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(Part 3/4) 12 Things I Am Grateful For In 2012

December 21, 2012

The third thing I am grateful for is..

God’s Favor.

In particular, favor with the people whom I’ve met along the way this year.

Truth be told, I felt really ALONE earlier this year.. meaning to say, I felt like I was fighting a lone battle. Reason is because I felt that I couldn’t help my mother with her illness, I couldn’t get myself together and I didn’t want to burden Calvin with my family “problems”. I didn’t want to worry my father (simply because I felt he was stressed out enough) and so I’d rather keep up my brave front only to crumble inside.

But I really thank God that my family & I had favor with the people we met along the way.

Firstly, my mum’s presiding oncologist – Prof Simon Ong. He was a supportive, empathetic, wonderful doctor who really understood a patient’s needs and who really made an effort to clear a patient’s doubts, fears and worries. I felt that the security he was able to provide my mother was something that NO ONE could be able to offer her, apart from God. (LOL) He was supportive of both my father & I and really went out of his way to show his concern for my family. The gratitude towards him is really deep and I believe that things do not happen by chance and God introduced Prof Simon to us because He wanted us to be comforted throughout the journey.

Secondly, the nurses in the Ward 48, 78 of SGH. God really knew how to put the right people in our lives and to help us. And sometimes, I feel that we had good relationships with the nurses and they were able to care for my mother well.

My The Card Room wedding card printer, Shi Ling. I was panicking as I had to get my wedding cards printed in short notice and I had a budget I was working with. I just happened to find The Card Room through my online research and then I scheduled an appointment with Shi Ling. After going through the cards and talking further in the meeting, she was so helpful and willing to work within my budget and print the cards on time! Little did I know.. I bumped into her in church & found out she was attending NCC too!

My InterContinental banquet manager, Scarlet. There was actually several issues with my wedding banquet booking as it was actually made for 10 Nov 2012 and in the event of cancellation, the entire banquet fee was due. But she was perfectly helpful and willing to work with us to make the 31 March wedding possible!

And many more.. I’ll gradually add them to the list.

I really feel God’s footprints were everywhere throughout the year and I thank Him for letting me have favor with the people I meet.

After going through the year, I’m more aware of such divine occurrences/appointments/meetings that only God would have been possible to orchestrate. 🙂

Have you met someone whom you feel only God could have created that opportunity?

It could be His way of showing His favor & love to you! 😉



(Part 2/4) 12 Things I Am Grateful For In 2012

December 20, 2012

As I was reflecting on the second thing I’m grateful for, I was disrupted by a Whatsapp message and then when i finished replying.. What I saw were multiple Whatsapp chat groups. Each chat group had a different group of friends. I was totally stoked at how many quality & wonderful friendships I have developed over the years..

Being an only child, I’ve grown up relying on a lot of friends for company. I never felt alone or sad that I didn’t have siblings because my friends were always with me.. studying, playing sports, shopping.. you name it.

And this year, my friends were really a pillar of strength to me.. And I’m really grateful for them.

  • Ahmad Ibrahim secondary school girlfriends – AI Jie Mei
This was taken at Peiling’s 21st birthday. She and the 3 ladies at the back, Huai Yu, Yizhen & Shi Ling are what I call golden friends who just know the remedies for a bad day and really embrace my flaws. They have been supporting me throughout the years after secondary school and more so recently, when my mum fell ill. I can’t say how grateful I am to have their friendship.
  • Amber Gang
I simply love this group of friends cos we really grow together in life, experiences & have so much fun together.. 3 couples got married between 2011 to 2012 while in the group we have three very eligible bachelors too. Actually, this group is Calvin’s group of secondary school friends whom he is extremely close to. And they have been so wonderful to me ever since we dated and we just love spending evenings together – playing kinect, mahjong, chit chat and whatsoever. It’s never a dull moment!
  • Fuchun Primary friends – I’ve known them more than 14 years!

 Unfortunately, I can’t find a picture of the group! Cos it’s buried in my Facebook account and I can’t seem to find our group photo. Nonetheless, I’ve known them for more than 14 years now. It’s funny how cos we stay near each other in the same area of Woodlands, that we never lose touch! Our regular meeting place is Causeway Point. Go figure. 😛 But I’ve since moved out of the area.. but Whatsapp group is still very much alive!

  • JC – AC & YJ mates
3 months in ACJC was all it took for us to establish a long term friendship. The four of us have supported each other in every single way and we just love spending time chit chatting over a meal or playing board games. They are my friends who keep me rooted — rooted to a character of humility. LOL. Why? Cos they are really amazing people yet are humble of their achievements. Are not pretentious at all. I simply love them.
My YJ Makkals.. Haha.. I think that’s the word. This group is what I call ethnically diverse. NO way in a Singapore school can you find an almost equal no. of chinese, malay & indian in a class, except in my class. Maybe things are different now. But I remember walking into the class in sheer amazement. I learnt a lot from them and they have been so open & supportive of me regardless of race and religion.
  • NUS friends

Last but not least, the NUS friends. The funny thing is, I wasn’t in the same course as any of them. Haha.. I got to know them when I did cross modules in the Business school. I study Psychology but I had a strong interest in Marketing and hence, I think I took as many business modules as my core Psychology modules!  This group is interesting because.. despite coming from different backgrounds, workplaces, schools etc. we could converge cos of one thing – we just enjoy each other’s company. Chill out dinners, KTV sessions.. It’s a must-have after 2-3 months of jaded work in the workplace. Or so I think. Haha..

The friends I’ve made and their support in the past year is so important to me. Hence, I really treasure their friendships and will continue to cultivate them such that they can become life long relationships.

I hope you’ve got friends that you treasure as well.

Are you thankful to have them as well?

Is there anything special you can do for them in the coming year?

Let’s commit to having genuine friendships with others and treasure them. Do make the effort to let them know you care!

My wish for 2013 is for God to bless them with happiness and health and all of their hearts’ desires! Amen! 🙂

Chinese New Year, Events, Personal, Reflections

(Part 1/4) 12 Things I Am Grateful For In 2012

December 19, 2012

I was actually inspired by a Facebook post my friend, Adam made yesterday to start this series: 

But instead of thinking how to get my unfulfilled goals done in 12 days, it got me thinking about what has already been done in 2012 which I am grateful for. And this reflection has made me realized, there’s no way I can cram all into one post and so I decided to spread it across 12 posts. 1 per day starting from today and leading up to 2013.

The most unfortunate thing is, my blog has not been updated since 31 dec 2011. So there’s a lot of “catching up” to do. But I reckon, the 12 things that I’m going to share will probably cover how my life went for this year.

In short, this is NO ORDINARY YEAR. 

To be frank, when I was thinking of what I wanted to blog about and thought of 12 things I am grateful for for this year, I was squeezing my brain dry.

I initially had GREAT hopes for this year — my dream wedding, my honeymoon (thank God for providing us with a beautiful wedding & honeymoon which I will touch on in subsequent posts :)), my parents’ retirement, our first home, our business achievement of breaking the million dollar mark annual revenue for this year. But this year has got to be one of the most challenging years I have ever had in my entire 26 years life.

And I thank God for accompanying me through the ups and downs, for blessing me with a great family and with friends & leaders of great faith who stood by my family.

Before I get carried away..

The first thing I am grateful for in 2012 is quality time with my family. 

I will always remember Chinese New Year this year. It was the day before CNY eve when my mum had to be admitted in A&E for anemia. My mother has always been the “SuperMum”, Iron Lady to me and for the first time, she was weak, pale & frail. And the doc actually said if we had delayed her admission, she could have died from cardiac arrest from lack of oxygen in the body.

At that time, I had to witness my mother undergo blood transfusion cos her hB level was 4.3 which was dangerously low. A lot of pints. I can’t remember how many. And we requested for her discharge to spend CNY for one day before readmission. That she wanted too.

I still remember her telling me, “I feel like this is my last Chinese New Year” when we went out visiting on the first day and I just had tears in my eyes. The picture you see above, was taken with a heavy heart but still with a smile in my face as I always like to remain optimistic even in times of difficulty/uncertainty. Let me tell you, it’s not easy going house to house wishing everyone Happy CNY, and then return to the car to check if my mum was feeling alright.

On the first day of CNY, we went straight to hospital to be readmitted after all the visiting.

It was during the admission that my mother underwent further tests & was suspected to be with stomach cancer. The days of waiting for the results was really agonizing. My mum who knew the results still couldn’t bear to tell us. And when the doctor broke the news to me for her, I remember it was just sheer confusion and distraught. I remember going home, crying in my bed.. asking God why this had to happen.

But as I began to accept the news, it just made me treasure time with my mum & dad more.

I still remember during one of the consultations, Prof Simon Ong, my mum’s presiding oncologist said something like… cancer is a very destructive & curious disease. It’s devastating news to the family but somehow, it brings the best out of everyone as people start to make time for each other, seek spiritual help, find time for things that meant the most to them.

He was right.

I started trying to spend more time with my parents, as much as I could. But it was challenging as I had to manage commitments from the business, employee management and at the same time, deal with the falling USD & economic changes.

And I was the only child. (LOL)

But seriously, I did not have the luxury of calling a brother, a sister to help out in the family, to spend time with my mum on my behalf.. etc.

Hence, the emotional burden was actually really really heavy, that I started developing skin problems on my face (unnatural break outs).

But I felt it made me work harder to strike a balance (thank God for Calvin to keep me in check) and also to rest in God for Him to do His work in my life. It also made me treasure our time together more.

I think it made us more resilient against this unknown thing called cancer.

And I felt I finally got something back that I kinda lost from the past 3 years of working, to understand what was truly important to me — time with my family.

The last three months of my mum’s life was spent in and out of hospital. But that did not deter my father & I from going to the hospital to spend time with her almost every single day. Watching my mum indulge in her iced milos and say, “This is Simple Joy” and she glancing at us from the hospital bed to see what we were eating, reading or watching.. How she tells her guests “Thank you for coming”..

The pieces of advice she tells me with regards to life, “Don’t work so hard”, “Be kind to others”, “Be yourself”, “Be strong”, “Be nice to your husband (lol)” etc. are things I will keep in my heart.

All these memories I have of time spent together with my mum & dad… I am thankful to have them.

Right now, I treasure the people who continue to be important in my life even more and will continue making it a priority to spend quality time with them in the coming year.

I hope that encourages you some way to do so too. 🙂

Think about the people who are important to you.

Have you been spending as much time with them as you can to continue cultivating the relationship?

Why don’t you commit some more time in a month to just have a meal, catch a movie, have a coffee or even just be in each other’s presence?

You’ll realize how valuable time spent during interactions and relationships is, and it’s something which no amount of money can buy.

I hope you have benefited from my sharing.

Till the next post tomorrow to continue with the 2nd thing I’m grateful for in 2012.  Good night!