The Child Who Never Smiled

Wednesday, January 28, 2015
This past weekend saw us celebrating my eldest's 19th birthday.
Wow! I can't believe it! 19 years. It has been long and quick.
What I remember most about those early years when she was a mere babe was that she was a child who never gave away her smiles. Her laughs were few and far between.
Not that she was a lonely sad child. On the contrary, I think we've raised her to be quite happy and carefree. Except of course, she never expressed it in any kind of laugh or grin. I found it real difficult to make her amused enough to break a smile. Believe me, hubby and I tried many times to get her to show her pearly whites (well, okay, it was more like "mostly gum" smile back then). But she would not budge.
Nowadays.....well, we seemed to have grown out of this phase and lost the inhibition.
On her recent birthday celebration, we took this picture of a girl with the most genuine and jovial of smiles. How can you resist?
Happiest of days, my darling.

In The Most Loving Memory....

Monday, January 19, 2015
The day was January 17, 2015 and the time was 11:15pm. I remain sad. I've been sad since hearing the passing of a friend a few hours earlier that day.

We didn't start out like best of friends normally do, but we have known each other for a very long time, almost 22 years. Through the years, we've taken different paths, but on the occasion that we connected and chatted, it seemed like all that distance between us melted away. She was extremely inspirational when I moved to Canada a few years ago. I suppose it was the likeness of the trek we took moving countries for our families, for a better future that brought us closer together. And I suppose it also helped that we were both in North America at the time. We valued our friendship; we were solid friends.

I cried buckets the first hour upon hearing the news. I don't know how to process it all properly so I will try to just write.

Yes, my friend had cancer. Yes, she had probably always been at death's door because of the disease.

But she was so vibrant and upbeat about her whole struggle that you just can't help believing that she will definitely beat the odds. She overcame the disease once before and I firmly believed that she would do it a second time around.

To say that I never really expected her to die so soon is an understatement.

I look back on all our interactions and think back on all the memories that she has left behind. I read her Facebook messages to me, her encouragement and advices. I can still hear her voice and laughter on the phone. I found a kindred spirit. I was often in awe at how well she carried herself, how reassuring her words were, how strong and brave she was...despite everything she was going through. She was kind, gentle and good-hearted. It's probably cliche - but she really did touch everybody who came into her life.

Gosh, I can even remember the first time we met, the moment I first saw her across the room at a get-together party, how we introduced ourselves to each other.

I can even remember one time we burned up the telephone lines during an American Idol finale show and we talked the whole time, no holds barred, anything under the sun, without really paying attention to the show, only realising the outcome of the competition had come and gone and we still had not run out of things to talk about.

I don't know when the line crossed over from just being good friends to becoming life friends. There are so much more memories...she was really special.

This is how she unassumingly chose to be the wonderful, beautiful person that she truly was. I suppose I should count myself lucky to have been her friend, to have shared moments in her life. I cherish whatever time I had with her. I'm afraid there are not enough right words to convey the sorrow, but I am just really sad right now.

You will always be remembered, my friend. In the most loving memory...RIP MPSM.

Five-Year Crazy Strong

Wednesday, January 14, 2015
I have yet to reach my fifth year on this blog but it's definitely coming up soon. And we all know what that means.....I'm in a serious relationship....with my blog! Hahaha...

Kidding aside, I'm stoked to have stuck at this for so long. Didn't think I'd reach this day really, much less 5 years. I'm an excellent procrastinator at heart and if I don't admit it myself, I secretly did think that I wasn't cut out to be a regular blogger.

My first post of the year and I am looking back at all the years back. I was a mad blogger for the first 3 years, couldn't get enough of it. But I did hit quite a rough patch in 2013 when I only published 24 posts. That meant like only 2 in a month. Pretty bad. I was suffering from stress and writer's block at the time.

Like any decent blogger though, I realised quickly that the only way to get through the difficulties was to write about them...and so I did a bit of that.

I definitely made headways in 2014 with a whopping 73 posts. Not bad for a comeback. Seems like I've gotten my writing mojo back, slow and steady.

Here's hoping this year will be even greater in blogging terms. Not necessarily more posts as I don't want to be under that pressure of hitting a quantity-based target. I'm talking more about having the content, material, topics and prompts that would keep us crazy and interesting enough for the whole year.

I'm glad I kept at this.

And so, the blogging for 2015 starts now :-)