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What One Year Without My Mum Taught Me…

November 15, 2013


This memorial post comes 7 days late but I still wanted to post it anyway cos it’s a significant one year that had gone past.

It’s amazing how time flies..

When I first had to deal with losing my mother, I was really thankful for a very supportive network of friends and family. And rather than wallowing in self pity and misery, I turned to the Lord and He blessed me with this verse, “Blessed are those that mourn, for they shall be comforted. – Matthew 5:4”.

The Lord will never let you bear a weight that you cannot handle. He shall comfort you because He never allow you to remain sorrowful. Because His will is for you to rejoice in Him always.
In my mum’s last days, she kept telling me, “Be strong okay? Mummy has to go any way. Life will always go on. So live your life to the fullest.”

Indeed, she was right. Life did go on.

And life will go on.

The one year without my mum taught me is what she has always been telling me all my life.

No matter rain or shine, happy or sad, the sun will rise again. And life will continue moving. So we have to choose to be strong.. especially for those who are still living.

This one year taught me about resilience.

I didn’t know that I had inherited my mum’s hardiness until I went through the ordeal of picking up the pieces. It wasn’t easy to cope with the emotional demands of grief and the physical demands of getting back to running a full-fledged business and getting back to daily life.

She knew she left me in good hands – in the hands of God… in the hands of my dearest Daddy and definitely in the hands of my hubby, Calvin.

My mum used to to tell everyone (from her doctors, to family and even friends) that I’m an emotional kid who was very attached to her and outwardly, I look strong but I crumble like a cookie.
I hope today she acknowledges that I’ve proven her wrong.

This one year taught me about happiness.

I realized cherishing the present is where happiness lies. And it was the very first time, I truly understood the meaning of “happiness is a choice”. And it is a choice we can actively make every single day – TO BE HAPPY.

It was a very liberating experience for me as I started to make a conscious effort to pursue different matters in a positive light. It made my relationships and interactions with people more fulfilling, more positive and see my life very differently than before.

This one year taught me about compassion.

Compassion is something intangible but can always be felt and seen. I’ve never really understood why my mother was ALWAYS giving. Giving gifts, giving smiles, giving calls of concern… (seriously, I think my Dad and I are the only things she’s never attempted to “give away” lol~) but anyway, it always made me feel that she was so busy with the whole world but not with me.
But in this year, I realized something and that is, it’s only when you give, will you receive.

“Whoever brings blessing will be enriched, and one who waters will himself be watered.” – Proverbs 11:25

It is certainly more blessed to give than to receive. And it doesn’t have to be something expensive… it can be something as plain as a genuine compliment or even a smile.
I do miss my mum a lot… regardless of our litle squabbles and obstinate natures.

But life on Earth will always go on and she now resides in my heart and not a day goes by without missing her. Till we meet again…

In loving memory.. Lucy U Po (18 Sep 1956 – 8 Nov 2012)

Events, General, Personal

My Eulogy

November 15, 2012

I was thinking twice whether I should post my eulogy on Facebook. But I felt that it’s something really personal which I would very much like friends or family to discover it on my personal blog, then for me to post it on Facebook which will appear as “READ ME! READ ME!” on the news feed.

It’s funny how this eulogy got written. It was written in a haste as I originally thought I would be delivering it on the day of the cremation. However, Pastor Pauline (the Pastor for the Memorial service) suggested that I delivered during the memorial service where most people are present.

Having to entertain guests and write an eulogy at the same time was NOT easy. Basically cos I had to keep my emotions in check while writing something that was so meaningful to me. I wanted to put in more thought and heart into it. But the presence of all the visitors.. friends, colleagues, family etc. actually made me realize the central theme of my eulogy — my mother’s unconditional love for others..

This eulogy is a tribute to my mother Lucy U Po (18 Sep 1956 – 8 Nov 2012) and I hope it speaks to you if you have known her. And if you don’t know of her, I hope this short synopsis of her life is suffice to give you reason to think about your own life and of how you can live it such that you too can say “I think I have lived my life well. I have no regrets”

—Start of Eulogy—

“Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery and today is a gift. that’s why it’s called the Present.” Thank you everyone for being here. It’s the best present you have brought along for my family today. To my relatives who travelled from overseas to make it for today, thank you very much.

My name is Patricia, and I’m the only daughter of Lucy. I know you all know my mum personally in one way or another. It could be at school, at work, it could be in the neighbourhood or probably, simply because she’s my mum, or an aunt or cousin to you. But there’s only one way I know her. To me, she’s my dearest mother. The mum that I couldn’t have chosen but the mum whom I would choose again if I could.

My mum is an incredibly kind, helpful and generous person. She never fails to lend a helping hand to friends, family and even strangers. She makes the effort to know the bus 900 bus drivers, the cashiers at Shop & Save, the neighbour who just moved in and the child sitting across her in the MRT. Her smile is ever radiant and genuine that it warms even the coldest person in the room.

That’s how she stole my dad’s heart.

My mum is originally from the Philippines. She’s the baby of the Po family who grew up as a young, intelligent woman who later went to medical school with the plan of becoming a doctor. However, little did she know, my dad, her penpal for 14 years from Singapore, was to be her soulmate and life partner.

The first time my dad went to the Philippines was for a practical reason, to go on a holiday. He was choosing between the USA and Philippines but figured Philippines was nearer and cheaper. And he had a penpal who was excited to meet him for the very first time. My dad and mum always recall the faithful day with laughter. She was so excited about his arrival that she was jumping in the crowded airport to catch his attention and welcomed him with a beautiful smile.

That is the smile that stole my dad’s heart.

And that smile continued to radiate in so many people’s lives.

The friends, family, neighbours and colleagues who have stepped forth during the past few months to comfort her, console her and even care for her.. are the fruits of the seeds she has sowed in their lives over the past 56 years of her life.

When she was first diagnosed with cancer, she told the doctor, “I have no regrets. I think I have lived my life well.” Now I can’t help but agree.

As my father and I experience the love, care and concern from everyone during this journey, we truly understood the unconditional love my mother gave out of herself to those who crossed paths with her.

Today, in the presence of everyone, we want to say we are very proud of her – of the many things she’s done in her life, big and small.

And …

We thank God for being with her in this ardous battle against cancer.

We thank God for the victory she has had.

We thank God for making her a blessing in so many people’s lives.

We thank God that He has received her with open arms.

She fought a good fight in her battle with cancer and remained faithful of God’s love and grace.

What holds for us tomorrow is a mystery.

But my mum always says, Trust in the Lord.

And in the Lord we will trust.

We will dearly miss Lucy, a great mother, a loving wife and a faithful child of God.

We will always love her and remember her for who she is and she will always be in our hearts.

Before I end, I’ll like to share with you an SMS my mum sent me on Valentines’ Day.

It goes like this, “Love is d greatest Healing Power – at d end of our lives after all our successes n failures the value of our lives is determined by how much we have loved – :-)”

I hope we’ll always remember her unconditional love for us and remember to love others unconditionally as well. Thank you.

—End of Eulogy—

In memory of Lucy U Po, my dearest mother