Thursday, 27 December 2012

Review 2012 - I am thankful

2012 is coming to an end soon.

It was a painful transition in the first few months of the year since coming back. The days passed painfully slow...

Not that easy to adjust from a structured life to one where I can hungry eat; tired rest; sleepy nap. Come to think of it, I've been living a "structured" life ever since I started primary 1 in 1974! 

Play, study, work, NS, work. Man! 44 years flew by just like that!?

Year 2012 was me returning to what was life before starting school at 7 years young. Can you remember what was life then when you were 6?

I remember me tagging along with grandma during her morning walks around the neighbourhood. 

And looking out the kitchen window longingly for my elder sibling to come back from school in the blue Volkswagen school van.

When bored, i will play (I think terrorise too) with my younger sibling who is still a toddler.

Yes, life was indeed fun then!

Hang on! Why I am sharing this? What has this got to do with my 2012 review?

Oh! I remember now. Back full circle to play. (I am wearing a big grin on my face)

Today, I accompanied my mom to NUH for her medical review. 

Everything is fine. Next appointment is in 3 months time. I am happy.

The long journey started in March this year. Multiple tests with 5 surgeries thrown in. From 2 medical follow-up appointments a week, to 1 appointment a week, to 1 appointment a month. And today it's a new milestone - 1 appointment every 3 months! 

I am grateful.


What's my achievement in 2012? It's to be around.

3 years ago, I was in Athens, mom went for knee replacement for her right leg and she told my younger sibling - who is the only one in Singapore as both me and my elder sibling were working overseas then - not to let us know least we worry.

Imagine discovering this when I came back during my home leave. How destroyed I felt inside knowing mom was bed-ridden alone at home for 2 months when my younger sibling was working? 

And I had the cheek to be angry with my younger sibling for not telling me! As if I can help being 9000 km away... I am so phoney....

But that's all behind now.   

In 2012, I've earned the privilege to be around.

I say this with gratitude and humility. 

With thanks in my heart, I shall gleefully look forward to 2013!



  1. Yes! One word can describe life. And that is from the beginning to the end of life - "Relationship".
    May God blessed you.

    1. NO! No!
      "May God blesses us, all.
      i am really no difference, i need His blessings too.Amen

    2. Oh! How is your MOM getting on after knee replacement? My regards and God's blessing to her too.
      My late mom was afraid of the knee surgery so she was on wheelchair for many years until about 90+. Sad.
      After the knee replacement surgery, are there any side effects so far? Care to share? Who knows (Only God knows) i may need knee replacement one day too.
      Actually one of the reason my mom opted out of knee replacement was she witnessed some of her church members had some "side effects" Of course some are O. K.
      i hope your mom is O. K.

    3. temperament,

      Thanks for your kind words.

      Mom had her replacement knee surgery on her right knee 3 years ago.

      I understand how your mom felt. My mom refused to operate on her left knee too. I guess she will wait until the pain is unbearable like her right knee before saying yes to surgery. Now mom has difficulty walking without assistance.

      Her body; her decision. I respect.

      I decided to be around instead of "forcing" her to operate her remaining left knee so I can be "off the hook".

      It's so easy to give advice and solutions for others without empathizing how they felt.

      The recent surgeries are for eyes. It's glaucoma. We did all the possible remedies: eye drops, medication, laser, surgical procedure, and finally implant...

      We laugh it off as part of wear and tear.

      It's nature way of reminding us of our mortality I guess.

      No return on investment for me. No goals or objectives.

      It's what you say: relationships.

      And the most important relationship of all:

      Can I live with myself knowing what I know ;)

  2. Hi SMOL!

    "To Be Around".
    Simple yet overlooked by so many ppl living a hectic urban life pursuit of money. Am glad there are people with great awareness like u!
    I am holidaying in Pai now, a small town in northern thailand, and amazed that some of the locals i met, some of them young people, who were successful individuals in the city, but gave up their city life and relocated to the suburbs to pursue greater cause like natural healing, yoga, building mudhouses, environmental sustainability, etc. All this is done while keeping an eye on opportunities to be with their loved ones. E.g when they have family gatherings or ill family members, they will fly hundreds of km to stay with them for months. Eye opener for me. :-)

    1. SI@SG,

      Ah! Travelling is good! Have fun!

      It's wet wet wet in Singapore. I like it though.

      We value what's important to us as we gain perspective through the passage of time and expanding our horizons.

      I am so looking forward to backpacking round Malaysia next year!

  3. HI SMOL,

    Thanks for sharing about your mum's knee replacement surgery. My mum is suffering the same problem and we cancelled her appointment for operation on 3 Jan after she insisted not going for it. Like you, we wouldn't want to force through the issue. Might probably be a good outcome for the time being as my father just passed away yesterday. So, better for her to be limping and mobile rather than bedridden and home-bound.

    Yes, totally agree with you about being around. We'll also have to be well ourselves to be able to take care of others.

    A blessed 2013 for all!



    1. Endrene,

      My condolences on your loss.

      Be well and strong.

      Best wishes for 2013 to you too!



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