In Control

Realised yesterday that my recent downness could be an effect of a disrupted rest over the past 2 weeks. Yeah, I’m someone who knocks out and sleeps through the night, but lately I’ve been waking up in the middle of the night to… nothing. Initially I thought it was the heat, then exercising too late at night, and eventually I realised it just kept happening each night.

Was at home yesterday and felt utterly down since the morning. Because I had an argument with my mom over the state of the house hur. Cell group mate asked how did I spend my day yesterday, and I replied, “Quarrelling with my mom.” Quarelled till I shut myself in my room, got angry at what she said, thought about leaving the house, thought about the imperfections of the church, etc.

That came in too early. When I realised years ago that I sink into negativity late at night, I would go to sleep if I had nothing occupying my time (e.g. assignments). But when I sank that low yesterday, it was too early, too much time for the day to go by, too many opportunities for me to sink even lower.

Came home from lunch and did my Quiet Time and, there was this sleepiness that came upon me. “Go and sleep, take a rest.” And so I did.

I woke up. Yes, what’s up now? The first thought that came was this – God is sovereign still, everything is in control, I’m not alone in these. That was reassuring, and changed my outlook the moment I left the bed.

That was also when I realised that I’ve been feeling overwhelmed by whatever that’s going on in life. The conflict, the Christians, the family, the company. It’s almost as though I forgot that God is holding all these in His hands.

I lift my hands to heaven
Here my heart surrendered
I tell my soul again
You are Lord of all
Though the seas are raging
You will speak and tame them
In You I find my rest
You are in control

In Control

Together

He came back last Saturday. I watched him stand at the casket, gazing at his father’s face, for a long long time. He hasn’t been home for I don’t know, 4, 5 years? This time round, the entire family flew back from where they were because their dad passed away unexpectedly. When he first rushed to the wake with that frantic and tears on his face, I choked back.

Was there for the past 3 nights. We haven’t spoken to each other for years actually. As we grew older, he stopped visiting our grandma and the conversation stopped as well. We used to play together, and he used to be my first crush in life lol. But anyway, hmm we spoke today, just the casual have you eaten, let me grab something for you, no let me do it…

Wakes are… interesting. The first wake that I was personally involved in was that of my first uncle’s two years ago. I saw how the family came together, day in and out. The silence in our relationships due to various reasons suddenly vanished and conversations started again. They would also talk about the past, some of which I never knew about.

Tonight too. Sudddenly, they started talking about things from 50 years ago. How my mom used to keep fainting when she was young, how they had to take care of her, how life was like with one another. Quite cute actually.

On one of the nights of the wake, one of my cousins said it’s been a long time since the family came together. One suggested let’s do badminton together, and she suggested that we do a short trip together as a family. Indeed, it’s been a long time since we gathered. I suspect, that’s because my first uncle had left us. It used to be him who creates every opportunity for the family to gather. It’s time to come together again.

Strangely, it often takes a family member’s wake for me to see the value of a family. Family would travel from the east to the west everyday that the wake was held, just to sit around, to support with their presence. I also learnt that family is not just about blood-related ties. I’ve seen a friend who’s like a part of the family.

Together

Family Issues

Just had a fight with my sis over the lamest thing. And it’s been many years (the last time was when I was a primary school kid?) that I threw anything in a fit of anger. I threw a tablet on the floor. I turned to my mom who watched us fight, “Look at how selfish your daughter is.”

More so than envying others for having a good dad, I often look at siblings who are close and wonder how they did it. My sis and I hardly talk about deep stuff, and recently there’s been like this ongoing fire between us.

To me, she’s spoilt. By my mom who prioritises her needs, such as rushing home just to bring her dinner even when she’s already in her late teens. She’s selfish and has lame logics of reasoning. If something falls on the ground at home, she can walk past it a hundred times and can’t be bothered to pick it up, and when I question her about it, she brings up some random issue like “You also leave your things around the house what.” Like #nolinkmuch? On important days e.g. Mother’s Day, she can go out and spend time with her boyfriend. And when she’s in a foul mood, you know it.

Talked to my mom about it and she’s not convinced of having spoilt my sis. It’s also unfair that in our growing years, our relatives would come up to me and task me to protect and take care of my family because we don’t have a dad. Ya, so what if I’m like 2 years older? Doesn’t this girl also have a part in this family, in this house? I mean, people, stop doing such a thing to children. You are doing them more harm than good. They have to grow up faster than they should, and take on a role that shouldn’t be theirs, so that they rise up to your expectations. And the way you handle it is just unfair.

Well to be fair, I have a foul temper at home too. To have a fight break out, you need two angry people and yeahhh.

Sigh. Sometimes I wonder, why is my family like that. And then… I know, as the Chinese saying goes, 家家有本难念的经。If I have a million dollars, as people usually ask, I might consider moving out. 

Family Issues

Favourite Man

“我什么都好, 就是脚不听话。”

The last time I was back was 5 months ago. He seems to have aged a lot in the 5 months that flew past.

He walks much slower now. His right leg would give way every now and then as he hobbles along with the cane. His legs a lot more delicate.

His speech a little slower, a little softer. So much so that there’s this one night, when he said he was going to bed at an unusually early hour at about 10pm, fear crept in. Said a little prayer to ask God to keep him, and found comfort and assurance when I heard him cough.

There was this sense of gladness when we flew back to Singapore together last evening. Other than this sense of pride in “showing off” our airport to my grandfather, there’s also this warm feeling in sharing the sights and sounds of Changi Airport with him. That’s his first flight in 20 over years.

Held on to him as he walked around in case his right knee buckled again. Yet at the same time, concerned about whether my arm would add on too much weight on his shoulders. Felt the reversal in our roles as well – he left behind his life in Ipoh to take care of me when my dad abandoned the family and my mom had to work to support us, now it’s my turn to spend time with you and take care of you.

Save him, God.

Favourite Man

Balik Kampong

Kept telling my cousin how healthy I felt when we were there. We slept at like 10ish 11ish almost every night and waking at 8.15am the next morning. That’s like a good 8 hours covered, which is considered quite a luxury in Singapore. She also pointed out that we’ve been having meals at regular hours. Now that I’m back here, I’m missing my breakfast which I have never failed to have when I was there. I haven’t been coughing much as well, guess it’s because my trip had been really chillax and without aircon.

Last night, I sat on the bed to talk to God a little. I realised that I’ve been enjoying the pitch dark and silent nights the past week. That was peaceful – other than the chaos that was in my head/heart one night.

It’s been a great week of rest! We didn’t get as much of a technological detox like what we expected, but I guess we still had some in the hours that the hotspot was down. Felt wide awake and refreshed this morning when I woke up – this is one of the best feelings one can have.

Well, if there’s a stable passive income that’s sufficient for use, I think I won’t mind staying there for a longer time.

Balik Kampong

In Common

Although we meet each other at least once a year, this is the first time I realised we do have quite a few things in common.

#1: Music
I was humming to the tune of the advertisement based on erm… I was just anyhow humming and was surprised that I managed to “predict” the melody. Midway, he cut in and asked if I knew which studio has a drum set, bass guitar and keyboard because he wanted to jam with his friends. So I just shared with him where the church musicians have jammed at. That was when I realised he likes this music thing too.

Then last night, I was just playing with my Rhythm Trainer app and he was there. I was just playing with it again minutes ago and he suddenly came into the room and asked what the app’s called. I was slightly amused that he asked because this “game” doesn’t really seem like a fun one to the others, which yeah I guess it’s because it’s not a game but a… rhythm trainer lol. And the fact that he wants to download it surprised me as well, because I would think any other musicians would find what I was doing too basic.

#2: Photography
I was walking around with the family with a Holga in my hands today. So out of curiosity he took a look at it. It seems like he enjoys photography and knows a bit here and there as well.

I’ve also been contemplating about what phone to get the next time I recontract my phone plan. I finally reached the conclusion that I would get an iPhone simply because it allows spot metering. But these two days, I’m really impressed with Esther’s Samsung S7 and she’s been trying to convince me to get it as well. My only reservation with it was that it can’t do spot metering, or so I thought. So while playing with the S7’s camera today, he pressed two or three buttons and enabled the function. Alright, S7, I’m coming for you.

#3: Fun
And then there was before dinner time earlier on when I wandered off to the capsules machine to take a look at the toys. He actually came along to take a look and even put in two 50-cents coins.

LOL alright, he just walked into the room playing with the Rhythm Trainer.

Ah, guess I’ve found a buddy in the family :)

In Common

“Spend more time with your family”

Visited Jolynn at her dad’s wake last night. He passed on a few nights ago, which was rather unexpected for the family.

Both Cass and I didn’t quite know what to say when we were with her, and so she went on with what seemed like a well-rehearsed narration of what happened and how her dad was like. Well-rehearsed maybe because she realised that many people didn’t know what to say, so she decided to help her guests with the conversation. Saw her rush all over the place hosting her guests in that 1 hour we were there.

She also shared with us that being at the wake helped them in a way that it occupies their thoughts. Being at home would just remind them of him. After the wake, they would take time to grieve properly.

Our hearts ached as we listened to the things she shared. I had to hold back my tears when she shared about how her dad’s like with the family.

Last night reminded me of my uncle’s wake somewhat. That was when I learnt that people’s presence meant something to the family members. That was also when I realised the importance of hearing the family members tell their stories about the deceased.

Prayed for her before we left. As we were about to leave, she said this with a very affirming touch, “Spend more time with your loved ones.” That was from the bottom of her heart, and I guess, it left an impact.

“Spend more time with your family”