Friday, May 31, 2013

"Da nan bu si, bi you hou fu” (大难不死,必有后福) If you survived a tragedy, you will have good fortunein the future.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Amid the horror and revulsion of the Woolwich, attack that happened in Woolwich, London on Wednesday , millions around the world have marveled at the extraordinary bravery of three ordinary women.
Dubbed the “Angels of Woolwich”, the trio faced up to Lee Rigby’s killers with little thought for their own safety. TV footage shows two of them fearlessly tending the already-dead soldier’s body, just yards from the killers.
Yesterday Gemini Donnelly-Martin, 20, told how she and her mother Amanda, 44, walked up to the bloodied, killers and asked if they could comfort the dead soldier because they didn't want him to die alone. But she brushed aside any talk of bravery, modestly insisting: “It had to be done”. Mother and daughter have been hailed heroes and praised for showing the true nature of the residents of the London suburb.

 Lee Rigby was a "dedicated and professional soldier" and a "true warrior" who had wanted to be in the Army since he was a little boy. The soldier was also a "loving son, husband, father, brother and uncle". He leaves behind a two-year old son, Jack. R.I.P Taken from SuspendedCoffeess

Friday, May 24, 2013

gratitude turns what we have into enough

Chris Jones' cherished 10-yr old sweet son Mitchell, who had Dechenne Muscular Dystrophy, died. Chris just wrote this beautiful, powerful note, he called "The Path to Joy": "About a week before Mitchell was admitted to the hospital, a package was delivered containing ~120 hand-written messages on paper hearts from concerned friends and neighbors. They had heard the news Mitchell’s heart function (EF) was operating at 5% and that therapies were not working. In an effort to lift our son’s spirits, these friends and neighbors, with charity in their hearts, wanted to show him how much he was loved.

Mitchell was so touched by all of the thoughtful comments from people; some he knew, many he didn't. I could tell by the look on his face he was confused why everyone was making such a fuss about him but that he was genuinely curious and touched by what everyone had to say. These notes meant a lot to him. Not a single heart was overlooked. He read every one of them - on more than one occasion.

Fast-forward a week and Mitchell was fighting for his life at Primary Children’s Hospital. We weren't sure he would even make it home. But, through the faith and prayers of many we believe we were blessed to get him home and love this little boy with all that we had. These photos were taken on the same Monday evening Mitchell taught his Family Night lesson on love and service. Just after his lesson I asked if I could take his photo with all of the hearts. He was very weak and tired and I knew I had a small window to do this. So we made haste, shoved the couch to the side of the room and quickly put the hearts in a circle around a small stool. He was such a good sport about it all. After the photo he stood up, lifted his arms and started to shake his hips and do his happy shimmy. As sick as this little boy was, he found joy.

Over the last year Mitchell would take note of certain milestones of loss and point them out to his mother. He would say, “Mom, that’s strange, I can’t get up from the floor anymore.” Or, “Mom, I used to be able to get off the couch by myself, now I can’t.” He noticed the things he used to do with ease were either impossible or becoming very difficult. On occasion his losses would make him sad, but he would soon brush it off and find happiness with whatever remained. I often asked myself why a little boy who was finding himself able to do less and less would somehow find more and more happiness.

I then remembered a great saying: “gratitude turns what we have into enough.” Mitch had gratitude for the smallest things, and because he was grateful for whatever he had, he always found a way to happiness. A sunset, a song, a funny photo, or just being around family … these made him happy. Because he always turned his focus to gratitude, it didn’t take much for him to erupt into some spontaneous expression of joy.

A few days after these photos were taken I was giving my son a bath; Mitch was telling me about one of the video games he was trying to beat and his next strategy to turn a corner in the game. After a while he pointed to his PICC line (seen in this photo in his right arm) and would say what a pain it was to have. Moments later, after having thought about it, he said, “well … at least I’m alive.” In that very moment I was overcome with emotion. Swallowing the basketball in my throat, I held back my tears and told him I’d be right back. I quickly left the bathroom, turned my back to the wall and slid to the floor trying to catch my breath. I wept like a child.

My experience with Mitchell taught me that trouble will come to all of us, whether we like it or not. It isn't possible to live in a state of constant joy - that is impractical and unrealistic and turns a blind eye and deaf ear to God’s purposes. And while it’s easy to pontificate the virtues of adversity … to academically talk of trials as a divine teacher (which they are), I find myself choking on the sheer size of this bitter pill. Yet even in our deepest sorrows we can find our way back to joy when we’re grateful for the things we have.

The bitter taste of sorrow is what makes genuine joy so sweet. Despite the profound sorrow of having lost my boy, I have experienced some deeply spiritual impressions that have been equal to or greater than the sorrow I have felt by his loss. These feelings of joy come like flashes of light. They are exceedingly momentary, but they are real.

Today I am grateful … grateful that I had Mitchell in the first place. I am grateful for my wife and three other children, who are everything to me. I am grateful for my dogs, my home, soft pillows and for fresh air. I am grateful for all that I have. And while I may stumble and trip over pain and sorrow, I will not lose sight of the things that remain. The path to joy is gratitude." - Chris Jones

[Zach Sobiech] When faced with months to live, how do you say goodbye?
 Zach turned to music. “Clouds” by Zach Sobiech
Zach was diagnosed with osteosarcoma in November 2009
Osteosarcoma is a cancerous bone tumor that develops in children Source:
 Well I fell down, down, down
Into this dark and lonely hole
There was no one there to care about me anymore
And I needed a way to climb and grab a hold of the edge
You were sitting there holding a rope
 And we’ll go up, up, up
But I’ll fly a little higher
We’ll go up in the clouds because the view is a little nicer
Up here my dear
It won’t be long now, it won’t be long now
 When I get back on land
Well I’ll never get my chance
Be ready to live and it’ll be ripped right out of my hands
Maybe someday we’ll take a little ride
We’ll go up, up, up and everything will be just fine
 And we’ll go up, up, up
But I’ll fly a little higher
We’ll go up in the clouds because the view is a little nicer
Up here my dear It won’t be long now, it won’t be long now
If only I had a little bit more time
If only I had a little bit more time with you
 We could go up, up, up
And take that little ride
And sit there holding hands
And everything would be just right
And maybe someday I’ll see you again
We’ll float up in the clouds and we’ll never see the end
 And we’ll go up, up, up
But I’ll fly a little higher
We’ll go up in the clouds because the view is a little nicer
Up here my dear
It won’t be long now, it won’t be long now

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Taken from SuspendedCoffeess
Imagine you’re working in a small town, not even making minimum wage. You’re divorced and you've always dreamed of visiting Italy where your family is from.
You have no way of actually doing it.
 One day you’re talking to a random customer very casually about your life. He eats his meal and walks out the door.
You go to pick up the bill, and it looks like this:

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Good friend M asked me a very simple question regarding depression.
I gave her an essay long answer.
Suddenly I felt very insecure.
I was afraid that my overzealousness may not be taken well.
I certainly do not live to the saying, 'misery loves company'.
I absolutely feel convicted to minimise the number of victims Depression/Mental Illness -could claim.
My essay answer got even longer.

"My mental disorder is a lifetime battle for me.
I have to fight it everyday.
I wonder what's my purpose here.
Till this very day, I still browse the obituary page.( I have done this for a very long time / read more)
I want to see the people whom DEATH had taken instead of me.
It's a creepy habit I can't break.
I tell myself that my purpose here is to help at least one person breathe a little matter how small my contribution. It's the only thing that keeps me going
I have to convince myself that I have a purpose here.
I tell myself that I do not and can not seek Death.
Death do not take non-listed guests kindly.
I have to "earn" my rightful audience with Death, which of course its merits isn't determined by me.
Damn eerie.. but it's the truth..."

Now alone, rereading the above, there's a nagging feeling twisting inside me.
There was never a time where Darkness had ever left me alone.
Had this disturbing, recurring dream of my teeth crumbling ...
Feeling so disturbed that I search for its meaning at
 Crumbling teeth dream interpretation:

Dream analysts often associate the imagery of teeth falling out with the idea of loss and important life changes. This symbol points to feelings of insecurity or vulnerability regarding a recent event that disrupted your life.
For instance, you could have this type of dream as you are moving, changing jobs, ending a relationship or starting a new one, taking on new responsibilities in your life, etc.
These are important life changes that may be reflected in your dream as a traumatic or scary event such as seeing your teeth fall out. Note that if a lot of teeth are falling out in your dream, keep in mind that the quantity or intensity of the pain or horror felt while you were dreaming is proportional to the cost associated with a compromise you’re making or an emotion you’re feeling in your waking life.
The intensity of the dream is an indicator of the level of fear or anxiety you may be feeling in your waking life regarding a recent event or issue you’re currently dealing with.

Negative meanings
  • Insecurities, especially about a personal loss
  • A compromise that is costly to you
  • Life changes and “growing pains”
  • Fear of becoming older
Positive meanings
  • Signs of personal expansion
  • Wish or need to nurture yourself more carefully
  • An invitation to explore feelings of loss and personal growth
  • A call to look at your support system
  • The Jungian interpretation: Times of renewal and “rebirth”

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

reposting from FB ----
Who lives nearby Seri Petaling or Bukit Jalil? Go support this old lady. 80yr old ++, but still work out for RM1 earning per coconut. Only RM3 for a cut coconut. Location near main road, you can see the back of Pappa Rich cafe and her open stall is in front. She is slow, if you buying lots. Pay her and go for shopping at The Store (3 min away) and come back to collect. ----

Monday, May 20, 2013

A difficult situation can be handled in two ways:
 we can either do something to change it, or face it.
 If we can do something, then why worry and get upset over it-- just change it.
 If there is nothing we can do, again, why worry and get upset over it?
 Things will not get better with anger and worry.

 - Shantideva

Saturday, May 18, 2013

How secretive should I be about my illness?
I think I'm becoming more and more careless in retaining my privacy.
I trust too easily.

I had carelessly posted this on my FB status
Later, I realised I left the readership as 'everyone'
Such posting inevitably invited more queries.
And again, I answered truthfully.

I was asked again in the staff lounge.
The colleague who asked was one whom I truly trust and admire.
I told her everything.
Only now I realised, there were other patrons in the lounge too.
Duh ! -ala Homer Simpson.

I sought counsel and comfort from an old friend.

"If lying is not your natural tendency, then learn to live with openness be prepared to deal with setback in terms, some people will shun you, but you should learn to accept that the choice is theirs and let them be, in the same time you will also learn how to deal with such people. After some time you will know how to calibrate your openness to people, while maintaining the general principle of being true to yourself."

She asked, "I noticed you're very active in FB lately, is that good?"

Honestly, I don't think so.
But I answered with the title of a Buddhist teaching I listened recently.
"Good , Bad, - who knows?"

Thursday, May 16, 2013

The heart is just the heart;
 thoughts and feelings are just thoughts and feelings.
 Let things be just as they are. 
--Ajahn Chah
I posted this on my FB status...

I'm sorry that I didn't react well when you complimented me on my weight loss.
It's really 100% my fault. 
Please read my explanation.
Not too long ago, I had gained weight tremendously due to the side effects of medication. My illness was already too much of a burden and yet, people seemed to be more concern about my chubbiness.
I was hurt that the weight gain issue had literally outweighed my illness.
It was the worst of times.
So, whenever people bring up the subject about my weight, my thoughts automatically revert to that dark period of time.
My bad. I'm really sorry.
I know you meant well.
I'm not saying what I did was permissible, I just wanted my apology to come with an explanation.
From now onwards, I will smile and say thank you ... 
Just so you know, the weight I lost will find its way back to me eventually. (the medical statistics are strongly against my favour)
And when that happens, I will smile and thank you for your concern too..

Sunday, May 12, 2013

I really love what Kechara Soup Kitchen is doing.
I'm reposting their facebook updates.

"We found the new client we met last week, he remembered us and showed us the handicrafts made by himself out of newspapers. He is also a football fan and he was listening to a live football radio show when we came"
"Some of the many self made handicrafts out of newpapers that Mr Lim kindly showed us. He makes a living by selling these handicraft items."

Friday, May 10, 2013

After a long search, ABC News finally found the woman whose heroism touched so many viewers on a recent segment of "What Would You Do?" On the day we first met Linda Hamilton, producers did an interview with her there on the street, and offered her food, which she courteously declined. We tried to contact her the next day but the telephone number she gave us was out of service, and the Newark, N.J., street she told us she lived on didn't exist. We visited homeless shelters, soup kitchens, train stations, all to no avail. But by showing video to other homeless people and various agencies, we gradually zeroed in on one neighborhood, and a number of locations where she sometimes showed up. And, finally, Wednesday, a bodega owner called us excitedly: "She's here!" 

That same day, John Quinones was finally able to show Hamilton the segment that had moved so many to tears. He read her some of the e-mails viewers had sent in, which caused a shy smile to flit across her face, and he gave her a pre-paid cell phone so that we could keep in contact with her. When the 42-year-old saw the cell phone, her face lit up like that of a little girl on Christmas day: "My own cell phone! I got my own cell phone! And it comes with a charger!" Until last summer, she had been living in a homeless shelter, but recently dropped completely off the grid. For at least the past few days, she has been sleeping at night at an aunt's apartment in very crowded conditions. 

We took her to New Jersey Emergency Services, where executive director Genia Philip and her staff began the process of getting her enrolled in programs that could cover her medical costs, housing and food. Linda Hamilton Gets Much-Needed Care The process is complicated by the kinds of problems that are so often associated with homelessness. It turned out that under her maiden name, Hamilton was indeed in the system, and has been in and out of crisis intervention care for mental problems for many years.

She told us she had been in a psychiatric facility during part of the time we were looking for her. She has had two strokes, she said, and a variety of other life-threatening illnesses, but, until now, was not enrolled in a program to pay for the expensive meds she was prescribed. Last night, we watched as she got to take her medications for the first time in some time. "You promise you're coming back tomorrow?" Philip asked as Linda left the Emergency Services office. "I'll come back," Hamilton said.

Monday, May 06, 2013

In a questionnaire I was asked to list 3 things I'm grateful for... so... I typed...
My health.
My appetite for life.
My appreciation for the deeper meaning of beauty.

I wasn't exactly lying but erm, I just need to further convince myself, well, at least remind myself, I wrote the above.