Saturday, May 21, 2011


I have every reason to be grateful this week.

On Thursday, we took 18 guests from the Day Care out to visit the Prime Minister official residence in Seri Perdana, Putrajaya.
The morning didn't start off very well as one of my colleagues got really upset with me for not informing her about the outing. She showed her 'black face' not only to me but also our guests. (It's our guests because my guests are also her guests).

The 'old' me will probably see me trying to defend myself and we'll end up arguing over trivialities! That morning, I am so glad I was able to hold my peace and walk away from her. I told myself that my focus should always be on our guests, and I will not allow anything or anyone affect my mood and my day, especially when dealing with people who are unwell.

Perhaps, because of that, good things happened...

I am grateful to Soo Chien from Origins who sponsored our nurses with products from Origins on Nurses' Day. I don't know her but when I called, she just said YES to my request and even packed everything nicely for me!
I am grateful to Valentine from Redbox for providing a karaoke room and buffet dinner for the nurses to let their hair down during the nurses' day celebration.
I am grateful to have met a kind soul, Evonne from Mayflower who kindly got her company to fully sponsor us a 44-seater coach complete with a guide and water for our guests.
I am grateful to the management from the Prime Minister's office for being considerate and bypassing some of the house rules in order to facilitate our guests.
I am grateful to the manager of Seri Perdana for sponsoring our guests lunch at the banquet hall. It was a good lunch...with meals that are not oily or too spicy. Guests enjoyed it. Thank you for being so thoughtful.
I am grateful for all the volunteers who turned out to help. Volunteer drivers who had to pick extra guests on that day. One volunteer took leave to come and support us. Another volunteer spent time to prepare some finger food for us to take on the trip.
I am grateful for a supportive husband who voluntarily took the day off to help pick guests and help with the photography on that day.
I am grateful for all the support and help rendered to me by Dr. Felicia, physiotherapist Raymond, nurse Mastura and pharmacist Aidah.
I am grateful to our guests for teaching me patience, modesty and the value of life. For allowing me to learn something new from them every time we met. For showing me their grace and gratitude.

Are these reasons not good enough for me to be grateful this week? But then, there are more...

I am grateful for all that has happened to me in my life. I am grateful for every opportunity I have had to discover more about myself - each event has shaped me in to the person I am.

It has taken me a long while to realise that all the choices I have made in my life have been designed to train me for my future. Each time I have had the privilege on making a decision - right or wrong, on an option presented to me - at that point in time - that was the lesson that I had to learn.

I am extremely grateful for all the people who have appeared in my space - for their designated purpose - and the lessons they have taught me. The ability to think, remember, analyse, learn and grow from every experience is what I most appreciate. I am thankful that I have been presented with experiences and knowledge of others that have helped me to realise my true potential - and to encourage me to grow and improve.

In hindsight - every obstacle and suffering has shaped me - in ways that I had not imagine until I started looking at things differently. I have developed a greater understanding and awareness of my actions and reactions, of my limiting beliefs and I am so thankful for the opportunity to develop this in to a more positive life - each experience has occurred to led me on a path of greater understanding not only of myself - but of others. It is a good feeling.

I am grateful for the ability to choose my reality, and what is true for me. My gratitude extends to all the people I have encountered who have created an experience in my life to learn from - even the negative painful experiences have allowed me to discover inner strength and awareness. I have been able to look inside myself to rediscover ways to live my life that present greater value to all around me.

And now all I can say is 感谢!

Thursday, May 12, 2011

A labour of love

Today is Nurses' Day, and if I don't work in Hospis, I'll never know and perhaps, won't even bother to find out.

Therefore, I would like to pay my tribute to all the nurses around the world today and especially to those unique ones who work, care and help people with life-limiting illnesses.
The entire philosophy behind end-of-life care, often called hospice or palliative care, is really about love, kindness and dignity - learning to appreciate life.
Helping to ease the pain and grief that comes with death is the role of those rare individuals who are willing to work with the dying.
This is a field where a nurse's assistance can really help patients and their families, and it is truly a unique allied health specialty.

It is a labour of love.
So, to all nurses out there...A Huge Thank You!

"There is no joy without hardship. If not for death, would we appreciate life? Those who learn to know death, rather than to fear and fight it, become our teachers about life." - Dr. Elisabeth Kubler Ross on Death & Dying.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

From Kitchen Table Wisdom

I'm sharing this because of my personal encounter with a few patients with life-limiting illnesses last week and had a discussion on subjects related to end-of-life. Although all of them said they are prepared to face death, I do hear their grievances and feel their pain. I often questioned myself what have I got to offer at such a time? Is my compassion enough?

I found and immediately learn from 'Dancing With Grief' taken from the Kitchen Table Wisdom by Rachel Naomi Remen.

“The healing of our present woundedness may lie in recognizing and reclaiming the capacity we all have to heal each other, the enormous power in the simplest of human relationships: the strength of a touch, the blessing of forgiveness, the grace of someone else taking you just as you are and finding in you an unsuspected goodness.

Everyone alive has suffered. It is the wisdom gained from our wounds and from our own experiences of suffering that makes us able to heal. Becoming expert has turned out to be less important than remembering and trusting the wholeness in myself and everyone else. Expertise cures, but wounded people can best be healed by other wounded people. Only other wounded people can understand what is needed, for the healing of suffering is compassion, not expertise.”

“The greatest gift we bring to anyone who is suffering is our wholeness.
Listening is the oldest and perhaps the most powerful tool of healing. It is often through the quality of our listening and not the wisdom of our words that we are able to effect the most profound changes in the people around us… Our listening creates sanctuary for the homeless parts within the other person. That which has been denied, unloved, devalued by themselves and by others. That which is hidden.
In this culture the soul and the heart too often go homeless.”

Listening creates a holy silence. When you listen generously to people, they can hear truth in themselves, often for the first time. And in the silence of listening, you can know yourself in everyone. Eventually you may be able to hear, in everyone and beyond everyone, the unseen singing softly to itself and to you.”

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Learning from an 'A' student

I have been busy and I'm loving it!

John and I have spent our time doing many things and shared many life's experiences together, but we have never studied and went to school together.
For the past months, my weekends had been occupied with attending Korean classes.
Taking Korean lessons created an opportunity for me to learn from John and about John academically.

Well, I heard he was an 'A' student but to what extend I never really knew until recently.
When we signed up for Korean lessons, all I wanted was only to be able to converse and understand. I flipped when I realized that we have to learn to write and sit for the exam!! I hate exams! What more, this time round I had to sit in the exam alongside with a husband who was an 'A' student.
Anyway, however much I hated the exam part, I enjoyed the process leading to the exam eg. having the opportunity to go to school with John, doing revision together and we even took the public bus/LRT to school just to get the 'feel of a student life' all over again!

From John, I've learned all about discipline, diligence and what it takes to be the 'A' student he so deserves. He made sure that he sets aside time to revise his homework every night which means giving up his favourite TV programmes. He wasted no time and always able to find time to study in between lunch or while waiting for his clients. I am exactly the opposite of him...while John was revising his homework, I slept most times!

Lately, we received our exam results and without a doubt, John came up Top student in the class! He is every inch an 'A' student and I'm so proud of him. As for me, fortunately, I did fairly well too and I owe it to his guidance.

"The wise man should be generous in imparting his knowledge to others; for knowledge is not lessened by giving." - Solomon Ibn Gabirol