Where is home?

I had been away for a while, away from my blog, my home, my dog and everything else.  Last month, my life was a breeze (only there was no breeze where I was, only humidity and sweats).

It was time to make a change in my life, to find a base I could really call home.  In fact, I thought I’d already made that change but my dog spoilt it all.

I am back to square one.  😦

My property is on the market until someone is willing to pay the price. Experts predict Auckland median house price will break $1m mark in 18 months (reported from last month’s local daily).  My home sweet home had gone past the median but I still linger. The hammer did not come down. Is it the dollar value or the sentimental value that prolong my move?  Is buying a one way ticket leaving the land of the long white cloud flying to Kuching (meaning cat) not going home to stay?

Should I continue doing what I had been doing the past decades, all for the sake of a house and (more recently) a dog?  My current house is less than three years old though we had shifted houses several times.  The youngsters left their nest but my five (going on six) year old four-legged is a treasure who is most dependent on me.

My life change depends a lot on him and he on me.  I left my home, flew to my hometown but had to come back because of an incident he had.  My change became ‘no change’.  Now back to the same job, same desk, same house.

For how long?  I really don’t know. I feel like I am living in a suitcase.

Toby lashed out on a woman who claimed he ruined her $1,000 leather jacket and she couldn’t go to work hence asked for $500 off work fee and $75 medical fee because my dog ‘attacked’ her.  My son gave her my dog registration number but never took her contact number.  I prayed hard and decided to be proactive and reported to council, appealed to be put in touch with the ‘victim’.  She is now $1,600 richer and even kept the change.  I can’t deny Toby jumps and lurches at me when he is excited.  I too sometimes have bruises, scratches and holes in my merino pullovers.  I know he is misbehaving but to an owner, the dog is excited while to others he is violent.

For the last decades, life is about waking up in the morning, getting dressed for work and then home to cook dinner, or to socialize with acquaintances for a drink or two after work.

Evening time is about coming home to feed my kids, and now to feed my dog.  Night time is about watching Korean drama series, no matter how late.

I thought now in my golden age, it’s time for a change in my life and get out of the norm.  I look forward to the day where I can wake up as and when I want to, play a catch-me-if-can game with my dog in our own lifestyle block, no fear of reports of misbehaviour and worrying to death that someone will show up at my door to take him away.

I look forward to be my own home chef hosting meals for a new group of acquaintances or friends, perhaps.  Beach walking, smell the breeze, live the life with no shocking sound of alarm clock or rush hour traffic.

I am not in a rush……….. I will continue to dream…… till I find home.

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What is home to you?
A mansion or a little house on a lifestyle block?

A very sad story of the life of my little FeeFee

We did not know when her actual birthday was but American Independence day, 4th of July was an easy date to remember hence we adopted that date for her birthday.  On her birthday, we would cook a whole fish for her and that fish was a treat and symbolizes a birthday cake.  A friend gave her to us.  She was cute and adorable with blue eyes and grey fur, a tiny little wee kitty barely a month old.  That was a long, long time ago, way back sometime in August in the year 1999.  We named her FeeFee.

This post is a very sad story of the life of my FeeFee.  I am extremely remorse as I type this story.  It is a story that hurt me deeply, yesterday, today, tomorrow and everyday. I am hurting so badly because I believe my FeeFee’s life must be in agony.  What is life without freedom?  I have no answer to turn things around, to relieve and give FeeFee a better life.  I honestly dread sharing this story but FeeFee is part of my life and my autobiography would not be complete without FeeFee and her story must must be told.  It hurt very much even just to think about it and hurts even more to write about it.

FeeFee was a playful kitten, so playful that she would sometimes go crazy running around the lounge for no reason, jumping onto our leather couch, scratched them with her sharp nails and destroyed them.

When she was about two or three months old, she went missing.  The kids were distraught and everyone were grief stricken.  We went all out searching for her and we designed a leaflet which read “Missing Kitty, $100 Reward.  We missed her dearly.  Please come home.”  The kids went around the neighborhood mail dropping those leaflets.

Two days later one afternoon, I heard a familiar mew at the back fence.  My ex husband called her name and believe it or not, this grey furred ball jumped in.  The fence was a standard height fence.  Just unbelievable !  We believed that a neighbor somewhere must have held her in captive when she roamed the neighborhood but felt sorry for us that they released her without any claim for the reward.

When she was barely a year old, she must have gotten raped by a neighbor’s tomcat.  She gave birth to two kittens, FeeBee (who looked exactly like her, same color, same eyes) and Tiggy (who went missing when he was a few months old and never found).  FeeBee passed away two years ago while she was hospitalized at a vet in Kuching (Malaysia) on a Sunday and the vet was not opened for business and my ex only found out her death the next day and there was no word of apologies whatsoever.  If that happened in New Zealand or perhaps even other countries, that vet would have their licence removed !  In New Zealand when I had my other cat FeeTee put down due to health reason, the vet presented him to us nicely in a box with flowers and a condolence card followed in the mail a few days later.

FeeFee’s early life was that of a spoilt and vain cat.  She was not afraid of anybody unlike her baby FeeBee.  FeeBee too went missing and was missing for three whole months and I prayed daily.  A miracle happened and she found her way home, all black and dirty and skinny as !  We believed FeeBee survived because she was so afraid of strangers that she would go into hiding and probably only came out at night when there were no cars and sniffed her way home.  Had this happened to FeeFee, with her fearless nature, she would have been the victim of a hit and run.

Back in those happier days, FeeFee slept in a basket in my bedroom and when I was on my computer, that old desktop, she would climb on top for the warmth.  She was much loved.  FeeFee was a brave cat.  She was chased by our next door neighbor’s dog one day and climbed up a tree hiding there till we got home.  She also escaped a python that made its way into our garden one rainy day many years ago.  She was a wild cat with so much freedom then.

Then one Christmas in 2004, FeeFee’s life changed drastically.  That was the year I migrated to New Zealand. FeeFee lost her freedom.  She no longer could roam the neighborhood, she moved from a warm nice house to live in a cage.  Why did she have to live in a cage, you may ask?

My aunt had two cats before and some of her neighbors too have cats but they died because those cats roamed the neighborhood, ate some food which was believed to be poisoned and died.  Not only one or two cats but more.  No one knew which neighbor did that.

When I moved away from my house, FeeFee and FeeBee went to live with my aunt, an elderly lady who lives alone and the only way to keep them safe was to cage them.  Life was extremely sad for a kitty that was so full of life, who sprung and jumped so often, who roamed and visited our past neighbors slept in their garages or outdoor baskets safe and sound for years to move to a new deadly neighborhood.

I had no choice then and I never thought about giving her up for adoption not that anyone would want a mature cat and neither would she be able to adapt and not run away.  It is too late now to regret.

She does get the occasional treats of coming out of the cage of course and into the house but aunt would ensured all doors are locked and she does not get into the streets.  It is all extremely sad.  It is now coming close to a decade and my FeeFee still lives in the cage.  She is fit and she is healthy but because of the lack of exercises, she looks rounder than ever.  She still has the same vain looking and confident nature and she is much loved only that we are not beside her to shower her the love she dearly deserves.  Life in a cage has in some ways given her that extended life span but whether or not it is a life worth living, only that cat can tell.

My heart is very heavy, I have always felt and still feel so extremely sad at the thought of my FeeFee but I could not cry.  I am overwhelmed with emotion but tears could not find their way to flow.  My only regret in leaving Kuching was leaving my FeeFee behind and not only that, she paid for my sins of forsaking her.  I can only ask God for forgiveness and  may He bless my FeeFee and comfort her where I can’t.

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My simple & sweet Malaysian Chinese Wedding

I was a bride and that was some 29 years ago.  I was not fussed about the wedding, no months and months of planning or preparation.  It was a celebration we had to go through as expected in our custom and tradition.  We tailored made my evening dress and I had only one evening dress unlike brides of today who had at least two or three parading in them during their wedding dinner.  We decorated our own wedding car with ribbons and flowers and by the time the car went back and forth from Kuching town to Siburan Village (17 mile from Kuching), the car decorations were half ripped off.  Back then, I just wanted to tie the knot with the man I loved and a church wedding was important to me.  I was not too fuss at all about the celebration itself although of course we went through the traditions by first having a ‘matchmaker’ coming round to my parent’s house to ask for my hand in marriage and then followed by negotiations on dowry and how many dinner tables the bride’s parents would request of the bridegroom.

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Some months ago my eldest daughter finally officially married her partner of nine years.  Ironically, she too was not at all fuss on the wedding celebration.  Her wedding too was sweet and simple.  There was no ‘matchmaker’ that came round to my house to ask for her hand.  All I got was a phone call from her boyfriend (now husband) asking for her hand in marriage.  There was no dowry talk or how many wedding dinner tables we needed.  They had a wedding celebrant who conducted the wedding, witnessed their vows and officially pronounced them husband and wife, all very romantic at the Rose Garden in Palmerston North.

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In writing this post, I stumbled upon a very well written, detailed and elaborated post on Malaysian Chinese Wedding.  For an insight, please visit Little Brown Bag’s post of a Malaysian Chinese Wedding.   I am not able to write in such detail on my wedding which was simple and sweet.  I knew nothing much about the customs and traditions and as a naive 22 year old back then in the 1980s, I was helplessly in love with this one special man in my life.  Nothing else mattered.

Reflecting back on my wedding and that of my daughter’s, we were just two simple women, ‘like mother like daughter’.  Our husbands were blessed, we did not cost them an arm and a leg to win our hand in marriage.  ………. in sickness and in health, till death us do part.  “I now pronounced you man and wife.”

We were married, as simple as that !

Is marriage even necessary in these modern days?  It may be to some culture but not necessarily to others.  Personally I believe in marriage and to me, marriage is a bonding and commitment of two people wanting to share a whole new life together.

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Childbirth, the agony and the joy

Childbirth 

Definition


Childbirth needs no explanation.  Everyone know what childbirth means but not everybody know how it feels.  The dictionary defines “Childbirth” as both the labor and the delivery.  To me and to every mother, “Childbirth” is the end process of a pregnancy in which every mother hope the end result will be a healthy baby.

Pregnancy  —————–>   Labour   ————->    Delivery  ————–>  Baby

The feelings in between those stages from pregnancy to delivery would be (for me)

Excitement  ——————->  Pain  —————->   Agony  —————–>  Joy

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Thinking back, the year was 1984, one September evening.  My mouth watered, craving for “cha kuay teow” (fried flat rice noodles).  Our baby was almost due.  I must feast on the “Cha kuay teow” from the hawker stall opposite Rex cinema before my baby was born.  I was full term pregnant.  If I did not eat the “Cha kuay teow” that night, I might have to wait a whole month before I could taste that dish.

ckt1As with most Malaysian Chinese, we practise a thirty days confinement period after childbirth when the mother is restricted to a very strict diet.  All meals must be heated (hot) and cooked with wine and ginger to warm the body. “Ka Chang Ma” (Herbal Chicken with ginger and wine) is the dish for confinement.  It is believed that “ka chang ma” is taken for cleansing and to keep the body warm.

For more details of this special Sarawakian dish, check out this link.  http://lazymamainkitchen.blogspot.co.nz/2012/09/sarawak-kachangma-chicken-confinement.html

kacangmaKa Chang Ma (Herbal Chicken with ginger & wine)

Yummy.  Feeling satisfied after eating the “Cha Kuey Teow” I put my feet up and turned the television on.  Without warning, my water bag burst !  Our baby was on the way.

I was admitted to the General Hospital applying for a first class ward hoping for better treatment in a government hospital.  I needed that for my new baby and for myself but that was too much of an ask.

The hospital was full so there were no first, second or even third class upon admission.  There was no class at all and I was given a bed in the corridor of the pregnancy ward together with a handful of other expectant mothers.  There, I was left to endure my pain which engulfed me the whole night before I was wheeled to the delivery room.

In the delivery room, I was told to hop onto the delivery bed.  The nurse came to check on me and to her bewilderment and disgust (yes disgust written all over her face), she said “Take of your panties !  What are you doing here with your panties on?”  She shook her head in utter disgust.

Our daughter took a long time to come.  Labor was long, very long. Ten hours of intense pain. I was put on drip. I had to stay strong, endured the pain and told myself that if other women had been through this, time and again, why can’t I? On the other hand, I thought to myself, so this was what is called childbirth, I will never go through another again !

sarawakhospitalSarawak General Hospital, Kuching

I seemed to have forgotten that pain and was pregnant again three years later. This time, we decided to have the baby delivered at a private hospital.  My second childbirth was worst than the first.  I was totally exhausted from the excruciating pain and needed oxygen to aid me during labour.  My poor husband was with me in the delivery room.  Although I was bearing all the physical pain, I knew he felt the pain as much by just watching what I went through and held my hand giving me all the moral support.  Praise God that our second daughter was born finally otherwise the doctor was going to do a caesar on me.  After delivery I could not urinate and had catheter (tubes) inserted to drain urine from my body.  Having experienced such degree of continuous pain for five hours and the pain and discomfort of tubes all over me after delivery, that afternoon one August 1988 was a day I could never forget.

pregnant-woman-holding_~k3384888Another three years later, one night in April 1991, I was cross stitching an embroidery.  I never completed that cross stitch in the end.  Our third child was due and this time, I did not want my husband to be there to watch the birth, thinking it would be the same if not worst that the previous two.  I was admitted around midnight and our baby boy was born at 7am the next day.  The intense labour was only around three hours and nowhere as painful as my first or second childbirth.  I wondered if it was God that pitied me and took away my pain or was it less painful giving birth to sons than giving birth to daughters.

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Childbirth is an extremely painful experience physically for most if not all women yet many women went through it not only once but twice or three times or more.

As John 16:21 wrote :

When a woman is giving birth, she has sorrow because her hour has come, but when she has delivered the baby, she no longer remembers the anguish, for joy that a human being has been born into the world.

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This post is written with love for all my three children.
You are my three bundles of joy.

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That one special man in my life

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Readers, there are not many autobiographies that I could find on wordpress.  I am not a celebrity, I am just an ordinary woman and my autobiography may not interest everyone.  I have no intention of building a big audience and opening up my life story for the world to read but if you happen to stumble upon my blog, you are warmly invited to read the true life story of this little Borneo girl (once upon a time).  If you read my ‘About’ page, you will know the purpose of my blog and this post is the framework of my story.  If you are a friend or an acquaintance or even just my new fellow blogger, after reading this post, you are considered a friend if you let me know you have read my story (this post).  I sincerely hope that my children and my future generation (to come) will visit this post.  In saying this, I pray that WordPress will last forever.  My heart is beating as I am about to publish this page.  It is a hard decision and takes a lot out of me to share such a personal story.  Please read on or leave this page.  Thank you.

~~~

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This little Borneo girl has grown up.  She was a baby, she was a child, she was a teenager, she is now a woman, a wife (though no longer) and a mother.  She met this one special man in her life when she was barely 21 years old.

Here is her story.

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– Kuching Reservoir Park – 
courtesy of  http://jiayiing87.blogspot.co.nz

In the early 1980s the Kuching Reservoir Park was any joggers’ (as well as lovers’) haven.  When I was in the sixth form, I sat next to a window that overlook this park and often saw lovebirds and romance in the air in this once lovely park.  I never imagined that this was where I would meet this handsome man who eventually became my husband (now ex).

I was young and he was nine years older than me.  There was a group of us girls but he chose to date me.  Our romance was quick and swift.  It was three months of dating, engaged on the third month, marriage on the sixth month and parents within a year.  We were in such a rush for no apparent reason.  I was a beautiful young woman.  He was a handsome man with a baby-faced look.  When he met me, he had just returned from OE after working in Brunei.

The fairy tale romance story did not last very long but our friendship lasted forever.  I was (and still am) blessed to have my aunt (2 ko) who helped cared for our baby. Our baby was our princess and I gave her everything I wished for but never had when I was a child.  Our second child was born four years later.  Our youngest came three years after our second child.  At that time, my husband and myself were totally focused in our job and building our career not realizing that we had drifted, just naturally drifted away from each other.  He was education in Mandarin and I was in English, we talked but we could not communicate and that did not help in building our relationship.

He worked long hours, started off working with his late uncle and a cousin in the shipping industry and eventually they pooled all they resources together to buy some cargo vessels and became ship owners.  The company went public listed and shares shot up from 90 sen to RM18.  When the company shares were at its peak, I was living with my grandmother in Singapore as I need desperately to ‘find myself’.  My marriage had no meaning and I was vulnerable and I had stupidly fallen in love with another man not knowing he was someone else’s husband until the relationship was too deep to let go.  With my husband, I was too young to know the true meaning of love.  With this man, I gave my all.  That relationship lasted on and off for a decade and almost took my life.  I debated with myself whether or not to write about this chapter and open it out for all to read but the main purpose of my blog is my autobiography, my true life story, totally raw and unedited.  I am not writing for sympathy or condemnation because I called upon the Lord and God has forgiven me as in Psalms 86:5.  I can only hope that readers, family, friends or strangers will recite my favourite verse, Ephesians 4:32 before passing any judgement if necessary.

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– Courtesy of http://www.biblelockscreen.com 

PSALM 86:5

New International Version (NIV)

You, Lord, are forgiving and good,
abounding in love to all who call to you.

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– courtesy of http://wallpaper4god.com

Today, I looked back at this relationship which should never have happened but it happened for a reason.  In the midst of a sea load of tears, there were bits of happiness.  I smile and I no longer cry.  I learnt what love was and also know what it is like to be loved.  True love is about connection, the ability to connect without speaking, the ability to look into each other’s eyes and read into each other’s thoughts.  Connection happens when two people are able to communicate by facial expressions just by looking at each other and connecting so deeply that one can see into the other’s soul.  A loving and compatible couple is like a key and a key hole.  That was what this man said of he and me.  We just clicked.

key– courtesy of http://www.freedigitalphotos.net

When I was healing, my father gave me a plaque which read “What appears to be the end may really be a new beginning”.

beginning– courtesy of http://wishhunt.com

Returning to the story of this one special man in my life,  my husband came home one night and said that he had lost everything during the financial crisis.  We were in the midst of a divorce but because of the turn of event, we stayed ‘married’ because the best thing to do was to stay together, to comfort each other.  The comfort of just being there for each other.  Had I not ran away while he was at the peak of his career and be the supportive wife and financial advisor, we would probably be able to salvage some of his wealth.  However, the reality of loosing those millions  did not sadden me in the least.  I told my husband we had never lived the life of an extravagant multi-millionaire so having never lived that kind life, we definitely would not be any less off.  We had and always lived in comfort and in luxury within means and we are still living very comfortably with or without the millions.  My children went to private school and after that financial crisis, they probably were the poorest of the rich kids in school.  Growing up amongst the elite, my kids were not some spoilt rotten rich kids, they grew up appreciating the value of money and I am proud of my children in this aspect.

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– courtesy of http://www.searchquotes.com

Although I do not have a fairytale ending with “live happily ever after” to my marriage, I am blessed that my ex husband and I have a “happily ever after” friendship.  We parted ways, no longer husband and wife because of lack of communication and too much into building a career that took toll on our love and connection.  My ex husband is a very kind man, simple and helpful to everyone.  Today, he is still very much part of my life, a big part of my family and my true friend.

You are reading the true life story of one little Borneo girl and this post is of her life as a young woman of 21 through to mid 30s.  If any of my readers wish to leave a comment and share any personal experiences with regards to love or how true or not that “love is blind”, please feel free to leave a comment.

true-friendship-quotes-with-images– Courtesy of http://www.goodmorningwishes.com

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– Courtesy of http://dailypost.wordpress.com –

For personal record, this is my 3rd post for Week 1 of  a “Post A Week” Challenge.

The writer reserves the exclusive right on this post and does not permit “Reblog” or “Share” on facebook.  Any form of circulation, printed or copied of this post is strictly prohibited.  This story is only available through http:littlegirlstory.wordpress.com.