Jun 20, 2011

Purple Glasses

I Won't Let Go sung by the group Rascal Flatts

It was something I use to say or recite when I have to say something that has a different viewpoint with others. It was a poem of sorts I read somewhere, but never knew who wrote it. No amount of googling, I still can't find the originator of this poem.

The Way I See It, may not be the way you see
But no matter how, let's share it
Your glasses are pink
and Mine are Blue
but someday we'll all have a pair of purple glasses too.

Recently a friend shared online at FB of a news article about women who are still grieving over the loss of their newborns or stillbirth. How the women found solitude by buying a life-liked doll that looks like a baby, complete .. Read the full story here


When I read the article, I thought it was really creepy. Having gone thru 3 miscarriages and although I never had a baby in my arms and he/she died, I still find this very creepy to read.

Personally, I still feel that the best way to grieve over a loss of a loved one is to cry over it. To learn to come into terms with the loss and to move on. And to move on would mean you find new hope in other forms. Like a new hobby, maybe new friends or a new job sometimes.

But having a life like doll is not the answer to this. Maybe it heals for a period of time, but it doesn't really solve the problem. I know its quite controversy to talk about this. Different people healed differently.

Pain and suffering is part and parcel of life on earth. Everyone has to go thru it at some point of time in their life. Either with a loved one, a loyal pet, a best friend or having to walk out even from an abusive family. We have to leave behind, always something we loved. If it doesn't hurt, it means nothing to you. If it hurts, you know you have loved and given so much and expected nothing back.

Although I sympatised with the many women who are grieving over lost loved ones, I would find it disturbing and studded my healing process to get a doll of some sort to help me heal.

When my Beauty died in my arms, I cried for many hours. At night before bedtime, I cried for her. I raised her in her puppy days. I taught her all the doggy tricks. Although many would tell me : "Gina, she is just a dog. Not like she was your own baby"

Yes, she was just a dog, my pet dog. But she was there when Jonathan died inside me. When I was pregnant and into my 1st trimseter with Jonathan. My baby with whom I never get to hold or to see or to smell his baby hair. Beauty was with me and she saw my pain. And she stayed by my bed for days.

Sometimes I would stare into space and my mind starts to wander off. And Beauty would sense it all. And she would come to me, wagging her tail and her ears drawn back and expecting a hug and cuddle. As if she knew. I like to think that she did.

So she was just a dog. She was like my guardian angel. While I was grieving, my 'girl' comforted me. Not that Benny couldn't comfort me..but he was also grieving.

The pain and suffering eluded me for months. I was so miserable that I gave up trying to have another baby after Jonathan. My prayers were answered...later. Melody came to me a year after I lost Jonathan. In the process of healing, God showed me that I needed to heal properly, not just internally, but also spirtually and emotionally. So that I can be a better testimony to myself and to others.

I know also, that not everyone has the same blessings as me. Not everyone had a successful pregnancy or birth of their kid soon after loosing one.

I remembered years ago, when Natasha was still a baby, a friend of mine lost her husband to Dengue Fever. Her world of perfection fell apart almost immediately. After the death of her husband, she found it too painful to stay in the home they build together. She was in tears all the time whenever she was home alone.

So she moved back to her mom's place and stayed for a while. When she was still grieving and mending the pieces, she found that she was pregnant. And maybe because she was busy with the funeral and arrangements at home, she neglected her health. Through this unhappy times, she lost her baby too.

She hated herself and wanted to end it all. And she felt it was her fault that she lost the only thing that kept the memories of her hubby alive in her. No amount of crying or consoling her helped. She went into depression for a few months. And finally, she told me :

"Gina, I am selling the house. And everything in it. But I have with me, my memories. Of all the days I have know him and loved him. Even with the baby I have lost. I'm packing up, moving on. Leaving Singapore and going to USA. My boss was kind enough to offer me a job posting in USA's office. I don't know what the future holds for me there. But if its something new, I look forward to it. And can at least closed this chapter in my life here in Singapore. I thanked God for friends who stood by me in my time of need. I don't want to keep in contact. If I think I am ready, I will write to you again."

Sadly, to date, I have not heard from her. I wished her well. Hope that she has recovered. I have shifted from my first home when she used to have my address.

My post is not about how you should grieve or how you should move on. But a post to say that we learn the same things, but we may or may not agree or do the same things. The knowledge is the same, the practice of this knowledge is different. But whatever you do, you do it in the best of your knowledge and what your inner self cheers you on. It is all within you that you are what you are..the DNA and the chemistry of it all.

The most important thing at the end of the day is you are happier..with the choices you made in life. Though some works, and some just don't. But you are better each time when one didn't work. Because you learn from it. What needs to be fixed and what just are not meant to be fixed. And each time you learn how to cope, and to move on.

I still cry over a sad movie. And if I see something that reminds me of my past hurts, I still weep a tear or two. But that is just human nature. Not because I have not moved on or coped. We should still hold on to the memories of the past, of things that made us happy.

Because it is such memories that pushes us on...for a better tomorrow and a brighter yesterday.

Jun 16, 2011

Over the Rainbow

Over The Rainbow, sung by Israel Kamakawiwo'Ole

I seemed to have disappeared from blogging for a while. Too much heartbreaks and work and with a new maid, I was wearing so many hats in a week that I thought I could pull it through.

When my niece Tricia was still in her late teens, her boyfriend, Michael brought her a puppy. It was a long coated Chihuahua.

Tricia stayed with my parents, her parents in the same house. In our family, every new pet that comes into the house is treated as one of the family. We invite them with open arms, tender love and we have parties at home to gather our extended family, our best friends to welcome them(the pets).

Tricia named him Bambi. Because he was adorably cute. Aren't all babies cute?

He grew up in that household, loved and adored..then Tricia went to Australia for 2 years for her studies. Michael would come over and took care of Bambi..to shower him with love and kisses because Bambi missed Tricia terribly. He use to sleep in her room, on her bed, next to her face.

Whenever I visit my parents, I would go and look out for Bambi. And I would call his name " Bambi, Bambi". He would dash out from where he is at...and jump up and down with delight asking for a cuddle. Which I would do all the time. I would hold him, cuddle him for 10 to 15 mins. Sometimes I would talk to him as if I was talking to a child. Because I have never treated him as an animal..but more of an extended family member.

And without fail, all the years that have passed, whenever I visited my parents, I would always do the same thing..after greeting my parents, I would go and seek him out first..then followed by all the other pets in the house. Because Bambi knows his packing order..He was the first pet..followed by the cat..then came Winter, the Bull Mastiff dog which Tricia rescued from the Puppy mill. Winter was used for breeding only. She never saw the lights of things outside her cage. Only saw the handler who took care of her when she was pregnant or when her puppies were born.

Tricia loved animals..all creatures big and small. From the tiniest of insect to the creepy crawlies to the scaly snake and down the furry animals. Even the cat was an abandoned feline..she would bring him home and loved him.

This is Winter, the Bull Mastiff. Also loved and adored in our homes.

This is Summer, the cat that was abandoned and also rehomed with Tricia. Its me carrying Summer.

In the last couple of 2 years on..Bambi became ill. First he went blind. Tricia was working late almost every night and my sister took it upon herself to care for Bambi in his last days. Michael would come and visit and help to tend to Bambi every weekend.

Poor little Bambi, gone blind but tearing each time..so they had to put the cone on him all the time. Even so, being blind, I would still visit him and would still call his name. And he would listen to my voice and navigate his way around and find me. But he could no longer jumped like before but his tail never stop wagging and I know in my heart I just need to hug him, to cuddle him and to show him I am here. And I still loved him all the time.

When his eyes went blind, the vet told my sister that his days are numbered. Through a scan, they found a tumour in his tiny brain. The doctor gave him only 6 months or less..but he survived for a year..completely blind.

Then he became extremely ill, frail and either vomit every other day or had diarrhea. My girls never grew up to like him. Because Bambi is terrorised everyone at home. He doesn't like children or adults. He doesn't like my mom or my dad. He definitely didn't like my brother in law who is Tricia's dad. In his last days being ill, he didn't like Tricia anymore. If she would to come close to him, he will snarl and snap at her.

You may think that Bambi is ungrateful for the love Tricia had for him or doesn't know what is right or wrong. Who feeds you, who loves you, who doesn't?

But if you put yourself in Bambi's eyes and life, you would understand how he felt. When he was well and happy go lucky dog, no one respected him or gave him a pat on his head or cuddled him. Tricia worked day and night..sometimes she would just come home to change, sleep. My mom used to joke to us that although they all lived in the same house, she doesn't know if Tricia is home or not..! much less Bambi.

Then last month, sometime in May 22, my sister sms me to say that Bambi is in the animal hospital at Sunset Way. That's like the other end of Singapore! She said he may not survive the night and she hopes that he dies peacefully in his sleep than for them to give him the jab to end his suffering. He was found to have kidney failure and the kidneys are failing..one dead, the other was also failing. He was unable to eat or drink and was put on a drip for days.

I had to go and see him. Just to say goodbye and to tell him things again. And so I did...I ask the nursing staff at the hospital to take a photo of me holding him...

When I look at this photo, it tears me badly..he was struggling with all that is left in him to sit up..and putting his head resting on my chest.

When I entered the cage, I call his name again : Bambi, Bambi.
And though he was sleeping, he heard me calling him..And he tried so hard to lift up his head and I slided my palm under his chin..

I whispered to his ears and said to him :

Bambi, Wait for everyone to come and see you, then go..Go in peace. And know that I always have a special spot in my heart for you.!

Then I put him back into the cage, I stroked him and planted kisses on him. And I told him I had to go. But my thoughts are always with him.

The next day, he passed away peacefully, in the arms of Michael and Tricia. They wept bitterly for him.

And for a week, I couldn't get things done at home or at work. And started to think..

This is not my dog. He's Tricia's. And he doesn't live with me. And I don't see him often. So why should it tear me just as much as my own pet's dying on me? Then I realised that all these while, all these years, I have given him a part of me. A love from afar.

I shared with a friend of mine..and then she said to me..:

"Gina, even a dog knows you are sincere. You give everyone, human or animal the same kind of respect and the same kind of love. So its only natural that should one leave, the other hurts."

And then I realised that my extended family are like me too..in this context. When my Beauty(shetland sheepdog) was ill and dying, sms was sent out to all. I remembered my cousin ringing me and crying on the phone. I remember my Aunty Aileen sms me and comforting me.

This is FAMILY, this is LOVE.

Treat everyone, every living thing with love, with respect and in return, the world seems a happier place.

Rest in Peace, Bambi..until that day comes, meet me at the gates of Heaven.

Jun 14, 2011

Lonely Me...

I'll be Loving You Forever sung by the group West Life.

This is going to be a very lonely week for me at work. For the last 2 years since we open shop, Benny always spends his after work hours with me. Without fail..every day. This week, starting from tomorrow, he is sending his car for servicing and he says he won't be able to come. Then on Thursday and Friday, he was invited to 2 different dinners outside. So won't be coming too.

It suddenly dawned on me how lonely I felt. How miserable it was to spend my days at my shop alone. Even though he only comes in the evening..at around 7pm and within an hour, we closed the shop. He would help me to close the shop, pull down the shutters and drive me home. In the car, I would tell him things ..anything and everything. Some silly things, some happy things. But we often talk about our girls. That ride home is only 15 to 20 minutes. Yet it seem to be very long.

For the past week(last week), I noticed that he was making it all up for projected lost time. He took time off work to spend with me at home. And he bought me lychees and stuff to eat. Benny is not a man of many words..but he is definitely a man of Action. If you love him enough or more like the way I did with him, then you understand the things he does..he does it out of love.

In many ways, I talked about stress and sleeplessness. My friends ask me if I were stress at work. I always say I am not. Because I enjoy what I do every day. And even if I have to come home and cook just for him, I would do with it with so much energy and zest for life.

And he would ask me to ring up the house on our ride home from the shop..to ask the maid to steam up food or heat up the soup I have cooked the day before. But I would say to him...

"No. We would reach home, and while you bathe, I would prepare the food for you. "

I know most people wouldn't have bothered and would just ask their maids(domestic helper) to get it done. But I see this simple gesture as my way of bonding with him. I am dead tired after a long hard day at the shop. And Benny sees that too. He never dare to ask me to do anything for him after work.

But if Love is all I have for him, its the little things in life I do that brings out the best of me for him.

In the summer of 1997, we went to USA for 14 days. But Benny couldn't extend his leave to 14 days and ended his holidays with us in 10 days. We went there with my parents, my niece and my daughter Natasha. Seen in this photo, this photo was taken at The Golden Gate at San Francisco, USA. We later travelled to CA, USA to stay with my aunt and uncle for the last 4 days.

When we were apart, holidays doesn't seem too happy for me. And Benny was miserable throughout his air travel from LA, USA back to Singapore. Even when he was home, he felt a pain in his heart as if it was stabbed with a knife.

Since after that in 1997, I swore to myself to be there for him always. In more ways that he would have thought of. Even the simpliest of all things, prepping a meal which the house maid could do or getting him a drink or even just making hot tea..I would see to it that I do it for him.

Our 14th Wedding anniversary, celebrated in the month of November, together with my aunts/uncles who are also celebrating theirs in November. When our girls are still really young...

In the little things that counts..these are things that counts. When my friends see that I go all out to cook for him. And to satisfy all his cravings on any kind of food, they often say "Benny is so blessed. " Because Benny completes me and blesses me just as much.

In ways he knows best..the things he does for me daily. I know.