about Jiu Ma and it was also the bonding and the love. Jiu Ma said Mum visited her a second time. This time it was at night and Jiu Ma was asleep. Jiu Ma got up to go to toilet and she saw Mum sitting by her bedside. When Jiu Ma got down the bed, she did not see Mum anywhere. Jiu Ma said she searched the house and saw no sign of Mum.

Tons of people love paranormal stories, here are some with personal experiences. My Mum loved Jiu Jiu very much. Jiu Jiu often visited the Library near our resident to exchange books that he had borrowed. He took opportunity to visit Mum and they would drink coffee and chitchats. I guessed they probably catch up on old times, old issues, new times and new issues (I am at work as Jiu Jiu always visited in the afternoon).

Jiu Jiu was diagnosed with cancer. In his final days, Mum visited him in the hospital. Jiu Ma told me that Mum sat by Jiu Jiu's side and the way Mum spoke to Jiu Jiu was like talking to a kid. Jiu Ma elaborated that Mum held Jiu Jiu hands and rubbed him. She spoke in a gentle tone: "Kuan, how are you feeling? Where are you feeling uncomfortable? Please eat something......" Mum looked at him with deep concern and love.

Mum at that time was already weak. She could not walk properly. Mum used a walking stick since she refused the wheelchair. Meng was her bodyguard as well as support and he brought Mum to see Jiu Jiu often.

When Cousin Sim broke the news that Jiu Jiu passed away, Mum was very sad and she cried so much. I deeply understand the lost of a family member and a friend. We were concerned for Mum's health but she held herself well.

Jiu Jiu worked at my natural birth place before and he knew we were adopted children. Mum told me Jiu Jiu used to carry me around as a kid. I had his attention and love because they had no kid of their own. They adopted Cousin Sis Sim much later. I cannot forget this gentleman I addressed as Jiu Jiu or 'Kuan Kor'. He was a tall and thin gentleman. He spoke with HongKong accent and always has something witty to say. He always had a little laughter when he spoke. As a kid I remembered he piggy back me around. He took me around in a bicycle. Jiu Jiu worked in a famous DimSum Restaurant once...anyone remembers 'MayFlower'? I had my fair share of 'chomp chomp' when he was the Restaurant Manager. Without failed he would give me egg tarts, law mai kai and a raw egg to mix, siew mais and har kows. Weekend 'yum cha' was a family affair.

As I started recalling my life journey. I realized that I am much love by 'all the men'...ha.a.a. Dad, Uncle Teik Oi and Jiu Jiu. There are more in time.

Back to myself - how come Mum did not visit me? She did not appear in my dream. Meng said he felt Mum's presence many times at home and he dreamt of Mum. I feel sorry that for seven years when Mum was ill I was not by her side most of the time. Meng resigned from his job to look after Mum full time. Beginning when Mum could still walk, both Mother and Son would hold hands and went for daily breakfast in the neighborhood. Neighbors saw a filial son.

Ya came home every Saturday to take Mum out to dinner in the neighborhood too. No one knew that Mum had me, her elusive daughter. I apologized to Mum that I am not with her most of the time. She understood that I had to work and bring home'bread & butter'. I was seconded overseas and came home on and off. Mum visited me overseas when I needed Mother's energy. I believe between parents and children there are a kind of bond and affinity which varies. I took care of Dad when he was ill and Meng of Mum.

Today I can happily say that as a child, I have done my duty to my parents. I took care of them, feed them, give them comfort and a house that they called their own. I have done my parents proud in conducting myself at work and in the society. I am definitely not a perfect child but I give myself 90/100. The feeling of living with no regret is great. Both Meng and Ya are also decent individual with their own achievements. If you read what I wrote and felt that there is something you need to resolve with your parents, do so now before it is too late.

My birthday...

Today is actually my Chinese birthday. For Chinese we normally have a birthday that is one month later because of Lunar Year Calendar. So Happy Birthday to myself. I wish myself good health and good cheers. Health is very important, money is secondary. So I am sending myself an imaginary cake, blow my own candles and sing myself a birthday song.


Happy Birthday to me.e. Happy Birthday to me.e.e, Happy Birth..day, Happy Bir..th..dae. Happy Birthday to me! Yeah! Lian make a wish and blow the candles....

This is what happened to someone without Mum. Siblings and friends will not know my Chinese birthday date but Mum and Dad. This is the first time I am celebrating my birthday without both of them. Birthday joy is no more there but I still want to be happy because I am sure that is what they want for me.

On this day, my Mum had looked forward to my arrival. On this day for the rest of her life, she gave her love to me. I am grateful....

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Pictures from Ayuttaya

From my camera .........


Picture Gallery - Sunset 1


Picture Gallery - The Sky


Picture Gallery - Sunset 2


Picture Gallery - Night

Travel N Places - Ayutthaya

In year November 2007, I visited Ayutthaya. This kingdom of Siam (today's Thailand) held a remarkable past. I was there in the evening, the sun was setting and there was an early moon in the sky. Something about the place captured my imagination. The place is trying to tell me a story about it’s past. The quiet environment, the ruined monasteries, its silhouettes against the sky, the serenity of the place, no tourists running around and slowly darkening sky made me took these pictures.

The place reminds me of Buddha's teaching - Nothing is permanent. Be it an island, an authoritative figure, famous actors/ actresses, World Trade Center of USA, beautiful historic places of the East & West, the great dynasties of China etc. For structures and buildings, they are still standing to tell people of their past. For human, whether you are a King or a poor man - no matter how great you are or how poor you are, when you die, you are nothing but a pile of bones or ashes. Put these bones or ashes together - can you tell who the King is and who is the poor man? Therefore why is human EGO so great? Therefore why do people look down on each other? Therefore why do people speak maliciously about another? Therefore why people think that they have the right to take other people lives?

I am not a fanatic in my religion, I cannot conform to a space, I want to be free, and I want to be able to ponder over Buddha's teaching. I do not want to accept what is handed on a plate. I do not want to read the explanation of a sutra written by monk because it is his understanding and not mine. I looked at things and think about it using Buddha's teaching. For things that I do not understand, I put them aside - I do not deny them. I am also not a devotional Buddhist - I am plain LAZY! I admit. Ask me to go to the temple faithfully, do group prayers faithfully, do religious ceremony faithfully - all these are group activities, it is interactions but it does nothing to my understanding of Buddha's teaching. Some say it is to create good merits. Yes, because at this point, you are together doing religious things and have no time to do bad BUT what happen when you step out of the temple? You go back to the same bad-temper person, you go back to be the quick-mouth person and when you open your mouth, you spew nothing but hurts at others. You continue to be jealous, instead of letting go you continue to harbor more and more anger and emotion of negative nature.

Vesak is approaching. This is the day whereby Buddhists go to one temple after another to consume vegetarian food free of charge. The word is 'Temple hopping'. This is not a bad activity, I did not say it is. What I mean that for myself, I think today is the day of reflection - reflect on Buddha's teachings quietly at home or at a quiet environment. When I became a Buddhist, it is my affinity with the religion. I have started taking a piece of cloth and using it to rub on the mirror surface. Why? This mirror initially is clean and clearly reflected my true self. As time goes on, I became lazy and I let dust settled on the surface. The dust is so thick now that I cannot see my true self - I want to find my true self so that I know who I am.

Why did Buddha gave up being a Prince and the possibility of being King? Now a day we are talking about which famous Buddhist master we are associated with, which big temple we are attending service and our status with these masters and temples. I am sure this is a common phenomenon. We show people our clean outlook but we kept our dirty inside to our self.

Salvation to the Buddhist is our own doing. Buddha does not salvage us from the dumps. Buddha left us ways and means to get out of the dumps. Buddha told us what are the dumps and where are they and please do not jump in. Buddha told us - we are a piece of land, we either plant something to our benefit or leave it to be barren or grow weeds. This is karma. You plant and you sow. You reap what you sow. You will not get orange when you plant apple. Going to heaven is not the doing of the Buddha, it is your own effort. Buddha left us all the landmarks and maps of how to get there. Buddha also hopes that in the event we are trying to get there, try to help others to get there.

Oops! from Ayutthaya to 'preaching'. My understanding of Lord Buddha's teaching is only my own, not representative of anyone or any group. See my EGO is big! I am talking about myself.........I am trying to and yet I fall into letting myself 'slack' and wake up again and walk on.. and fall again. This is human nature....BUT I will reach my GOAL for the sake of myself and others!...haiz... is there a 'myself' ??

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Gambatte..Ya

Today, I learnt that Ya is going through some challenges in life. She has this guy friend that was with her for more than 10 years. There is an age gap between them and Ya is older. We always hope that they will have a good ending but things do not work out that way.

As much as he had supported Ya emotionally and so has she. However it seems that he had lots to hide. Other than Ya, he is seeing someone else. I thought that he would be frank with Ya. Unfortunately 'No'. Ya found out that he is double crossing as she was hurt.

Upon asking, he admitted that there is another woman. He said that he just met her and he did not expect that she turned up at his doorstep. So they have been sleeping together.

Ya was hurt but she did not want me to worry. Between Meng and she, they kept it from me. Even if I know, what can I do? This is a matter of the heart and I am in no position to interfere although I am angry for Ya.

He had the cheek to call Ya and told her that he had some discharge and wanted to see a doctor. Ya works in a polyclinic. Although she is sad but she recommended a doctor. Apparently that woman had cold sore and this is contagious. Now he had it. It is ironical. Must a girl sleep with someone to hold his affection? To me I think to sleep and not to sleep come to the same - if he does not love you, whatever you do will not change his mind.

Ya is stronger than me. She choose to remain as friend. I would have kept away from someone who is not sincere in a friendship or a relationship
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Thursday, May 8, 2008

Human weaknesses...so painful

Since Dad was a Finance Manager, he could have saved and we should be living comfortably, so where were all the monies? This part of the story is a sad one for Mum. I was too young to understand but I knew my parents were quarrelling. They do not talk to each other. Dad was out most of the time and Mum smoked lots of cigarettes one after another. I used to run after my Dad and every time when he left, I will cry. I was a naughty and gutsy child. To be with my Dad, I would open the window and jumped. Thinking back, I have no fear of falling, hurting myself, pain etc. but to ran after my Dad. He had no choice but to take me with him. He visited a place of worship. There was a lady and she went into trance, cut her tongue, and wrote on yellow papers with her blood. She burnt these yellow papers to ashes and threw them into water and everyone drank it. She had a daughter about my age and we used to play with each other. I loved it when it comes to deities festivals with all the colors and people moving around. Although I was very young but whenever my Mum asked me where did we go, what did Dad do, who did we meet - I just shut up! I will not say anything. In my little heart, am I aware of what is going on? Why did I not reply to Mum? Am I standing by my Dad. My Mum considered me a disloyal child, a culprit with Dad, a spy for Dad. She said I was my Dad's child. Being a child, I am not able to express my fear. Yes, fear. I did not say anything not because I am on my Dad's side. I do not know what my Dad did was right or wrong but I do know that if I say something, my parents will quarrel again. There will be loud voices shouting back at each other, there will be angered silent, adults will do their own things ignoring the kids around. One sulked and one cry. Do you know now? it was my fear more than my loyalty even when I am a five years old child.

Later from adults' conversations, I realized that Mum said Dad had a woman outside. Dad had to see her often and neglected the family. I am an ungrateful child because I only know how to run after my Dad. Mum was also angry that Dad swindled away all his monies and now we were left with nothing. We need to borrow monies to make ends meet. This war between my parents never stopped. To a man, his wife is not his everything. To a woman, her husband is her world. Woman at my Mum's era were not educated. They were the submissive ones. Unlike today, women stand no nonsense from men. Divorce is nothing now a day but during Mum's time, it was taboo. It was shame that your husband have another woman. It was something to do with BETRAYAL..! betraying the marriage vows, betraying the love, betraying the family. As I grew older, I realized the pain my Mum was going through.

She did not leave Dad. She plodded along. She kept her pain but I knew she has never forgiven Dad. Forgive and Forget? I think only saints can do that. Many years lapsed, Mum on and off harped at this issue. She blamed Dad for squandering all his monies and we have to live a difficult life. Deep inside her, I know that she loved Dad. This was even more obvious during Dad's sickness and we knew he was going to leave us.

Whether that 'woman' had anything with Dad, I do not know. I really did not see anything going with my own eyes, but again who wants to do 'adult' things in front of a child. I gave my Dad the benefit of doubt. I know my Dad was suave, good talker, good sense of humor and very much a PR person. It was not difficult to like him. He was generous, he had a soft heart and was compassionate. What do you expect from a man who cries? He definitely has lots of Love. He loved me tons and my siblings or else he would not have given the three of us a roof over our heads. It was simple if it was just a roof. This roof came with lots of commitments to a man at a retired age with three young children.

I started to hate 3rd party woman. No one said anything to me or contaminated my mind but I just 'brand' them 'home breakers'. I angered at men who are irresponsible to their family by having affairs. The pain of seeing my parents fighting caused me uncertainties of my future. For the pain I am going through, I hated to see others in the same position. I am 'one' sided all the way.

Mum told me years later that the day she took the three of us to a photo studio to take a photo together, she planned to kill herself and take the three of us with her. Oh My God !! When she looked at us, she felt we were innocent and she should not impose her pain on us. She loved us too much to want to harm us. She remembered the process she went through to adopt us and all these stopped her for taking her own life and that of ours. Close shaved.

I thought that my Mum hated me. She hated my guts and my loyalty to my Dad. It affected my studies. I can be a brilliant student but I slacked in my school works. My results fluctuated - I was the top three students one year and failed the next year. Of course, I got lots of canning from Mum. My school results suffered badly. I failed my final exams in primary school and have to repeat instead of moving up to higher school. When I do move up to higher school, I did not get to go to any elite school but some neighborhood school.

We were poor. Mum brought us to visit some friends and I knew she went to borrow monies. Everyone was so afraid to see us. Friends were afraid that my parents will not be able to pay them back. Reasons : My parents were old, and we were young. They do not see any future with these kids - not exceptionally bright and did not achieve good results in school. I could not forget the unkind remark passed to Mum (this is a Cantonese proverb): "when you don't have 瓜(kua), why do you want to carry a 茄(chair). 'Kua' and 'Chair' are vegetables. Kua is cucumber like type of vegetable and Chair is actually tomato. What it really mean was 'you do not have any kids and why do you want to carry others kids to be a burden to yourself'. I realized human can be very unkind. I also realized words hurts and can kill at the same time.

The funny thing was I never blamed my Dad. In our most difficult times, I am in school and wanted a fountain pen which was costly at that time. Dad bought it for me. How? He went to do small jobs and save to buy me a pen. It was a Parker pen. I will never forget ever.

Mum was the disciplinarian of the family. We can be poor but we cannot forget our manners. She was particular when we eat. We cannot eat all of the favorite dishes as we have to leave some for others. We have to pick food in front of us and not our favorite chicken drumstick that was facing the opposite direction. We cannot dig into dishes to find the favorite piece of meat we liked. We cannot waste food or rice. We have to sit straight when we eat and study. We cannot lie.

When I went to higher school, I was moving into teens. We spent lots of time in schools, with classmates of both boys and girls. This was also the time we became aware of boys. We want to look good and want to have a boy friend. It was an 'experimenting and growing up' period. I went to school early in the morning and returned late at night. When Mum asked, I just showered and went to bed covering my head to toes with a blanket. No matter how she canned me, I refused to cry - I was that REBELLIOUS!

There was one incident whereby I was canned because I did not come home until morning. I was with classmates and we went to the beach. We forgot the time and there were no more bus services. My Mum was fuming mad when she saw me. Mum scolded my Dad 'see this is what you have done, you have spoilt her'. Dad did not reply. While she canned me, I ran behind my Dad and he tried to block some of the blows so he got beaten up too. This was the first time Mum issued a warning " If you misbehave and ended up pregnant, you will not walk out of the house - I make very sure you CRAWL out of the house!!!!!!". I was taken aback by the 'killing' look in her eyes.

The most hurt I caused my Dad was running away from school. Dad sent me to school every day. He left me at the gate, saw me walked in and he went off. Seeing Dad's back, I ran out of the gate to meet some of my boys' classmates. We went to jumped drains, catch tadpoles and guppy fishes. Not far from school was an infamous pool. Weeds were growing underwater and there were plenty of colored fishes. Many kids swam and drowned and we played there. This truant was found out when Dad ran into my class teacher. My teacher mentioned that I did not turn up in schools for the last five days, am I sick? My dad was puzzled because he sent me to school and saw me entered the gate before he turned away. When I returned home, Mum was sitting there smiling cynically. Dad's face looked like thunder. I am stupid enough not to realize that something was wrong. Dad asked me 'how is school?'. "Oh, OK" was my answer. "Show me your school work and what did you learn today?" - I stunned. He opened my school bag, checked through my exercise books and looked at the date and he took up the cane. This was the first time in my life my Dad lifted his hands to caned me. MY DAD CANED ME - can you believe it? That was the worst canning I got. It was worst than what Mum did. Mum said "Ha, good and now you know how good your wonderful daughter is". You spoilt her and this is what you deserved. When I scolded and caned her, you sided her." Oh, Mum was adding oil to fire! Dad caned me even harder. My hands and legs were full of cane marks. I was not given food that night. I cried and cried and I hated my Dad. I decided I am not talking to him. The next day, he sent me to school as usual and this time he walked me right to the playground and watched me going into class two by two. My classmates were laughing at me because my cane marks were so VERY obvious. Now a day it is called 'Child Abuse' - last time it was called 'Discipline'. This is the different - talking about human rights! I refused to speak to Dad for two months.

Although I am a rebellious teen, I knew and worried for the family financially. I followed Mum to a house to wash dirty plates. I went to work in a night bazaar's funfair as a sales girl selling apparels. I even thought of working part-time as a bar waitress. I am slowly growing up to be a sensible and responsible young adult. Somewhere in my mind I knew I need to do my duty as a child and my Dad and Mum were no longer young. I had two younger siblings that needed to go to school and expenses to meet households, school fees and text books etc.

Hey! I was fat, real FAT. I became shy, stammer when I spoke and very conscious of my look. My self esteem was low. I stayed in the background in functions - what is the word? Wallflower? Can you imagine at my age? I admired all the pretties and good-looking. In my final years in school, my teacher asked "what do you want to be when you go out to the working world?" There were many high aspiration classmates. I thought that mine was a humble one, I said "I want to be a secretary." The whole class broke out in laughter. One of the boys shouted "All secretary are Boss mistress, they are thin and pretty - you got chance or not?" Ha.a.a.a.a.a.a., the whole class laughed again. I calmed up but deep in my heart I promised myself - If I cannot compete in look, I will compete to excel in my work. This did happen and I have by-pass the goals I set for myself many many folds over. I targeted that I will be happy if I earned 3,000 and I have exceeded this amount too. I have outgrown my goal as a secretary to something much much higher.

In summary - my parents' unhappiness, the making ends meet circumstances, three growing up kids that need supervision and guidance was an unpleasant situation....

This Spoilt Kid at later years became the breadwinner of the family. I will not say that I am a filial child but I did my duty to my parents. I love them as much as they love me. I have given them a house of their own. We are not rich but we can afford to eat out and enjoy a bit of luxury. I am no more frightened that I am not able to meet my parents' medical expenses and need to borrow monies. My Mum finally said to friends "If I have not taken these three tomatoes, I will not be so comfortable today. They were the ones that provided me joy and a decent old age life."

Yes, I know why Mum said this. Do you remember Wai was her own daughter. No matter how much she wanted to do her duty to Mum and Dad, she was limited financially. She had five kids. My bro in law was a carpenter and they were trying to make ends meet, let alone supporting Mum and Dad. Wai died of brain hemorrhage because she fell in the wet market and knocked her head against some hard object. Although I spent very short time with her when I was a baby but at later years we became close. She was poor but every time my birthday she will buy me a tub of ice cream with the monies she saved. God knows how long she had saved and I blessed her for that. I deeply appreciate Jie, wherever you are. I was learning Buddhism and I told her not to kill and she stopped. Chicken to poor people are luxury and Wai bought chicks (they were cheaper) and reared them until they were big. Wai killed these chickens during festive seasons to give the family chicken. She knew that her children were not bright and could not contribute much to the family. She worried that if she had to die she would not have a coffin. Can anyone imagine the worries of poor people. However I promised Wai that I will see to it that she will have a decent burial. When she was talking about this it was like predicting her own death. I fulfilled what I promised her - she had a more than decent funeral. All expenses were met and my bro in law need not borrow monies from Mum or anyone else. For the love Wai gave me, I gave her back. When I started working, I bought her materials and made her clothes so that she had some nice things to wear. This was sisterly love. Who said that people who do not share the same blood cannot love one another like siblings????

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Memory Lane....

These are the recent pictures of the house I stayed as a kid and the donkey I spoke about. Thanks to my brother Fook, sister Lian, my brother Kelly and niece Wendy, we drove across the border to my birth place and hometown. I do not know whether it was a coincident as sister Lian said that it had not rain for days, today it was raining cats and dogs. I was emotional, the sky was crying. There were strong winds and heavy rain beating on me but I stood with an umbrella to capture the pictures of my memories. If you look carefully at the picture of the donkey, my camera captured the raindrops and you will know how heavy the rain was. I believed that my returned marked the beginning and ending of what was in the past and make peace within me.

This is how the house looked back then. The openness of the place remains. (Attach picture of the old house).

Looking at the peaceful environment it reminds me of the country I am living in now. We are a modern and developed country but the heart of people are more complicated. We have to guard our properties, lock our doors and windows and there is little or no inte
raction with neighbors. What is wrong with this society???

Looking at the peaceful road, I cannot stop comparing cars running around, careless impatient drives, honing and refusing to give ways from where I lived now. This quiet environment is heaven. You may call it laid-back but are we not looking for a place to run away to rest our soul and mind? Are you able to live here?

Developed countries have their pros and cons. The more advance, the more complicated. Do you call this a third world country? Do I mind living here? Chinese saying “No matter how far you roam, your heart lies at home ". The country I am living in now has given me a place I call 'home'. I am a citizen but not by birth. The government is great. The people are well look after but people are criticizing and blaming the government for restrictions, for making them pay and pay but they forget that the government provides a safe haven for their children and family. Another Chinese saying "When is a man's heart contented?" I wonder these criticizing people - will they make a good government or they probably have problem keeping their household at peace. I believe as we grow, we forget how to be grateful, thankful and count our blessings. We count what we cannot have but forgotten what we have. Have you known of a country that most of their citizens own a house? This is where I lived now....make a GUESS!

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Adoption...

I learnt of my adoption from a fortune teller. This happened during my teens. We were curious what the future holds and a group of us went to a fortune teller. After commenting on all my friends, (and mine you he was really saying the 'correct' predictions) it was my turn. Checking on my birthday and time, he looked at me with a screwed face and said "Are both your parents alive?". I said "yes". He looked at me and said "impossible" and that if my date and time are accurate, one parent will pass away. I was angry and was wondering why he said that. He said I am born with an arrow in one hand. Gosh ! I look at him with disbelieved and unhappy with what he said. So I kept this prediction in my mind.

One day we were watching TV and the show was about adoption. I took this opportunity and said "A fortune teller said I am an adopted child because both my parents are alive." My Dad was quiet and my Mum said "What if you are? Your natural Mum kept you for 10 months, we looked after you for sixteen years. Take into consideration the love and care since you were a baby and to your education today, I believed our time given to bringing you up cannot be measured." I heard what Mum said. At this point Dad said "All the three of you are from the same parents. Do you remember the Uncle and Aunt you visited back then (we have left my birth country and is living in another country now)? Do you remember the two boys you called Kor Kors? They are you natural family. I did not react to this. My mind was calm and I wanted to let matters rest.

Life went on as usual, nothing was said again on adoptions. I did not feel anger, I did not feel remorse, I did not feel betrayed - and now I know why. Simply because I am much loved by my parents. They were very strict with my upbringing and yet they have never let me feel insecured, unloved and uncared for. I thank them for their graciousness and willingness to tell us the truth. Dad explained that Mum only bored one child and that was Wai (she passed way) and Mum love children. They both decided to adopt one more child. News got out that a couple was looking to adopt a child and that was how they were connected to my natural parents. I am not born and both Mums met up. My adopted parents expressed that whether it will be a boy or a girl, they will accept this child. So both sets of parents became friends. I am born in early morning on 1st of May. A baby weighing 10lbs and a bundle of joy to my adopted parents. I was taken away one day after I am born and have no knowledge of my natural parents. Thinking back now, my natural mum must be very sad. I am the second child given away and which Mum will want to give their blood and flesh away if not for the better of the child.

Few months lapsed and one day, knowing Mum was in a good mood, I asked her how she went about adopting Ya and Meng. This was what she told me.

When Ya was born, they have not found an adopted parent for her. It was inconvenient for my natural mum to bring the baby back to the workplace (they lived in the quarters), my Mum being crazy for kids agreed to look after Ya. It was during this time that Mum realized that Ya always went into fits. Mum continued to care for Ya and every time she threw a fit, Mum was so frightened that she may die. Dad used to put his fingers into Ya mouth to stop her biting her own tongue. Many months went by and finally a Malay Haji family wanted to adopt Ya. I remembered this family. We used to visit them too and they have so many children and lived in a long wooden Malay house. In my mind, I remember one type of food we ate, it was starch rolled on a stick and dipped into spicy asam soup - yummy! Never found this again till today. So as the story goes, Ya was left with this Malay family to try out. When the final day came to make a decision, Mum could not bear to give Ya away. Mum took care of her for 10 months now and has created a bonding with this child. Ya became my sister. Mum gave her a nice name 'Precious Pearl'. This name means that since no one wanted her, she is the precious pearl (掌上明珠) of our family.

As for Meng, he was given to a couple but they went back to their country before his birth. Mum took Meng into the family. This was not easy for Mum and Dad. When they took the three of us, both were into their late forties. Dad retired a few years later and we all were plucked from where we were born to a new country. Mum and Dad needed to look for a new place to stay, we needed to go to schools and school fees, books, uniform and daily school pocket monies weighed heavily on Dad who was jobless. We do not have relatives in this new country except a few friends that Mum and Dad knew.

Those years were the most memorable. I grew up knowing we have no money, Dad had no job and doing odd jobs like bookkeeping for a few small companies and filling up tax forms and writing letters in English for people who wanted to send them to their children in other countries. Mum became a washer woman. Meat and chicken were luxury. We mostly ate rice with black sweet sauce and oil. At times we have salted fish and cheap fishes from the wet market. I had never felt deprived. This maybe so because I am a happy and contented child. I adapted myself to whatever environment I am placed. These were good trainings that assisted me when I started in the working world.

As a child...

Dad worked for an oil & gas company as a Finance Manager. Mum was a housewife. Between them, they only have one child and that was my elder sister, Wai. She was 20 years old when I was born. I am lucky because when my adopted parents brought me home, Dad got his promotion. Therefore I am a lucky baby and the darling of my Dad. Wai had to take care of me and when I cried, she got all the canning. I was one year old when she got married. Wai was pretty but she got one leg that is the size of an elephant. Mum said something bit her and her leg has been like that ever since. It was also because of this abnormality that she was married to my brother in law. It was a match made married.

When I was young, I used to play outside my house. We lived in a house that was allocated by the company. It was a nice house. This place where we lived needs neither gate nor fencing unlike where I lived now, everything is under lock and key. Not far from my house was an oil mining donkey. I was fascinated as a kid at this nodding donkey. As I grew I realized it was actually mining oil. I had no playmate but I had two dogs that guarded me faithfully. They growled when strangers came near me. That was how my parents protected me.

Dad use to bring me to the company’s club and while he drank beers and interact with his colleagues, I had my vanilla ice-cream. Dad brought me where he went socially. Am I a spoilt kid? No, I am not but just a lucky kid. As I grew older, Mum & Dad used to bring me to a family most weekend. Both Uncle and Aunt worked in a household as Chef and Housekeeper. They have two boys. Because the house was by the beach, we ran around and swam while the adults did their catching up. I called these two boys Kor Kors (brothers). I always looked forward to weekends so that I can get out of the house and be by the beach. I love the beach with rows and rows of casuarina trees but the seeds hurt my feet when I stepped on them. There was also a round swimming pool and we get to go swim there when the Boss was out of town. Childhood was fun. As a kid, I followed Dad & Mum for many holidays. HongKong was the place because my mother's sister lived there. Oh! every time when we spoke about this, Mum would teased me saying "You are a lazy child, you are heavy and yet you refused to walk and your Dad and I have to carry you around." At that, I can only smile as I know my parents loved me. I remembered we travelled on cruise ship from home to HongKong. Today cruise ship is luxury.

As a child, I love ice cream and cakes. My first love was EGGS !! Yes, eggs and I can eat plenty a day - any style - uncooked, half boiled, hard boiled, sunny-side up, omelet, break it into hot Milo, pouched it with soup...as long as it is EGG...humm.m.m.m. I am extremely happy. I was also reminded that I have a habit of kicking a fuss if my milk is not filled to the brim of the milk bottle and I refused to drink it. Naughty right?
Time passed and I do not know when I had a sister named Ya and a younger brother named Meng. We are about three years different from each other. I am Dad's darling and naturally Meng, being the only boy and youngest was the favorite of both my parents. As for Ya, Mum loved her most. Ya used to have fit and it comes without warning and it happened two or three times a day. As I grew older, I realized that Ya and Meng and I came from the same natural parents. Three children given to the same family.

My beginning....

I wanted to have a Blog to record my life stories, meaning it is my private and personal diary. Stories may sound similar to those you read somewhere or maybe it looks like yours, but what I posted inside here is strictly my own. You are welcome to comment but please do not post anything rude. I may or may not respond to you.

Life is very funny. It is planned before we arrive into this World. Recently I went back to the country/town where I was born. I visited the house I lived in when I was a kid. Many feelings filled my heart and no words could expressed my gratitude to my adopted parents... they are no longer around but I wanted to say 'The Greatest Gifts Heaven Gave Me is my MUM and DAD'.

As I typed this my tears flow, because I missed them, because I felt I could have been a better child, because of gratitude, because I wanted to tell them myself.... but I can only communicate mentally, I wanted to hug them and tell them that I love them but it is not possible now. I realized that we will never meet again... in the same form, in the same family and in the same status.

I also visited my natural parents' graves. I called them Uncle and Aunt. I thank them for bringing me to this world, for giving me away to such gracious and wonderful adopted parents, for giving me nine (9) siblings although we are given to different families but we managed to keep in touch. We treasure that we are siblings and we treasure that we are able to meet again. I think my natural parents can rest in peace now as I know it was not their choice to give us away, it was circumstances that did not allow us to be by their sides. I want my natural parents to know that I bear no anger towards them.

The person with the greatest merit is my elder brother. Although we are given to different families, he took the trouble to keep in touch with our adopted parents by letters and greeting cards. This makes it easier for us to be connected again. I believe it must have been difficult for this little boy to see his siblings being given away one by one. He understands and there is nothing he could have done to stop it. Thank you Kor. If not for you, we are scattered and not found our roots. Thanks to my second brother, Fook. (He and Stan are the only two my natural parents kept with them.)

Fook is a man of few words but I know it must have been very very tough for him too. Being a man of few words, he kept all the hurts inside him. This time when I met him again, he told me something which my heartache. He said, 'Every day after school, I look forward to go home and see my little sister. One day I came home and the little baby was gone.' From then on, he stopped looking forward to his younger siblings. But I am sure Fook is happy now, that all his siblings are in touch. We try to meet up when opportunity presents itself.

To both my brothers, thank you and let me tell you this - I Love you both. This birthday was very special to me. It is like I have fulfilled a mission. I have completed a cycle, to connect my energy again from the place I was born to the place I lived before, to be with my siblings and their wonderful children. To visit both sets of parents graves and paid my respect and now I can go on living my life with no regrets.