Category: Emotional @ Frontal Lobe


by TING XIN YI

When I was young, I have always dreamed about going to other countries. And
yes, I hated my life in Malaysia. Life was so hectic back then and there’s just
too much stress to handle. Sometimes, I even wish that time would just pass by
sooner so that I can leave this country for good and start a new chapter of my life
somewhere else. But all those thoughts started to change when I first landed in
Australia.

When I first came to Australia with my family, I was overwhelmed by how
friendly the people are. They never ceased to make me smile. They would simply
just smile at you whenever you walk past them, which show how friendly they
are. That’s something that you don’t get to see everywhere, including Malaysia.
I still remembered once, when I was at the cash register getting ready to pay for
the items that I purchased, the cashier was very friendly and asked, “Hi, how are
you? Did you have a great day?” I was kind of surprised that she would ask such a
question since I just came here for only a few days, so I was not used to their so-
called “culture”. So, I hesitated for a few seconds, and then replied, “I’m fine. Yes,
I had a great day today”. Somehow, I felt a sudden warmness in my heart, and
that’s something that you can’t find anywhere else but here in Australia.

The 13th of February, which is also known as Orientation day, I went to the
college accompanied by my family. When I first stepped into the campus, I was
stunned to see how beautiful the campus was. All I saw was an old church,
old building with a unique Western architecture, as well as tall green trees
surrounding the campus. I can definitely feel the tranquility and serenity
surrounding me. On the first day of Orientation, I was very fortunate to meet
many international students whom come from different countries. I was kind
of surprised that there are many Malaysians who are also studying here too. At
first, I thought I would be the only Malaysian who’s going to be studying here but
I guess I stand corrected. There are also many students who come from different
countries such as China, Singapore, Indonesia, Vietnam, Philippines, Cambodia,
Sri Lanka and many more. Since we had 2 weeks of Orientation, thus I had the
opportunity to meet more new friends as well as getting to bond with them.
Throughout those 2 weeks of orientation, I had a great time making new friends,
as well as having fun playing games, as well as learning new things. It was indeed
one of those memories that I will never forget.

2 weeks later, lectures and tutorials finally began. On the first day of class, I have
to admit, I was very nervous. I was hoping that the lecturers here wouldn’t be as
strict as they are back in Malaysia. To my astonishment, not only the lecturers
here are friendly, but they also have a great sense of humor. Sometimes, they
would share some jokes just to brighten our day. It definitely makes 2 hours of
lecture less boring than it originally was.

Yes, classes have been great, but not everything turned out to be great. Not only
does studying abroad means studying in overseas, but it also means leaving
your home country, leaving your love ones behind, including your family and

friends. In my opinion, I think that is one of the biggest sacrifices I have to
make. Honestly, I can’t describe how much I miss my family right now. After
staying with my family for nearly 18 years, I feel so much closer to my family,
but now that I am here in Australia, I can’t spend time with them anymore. Yes,
phone calls are one way to communicate with them, but it just doesn’t feel the
same. Sometimes, I wish I could be there with them physically, instead of being
thousand miles away from them. Deep down inside my heart, I know my parents
want the best for me, and that’s why they sent me here, so that I can have a
better education. I think one of the toughest things I have to deal with is being
independent. Yes, my mother used to cook dinners for me, but now I have to do
the cooking, and not to mention the house chores too. Now I realize how hard
cooking is, and began to appreciate everything my mother has done for me. I
guess being independent is part of growing up too. Furthermore, I miss some
of my friends back in Malaysia. I made so many true friends there, and leaving
them was the worst part of all. As one says, “A friend is one who believes in you
when you have ceased to believe in yourself.” I am truly thankful to have such
wonderful friends who stood there by my side when I really need them. I don’t
think I can ever find friends as good as them.

Honestly, I am very grateful for everything God has given me. I am so thankful to
have such wonderful family and friends. I feel blessed to be able to study abroad
because I know that not everyone has that opportunity to do so. I promised
myself that I would cherish every moment and be appreciative for what I have.

by BENJAMIN YAU

Early morning poured heavenly sprinkles
that reminded me of eyes that twinkle
and a face free from worrying wrinkles,
and wakes me from slumber like Rip Van Winkle.

Daylight soon shined cloudy skies to white
and accompanied the chill air to form a blight;
Upon this gloomy day I scribble to write
hoping you that everything is alright.

Alas, outside the window, all is grey,
and it’s the truth no matter how I say:
That you’re a quarter of an Earth (circumference) away,
From where my pen will finally lay.

Still, I shall subside any tears [This doesn’t sound like me]
and all foolish longings will clear;
There’s nothing for us to miss or fear,
for what remains will only be prayers and cheers.

Fly, my friend! Fly high!
Fly towards the vast, distant sky!
Fly away from worries and sigh
and to a place that’s high and dry.

Whether it’s by chance or design,
I thank you for being a friend of mine;
If we meet again, by means of divine,
I hope we still remembered each other for a dine. [LOL]

Though the vast distance of land and sea,
Or the high degree where you may be;
I hope you can hear clearly from me
the words-Happy Eighteenth Birthday, Ng Tze Gee!

Away From Home I Write

by Lim Li Anne

Leaves crunch as heeled-boots trod over in careless steps
Wincing as cold autumn wind whirls past like a slap
Gripping candy boxes, popping pink ones for a bite,
Smiling casually with a pen, for away from home I write

Fingers digging deeper into hand-knitted sweaters
Hurtling past frigid raindrops in a rush of patter
Away from home I write, pen poised so solemnly
To those who miss my presence ever dearly

Inviting words so casually reaching out for me
The foreign ones who decided I was their friend to be
Away from home I write, watching past memories soar by
While stars splay themselves in the darkness of Night’s sky

Bouncing off trampolines, Easter-egg hunting
Grinning as childlike feelings begin resurfacing
Away from home I write, knowing that the present will turn into a memory
Listening faintly as summer leaves behind a nostalgic melody

Away from home I write, knowing that there will never be regrets
For all that exists is hope to correct past mishaps
Life is colourful here with blues, reds, gold and greys
Certainty exists that New Zealand shall guide along winding paths of fate

by A

MAY 19 — I would like to tell you first-hand why I am thinking of migrating in the future:

The salary base of Malaysian employees are low.

I am a trainee for a foreign bank and urban poor as I earn less than RM3,000 a month; compared to my counterparts who are currently working overseas (merely as a waiter/ barista), their weekly salary is equivalent to what I earn in a month.

The living cost is getting higher.

As you know, petrol price for RON97 just increased 0 sen, with the increase of this and the fuel surcharge by AirAsia, it’s a wonder how we can survive! Housing price is increasing, buying books at the local book store costs a fortune, transportation fee is getting higher, food and drinks are getting more expensive! Everything is going up, and nothing is going down. Buying a car or a house/ condo/ flat right now is suicide for me and many Malaysians, no doubt.

The injustice in the country.

With the many issues and injustice that are published (or not) in newspaper/Internet/mass media (for e.g. the Anwar trial, Teoh Beng Hock’s death and the recent Sarawak election), I would like to opt to have my children and my children’s children grow up in a place where nothing of this sort happens, where they know the difference between right and wrong, to learn and have known the importance of freedom of speech, and not to have their human rights violated.

Decline of university/education ranking in Malaysia.

I graduated from a local university and to be honest, the level of fresh graduates is appalling, as the majority of them (80-90 per cent) can’t even communicate efficiently in English, let alone form a simple sentence.

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to find out the reasons why, but I digress, however, this is one of the many reasons that drives me to further my studies overseas in the future, while migrating there at the same time.

Not to mention, I do not want my children to be subjected in an education system where Math and Science is not taught in English and where “literature” books like Interlok are approved.

Word-of-mouth from friends and relatives who have migrated.

According to my friends and relatives who have migrated and are scattered all over the world now (eg. UK, Canada, New Zealand, Australia, and Singapore), they have never regretted or looked back on the decision they made. Some of them have already settled down and have a family there. Once, I asked whether they would come back and work for Malaysia/ the government, the answer I got was a simple: “Hell no!”

These are the top five reasons that I have come up with for now, which I think would suffice, but the primary reason is that I don’t feel safe, physically (as the country’s crime rate in KL is one of the highest, where police/ ambulance/ public services are in a sad state), mentally (brain drain in Malaysia is happening as we speak, my creativity would be at risk), spiritually (as seen in the recent Al-Kitab incidents), and financially (as I would forgo the second best alternative by staying in the country, whereas I can use my time and resources to work overseas, thus earning extra and being happy without such pressures.

by BENJAMIN YAU

UPDATE 27/5/2015: The new Atria Shopping Gallery, developed by OSK Property Holdings Sdn. Bhd., is opening on May 28, 2015. The following post is an eulogy for the predecessor, Atria Shopping Centre.

For those who are not informed, The Atria Shopping Centre in Damansara Jaya will be going has gone into oblivion by on 26 July 2011, as the latest owner, OSK Property Holdings Sdn. Bhd. will be demolishing has demolished this iconic building for redevelopment into a 2 15-storey office blocks and 4-storey shopping mall which equipped with 2 floors of basement carparks.

Even the deadline given is one month away, many tenants have moved away, and more to end their businesses by the end of this month.

Why the sudden emotions about this old suburban shopping mall? Why is it worth writing for? Well, my eulogy is just about to begin. (The following was written as of June 2011.)

Continue reading

Stress – It Follows You Around!

By : Lim Li Anne.

Author’s note : This version may differ (only so slightly!) from the original one published in the chsweekly.

Stress, as defined from Answers.com, is a mentally or emotionally disruptive or upsetting condition occurring in response to adverse external influences and capable of affecting physical health, usually characterized by increased heart rate, a rise in blood pressure, muscular tension, irritability, and depression.

Wow. That sounds…severe.

Anyway, as students, we’ve definitely had our fair share of stress. Adults always say that we have it easy – true, we don’t have to study with oil lamps and eat porridge daily, but that doesn’t mean our problems are any less, especially with modernization nowadays.

The improvement of society and the increasing development of technology have made the requirements for jobs much, much higher. Nowadays even a university degree might not even be sufficient – people want more than that. Admittedly, society hasn’t been too friendly to fresh graduates – it has turned into a “dog-eat-dog” world where everyone has to fight for survival.

 And that, my friends, is where our stress begins…

Exams, exams, exams! First-term exams, trial exams, monthly quizzes, weekly tests! UPSR, PMR, SPM, STPM, A-levels, homework, presentations, lab work, projects, thesis, researches! The academic work for every student never ceases! Every teacher demands perfection, as a tiny flaw can pose serious problems for your final examinations! The line for each graph has to be perfectly curvy, shift it a little to the left and boom; it has lost its meaning in entirety! The answer for a Moral paper has to be exactly written as how it is told, word for word, and a teeny-weeny little mistake can make you lose 10 marks! No, you wouldn’t want that, would you?

 In short, let’s just say that the Education Ministry does not fool around with your education…

 (P/S : The writer actually has much to say on this topic, but she’ll save it for next time!)

 Everyone would love having 10As for SPM, or, even better, getting a nifty scholarship that would help you save some bucks. For that, effort has to be put in. Most of the time, it is done with the help of your parents that help pay the lengthy roll of monthly tuition bills. Tuition, tuition, so much tuition until one returns home in fatigue! When the real exam season draws near, you even have seminars and courses that tell you how to score a perfect A – this just shows us how much emphasis is placed on education!

If the world revolved only around education, then perhaps it wouldn’t be so bad after all. However, to be well-rounded beings, we need to do more than just regurgitate History facts in an exam. Hence, all students are required to join societies, sports and uniformed bodies – and most of the time each organization has their weekly meetings and occasional activities – which comes with a slew of paperwork, out for a vengeance. Ah, what a major stress factor! In fact, leaders themselves have more stress than the members – taking charge and coordinating an entire organization is never easy. They need more than just leadership qualities –  lots of patience is also necessary just to get things done in an orderly manner.

In fact, it’s not just school co-curricular activities. Nowadays teenagers are expected to know a lot more than just these. How many people around you learn a musical instrument? I myself  am struggling and suffering with just piano, what more others who take up more than just one instrument? Some even have other agendas on such as yoga and dancing…whew, how exhausting!

So, we have education and co-curricular problems. Unfortunately, some people have to endure more than just that – and thus, the term “personal problems” arrives. From relationship and family problems to a distinct feeling of severe lacking in oneself, these exert a lot of mental pressure on everyone – especially to students like us.

However, one thing is for sure – stress is unhealthy when prolonged. True, it is unavoidable, but there are ways to ease it up. Everyone has to take a breather at one point before continuing on their massive stressed-up journey. So, as students, how should we be coping then? Truthfully, it is different for every single individual. I once had a friend who slept every time he had a problem and knew someone who did push-ups to make himself feel better. Some friends released their stress by ingesting large amounts of food or totally starving themselves otherwise, but such methods aren’t recommended – I mean, just take a look at how unhealthy it is. There are other ways to feel better – just keep experimenting until you find one that suits you well.

Personally, I destress by using the computer and listening to music. Writing helps as well. To be honest…I also get a little bit hungrier than usual when I have stress – chocolate bars and McDonalds, mm-hmm. Sensational!

However, do take note that releasing stress with these ways doesn’t solve the actual problem at all. In the end, everyone has to be strong and learn how to face the problem. Stress may be tough – but it will always be there, and we will always have to do something about it. When it comes to paperwork or studies, it all boils down to sitting in front of the table until you get it done. Personal problems may be stickier and tougher to deal with – but one must know that running away from it will never solve anything – might as well solve it and save yourself the stress!

With that said, good luck to everyone who’s frustrated to the brink of insanity with huge stress loads – Remember, you are not the only one!

by MUK SOOK MAY

Pa,
I’m fortunate to have a dad like you.
You’ve worked harder than the ants each day
“Never give up,just pray.” you’d always say
Crushing obstacles that block your way
Cheering me on for my exams in May

Pa,
“I’m scared,” I wailed.
You simply brushed my stray hair aside
Braved the long roller coaster ride
With me screaming by your side
I’m thankful,your ears survived..

Pa,
Full of surprises,you are.
You cheer me up when my feelings drown
We sat together munching down
The best potato chips in town
Mum stood watching us with a frown

Pa,
So much to say,so little space
Though I write no “Invictus”
My cooking quite ridiculous
I thank God your love is boundless
And that you’ve finally got yourself a pair of glasses..

                                                                                                                       

Update on the Second Public Announcement: thefourlobes will from now on publish every Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays, and to make sure this can happen, thefourlobes will ‘import’ stories and viewpoints from two special columns in The Malaysian Insider, which is the “Migration Stories” and “Why I Stayed”, to give you some perspective and hopefully an idea and a stand of your own on whether you would stay on or move out from this country.

Cheers,
thefourlobes

by LIM LI ANNE

Tears filled my eyes as I ascended upon the podium, feeling a wave of exultance sweep through my entire being. The flashbulbs went off like rockets as I held my trembling hands out to receive the award that I had not expected to attain. After all, the International Young Poet’s Award was only obtainable by the brightest and most inspiring young writers out there and I certainly was not expecting this to happen when I submitted my works in for the running.

I allowed a smile to grace my face, giving a small, humble bow as I did. The clapping never ceased-it was thunderous, coming from the audience of more than a thousand, all dressed up in their very best for this formal event. I, too, had tried to appear my best, though it did not come off very well. Still, it didn’t matter now. I felt neither self-conscious nor embarrassed, for this was my success, the many years of hard work toiled with seat and blood.

Wistfully, I reminisced about the past. Just like everyone else, I, too, had a tale to tell. Rome was not built in a day, and similarly, this success was not achieved in just a day itself.

I came from an English educated family and cultivated an interest of reading since young. However, as time went by, I baffled everyone not just with an extensive book collection-but also by having a passion for writing itself. While the people around me categorised themselves as the jocks, the geeks, or even the punks, I classified myself as someone who did not belong anywhere. When the girls complained about the rain messing up their hair, I immersed myself into the sweet, sensational feeling of it. Afterwards, I would be seen huddled in a corner, scribbling furiously into a notebook.

It was no wonder that I could not fit in easily-I was just so much different from others on terms of thinking. Words were the most beautiful thing to me-and should be used to express the second most beautiful thing that existed, which was the human soul. Feelings that were indescribable to others were describable to me with writing, and though I was admittedly not an Aristotle or a Socrates, I gradually found myself mixing the beauty of language with worldly philosophical thoughts.

Time marched on and everybody grew up. Universities and various institutions began visiting us, introducing the various courses, programs and career pathways available for us. The flurry of excitement become even more apparent as graduation day approached. Plans were carefully made, fees were being balanced, farewells were being made. While the indecisive ones were constantly on a debate with their inner selves on what to pursue in the future, many others had laid out paths for themselves-paths that were perfect and unblemished, whether it was to become a surgeon that would save the lives of others or a designer to showcase their artistic talents. One thing for sure, though-things were changing, minds were evolving; and life was definitely going to take a turn for many at this point.

My parents had hoped that amidst all the years of biological dissections,k chemical mixings and complex mathematical equations, I would pick up an interest in something scientific. Sadly, their hopes were crushed. Their daughter, a top scorer in Biology and the one that was always top ten in class, was more interested in her foolish little drabbles and her bizarre imaginations than pursuing something more commendable like a doctor’s degree. They then proceeded to introduce a whole line of Economics and Accounting subjects to me, hoping that I would at least take a course that would enable me a source of wealth, but I remained adamant on a Bachelors of Arts degree. To me, the future belonged to me and myself alone. It hurt me to see my parents being upset, but I knew I had to make them understand and see my reasonings. To pursue this was not a want, it was a heed, for language was the great well in which I drank to quench my thirst.

Finally, reasoning won through and I was in the overseas, New Zealand to be specific. I never had problems adapting to such a place of tranquil and serenity, in fact, I enjoyed to share ideas with others of different cultural backgrounds. Every new friend I made was a different experience, and I knew they felt the same curiosity towards me as I felt towards them. To top it all off, I enjoyed my courses immensely, and I often admitted it without shame. While others complained, wailed and whined about their uninterest in things like medical and dentistry, I would willingly stay up in the darkest hours of the night, pouring over Shakespeare and Robert Frost while venturing into a few works of my own.

Soon enough, I began to have thoughts on my work-I wanted them to be shared with others. I wanted others to not only read my works, but to feel them with their soul. I considered a piece of my work a success whenever it inspired someone out there. Hence, I volunteered at papers and magazines, writing articles on short stories on a part-time basis. Soon after obtaining a Bachelor’s degree, I decided to take a step further by obtaining a Master’s degree. Of course, life was always in a rush, never pausing for anything, not even for a weary soul. I took the these pent-up emotions and wrote them into the book I had decided to write, hoping for the best to happen.

Alas, it was not to be. The real challenge arrived after that, where I was unemployed for a long time. There were no vacancies at any newspaper or publishing entries and everywhere I looked, there were no positions available for someone of my degree. I fell short on my expenses and had to endure the teasings of friends and the scoffs of relatives, all of them saying “I told you so.” When the rain came or the nights were long, I would sink into a wave of despondence, feeling the despair wash through me, a battered being without a place to be. It reminded me of the past, an unwanted figure anywhere I went. Every day I would ask myself: was my passion not enough? Did I choose the wrong path? Perhaps if I had listened to others, perhaps I would not be in this state of exhaustion. Still, there was nothing I could do but to continue writing, even when I was rejected by countless publishers and newspaper firms.

The months went by and I completed my book-which I titled as “The Struggle”. It depicted the life of a city girl who was just too different in the place she lived in, and the mental hardships she endured as she grew up. I, however, felt no happiness when the book was finished, so I just decided to submit it in for the running of an award and be done with it. Then, perhaps, I would have to go back to the beginning-obtain a Science degree, push on and more importantly, to reset my mind. I had to tell myself that passion was useless in such a cruel world like this, that dreaming was a pointless thing to do. Why should I continue to dream on, anyway, and to have myself crushed over and over again?

However, as I stood in this current moment and felt the rush of mixed emotions wash through me, I realised that I had not made any mistakes at all. It was just one of life’s hardships that I had to face. What mattered the most was the person, him or herself. My face coloured slightly, for I knew that I had responded pathetically to that challenge-if I had not submitted my book in, I would never be able to stand at this precise location, an award cradled in my arms. I shook my head. Never would I react with such negativity ever again. If there was anything I had learnt from this experience, it was the resilience of the human soul.

As the emcee prodded me slightly to give a speech, I broke down completely, warm, salty tears spilling down my face. I scanned the crowd, knowing that my parents, relatives and friends were somewhere there, gazing up at me with strength and pride. I stood and embraced this particular moment once more, before taking hold of the microphone to tell everyone the story of The Struggle-the young girl’s struggle, which was mine.

Dreams could be fulfilled. Passions shouldn’t be ignored. Couple that with perseverance, and anyone could be the next one on the podium of success, experiencing the moment that they have been waiting for. I certainly experienced mine, and hope others would experience it too.

by LIONEL LEE CHIA PU

It was that time of the year. After a long tenuous wait of 9 months, my wife finally went into labour, ready to bring out an angel into this world. I received the call from the hospital while on my way to work. Frazzled, I soon started to contemplate to myself: Am I ready to become a father? However, I calmed myself, knowing that it was my choice, my very own to have a child. I then sucked in deep breaths of air, and with mixed emotions, soon stepped on the accelerator, hopefully able to beat the morning traffic to the hospital.

With my heart pounding wildly, I burst through the hospital’s front door. The near silence of the main lobby was in stark contrast to the busy main road with cars lumbering down it just outside the hospital. It temporarily stunned me. The few people shuffling around at the main lobby, the quiet humming of the central air conditioning system did not reflect what was going on in one of the delivery room. As I regained my composure, I quickly made my way up to the maternity ward. With the familiar surroundings greeting me at every corner, along with the scent of sanitisers permeating the air, I was in euphoria. It wasn’t long before I approached a nurse and inquired about my wife. She soon directed me to a waiting area, assuring me that everything would be fine. Oh God! How I wish I can do the same for myself.

In the waiting area, time seemed to move so slowly. Every passing moment seemed like an agony to me. Apparently, I was the only one there. A lonely father-to-be. As I shuffled impatiently there, I wondered to myself, “Am I mentally strong to have a child?” Countless questions flooded my mind, as I shuddered at the thought of becoming a father. “Is this what every father-to-be goes through? A conflict of emotions?” For that, the answer is blowing in the wind. I then thought of all the moments with my beloved wife. About the girl of my dreams. She was the one that completes me, that gives me more meaning to life. She revealed all her aspirations, secrets once kept hidden in the far corners of her heart to me. To break her heart would be my last doing in this life. Hence, I summoned my courage and calmed my jingling nerves.

Then, I heard screams, short yet piercing, coming from the maternity ward. Oh God! How I wished I could be in there, standing next to her, whispering words of encouragement in her cars, urging her to give her all. Instead, I was standing outside. Powerless and helplessness engulfed me, tearing me apart inside. It is a crucial fact that a woman in labour will have to endured much pain and agony. What about the guy waiting outside? It was so taxing spiritually and mentally on the guy too.

At that moment, a nurse, young and sweet in her early twenties approached me. She broke the news to me that my wife had successfully gave birth to a baby boy. Elation and gratefulness flooded inside me. I am a father. Quickly, with brisk footsteps, I entered the operating theatre. The smile on my wife’s face with her hands cuddling a little, pinkish yet bloodied ‘angel’ was the first sight that greeted me. Words couldn’t describe what feelings and emotions that were coursing though my whole body. As my trembling hands hold my own flesh and blood, safely tucked in the warm blanket, I experienced the moment in my life. Looking at the bundle of joy, knowing that there is nothing more of importance in life, I finally felt complete.

The moment may be short, but its sweetness will always be in my mouth, forever lingering there. As I embraced the new responsibility in my life, I promised I will always cherish and savour the moment, with a hope in my heart that I will be able to relive the moment again and again in a timeless loop, never letting go.

By BENJAMIN YAU

At a certain point in our lives, there lived a moment where we would endure a moment of joy, an ecstatic joy, an inexplicable elation, a moment where words lose its significance to those escalating emotions, a moment where we have been awaiting for. For me, that moment of ecstasy is where I take my last breath and sight before falling into eternal slumber.

My heavy eyelids took like an eternity to be raised, and another eternity to accustom to the blinding morning rays that penetrated through the windows of my room. Fresh and invigorating crisp air couldn’t be instantly scent, as my deteriorating sense of smell, like my other senses, was failing me as each numbered days gone by. But soon, the boisterous chirping of the myna bird lured me to throw a blurry stare to the ever-magnificent view of the Titiwangsa Mountain Range. Instead of gasping in awe, I led out some hacking coughs that throw my lungs out, indicating the little time I could still tolerate with life’s last challenge.

A couple of knocking sound was heard from the door. With nearly all my strength, I spoke the commonest words “Come in” with a distorted tone and a weak voice. The door screeched open to reveal the visitor, which happens to be my personal caretaker and the person that I have devoted my sincere love since more than half a century ago and still kept to the devotion, and vowed to keep it until my last breath, which was going to take place soon. This person is none other than my loving wife, and she came in with a tray of scrumptious looking breakfast along with some medications. She sat on my side, slowly inserting spoons of warm and aromatic congee into my dry mouth. I looked at her occasionally, and she still looked ever-gorgeous and gracious, despite the cruelty of time and age had built countless crates and valleys on her once youthful face. Knowing that this might be our last rendezvous, I whispered to her in an undertone, to ask her consent to re-enact those loving and intimate moments that we did since half a century ago. She agreed and held her lips to meet mine. Passionately, we had our final kiss, and strangely, that kiss had as though gave me some energy as I felt more awake than the last few days I were on the same bed.

They say that the final few moments of one’s life would be exceptionally awake and energetic, and so I wondered: is that the premonition that is happening to me? Has the countdown timer started? Not long after she left, a phantasmagoria of mirage presented before my eyes. It looked familiar, it looked surreal, it looked rather recognisable. It was scenes of my past re-enacting before my death bed! All of those joyous moments, from childhood to teenage life, from being successful in career to having a family of myself and even carrying my first grandchild, all of those unspoken happiness, performed in a panorama of sepia images. Water gradually gushed out from my pair of old eyes, with each drop expressing gratefulness to the Lord and telling indescribable happiness.

All of a sudden, a strong gush of wind blew into the room swiftly, and took away the mirage and disapparated it in thin air. I looked towards the mountain range. It was a picture of the magnificent ball of fire firing its remaining rays while approaching the horizon, bringing this part of the world towards nightfall. A twilight scene at my twilight moments, I thought. Another series of knocking was faintly heard. With my rather drenched energy due to reliving the joy and excitation moments, I welcomed in. It was a delegation of my family members, heralded by my first son that came to visit me. They approached and surrounded my bed, looking solemn and lugubrious. Probably because of the grim and sad air filling the room, my youngest grandson broke into tears. I caressed his hair with my rough wrinkled hand, telling him that it’s nature’s law to have everything that begun to end. After pausing a few moments, I expressed, “You should know that I am proud of you for what you are today. Thank God I have lived to see this day, with no regrets,” Shortly, I led out a few more lengthy breaths.

Silence lurked in my room, but in my head, some familiar hymns were sounded. One of them was something like “This is the day the Lord hath made” which was used in a blissful ceremony to tie the knot with my beloved wife, and the last tune was a choir singing melodiously, signifying my last moment on Earth. It was “Amazing Grace”, beautifying all the gifts bestowed from the Lord above, praising the Lord above for His blessing to me throughout my 78 years of life. Finally, happiness took dominion over my body, and with bliss I led out my last breath and having my eyelids closed, for eternity. The moment I have been waiting for had arrived.

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