Sunday, 10 July 2011

Does Everything Happen for a Reason?

             This blog is dedicated to Ah-Li whose favorite song was "Tien Mi Mi (You look so sweet)"
                                                                          by the late Teresa Teng.

For several months, some admin problems at work were really getting me down, so much so that one evening when I did my brisk walk at the park to clear my mind, I prayed to God, “My friends told me that if I ask, you will give. So I am asking you, 'Please give me a miracle.'  ”
Nothing unusual happened that night.

The next morning, I received an email from an Indian man, “I am K, are you the Ching Chong from U of S? If yes, we can form international partnership between my university and your organization. If not, please ignore this email.”

My brother Ah-Li at back of my house
        -- a special place for him to play piano,
guiatar and draw.
After he passed away, I was supposed to resume
 writing by having my own blog. But I didn't write
till this year on this blog. It was as if I had lost
a part of me, and I just abandoned it for good.
 May be I am still mourning him in many ways.

My email addresses have been spammed over the
years with all sorts of scams, strange proposals
and even fake events to trick me to reply.  I have
been cautious about reverting to strangers. This
email didn’t look fake. The name sounded familiar,
and calling me ‘Ching Chong from U of S’ was more intimate than any spammer/scammer could have thought of.  Didn’t those guys from my past used to crack jokes on my name all the time and made it
sound like a song?  

So I reverted, ‘You do sound like someone I knew
more than 20 years ago. If you are not fake, do
revert.”  Within an hour, K’s email came back with his resume in an attachment.   I forwarded it to a university friend who lives in India.  Within an hour,
she reverted, “Yes, he is real, I visited him in Tamil
Nadu a few years ago.”
Within 24 hours since I prayed to God for a
miracle, I was connected on email to several other former university mates and learnt about who they
are now and what they have been doing all these
years. The last time I saw them was over 20 years
ago. We lost touch as there was no Internet in those days. Writing letters was a tedious chore when you
have so many things to do and so many people to get in
touch with.  With this renewal of friendship over the cyberspace,  some of us are going to form partnerships as we are heads of our respective institutions or organizations.

One of them, Rod, said in his email, “I believe that everything happens for a reason.”  

Are the incidences that have happened to me connecting with each other like building blocks?
View Attachment
My book- Stories for My Mother
For example, my writings?

My weekly column in a newspaper ended on the last week of December 2007.  Thirteen years of hard work was gone, in a jiff,
with the sending of one email to me.   Although I was sore from
being treated  this way, I didn’t think much about it.   My daily
life had taken on a new spin right after that.

He went into a furnace.....
This image came into my mind everytime
 I wanted to write
the stories I used to write.
The health condition of my beloved brother, Ah Lee,
who had Down Syndrome and a hole in the heart,
became worse.  The next few months were like episodes
in TV drama series -- rushing to the hospital in ambulances, staying up all night long at the emergency section of the hospital to be the family member who gave the permission
for medical procedures,  going home at 8 am to sleep for
a few hours and then working all day till the next night
hospital shift, handling the emotional upheavals from the family, going to shopping complex alone to purchase the clothes and shoes to prepare for his funeral,  sourcing quotations for funeral services, signing the death
certificate and hospital release forms, and doing things
I had never done before about death preparation.

I kissed his forehead and told him to enjoy
his next life.                          
And then, the cremation.                                                        

The next few months were hard, helping my mother accept that Ah Lee was released into a beautiful place where he could walk and talk and dance was more difficult than I had imagined.  Then, a series of set-backs happened. May be they were not set-backs, but things that happened when something changed. I saw them as set-backs because I had low energy level.
I became tired.  Very tired.

A close friend told me, “You are entering the next chapter of your life. Hold on, the break though will come.”

I held onto her words and kept going.

Since then, I haven’t been writing stories or featured articles.  Big R, my daughter, set up a blog for me, but I never got down to writing again.  I promised my column fans that I would write again, but there was always something else more urgent that popped up and demanded my attention for the day. I didn’t have time to write.
View Attachment
The stream where we poured some of his ashes.

I dropped my writing hobby like the way I put away the script I wrote years ago after a scriptwriting trainer threw it onto the floor.

Now that I look back, the lack of writing for over three years was actually a period  to discover myself. Without a weekly deadline that saw me writing on weekend nights or public holidays, I finally found some time to go to some self-awareness activities that some friends had been urging me to go for the longest time.

The last three years have seen a series of personal wake-up calls.  I finally saw who I was with events that unfolded.

I was still kind of lost last year, no aim in life except knowing that I had to make sure Big R grows up, goes to university and flies like an independent bird, and that eHomemakers grows into a strong entity.  

There finally surfaced a question with blank answer.  "What do I do with myself after Big R flies away?  Where is me after taking away all the responsibility I have set for myself? What am I going to do? "
I have even lost the one hobby I enjoyed doing – writing a column!
Then, I got the Krishen Jit Astro Award. The project requires me to write blogs , direct video journals, and then script the documentary.  It is forcing me to write, again. It has things that I want to do. It has dreams and they are not just mine.

It does look like things happen for a reason.  


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