Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Appreciate Every Moment

In a blink of an eye, days have whizzed by since the day my father passed away. This year was the first Chinese New Year celebration without him. It hurts to think that every year from this year on, I will be celebrating it without him; without his blessings, without his fussy instructions, without his bright smile. The celebration will never be the same again.

I thought about him during the New Year period, wondering where is he now? What is he experiencing? Is he still around the house with us? To say I do not miss him would be the biggest lie.

My dad was a respectable man and an inspirational and outstanding motivational speaker. If not for his guidance and his eye for perfection, I would not be who I am today. I remember the time when I needed to deliver an important speech to a hall of 200 people; he guided me on all the most important aspects of delivering a speech effectively.

He would make me face the mirror and allow me to observe my body language. He made me understand the importance of the tone of my voice and made me repeat my speech over and over again. His training was a major boost of confidence for me.

One sunny afternoon a few weeks back, I was included in a family swimming outing and got to observe two adorable girls swimming with their loving uncle. It brought me back to the days when my dad would bring my brother and I for a short holiday to the beach and our favourite activity would always be swimming. Dad would show us the correct ways to swim and he even bought us water guns! Those certainly are treasured memories.

I remember that two months before he passed away, my father wanted to take us to Penang for a short holiday and even booked the hotel for a three nights’ stay. That trip was cancelled because I had to work and my mother wasn’t keen to travel so far. Now I truly regret not having insisted on going. How could I have let my work stop me from spending precious time with my family?

It is still a little shocking to my soul to have to accept the fact that he is gone forever. My last words to him were ‘‘good-bye’’ when I left home to go for an hour of massage at a spa nearby. That night, my mother received the shocking news of his death from a policeman. He had died of a heart attack at a coffee-shop just a few kilometres from home. There wasn’t any sign that he was going to go away forever.

I had always imagined him giving me away on my wedding and being the most “happening’’ dad around my friends with his pleasant personality and charming smile. And someday, laughing and smiling from ear to ear while playing with my children. All these dreams have just been blown away.

Losing my dad certainly made me realise that life is both precious and fragile. At anytime the person you care about the most might be taken away from you forever and you will not be able to do anything about it.
I know I have to appear strong and not lose myself in my emotions. I know I am able to hide them, but that doesn’t mean I am dealing with them. In actual fact, I have to admit that I am not. I am just hoping that they won’t turn into a time-bomb that explodes in the future!

I swear to myself that I will not take my family and everyone I care for granted. Every moment with them will be cherished and kept in my heart for nothing is more precious than happy moments and laughter shared together.

This blog was published in The Sunday Star Newspaper 22nd February 2009:http://thestar.com.my/lifestyle/story.asp?file=/2009/2/22/lifefocus/3309843&sec=lifefocus

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