Fewer Words But Bigger Heart

Oh my children,

When you were kids, daddy loved to hold you tight and caressed you until you fell asleep. Daddy always had a lot of stories and jokes to tell you. Daddy loved to bring you around the shopping complexes and the recreation parks. And everytime when you fell down and cried painfully, daddy also cried with you.

When you began to go to school, daddy's heart also went with you. Daddy guided you and taught you patiently. Daddy remembered you had a lot of complaints about your homework. It was real joy and fun to see your determination to complete your school works. You looked so eager to learn and you were easily instructed. Daddy could still remembered the many prizes and praises you received.

Oh my children, you were so special to daddy that daddy loved you with many words and a big big heart.

When you were in your secondary school, daddy's heart still went with you. You were more ambitious, more emotional, more courageous and adventurous. Daddy started to worry for you. You had a lot to grumble and to criticize. You had made daddy scared sometimes. But daddy tried to stay calm and not to over-react. Daddy tried to stay open-minded and more reserved.

Oh, my children, you were so special to daddy that daddy loved you with fewer words but bigger heart.

Now that you have grown up. Daddy sometimes thinks you are big enough to do your own things. But as it is, you still need more guidance, encouragement and instruction. Everyday, you are facing more and more challenging and complicated problems. You have to make wider choices and bigger decisions. Oh my children, daddy's heart still goes with you in everything you do. Daddy still worries that you will make wrong decisions and that you will succumb to bad influences. Daddy scares to lose you.

Oh, my children, you are so special to daddy that daddy loves you with very few words and much bigger heart.

Oh my children, daddy scares to lose you but just doesn't know what to do...

***Happy Father's Day – 21th June 2009.

Children Without Heart

A little child comes forward and hugs his or her parent, and makes requests. The parent looks at the little child, smiling happily and grants a positive answer promptly. The little child laughs happily and hops around the house. The whole family is filled with joy and contentment. Parents just love to give everything to their little children.

The little child grows up and goes to school. More requests are made. But it is not that easy as before. The parents have to think longer and harder this time. Nevertheless, they will still fulfill the many requests of their children so long as the family can effort them and the requests can help in cultivating positive developments.

The little child becomes an adult, starts to work and stays away from home.

The parent requests the child to come home once in a while. The child grumbles that he or she is not free. The child complains about the heavy workload, the family responsibilities, the long journey, financial constraint, or their many commitments. The parent just has to live alone.

The parent requests the child to phone home once in a while. The child talks grudgingly, get very angry for no apparent reason, talks loudly and rudely to the parent. They just don't feel like phoning home. The parent feels lonely in the lonely home.

The parent requests the child to come and pick. He or she wants to visit the grandchildren. The child grumbles and reluctantly complies. But quickly and quietly leaves the parent with the children, and refuse to talk and entertain the parent. The parent cries silently alone.

Yet times and again when the child needs the parent's help, he or she will come with a sweet smile and some gifts. The parent starts to feel very happy and grant the child his or her requests. Then the parent helps to look after the house, do the house chores, take care of the grandchildren, tend the garden, etc.

The parent will never complain openly about the child but the child is full of complaints and will voice openly about the parent.

The parent will forgive and forget the child for his or her rudeness, selfishness, insensitivities... but not the child – the child grows up without a good heart.

Will he or she ever change?

Will his or her children do likewise? Yet to see and know...

One Kind Of Rice Feeds Hundred Kinds Of People

The Chinese has a common saying that goes like this "One kind of rice feeds hundred kinds of people." And that is my continued reflection as I sipped my cup of coffee in a coffeeshop this morning.

Sitting quietly near a wall, I ordered a mug of coffee and a bowl of laksa, a spicy noodle soup native to Malaysia and Singapore. It had been quite sometime since I visited the shop and one of the delicacies I really missed was a bowl of Sarawak laksa.

As I swallowed my saliva, I began to look at the people around me. It was a blessing to remain anonymous and unnoticed as much as possible. And I enjoyed watching people while eating and drinking, and I was quietly smiling to myself.

A group of chinese youngsters were sitting together enjoying their meals. They were discussing about their businesses and their various plans and strategies. Some were seen puffing cigarettes. Those with many bright ideas were seen talking and laughing loudly, with many gestures. The rest reflected on the ideas and nodding their heads, and chipped in once in a while.

Then I paid my attention to a family enjoying their meals. They were talking and laughing softly, so as not to attract much attention. You could really see and feel the family warm if you sat near enough. Here was another satisfying meal.

Then I saw a crippled old man came in. He surveyed the place and sat near where I was. He was toothless and bony-old, but he was always ready with a smile. He ordered something simple as I could see that he was poor. But he enjoyed the coffeeshop and was just like me, smiling to himself.

I saw yet another old man, reading his newspapers and quietly enjoying his meal. He too looked very satisfying.

I was pleased with I saw and reflected on and on....

One kind of rice feeds hundred kinds of people. And that is what the Almighty God has given us. And He helps and guides us to prepare many different kinds of meals. And everyone is happy.

She Knew All Along

Someone told us that it was okay to lie to the patient about the nature and seriousness of his or her conditions; telling the truth would only aggravate the situation. And that was what we had decided to do to our late mother in the middle of last year when she was diagnosed with 70% lung cancer.

The doctor disclosed to us that our mother had only 3 months to live. It was up to us whether to break the truth to her or not.

Everyone was shocked and didn't know what to do.

We then had a round-table meeting. It was a difficult decision because it involved our dear mother who had single-handedly brought us up 35 years ago after the death of our father. A decision was finally made: We were to keep her from knowing the truth as best as we could.

I never knew it could be that tough to show a cheerful face when the heart was broken. I never knew that it could be that difficult to hold back the tears when the voice trembled with every encouraging word. Oh God, how can I lie to my own mother?

Behind our mother, in the dark corner... in the restroom... outside her room, much tears were shed and so much sadness continued to sink deep in the heart.

Then we had to dry up our tears, blew our nose, and cleaned our face before we went to attend to our mother.

She looked so calm as if she knew. But she was tight-lipped. After a while she would waved to us, and spoke softly to us. She reminded us to go home and attend to the needs of our family and work. Then she shook our hands and hugged us, and said good bye. Oh mom, you were still very strong and tough in your 80s.

Just how long could we hide the truth from her?

She was her normal self when she left us that day, but the signs were there. She was having difficulties breathing and she looked really thin and pale.

That night we were there in the hospital until 10.30. She recovered and she was once again calm. She bid us goodbye as it was late. We had some prayer sessions and we left her.

My two elder brothers continued to take care of her. At 2.00 in the morning, she held my sister-in-law seemingly thanking her for taking good care of her. She patted her on her back and she breathed her last...

She knew all along... but we lied.