Its been a year since I last wrote. So many things have happened in that period of time. I have so much to say but I have so little time for it.
But today, I found a little time to tell you the most important thing in my life now. My dad.
In May 2014, he was hospitalised for a back ache..after MRI scans, tests etc, they found a tumour growing in the lower spine area. It grew so big that it fracture his spine. And found the cancer has spread to his lungs and colon.
In the initial 2 weeks, we questioned God and blame each other for not noticing that Dad was unwell. Dad has been healthy all these years. A flu, a cough from any of us, he doesn't catch the virus. Being old, at 80 years, his hair is naturally black. Not a single strand turn white or grey.
My dad lived his life full of gladness, of immense joy. He watches us grow, he was there to coach us in our studies, he was there to cheer us up on our sad days. When we met our spouses, he was there to give us his blessings.
When we had kids, my dad help to care for them. He would carry them and fed them. He would bring them out for walks to the market and taught them to touch, feel and taste of everything that moves.
When our kids started pre school, my dad drove them there and back. He would hold their little hands, and if there is a big drain they needed to cross, he would pick them up and hug them and carry them over.
He would read the Bible to them and he would tell them of little things that happen. He would teach them to be kind to animals and would often say
"if a bird flies into the house. Don't try to catch it. But shoo it out of the window. A bird is meant to be free. God gave them wings to fly. Not to be folded up and kept in a bird cage. A happy bird is one that sings all day long because it is happy to be free. "
that same teaching my dad told me when I was a kid. To this day, I love my pets and they are never lock up in cages. Even my rabbit gets a very big cage by day. by night, he is let loose to roam the balcony, to stretch his legs to jump about and play.
My dad's illness taught me many life lessons. One of which is to live each day with gladness. And be happy that it brings hope. I do not know what tomorrow brings. Maybe something good or something bad. But whatever it is, I learnt to overlook it.
I used to be so bothered with what others spoke of me or thought about me. Now I am happy if I can live another day and see dad. Although I am tired, worn out, but seeing him smile ..that's the best present I can get.
I remember as a kid, my dad would spend all his free time with me. Because he was a school teacher and would have enjoy the same school holidays with us. He would take me to the movies, to the circus if it comes to Singapore or swimming and he would read to me all the time.
My dad loves anything American or British. So he would take me to watch all the American movies. He loved Red Buttons, Peter O'Toole, and even John Wayne..! When we got our first black and white TV back in the early 1970s, we would stay up late and watch Columbo which was played by the late Peter Falk. I remember all those days..watching shows on a black and white TV with Dad.
Now he spends his days at home..reading the bible, going for short naps through out the day. With the occasional visits from church and family members.
My dad taught me to appreciate the basics of life..the minimal mechanics of simple things. So that I will remember it all the days of my life. Somehow along the way, I forgotten about it.
My dad will be 82 years old this 30 August 2014. And his hair is still jet black. He has no worries about life and things. He sees every day as a blessing and worries not. As he often tells me what the Bible says
"Look at the birds in the air. They don't plant or harvest or store food in barns, but your heavenly Father feeds them. And you know that you are worth much more than the birds. 27 You cannot add any time to your life by worrying about it. " Matthew 6: 26, 27
His insights on life taught us to live one day at a time. And everyday its a blessing that we can still have him by our side, to share and love him all we can.
So in turn, I tell my cousins, and even my girls..to love their parents and to care for them in their autumn years. While you can, and don't wait for things to happen then ring them to say Hello. Even if you are far away, in another country, it doesn't cost that much to pick up the phone and call them just to ask how they are.
I wrote a letter to my dad..but I have yet to give it to him. Since he stop getting treatment for chemo, his memory of life and things improved. I would rather show him how much I appreciated, respect him and loved him in the things I do for him everyday… a letter cannot pen down all my love.
To each day it brings, my sister and I learnt to live it with so much joy and happiness. I am also thankful for my hubby Benny, who stood by me in my time of need. And my sister and also my brother in law Francis. My dad may not have sons, but he gained 2 when we married the men in our lives who not only took care of us, but also took care of them.
So everyday, IS A BLESSING.. And God sees to it that we are so so blessed and we are so thankful for it.
ps we do not know how long he will be with us. With each day, we count our blessings.