Tuesday, December 19, 2017

One life

An acquaintance just bought a sports car....you know, the flame-red turbo-charged coupe type. The kind I thought you'd buy if you struck a lottery.
Or when going through a mid-life crisis. :P
Anyway, he said a-matter-of-factly that he has only one life & wants to live it to the fullest. At 60+, that doesn't leave him much time.
On the other hand, I thought a-matter-of-factly, that if you only have one life, you shouldn't be making so many enemies.
Ha, ha. I am just being my cynical self.

The Good Samaritan

This is the oft narrated parable of old. It tells of a Jew who was waylaid by robbers on a quiet road. Battered & bruised, he lay helpless as a fellow Jew and subsequently a lecture priest walked by without so much as lifting a finger to help. Finally, a Samaritan (a native of Samaria whom the Jews regard & detest as a tainted race) came to his rescue. Dressed & clothed him & placed him in the care of an innkeeper & footing his expenses.
Friends helping each other is common practice but for a stranger or an adversary to do likewise is indeed commendable.
Recently, my daughter spent time in hospital with a classmate she hardly knew when the latter's mother was admitted with a critically illness. Truth be told, compassion is an attribute she rarely displays, so this came as a pleasant surprise to me.
Shortly later, she was in some distress waiting for her year-end exam results, having been
unsure of one of the papers she sat for. That got the wife in sixes and sevens, but the boy and I weren't perturbed.
All things worked for good to those that love God and are called according to their purpose. Paul said so, and I held on to the premise, that her act of random kindness at the hospital will provide reassurance she will pull thru.
It does and she did.

Sunday, December 10, 2017

final destination

If you have seen the movie, you'll be convinced you can't escape death. The movie makers & movie-goers alike must also believe it because there were another 4 sequels after that.

I have seen three of my late colleagues in the obituary page - one from a stroke, another from a delibitating disease & the 3rd from a ravaging cancer. Then I look at myself in context & wonder whether mine will be cut short like in the movie.

If my number had been up, it would have happened years ago.

When I was about 12, I tried to mimic a pole vaulter at the home garden. Strung a rope across & used a stick to jump over. Fell awkwardly facedown & felt excruciating pain over the whole abdomen. On hindsight, I could have ruptured the liver or spleen.

When I was 14, I opened the fridge at home during a thunderstorm & felt a sharp slap-like pain at the back of my calf. Was that a teeny-weeny electrocution?

When I was 27, before I could afford a car, I rode the motorbike to do part-time locum at a clinic along Jalan Jelutong, Penang. Many times, I had to stop in the middle of the road while waiting to turn right. If you live in Penang, you will know it's a very busy road & I had to depend on the goodwill of vehicles passing behind me to keep a safe distance.

When I was 29, while driving down from Penang to KL, I drifted off to the left of the main trunk road (before the NSE was opened) & as a reflex, turned the steering wheel excessively to the right & the car jumped up the kerb & veered sharply to the opposite lane. I lived to tell the tale because there was no oncoming traffic.

My personal belief, and I stress personal, is that my time is not yet up because in the grand scheme of things, there must be a role I still need to play, the reason for my very existence, as is for everyone else who is still alive.

It is my wish that all of us do whatever we can, while we still can, for the betterment of mankind.

Saturday, December 09, 2017

student nurses

nurses played a major role in my life.

my mother was one and that may have inspired me to follow a certain career pathway, but there were student nurses in the hospitals that I trained at or worked in that changed my outlook in adult life.

I thought I had found the girl of my dreams before I left for varsity. We went steady for over 3 years despite the long distance relationship & during term time, we kept in contact through public phones & letters.

It all changed when I started going to the wards during the clinical years. There was this student nurse PB in the surgical ward that drove me crazy. Her friendly & bubbly personality gave me crazy ideas. Like if I didn't see her in the morning, I would make it a point to pretend to see the patients during her afternoon or night shift. Her roster was on the notice board, that's how I tracked her movement ....*evil laugh*

my preoccupation with her drove me to break off with the erstwhile girlfriend, who was distraught beyond words. what do you expect, one day it was lovey-dovey...the next, it's adieu. well, not really because our parents knew each other well, so it wasn't really a clean break.

Coming back to PB, the chemistry was definitely there but it somehow just wasn't enough to clinch the deal. The one memorable moment I spent with her wasn't alone with her but at her home with her parents during Chinese New Year. Her mum was truly charming & I was sure PB inherited that attribute from mum. We remained friends to this day.

After that, I got to know CP, a classmate of PB. Like PB, she stayed at the nurses' hostel, so it was easy to meet. CP is from Penang, so we continued where we left off after I graduated & did housemanship in Penang. Just when I thought I will clinch it this time, she married someone else - the son of the landlady she was renting from. I attended her wedding but was a tad disappointed she couldn't or wouldn't or didn't wait for me. I still see her at church when I go back to Penang. Our families have met & we remained friends.

Then came AE...a student nurse at the Penang Hospital. Woo hoo......she really got me eating off her fingers. Bubbly, charming & intelligent....graduated top of the class even. Even met her parents when I spent a weekend at her home. This one was definitely a "done deal" but guess what?

I got cold feet & chickened out. Eventually, she married my colleague - personally & frankly, I think she was better off with him.

Which begs the question : was I really ever ready to commit in the 1st place? Probably not because there was a string of short term relationships after that which never really took off....no lasting chemistry...no sparks.....

But three years later, the stars ignited & planets lined in place. The one I thought will never happen ....the outside bet...the dark horse....actually did. After a 2-year courtship, we married.

Oh yes, she also a nurse.

(did I not allude to this at the beginning?)