Friday, 17 February 2012

I am learning to relax

Justina ( Lucy's best friend who passed away in Jan 2011. Both of them have been models for the Salaam Wanita project for eHomemakers) had a list of places to visit in the world and people she liked to meet - President Obama at the White House in Washington DC, Queen Elizabeth in Buckingham Palace, the mayor of New York, Bario in Borneo Sarawak, California,  London, and the seven wonders of the world. She also dreamt about taking a cruise around the world for a year with Lucy.

"Where to get the money to go-oh?" she laughed about her silliness when she recounted these places to me.
It was her enthusiasm and curiosity for life that made me promised her that I would find her a way. I didn't know how then ( and still don't know how to spread her ashes to those places.....), but I knew one thing -- one step at a time.

Justina and my family were showing intern, Jugo, how to taste durian in this 2010 video. See her lively and carefree persona.

Lucy in Cambodia
With a stroke of luck, this project was able to combine the attendance of a Fair Trade Conference in Cambodia with a filming activity for Lucy's story.  Lucy finally met with other homeworker leaders who barely spoke a word of English and she realized that she was a capable lady!!

The opportunity was really a miracle, it just came!  When I was sitting in the tuk tuk with Lucy, watching Morgan and Rhon cycling behind us towards Angkor Wat, I felt so good that my promise to Justina to visit Angkor Wat and Tonle Sap was fulfilled.  Her ashes were in a plastic tupple wear in my knapsack and I carried it everywhere I went- field trip in a slum, Angkor Wat, museum, Tonle Sap temple and walk arounds!!!
Lucy looking out at Tonle Sap

Lucy spread her ashes at the two places. And Lucy laughed, not feeling sorrowful about her best friend's absence -- this was what Justina had wanted for Lucy all these years! 

 "Laugh and be happy, who cares?" I heard Justina saying this in my ears.

My guilt about my inability to help her get an immediate surgery for the gall bladder stone removal was finally ebbing away.

Lucy preparing Justina's ashes.
A friend told me recently, "Justina went away to a better world because her time here was finished. She went away because she is giving Lucy a chance to grow into the person she had wanted her to be -- a Lupus patient who takes risk to try anything new, be active publicly, has no fear about what people say about her, and has a 'can do' attitude."

"And Justina is also giving you answers to the questions you have about God!" she said pointedly.  
I pondered about her wisdom for weeks. Answers to my questions about 'why', 'why the dark hours are so long', 'when am I getting breakthroughs to what I am doing with eHomemakers?' are beginning to form shapes.

Am I not seeing the answers?

So I started to be more conscious about everyone abnd everything's presence in my life.

Think positive, Ching Ching, don't sweat the small things, don't take things too personally, look at the non-toxic people around you, look at all the good things around you.
Look, look, look!!!

Yes, I am LOOKING!!
 Lucy is really a different  person now. She talks and laughs more. I did begin to see her in a different light during the Cambodian trip!  I felt a sense of peace just sitting with her in the tuk tuk despite the scary traffice around us.

 I got to see two young ladies, Morgan and Rhon, being fascinated by the Conference and all things Cambodian.    
Morgan and Rhon at a dressed up as Indian and Chinese for a get-together night at the Conference in Jan 2012

When I look at the picture of both of them, I tell myself, "Hey, you have blessings and you are not treasuring the moments with them. Stop moaning about God's absence. He has sent you all these angels! You have not been alone! When you needed assurance at the beginning of 2012, you got Lucy, Rhon, Morgan to be with you in an unusual place full of history.  You heard laughters. You saw their curiosity about life.  Remember what Jenny Pong said in her video journal at the hospital ( when she has painful infection)?  Always think positive, life is too short."


Think of the moments, the NOW that you are living in!

Yesterday, I watched this video of me eating crickets in Siem Reap for lunch and I laughed and laughed.  All the worries about finance, eHomemakers's future, and me standing at a cross-road in life just disappeared.

I felt light-hearted.
These are moments to treasure.

This one-year project has given me so many insights about life's ups and downs through all the people involved.  And it has been confirming to me that I have been blessed in many ways, it is just that I don't seem to see the blessings when I am down.  I know I mustn't dwell on negative incidences which are part of life's trials. I must move on like Lucy, Pong, Swee Lian, Sulastri and Nisha.

Life is too short. All of them have said this to me over the last few months when I got to interact with them at a more personal level.

Ok, what else do I have in my life that give me enthusiasm? MY daughter and her friends!

                                           A walk to the Mother Fall in KKB in 2009 with teenagers!

Me and a group of teenagers in October 2011!

So Ching Ching, keep going, keep eating, keep laughing, keep dreaming, keep having life in your heart, and keep hoping!!!

(And keep dreaming that this blog site will continue with several other women of perseverance series. And don't worry even if others think you are a nut, again! )

By Chong Sheau Ching

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