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Monday, June 27, 2011

Story of our lives
After dinner today, I decided to take a slow walk home from Central instead of catching the feeder bus.

Turned out to be a good move because I enjoyed the walk very much. I indulged in the tranquillity - something so precious, so rare amidst the daily hustle. I have almost forgetten how good it feels to be walking through 'the woods'. The 'me' moment is something I missed greatly.

I walked through a park that is adjacent to my residences. Over the years, there had been numerous upgrading and transformation for the park - today it's a pretty cool park, complete with small parade square for performances, skating court, basketball court, playgrounds, fitness corners..

Then I met one of my neighbours. Likes us, Auntie must have been one of the first residents at the Block (or at least from my childhood memories). She watched me grow up. Over the years, she has also aged considerably. Actually we will bump into each other regularly at the lift lobby, but our conversations hardly go beyond the usual 'hellos' and 'goodbyes'. Today for some reason, I took a closer and longer look at Auntie. Her winkles form deep lines on her faces and I noticed that she has lost quite a bit of weight.

I rem that Auntie used to be the really friendly sort - well she still is but it had not been the same after her husband's death. I remembered that shortly after her husband's death, I met her at the lift lobby, out of the blue, she told me that she is really saddened and that she will need a lot of time to come to terms to it. That must have been a good few years ago.

That got me thinking about my neighbours - I have lived here almost all my life. And these neighbours have become like your family too. Over the years, we stood by each other - whenever there's a fight at home, or someone fell sick or even death. Sometimes they move away and new neighbours settle in.

I used to take the same Bus 72 with an old couple every morning because we stayed at the same block. After my graduation from JC, I hardly see them anymore because I no longer take the bus. In fact, I have not met them for a few years now. I wonder what happened to them.
@12:37:00 AM
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Sunday, May 01, 2011

Wow we are at May 2011
My last post was about a year ago! One light year just went by - everything happened so quickly, passed by so swiftly. Which is not necessary a bad thing, given the events of 2010..

Went through quite a bit last year, with Popo's death and Hdr's near-fatal accident. I am just glad that I survived 2010 - and I have to thank my friends and family because I wouldn't have been able to survive the heartache without all the love from them.

It's the coming-of-age month again - soon I'll be 28 years old! Living in the exact phase of 'When I grow up, I wanna be...' Sounds scary to be 28 years old - because I had thought that at the ripe age of 28, I will know exactly what to do all the time, doing what I want to do and becoming (if not already am) the person I want to be.. but I still don't have all the answers all the time. Not sure when that magical moment will come, somewhat deep in my heart I know what sudden 'enlightenment' moment I have been looking forward to might never come. I will have to take each day as it comes and live it to the fullest - however I interpret it to be.

At 27+++ years old now, a big part of me would like to drop all the work and responsibilities and run off on a world tour. Not the glamourous world tour that pops onto your head - but the serve-table-to-get-u-by type of 'world tour'. This longing to experience an alternative life to what I am living now is strong, but it is not without any opportunity cost.

Given what I have accomplished now - mostly in terms of career, and what I have ahead of me, to 'take the plunge' now could be very costly decision. You would have read about all those people who followed their hearts, took the road less travelled, became successful and were glad to have made the decisions - but that's because they never published those who had met with little 'success'. Then again that depends on your definition of 'success' - because I believe that whether taking the road less travelled worked out for these dare-devils or not, the experience would have enriched their lives.

At 25+ years old, during a job interview, this typical question was asked - 'Where do you see yourself in the next 5 years?' I replied confidently, 'I see myself being in a managerial position, with more responsibilities. By then I would have gotten the exposure in the various fields that I am keen to pursue, so I would also imagine myself to be in the more specialised area that I have chosen.' If you ask me the same question now, I don't have any answer for you. I think I can manage a one-year view at best. Am I the only one feeling so? That it is terribly hard to have a long-term view? Or am I somewhat heading to a pre-mature mid-life crisis?

Or perhaps it all stemmed from my inability to prioritize - I want it all, everything is equally important to be - life, adventure, career, love.. when in actual fact, something's got to give. You can't have the cake and eat it. So until I accept this reality, I will always have to struggle with the different ambitions I have? Does everyone struggle with these too? What do they do? Continue to struggle until they give up? You see - I am still trying to nail the best deal for myself, as always.

Let's be hopeful that these answers will come to me - hope they wouldn't take too long to, because time and tide waits for no man!

Soon.. it's Happy Birthday to myself and my birthday wish will be for me to find all the answers I need and live the life that I will have no regrets!
@9:38:00 PM
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Monday, April 19, 2010

Popo.. I love you
Reading my previous post brought tears to my eyes.

What a difference 12 days made.

Popo died on Wednesday 14 April at 0741am. She went for the ops on Mon 12 April but she didn't make it through the recovery in ICU.

If I had known that her time was up anyway, I would not have agreed to put her through the ops and let her suffer like that.

I am very saddened by her sudden departure.

The memory of her smiling at me on that morning of the ops is still fresh in my head. It was 630am when I got to the hospital to accompany her before the ops. She got up early and even washed her hair (because she was concerned that the nurses wouldn't help her shampoo her hair in ICU). She felt a bit cold from the shower and was dressed in her blue knitted cardigan. She thought I skipped work again to visit her so she nagged at me to not worry about her and go back to work.

Those were the same words she uttered to me before the doors of the operation theatre closed. And it turned out that those were her very last words.

She couldn't talk after the ops because she needed the ventillator to aid her breathing. In fact the first time she responded, was 3pm the following day. I kept talking to her and she finally responded by blinking her eyes rhythmatically. By then the doctors were concerned about her kidney failure and that she took so long to regain conscious.

At this point I can't go on to recap the last 15 hours of Popo's life. It's too heartbreaking.

We were all with her until her heartbeat stopped and came to a zero.

The next few days passed quickly and even now, I feel as if I'm on auto-pilot mode. At some moments, this still feels like a nightmare that I can't wait to wake up.

When the undertakers told us to take a last look at Popo, I wanted to tell her not to be scared. But those were the same words that I kept telling her before and after that ops. Not to be afraid because all of us are here with her. I was so scared myself, who am I to assure her that everything will be alright when I can't even guarantee that.

Popo was cremated in Mandai Crematorium on Sunday 18 April. She was 82 when she died. (I thought she was 84 because in her NRIC, her year of birth was 1926.)

Popo I will always love you and you will always be in my heart.

In the memory of..

Dear Popo (Mdm. Wong Kam Eng, Dragon Lady)
1928 - 2010
@11:35:00 PM
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Friday, April 02, 2010

dear popo
Please get well soon.

---
I'm typing away on my BB. At SGH now because my granny is now in ICU. She was admitted last night due to breathing difficulties. After all the tests, the specialists concluded that the 'water in the lungs' r due to a leaking valve. They would require a surgery to repair her heart valve, but need to do a couple more tests to access the risk level of the surgery.

It's been crazy since a call fr my aunt at 1am this morning. My popo was sent to East Shore but the $8k daily bill is too much for us, so we got her transferred to SGH. All 84years of age.. My popo has always been healthy n active. She does her daily marketing n walks in the park in her neighbourhood. She cooks yummy n nutritious soup for us when we pop by on the weekends for dinner with her.

It pains my heart to see her lying on the bed, all frail and vulnerable, with the tubes n breathing aid n all sorts of systems tracking her heartbeat, blood pressure... She is unable to talk because the breathing tube is right down to her windpipe. Poor popo. She must have been terrified when the nurses n docs started drawing her blood, doing all sorts of checks n all tubes n needles..

She kept waving her hand to ask me to go home,bt yet I see the fear in her eyes - she's scared of being alone. so I'm just hanging out at the lounge outside the ward and check on her occasionally. Meanwhile the entire extended family is on red alert and are all told to sleep with their mobile phone within close proximity.

Popo needs her surgery soon because she's in critical condition. I really hope her condition will stablise..

Dear popo.. Pls get well soon..
@10:53:00 PM
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Saturday, January 30, 2010

Learning to say 'No' all over again
Because being a 'YES' girl at work has been tormeting for me. Doing others' share of work is no fun, especially if they still get their share of salary.

Need to brush up my negotiation skills - learn to say 'No'!!

---

Actually I really don't know how pple can work for so many years of their lives. Surely there are more significant n important matters that require your attention.

Right?
@12:47:00 AM
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