Saturday, June 25, 2011

Like every other morning since my mother's demise, I woke up with a heavy heart and I lay in bed, praying for the strength to get through the day.

My mother was the most important person in the world to me and when she breathed her last, my whole world came crashing down. Everything else was a blur after that, the wake, the funeral, collecting her ashes and placing the urn in its final resting place. It seems almost unreal that she is no longer around with us and I wish I could wake up from this bad dream and find her sitting at her usual spot at the dining table, but alas, she is really gone.

I sorted out the stack of bills my mom kept, looked through the notebooks where she made all her little notes in her neat, precise handwriting. Marveled at how organized she was, up to the day she was admitted to the hospital. All these things remind me of her and it is as if she is never really gone.

I opened her cupboard and just sat there, staring at her clothes and chanced upon a carefully kept photo album. I opened it, they were all pictures of me during my training days, my graduation and the day I did my flight training. My heart clenched. My mother never told me she was proud of me, but L, who attended my graduation with my mom, said I should have seen her face when I went up on stage to collect my wings, she was beaming with pride.

Although I could not fulfill her dream of seeing me happily settled down, at least I had the chance to make her proud for once. I do not really know how to go on from here but at least I am holding it together. My mother, she always knew what to do.

I miss her dearly.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Eulogy for Mom 1 Feb 1955 - 20 Jun 2011

It was a bittersweet moment for everyone, especially for those who have known my mother when she was alive, but take comfort in the knowledge that she passed away peacefully and has gone home to be with the Lord.

My mother was a gentle, loving soul, who would give and give selflessly and yet expect nothing in return. Her kindness extended not just to her loved ones and friends, but to everyone else who has had the privilege to have their lives touched by this amazing woman. She was the strongest person I knew, and in her own quiet and gentle way, her strength was absolute. Towards my 2 dogs, my brother, my father and I, her love for us was perfect. We are all very blessed to have had someone like her in our lives, working hard to make sure that we lacked nothing and that all our needs were taken care of, often neglecting that of her own. Such was the selfless love and devotion she showered upon us. So much so that she gave up her own dreams so that she could fulfill ours.

When she was diagnosed with stage 4 breast cancer in March last year, we did not know how long she had left to live. True to how most of us remember her, she thought only about her family. She worried about how we would be able to cope without her around and was considerate towards the very end. It was her wish that we kept the details of her condition within her immediate family and a few people, so that she could live her life with as much normalcy as possible and go on with her life without having to worry anyone else. My brother and I were only given the unenviable task of having to inform family and some close friends towards the last days of her life, when she knew it was time for her to go.

Personally, I have some regrets that I did not spend as much time with her as I would have liked, and told her how much I loved and appreciated her, that my family and I did not have the chance to fulfill her dreams. However, moving forward, we are glad that she accepted Jesus Christ and had gotten to know Him and experience His divine love and blessings. He gave her comfort and lifted the burden in her heart, as well as the peace which transcends all understanding. We were truly blessed to have walked this journey with her and to have taken care of her up to the very end, until we could do no more, but to fulfill her last wish of letting her go in peace and spend her last days in a hospice.

God's kindness is sovereign and He gave us that window when she regained consciousness, long enough to see and acknowledge our relatives gathered around her and the love surrounding her, that some of us got the chance to say the things we never got to say to her and assure her that everything will be ok. Most importantly, there was forgiveness and our family has drawn closer together.

A month before her demise, a friend brought 2 elders from his church to pray for her and my family. One of them saw a vision when she lay hands on my mother. It was a vision of Jesus cradling my mom in His arms like a baby. We were comforted by that image. It was only after her passing that we realized that it signified that the Lord was going to take her home.

I thank God for his perfect timing, for allowing my brother, my father and I to be by her side , holding on to her hand as she took her last breath and passed away peacefully.

I would like to close with Psalm 23, which was her favourite verse from the bible that brought her comfort in her darkest moments.

The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.

He makes me lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters.

He restores my soul; He leads me in the paths of righteousness For His name's sake.

Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil;

For You are with me;

Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.

You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You anoint my head with oil; My cup runs over.

Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days in my life;

And I will dwell in the house of the Lord, forever.

Psalm 23:1-6

Mommy, we love you very much and we are joyful that you are at peace and can finally be with God. Your legacy will forever be immortalized in our hearts and you will fondly be remembered, always.

Monday, December 27, 2010

I was looking forward to Christmas this year but alas, it was troubling to say the least. It was indeed a memorable one, but not in a good sense. Instead, the memories of this Christmas and the one nearly a decade ago, leaves me cold and detached.

There were a few saving graces which I am thankful for, but the heaviness in my heart continue to weigh on me.

Career-wise, things are progressing nicely and I have no more need for a safety pilot, but yet, I have to drag my ass to work sometimes because of my worries outside of work. Though my darling has been by my side all this while and I have friends I can talk to, I have never felt more alone and helpless.

I wish I had the power to change things, but sadly, it is entirely out of my hands.

Monday, November 15, 2010

I could have been very upset today, but my heart was prepared and I was calm and I did not waver.

Then I understood... what I chose to see would make all the difference, so I made my choice and listened to God.

I am glad I did.
These 2 weeks have never felt longer and this is the first time I am ever looking forward to a Monday.

I hope and pray that today, everything will be ok.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

10 weeks and the wait was finally over. It was a slight scramble to get prepared as we barely had 2 days of notice in advance.

Yet another sleepless night plagued me and I was kept awake by restless thoughts. When I could finally fall asleep, I was dogged by a nightmare where I had to report for duty but certain items of my uniform had gone missing I was in panic mode. I woke up barely 2 hours later, drained, and more tired than when I had gone to bed.

I arrived at the airport early and when the rest of my guys had turned up, we had a quick briefing on what is to be expected out of today's training exercise. One of us had to fly out of Changi to Senai and one of us had to fly back. I had this feeling I would have to go first and we drew lots, true enough, I was number 1. A shiver of excitement ran down my spine.

There was no time to waste, everything was done quickly and methodically. Once everything done, I got clearance to start the engines. The sound of the engines spooling to life was music to my ears and when we cleared the ground crew to disconnect, I eased her gently onto the taxiway, careful not to be too jerky when steering.

We got the clearance for takeoff after a 15 minute delay, I lined up and advanced the thrust levers smoothly forward and we were off! The rush of speed and power was exhilarating! At the call to rotate, I pitched up the nose up to 15 degrees and flew the flight directors and I flew manually for the next 1 hour and 20 minutes without engaging the autopilot. It was a dream to fly.

I did an ILS approach on the way in and patches of broken cloud obscured my view, I was cleared for visual circuits at 1500ft. My rate of descent on finals was constant until about 50ft and it started to shallow when I was correcting for the centreline. I touched down and took off again, did 2 more circuits and 1 missed approach. I was happy with my performance and my landings today, which was a great relief. I changed seats with the next guy on downwind, I had completed the exercise. The other 3 guys took turns to do the same exercise and the last guy flew back to Changi and landed.

We all made it and we now put in the paperwork for the endorsement on our licenses. The happiness I felt today made me forget my pain and sadness over the past 1.5 weeks, though bittersweet. The first person I had wanted to call to share the good news is him but that will have to wait until things are resolved.

But for tonight, I think I will finally have a good night's rest.


Monday, November 08, 2010

A troubled night's sleep culminated in an emotion-filled morning filled with despair, then an unexpected ray of hope pierced the gloom. Feelings of hope and fear are intertwined, but I will just have to find out soon enough. I have my own answers but I can only continue to pray about this.

Perhaps, God is putting me through this period of uncertainty and tribulation to draw me closer to Him and prepare me for something bigger.

Sunday, November 07, 2010

Yesterday, realization struck me and I know what I must do. I pray with my all my heart that my words will get through.

Friday, November 05, 2010

The mornings, when I wake up, are the worst, so much so that I dread the moment I rouse from slumber. My energy has ebbed away to near nothingness and I am listless. I cannot remember when was the last time I felt this weak and I realized, that I am not as tough and strong as I thought I was.

The questions that were pounding my mind continue to haunt me and all I want to do is to pick up my phone and resolve everything and put an end to my torment, but it will only serve to destroy what little hope that is left.

It is ironic that the traits that have gotten me through in life, have turned out to be a double-edged sword and a fatal flaw, even when I really give it my best and have never taken anything for granted. Why?

Perhaps, for the first time in my life, my capacity to give and my feelings know no bounds and now, I understand the true meaning of the word unconditional.

The little girl in me weeps.
Today, my dear brother forwarded me a text message which gave me great comfort.
"The Lord has done great things for us and we are filled with joy. Restore our fortunes, Lord, like streams in the Negev. Those who sow with tears will reap with songs of joy. Those who go out weeping, carrying precious seed to sow, will return with songs of joy, carrying sheaves with them" Psalm 126:3-6

With God, our sorrows are neither wasted nor worthless. Instead, our sorrows, in the Lord, are made productive and precious, for God cherishes deeply the seeds of sorrow we sow, and He rewards us richly with a harvest of joy. It is a worthy endeavour to learn how to sorrow, not as the world sorrows, but to sorrow in the Lord, because in God's economy, sorrow becomes, by His miracle of grace, the price we pay for joy.