Thursday, June 30, 2005
CT also told me to start planning for the next holiday trip in September as it is labour day-another long weekend. US Labour day is on the 5th of Sept. So, I planned to go Orlando, Florida since the kids will be back in schools and thus, there should not be as crowded. I have been to Orlando prob in about 1996/7...was there on a swimming trip where I trained in Fort Lauderdale with my fellow swimmer friends for almost a month and I remembered celebrating Christmas without my family for the first time at Disney Orlando where we stayed in the hotel there. It was awesome. What fond memories. So, I planned to go back there and bring CT around as he has never been there. I have been looking forward to ride roller coasters with CT as we have never done so together. We both love the thrills and all. So, I am sure it will be fun.
Will probably be going with Kok Fong and Gek Teng as well. Heard that the whole company seems to be going there as well after hearing our plans. Oh well...I find it strange to go on a holiday where so many of our friends are there..Yes, truthfully, I do not enjoy crowds and just prefer to be alone with my loved ones. :) But I guess, it is fine since we will be booking our accomodation and flight seperate. Will only do it with Kok Fong and Gek Teng since we planned for some time already.
Today, Gek Teng came over and watched TV together. After that, we went to the mailbox and check our letters. Gek Teng has this parcel which she was surprised as it was addressed to her english name which not many people knows about it. So, we were both wondering who it was from. She unwrapped it up and it is a book about Answers to life -A Christianity book. In my heart, I was thinking,"Wow.." because I also recently gave her a book on faith and all that. It seems that her friend who is also a Christian bought for her a book and sent it to her from Singapore. Then Gek Teng started to say,"Wha..how come you all send me books?" Then I said,"Guess it is time to start reading.." :) I told her that she can bring it to Tennessee to read since there will be a lot of time.
CT came home very late today..about 7pm. He said there was a meeting from 3pm to 6pm. He came home with only Kok Fong. So, he told me that he managed to share Christ with Kok Fong throughout the whole journey and explained the history and all. He also told Kok Fong to observe the lives of Christians (as that will be an evidence in itself)like his parents-in-law during the whole accident..how with only God's strength and peace can we go through all that and manage to be so calm. CT told him to just be open, be sensitive and observe.
Kok Fong and wife came with us to go for the farewell dinner together. We went to Hooters for the farewell dinner..yes, THAT hooters where women dress in short shorts, sleaveless tight shirts and serve the customers. Not the place I would go as it makes women very cheap..I feel..
All CT's colleagues were there and the place is not very big. SO, all of us were at seperate tables. We sat with Kok Fong, Gek Teng and Jim (CT's boss). Jim is from Chicago and will be transferred to Singapore for 3 years. He just got married as well and his wife is very pretty. They will be going to Chicago first to get ready to move to Singapore. His wife has left first to Chicago to pack..so she was not with us for this dinner. I ordered a buffalo platter (Wings, chicken strips and fried prawns) to share with CT and also curly fries. It was more than enough.
After dinner, evereyone gathered around our table as Jim was with us. So we felt kind of awkward. There were like 20 over pple gathering round the small table. Strange.. Then, one of the waitress approached Jim and started joining in the commotion. She rubbed her huge breasts on Jim's face.Goodness. Some of the colleagues took out their cameras and started taking pictures to sabo Jim. Ha.. Then the waitress started to give all the receipts of all our tables to Jim to ask him to pay. Initially, we were supposed to treat Jim...however, the waitress seemed insistent for Jim to pay and he started paying with the company credit card. Goodness, I felt bad as he should not be paying for so many of us on his farewell party somemore!
Left the place at about 9 plus pm. Did not stay too long as I did not like the place and moreover, it is rather smoky and has bad ventilation as they cook in the place..so quite stinky..
After dinner, me and CT started to watch the VCD and finally, finished the whole series. It is very exciting. Dad was the one who bought it for me. So, I will def bring it back for dad to watch it when he goes home. He will love the show. :)
I am very happy as we have been praying and asked God to help us in settling all these as initially, we all thought we would go back in April and I felt it is too long as my leave is up to March. So, it will be troublesome for me to go back Singapore alone first. So, I am very happy of this arrangement that we will be going back in Jan. God does answer prayer and settles our worries.
This week is Indep day weekend and we will be going to Chicago from 2-5 July. After that, on the 6 July, CT and some of his colleagues need to make a trip to Loudon, Tennessee for business and CT is coordinating this trip. So, he called and told me to source for a hotel to stay.I suddenly became his secretary. Ha! This trip would be for 3 weeks and so, what I looked out for is a kitchen and internet access. So, I managed to find 5 options for CT and emailed to him and asked him to choose as each hotel has both plus and minus points. In the end, he chose "Residence Inn (Marriott)" as it has full kitchen facilities in the room, free high speed internet access in room, dishwasher etc. That was the most expensive hotel in my list. Oh well, it is great cos its paid by company. I will be going with him so I will def make use of the kitchen. I will be spending a lot of time with Gek Teng as we will be alone in the hotel and it will be a good time to talk with her and to know her better.
There will also be a swimming pool and fitness centre. So, hope to get in a good shape after the 3 weeks. Ha.
After the trip, it will prob be time for me to go back to Singapore for a week. So, there will be a lot of travelling done. We will be driving from here to Loudon, Tennessee. It is about 8 hours drive. Hope CT will be able to take the long drive esp since we just come back from Chicago at midnight and we will be leaving at 9am next day. Rush rush...
Me and Gek Teng has already planned to go back to Smoky Mountains, Gatlinburg in Tennessee and to do white water rafting in Chattanooga, Tennessee when we go to stay in Loudon, Tennessee as it is not far from there. I was supposed to do white water rafting with my parents when they came here but because of the accident, (which was a day before our trip to Tennessee for white water rafting), we could not go. So, I hope to still do rafting there....Whenever things like this come up, I think of my parents, esp my dad and start to get knots in my heart as I miss him very much and I just cannot believe that my parents' trip here became like that...so unexpected.
Pray my dad will be out of ICU soon and can breathe on his own. I last heard from my mum that he has been trying to rely on his own lungs but he still depends on the ventilator at times. My dad has always been very active and it must be tough for him to stay in bed for so long. One month (from the accident) has passed so quickly and he must be having bad bedsores..
Tonight, when CT came home, we went out to eat at a new buffet Chinese restaurant. They have a 20% off because of the opening. So, we thought we should make use of the discount and eat there. The food was not as nice as I expected. Was rather disappointed but it has a lot of varieties. Guess it will be my first and last time there since there are so many Chinese restaurants everywhere. :)
Wednesday, June 29, 2005
I slept till 9am. Then woke up and did the usual morning stuff. Did some reading today and watching of TV. CT came home at 530pm. Very early. His usual is about 6 plus. SO I was pleasantly surprised. After dinner, we watched many TV shows one after another. The first one was "Nanny 911". It is a reality show about a family in distress who the parents are unable to manage the kids. So, they call in a Nanny and the company will select a nanny from a group appropriate for the job and goes to their rescue to re-organise their house and lives.
So, today's story was about 4 kids who expect their mum to do everything for them-to wear their socks, change etc..and their house is in a total mess so much so that their kids always miss the school bus because the mum cannot find their shoes and none of their many clocks in the house are working. So, the nanny laid down a lot of rules for each of the kids and expect them to dress on their own, make their own bed and keep their toys etc.. So after a week (which is the time limit), the nanny is supposed to save the day...and after a week, the kids have learnt a lot and the house is very neat and organised. The kids gave her a big hug and all of them cried when the nanny had to leave. Me and CT were watching the show and learning a lot about handling kids as the mum was way too attached to her kids that she wants to do everything for them...and that is why they do not take control of their own responsibilities.
Anyway, it was an insightful show... After that, we watched another reality show called, "Hell's Kitchen". It is about a famous chef in UK who is heading the restaurant and wanting to pick a chef out of the many people to run his restaurant. It is something like "The Apprentice"..but it is to do with cooking.
After the show, me and CT continued on to our next show. It was a documentary which I always wanted to see but always miss it. Glad they have repeated it so many times that I could watch it tonight. It is entitled, "The boy whose skin fell off". It is a true life story about a guy named Jonny Kennedy. He had a terrible genetic condition called Dystrophic Epidermolysis Bullosa (EB) - which meant that his skin literally fell off at the slightest touch, leaving his body covered in agonising sores and leading to a final fight against skin cancer.
his last months Jonny decided to work with filmmaker Patrick Collerton to document his life and death, and the result was a film, first broadcast in March, that was an uplifting, confounding and provocatively humorous story of a singular man. Not shying away from the grim reality of EB, the film was also a celebration of a life lived to the full.
I was amazed at his life and how they showed him planning for his funeral-choosing his coffin, telling the carpenter what to carve on his coffin, who to speak during his funeral, who to sing in his funeral and what song to play...etc. He said that dying is part and parcel of life, so why can't you plan it as if you are planning for an anniversary or birthday? I feel that is quite true. It reminds me of a church friend whom I know and she has planned who to preach in her funeral and she even chose the songs to sing during her funeral. But the reality is, death is something everyone wants to avoid and run away from..or choose to ignore. It is like a taboo word which no one should speak about.
But why?? Why should we avoid it WILL come sooner or later? Is it because we are afraid to die?
This was the question that troubled me when I was young and it was this question that brought me to Christ.
For more info about the show, click on these links
Monday, June 27, 2005
After that, had to go back to cook soup as it was 4 plus pm already. Gek Teng went home with me as she needed one egg for her fried pork ribs. I cooked soup that is good for cough as CT's colleague, Cecilia has a bad cough. The soup has almond seeds, fig etc..I love the soup as the fig gives a natural sweetness to it.
So after CT came home, he dropped by to pass the soup before he went to play tennis. CT came home sweating so much. It is nice to see him exercising and seeing his face all red.
After dinner, as usual, we would watch TV together and then watch our VCDs. Do not go out at night in case it is not safe..not like Singapore. So, I guess that is why Americans spend a lot of time together as a family. I still prefer a safe and secure environment for my kid to grow up as there are so many reports about missing children here and it seems like a norm. The law here is too lax as the people here wants democracy and freedom. Messed up.
Starving Sudanese child being stalked by a vulture won Kevin Carter the 1994 Pulitzer Prize for feature photography.
Sunday, June 26, 2005
Saturday, June 25, 2005
When we went there, we had food provided-hamburgers, buffalo wings, coleslaw and watermelon. There were potato chips as well. It was buffet style. I made for myself a double patty hamburger..only took one. It was enough. Did not eat much as I did not feel like eating too much and get myself all stuffed. After that, there were Junior Miss America girls from the different states who did a special appearance in the Hank Aaron stadium where we were at. They were playing baseball for the audience to see just before the match. After that, 2 of CT's colleagues were selected to do first pitching to start off the game. Me and CT went with them to take pictures at the field. The stadium is only a minor league stadium..so not as big but it was nice. Alabama has no major league team like New York Yankees or Dodgers etc..
The baseball game started at 7pm and we were sitted very near the field. It was boring initially as I did not know what was going on..but after much explanation from CT's American colleague, me and CT kind of gotten the hang of it and enjoyed the game. So at first, I wanted to leave early but after that, I thought of hanging in there to watch the whole game since CT said that this may be our only chance to watch a baseball match, so it may be our last..So, we should stay. And heard that everytime after a baseball match, there will be fireworks. So, we stayed. Kok Fong and Gek Teng stayed as well as they came in our car and after hearing CT's explanation on why we should stay, we all stayed together while all of his colleagues left early as they felt it was boring. So, we stayed with Jim and wife. Jim is CT's boss. He kept telling us that if we want to leave, we can..we need not feel bad. Ha!
We sat all together and watched the game. I enjoyed it. When the game came to the 7th game (altogether they play 9 games), suddenly everyone in the stadium stood up. I asked the american colleague why is everyone standing up. He told us that it is a tradition for the 7th game to stand up to stretch after sitting down so long. Very interesting. It is nice to know of such tradition and fit in by doing the same.
After that, the screen came out an announcement for audience to go purchase a 3D glasses to see the fireworks later on in 3D for 1 buck. So, I told CT if he can get it to see wat it is like. So, he went to get and bought it. In the past, he will not buy it as he thinks it is silly and not practical. CT has indeed changed a lot and has been very nice and loving. Hehe..
After about 3 hours, the game finally ended and Mobile Baybears lost pathetically..hehe..Then, the lights went off and the fireworks finale started. Goodness--it was so nice!! Me and CT kept saying..wha...so nice..wha... We were so amazed. It lasted for about 15 mins with so many diff kinds of fireworks. It was better than our Singapore National Day fireworks. It was practically raining fireworks in the sky and lots of shooting stars fireworks with all sorts of colours. Wearing the glasses made the fireworks look nearer that it is. So, it is quite nice.
After the finale, we all said it was the right decision to stay as it was all well worth it. I left the stadium telling the rest that America is so rich for every game to have such fireworks. We were all smiles when we left the stadium at about 1030pm. For the pictures of today's match and fireworks, do check out my photos website.
Friday, June 24, 2005
Today, have been feeling rather weak and went back to bed from 7am to about 11 plus. Woke up feeling very groggy and heated up my lunch to eat. Was watching TV and playing with my computer when someone knocked on the door. I got a shock. I opened the door and it was CT.
It was about 12 plus pm. CT and his colleagues were given 2 days off.. So when CT came home, he reheated his lunch and ate, watching TV together with me. After his lunch, I told him I was not feeling too well. So, we went to the clinic and I told the doctor I was feeling weak. She did not know what was wrong with me but to draw blood to test. Oh well..it was like blood donation drive. Then the doctor gave me prescription to strengthen my immunity.
Doctors here do not give out medicine. We have to go to the pharmacy to collect and pay the medicine on top of doctor's fees. However, after seeing the doctor, I told CT that I did not want to go pharmacy to get medicine. I would rather go home,rest and see how from there. So we went home. It was troublesome going to pharmacy to get medicine as still have to wait a long while for the medicine..about an hour. So, it is crazy.
At about 6pm, went to Bel Air Mall to shop for sport shoes as I lost my shoes during the accident. But I could not find any which I like..so did not get anything. After that, went to Wings Field Sports Bar cum restaurant to watch the NBA finals-Pistons Vs Spurs. The place is real nice. They have about 50 TV screens with 8 projector screens showing all different sport channels. The food is not expensive. About US$10 per person,serving American food...what else? Went with CT's colleagues. During half time, went home to continue watching as I prefer watching at home. Just went there for the fun of it since CT's colleagues invited us.
Wednesday, June 22, 2005
This show makes me think about having kids and setting up a family. Every parents' wish is for the kids to be righteous and good kids, but what if in the end, your kids do not end up the way you want them to end up? Parents may be so loving and supportive, but sometimes, I feel it is very hard to control their thinking and how they will turn out to be.
There is a lot of hopelessness in this world when things like this happen or even the train accident that happened to my family..but I am just so glad I have a God who gives hope. It is like walking in a desert for days with no water, and suddenly you see a pond of fresh water, or in a garden with dead leaves and all of a sudden, you see a nice blooming flower. There is hope and peace with God and I am very assured of my future. Question is..are you assured of yours?
Tuesday, June 21, 2005
CT called in the morning to ask me if I want to do the first pitch this Friday when we go on a company excursion to the local baseball stadium. I said, aiyah paiseh...but he said just throw only. He said he can sign up both our names and the company will draw lots. So, I said ok lah..as it sounds like an experience.
Today, I had to stay home as Reeda will be coming back from Brazil today and will call me from the airport to come and collect her car.She lent me her car before she left for Brazil on a missiontrip for me to bring my family around. Her car is a 3.8L pontiac grandprix car. Sounds nice but though only a 5 year old car, it is poorly maintained. I think Americans do not really maintain or clean their cars.
Gek Teng came over and spent time with me with me instead. She passed me some lemongrass which she bought as she making assam fish today. She was playing on my computer and we were watching Superman 1 together. TV always show old movies..
Reeda called about 2 plus pm and told me that she is at Atlanta and her flight is delayed and will only return to Mobile at 7 plus pm. She told me she had a great time in Brazil. I am sure..Brazil is one of the countries which I love to visit.
Anyway, today, I cooked beef rendang, xiao bai cai with carrot and dried mushrooms. Made koniyaku jelly as well with longan. CT found the beef rendang too much coconut. But I told him that beef rendang is like that. CT thinks I have lost all my tastebuds and do not recognise the authentic flavour of local food already. Hehe.. I told him that as long as it tastes a bit like the real thing, I am satisfied!
After dinner, I check the internet and saw that Reeda's flight is again delayed and will touch down only at 840pm. As usual, we watched TV together. I was practising my pitch when we saw a baseball game on TV. Hehe..just in case I get chosen. Must always be prepared and think ahead. That is one of my mottos.
When Reeda came, I gave her some jelly for her to bring home and try. Also wrapper a present and gave her a card for lending me her car. She was wearing a Brazil jersey. Hehe..nice. After Reeda left, we watched our VCD...cos it was very exciting. It is our daily dose of chinese serials. :)
Monday, June 20, 2005
So, at about 9am, I called the office and told them about it. They said they will write a letter to them and inform them. Hope it will change things if not, I think CT would want to move out as it has been happening for months already..about once a week.
At noon time, there was Indiana Jones-Raides of the Lost Ark on TV and they showed the rest of the sequels continously-Temple of Doom and Lost Crusade. So, they showed all 3 shows one after another. SO, it was an Indiana Jones day. I watched the first show with Gek Teng and after that, I went back to clean the house and wash the cars and Reeda will be coming back tomorrow. So, I need to return her car.
Cooked hairy gourd soup with pork ribs for the whole day till the soup is quite thick and white. Very nice. Did not add ay salt and it tastes good already. Will be frying noodles for dinner since I have so may noodles I have not eaten. CT has been asking me how come the cupboard of food still look so full. So, I better clear..
After frying the noodles, the noodles all coagulated and it seems so little. Oh well, at least I had soup and veggies. You can see the noodles from the picture..and CT's new haircut as well. :)
After dinner, we ate a bit of ice cream and watched "Tribute to George Lucas". The show was quite funny and nice when all the old time actors from stars wars came back to share about the impact of George Lucas and star wars. They also showed other shows which George Lucas directed and his life..Steven Spielberg was sitting beside him. After watching a while, we decided to watch our VCD. After watching VCD, the tribute was still on..so I carried on watching for a while.
It was about a Muslim woman in Iran who saw a change in her husband and asked him what caused the change. He said, his friends took him to church and he accepted Christ. Her husband actually went down on her knees to ask for her forgiveness as he has been abusing her in the past. The muslim woman was so amazed at how his God had changed him that she went with him to church and now, the couple is doing ministry work in Cyprus and reaching out to Iranians in Cyprus to Christ. They are not able to go back to their homeland as they will be thrown into jail. It really makes me wonder what sacrifice and love they have made and shown to God.
After church, I went Walmart grocery shopping and bought a 8 piece fried chicken set. CT was pushing the trolley and he wandered off while I was picking some fruits. I was wondering where he was and I finally saw him looking at someone playing racing car arcade in the middle of the supermarket. Ha.. There is also a Macdonalds in Walmart. Love Walmart...cheap and huge!
Went home for lunch. I prepared rice with left over chicken stew and heated the fried chicken in the oven. After lunch, we watched VCD together and spent the whole day at home since we went out yesterday already.
Just before dinner, I cut CT's hair. He wanted it shorted to last him till August when we go back Singapore for a week. So, I cut his fringe especially short. It was another messy affair but all in all, I am quite proud of the turnout. Will show the photos soon of the haircut.
But it was real funny before I cut his hair. We were both so scared-he was scared that I would cut horribly, while I was scared that I would cut horribly. So as I was going to snip his hair, we both start laughing and I kept telling him that I am scared too. Ha..Then CT suggested, hmm..maybe we should pray first. :) So funny.. You cannot understand how fearful we were of the outcome.
Today, I cooked Bak Ku Teh and fried bean sprouts with salted fish...as well as leftovers fried chicken. I do enjoy cooking and eating at home. Am sick of outside food...so oily, sweet and salty. Very extreme taste.
After dinner, we watched another VCD. :)
Sunday, June 19, 2005
New Orleans is a vibrant city. Many says that it is a sin city as there are numerous voodoo shops, Tarot or fortune telling shops, x-rated shops as well etc.. CT told me that at night, there are many people along Bourbon Street who would lift up their shirts so that they can get beads of necklace. Many would also pee and throw things from the second level. A lot of crazy people. But of course, there are other places to visit that is not so complicated.
Friday, June 17, 2005
In the morning, I was playing my guitar and wrote a song about the accident and the whole experience I have gone through and learnt. It is about, despite what had happened, praise God! The song is titiled, "He is my Father." I was singing and crying as I was touched by God's love. Amazing time singing alone..and with God.
Gek Teng came about 11 plus am and I asked her if her place got water, she said no. The water supply has been cut off cos they doing some renovation next door and took out the whole toilet bowl. But anyway, we had our lunch. Quitc enjoyable eating together and watching TV together. We watched the MTV 2005 Movie Awards Ceremony. I was amazed at the video crew as the effects are really cool. They did a spoof of Batman Begins movie show and Star Trek Movie show. And when Mariah Carey came out to sing, she was coloured, while the rest of the dancers, musicians, audience were all shown in black and white. How did they do that kind of effect?
After lunch, we tried to turn on the tap, and spurts of water came out and then, the water was flowing. However, when I filled up my water bottle to check the water, it was yellow! yeeks. So, Gek Teng suggested letting the water run first. After yellow, the water turned became murky as well. I was wondering if I could still cook tonight's dinner. Gek Teng commented that she is glad she not cooking dinner tonight. Usually, on Fridays, we would go out and eat since the next day no work for our husbands, but I told her that I am sick of eating out and moreover, I still have lots of food in my fridge as my family went grocery shopping and bought so many stuff before they left. Gek Teng will be trying the new Chinese Restaurant near our place. It is buffet and I just did not feel like eating buffet again.
After watching the movie awards, we went to check our mailbox and then,dropped by at Angeline's house since her place is near the mailbox. We seldom walk over to her place as it is further from our place. Angeline is about 5-6 months pregnant already and she will be leaving for NY soon...alone!! She will be meeting her mum and bro there. She also hopes to go California without her husband. Maybe she is tryin to travel as much first before the baby is born. Ha..
After an hour spending at her place, I went back to cook my stew. The water was clear already and I cooked luncheon meat, chicken stew (adding celery, carrots, potatoes). I also roasted drumsticks and wings in oven. I cooked at about 5pm as the sky was very dark and there was a thunderstorm. So, I quickly cook just in case the electricity goes out. Gek Teng quickly went to bathe. Ha..
When things like this happen, people tend to appreciate home better. The security we have in Singapore. Oh well.. Anyway, nothing happened. It was just heavy rain and thunder. Had a great dinner. CT brought back fried prawn sandwich back from work and I put it in fridge for tomorrow's breakfast. Company provided lunch today as requested by CT. He is a faciliator and so, he suggested having lunch provided yesterday and today. Yesterday was fried chicken and steak while today is seafood.
After eating, we watched our VCD. It is very exciting. I love the HK actors and actresses. They are old and experienced. I prefer them to the young actors. Watched 2 discs tonight since tomorrow no need to wake up early.
Thursday, June 16, 2005
I called at about 6am after making breakfast for CT..dialed my bro's hp no and he picked up saying that he has not seen our parents yet as he is on the way there. So, he told me to call about 15 mins later when he reach as I wanted to talk to mum. So, 15 mins later, I called and the phone was switched off. So, I called much later at about 9am here, which is 10pm in Singapore. Called my bro's hp again and now, he told me mum is in the toilet at home. So, I said I will call back again 15 mins later. And when I called home 15 mins later, Pam picked up the phone and said mum is still in toilet and will check for me. Then finally, my mum answered the phone. She was telling me how small the plane is and she was placed at the back of the plane. She was so hungry as she was only served sandwiches. We told me that dad was in good spirits and the "paparazzi" was even there,besides my relatives and family friends. Goodness!
I talked only a while as I wanted my mum to rest early. I just feel glad that they are ok. I went on to my computer to check email after talking with mum and in the morning, I chatted with Gek Teng (who is staying just doors away from my place) and with Marianne. My first time chatting with Marianne using Skype program. So, we were both pretty excited to "connect" via internet. She was telling me about Phoebe and my mum whom she just called. She asked what my dad would like..and I mentioned bringing Christian CDs..so, she went to look at her collection to bring tomorrow when she visits dad.Marianne has been my closest friend since 1997 when I met her in church youth camp. Never knew anyone during the camp and after the camp, we became good friends. :)
I spent the morning chatting with Gek Teng as well and telling her about the difference and impact Christianity has on my family. The difference when my family were not Christians, and now, when we became Christians. I was telling her how my mum and my brother has changed so much and how much peace we have ever since we accepted Christ. If this difficult period happened many many years ago, before we became Christians, I cannot imagine how to go through this. My mum would probably go hysteric. Gek Teng was telling me that she can see the peace we have as it was very obvious. She was telling me that if that happened to her, she will not be able to handle it. I was telling her that when people tell Christ to her, there has to be a reason as she tells me that her good friends are also Christians. I told her that if your good friend have good things to share, they will def love to share with you and not share with you bad things. Gek Teng seems rather open and I do pray for opportunity to share with her more. I am just so glad to have met her and known her and her husband, Kok Fong. They are nice people.
In the afternoon, I went over to Gek Teng's place for lunch as she had a lot of veggies..so I brought my lunch over and shared with her mine too. So we ate together while watching show. There is this funny show which we saw called, "The Guru". It is a Bollywood movie in English. Very funny as the Americans were all dancing like Indians..a typical Indian show with funny dance moves. We also saw Terminator show-the first episode. Went home at about 3pm to prepare for dinner and just relax by myself.
However at about 4pm, there was a knock on my door. Angeline and Gek Teng came over to visit me now. I did not expect it.. They stayed until 6pm. Once they left, I rushed to bathe before CT came home. But CT was at home when I finished..he seldom use the house key, so that was why he was saying how come I never open door for him which I usually do. I told him cos Angeline and Gek Teng just left and I was bathing.
CT brought home 3 chicken parts with 2 buns from his lunch today to let me try. I cooked dinner and rice. Today, I cooked yellow squash with beef. Yellow squash tasts a bit like zucchinni but it is yellow in colour and not green. It taste nice. I steamed chinese sausages-pork and liver. Cooked only 2 dishes as there is fried chicken. So, did not want to cook too much. I did not even touch the rice as CT gave me too fried chicken. Too full.
So, I put rice and dishes in fridge for tomorrow's lunch. After dinner, we watched the chinese VCD. Like to watch finish before Aug when I go back to Singapore for a week and return the VCD for my dad to watch. Hopefully, by then, he will be at home and can watch. The show is very nice. I enjoy it. After watching, it was only 830pm, CT was watching his fav basketball NBA finals...while I was playing my "Sims 2" game which my brother lent me.
I feel that God has placed me and CT here in US for a great reason and since I have known CT for only 2 years and we are married for only less than a year, this trip and this particular accident has brought us very much closer together. :)
Wednesday, June 15, 2005
At about 945am, I drove with Gek Teng to Walmart. I needed to go Walmart to buy chocolates for those who have helped us. I did not have enough, so had to buy more. Did a bit of other grocery shopping as well since we were there. Met a technician, CT's colleague at Walmart as he is on shift. SO, not on duty today. After shopping a while, we went home about 1045am.
Heated up last night's food for lunch and watched TV at the same time. After lunch, I cleaned up the whole house as when my family was here, the house became more messy as there were so many things lying around. :) No complains..just commenting. So, I vacuumed the whole house and mopped the dining area, cleaned the toilet. Gained satisfaction after seeing the house clean.
After that, I played my computer and watched TV. A guy came to my house to collect back my mum's wheelchair, which was rented. CT called many times to check on me and asked me if I was ok. Sweet.
CT came home at 6pm and went out to play tennis till 715pm. Had dinner after that. I cooked fish soup, cai xin with mock abalone, egg with onions and prawn. Something light as the time my family came over, I have been overeating from all the buffets. Called my brother back in Singapore when CT came home and he said that mum's flight will arrive only late afternoon. We all thought it was early morning. Poor mum and dad..they must be very tired..about 30 hours flight. Bro enjoyed his trip back home.
After dinner, we went over to Kok Fong & Gek Teng's place to return them their chair,which we borrowed since I did not have enough at the dining area and to give them some yoghurt which I love. (for them to try) There were lightning when we went over. Then after that, I watched Chinese VCD with CT which my dad brought for me to watch and it started having thunder and lightning such that the lights and TV were flickering for a short moment when there was thunder. It was a heavy rain which did not last long..maybe a few hours.
Slept straight after watching the VCD as I was so tired.
Tuesday, June 14, 2005
After visiting dad, we went to the airport to check in. After checking in, CT drove us out of airport to "Wendys" for lunch. Had great burgers as my bro has always been craving for Wendys..as if he is the one pregnant. :) When we went back to airport to sent bro and Pam off, mum was commenting that they just seemed to be here yesterday..everything seemed to pass by so fast and now, they are going back Singapore already.
Went Walmart after that and bought car wash stuff to wash CT's car and Reeda's car. Also bought baby food for Phoebe, my god daughter as her mum requested. Needed to buy so that my mum can bring that back when she leaves tonight. Went back to apartment after that and we were writing thank you cards for our friends here who has helped us a lot during this time, like CT's colleagues.
Mum cooked dinner tonight and it was sumptuous. I enjoyed it a lot. After dinner, I went online to buy tickets to go Chicago during Independence Day weekend. It was already late in booking, so I had to book as soon as I can.
After booking online, we went to visit dad and to bring mum's luggage along as she will be leaving tonight with dad. On the way to hospital, mum was crying a little. She cried cos she will miss me and that, she will face a lot of uncertainties when she goes back. Dad looked real good tonight as they did a major cleaning up on him. So the blood on his mouth were removed as it used to be all dried up in his mouth. My dad looked real clean. I spent a long time talking to him as my dad loves to see me more before he leaves tonight. Dad asked mum if she was worried and mum broke down again. Mum told dad that he has always been her pillar of support and making all the decisions. Dad told mum," God is with us and nothing is impossible with God." My dad was so strong. He also said," I can still make decisions." We all smiled. During this time, dad still has been an encouraging to me and the people around him, even the nurses. They all missed dad and told him to come back and visit them.
Dad is pretty excited to go back. He told me to tell his friends not to send any flowers, but instead, use the money to donate to Operation Hope Foundation, the organisation to reach out to the underprivileged. So, if you would like to give something to dad when he is back in Singapore, pls understand that my dad's wishes is for money to be used more wisely. For more info on how to donate, go to http://www.ohf.org.sg/
Operation Hope is an organisation which my dad is involved in. He was even in charge of a project coming up to Cambodia and supposed to bring his Cambodian god-daughter, Ratana to Singapore and stay with my parents. My dad always has a heart for the underprivileged and is very generous with things like this, even though he is prudent on his money and on himself.
When my parents left, I was crying as I will miss them. Through this event, I have learned to love them more and to appreciate them. Mum will be going with dad on the air ambulance and though she cannot still walk properly, she is also very strong. My dad was still in pain and has difficulty breathing...while I will not be around to take care of mum as she has luggages to carry and she has to carry her luggage herself since the doctor and nurses will be busy taking care of dad. So, I cried cos I cannot help my mum. They boarded the ambulance to go to the airport at about 11pm. When they boarded the ambulance, me and CT went back home as I cannot follow the ambulance since it will go very fast and the airport they were leaving from is quite ulu. So, I said my goodbyes from the hospital. Gave mum a great big hug.
I will hope to come back in August when CT is back to Singapore for training. Only for a week. SO, it will pass very fast. However, I am glad and know that God is with my family and there are many people back home to support them. I will def visit them whenever I can. Reached home at about 1120pm. Very late. Was feeling very exhausted.
Now, back to my tai tai life..though I know that life will not be the same again..
Monday, June 13, 2005
After visiting dad, I drove my family across Mobile Bay waters to Gulf Shores. I showed them the beach, the white fine sand. The weather was very hot today. I think it is about 35 degrees. After taking a look at the beach,we had lunch along the way from the beach. It is seafood place. Mum ordered steak with snow crab legs, while I shared with bro 2 piece fried chicken. Pam ordered a german sausage dog. For appetizers, we had seafood gumbo soup, and onion rings. US onion rings do really have onion inside. It is not like in Singapore, were the onion rings is just the taste and lots of flour. The one we had for lunch, were so nice,thick and big. Real onions found inside.
After a nice lunch, we headed to a factory outlet place with many many shops. People can spend the whole day there. However, we only spent about 2 and a half hours as we need to go back b4 CT comes home. The things they sell is quite cheap. I bought few books for only $US4..and 1 book costs US$0.99!! amazing..
Pam bought a maternity jeans. Bro bought a ice cream maker, mum bought a nice handbag for herself as the travel handbag she is using now is so dirty and has blood stains from the crash. So, I told her to get a nice one and throw away the dirty bag. Moreover, she said she had the bag even before my bro and I were born. Goodness!
We had a good time shopping but the driving was tough as it was abot 1 and a half hours of driving to the place and go back another 1 and a half hours. When I was driving back, I wanted to fall asleep. SO I told mum to give me chewing gum so that I can stay awake. And I'm glad it helps. I drove them to downtown to take a look at area.
We reached home about 530pm. What a day. It is so tiring driving as now like singapore, I have to really stay alert as the drivers in US are crazy..or rather, the cars. Sometimes, the car tyre will experience a blownout-tyre will just burst along the way. Or sometimes, cars will just swerve to cut into your lane. SO, a lot of energy was used to focus and drive safely. So, it is rather draining.
Tonight, went to "Longhorn Steakhouse" for dinner. It is a nice cowboy theme place with nice steaks. They served warm bread on the house. After dinner, we rushed to visit dad as we were late already. When we arrived, CT's colleagues were there visiting dad. So touched. A lot of them came to see as my dad will be leaving soon. Dad looked so much better and so calm. He has been smiling a lot as well. I had a good time with him as mum was busy entertaining the colleagues. I asked him if he was prepared that he would be paralysed forever. He said yes. I told him that it is always important to prepare yourself. Dad was telling me how much pain he is feeling as he is off the pain killers and I think he is getting bed sores. He has difficulty breathing as well and swallowing anything.
So before we left, I had to tell the nurse to suck up things from his throat which is painful for dad. Anyway, we told him to focus on his breathing and to build up his lungs first. He has to take it step by step. Glad he is going back home.
Sunday, June 12, 2005
So this morning, went church as usual with family and it is very encouraging to sing praises to God and to know His promises through His word - the rewards awaiting for us. After church, we had lunch at the hospital as the food is nice and cheap. I had beef with gravy, a bun, coleslaw and choc cake. Yummy. And not too filling as the servings are very small.
We visited dad and we sung with him songs to God. He was mouthing the lyrics as well. He requested us to sing. The nurses came in and told us when he will be leaving here. They will be flying him back to Singapore on Tues night at about 9pm. Mum will be going along as they can only accept one more person to go with him. He will reach Singapore Thurs early morning and transported to SGH immediately once he touched down. He will be going to 4 places first before reaching Singapore as the plane needs to change pilot and refuel. It is a small plane.
So, all in all, Dad's spirits are high and peaceful as he places his trust and faith in the Lord. I am just so glad we have God in our lives as like what the pastor said (whose daughter met with accident), we would not know how to go through this without God.
While we were leaving the hospital, we met the pastor and wife and they told us that their daughter could respond with moving her fingers and has opened her eyes wide. It is a miracle since the doctors told them that she will not wake up from coma and has no hope. We were so happy for them.
At night when we saw them again, there were lots of church members who came and visit their daughter and prayed for her. Mum told them that it is very heartwarming to know that churches are praying for them as many churches in US and Singapore also prayed for us. So the couple also had peace as they know everything happens for a reason and purpose. Through these 2 events, I have learnt that Christians and non Christians do behave differently when trials and tough times strike in their lives. (No offense to non Christians.) It is just from my observation.
Even during the day of accident, when my dad was unconscious when I first found him bleeding, I told myself that if God's purpose is to take my dad's life away, then it shall be. Of course, I will miss him but I know God's purpose in doing so, always have His reasons and He does not make any mistake. SO, I just trust Him and leave everything to Him. Moreover, I know where my dad will be when he dies, so I will be happy for him instead of being sad as he is enjoying himself now in heaven with a new body. I remember one Christian brother telling me before that he is 'jealous' when a Christian dies as they get to enjoy heaven earlier than us. Ha..
Saturday, June 11, 2005
After our visit,we went to Asian Market as mum has not been to it before as last week, she still depended on wheelchair to move about and so, she did not go. She told us that she wanted to take a look but in the end, she spent about US$30 there!! She bought lots of asian vegs, thai/vietnamese style breakfast, guava etc.
After that, we went back and prepared lunch. Had western lunch today. I made lagsana yesterday (my first time making it), so, I put it in the oven to heat it up and make the cheese crispier. After placing in the oven, I went to play computer games and watch TV until I forgot!! Suddenly, mum mentioned about it and I rushed to the oven and off it. I was too engrossed in my game that I forgot all about it. No smell somemore, so I cannot remember. The lagsana was not burnt as I used a special ware that prevents it from burning,but it was slightly drier. Still tasted good. CT and my bro ate a lot. Mum made salad. And I added a cream of mushroom soup. It was a nice and light lunch.
After lunch, we watched a new Chinese series of VCD. My bro bought for me and brought it over. It was quite comical. After watching, we took a look at the weather and it was not raining heavily but just drizzle and windy. So, we went to catch a movie. Had to do many things before my family goes back. We catched the show, "Mr and Mrs Smith" starring Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie(dunno spelling). It is slightly entertaining. Not as good as I thought. But I guess it was nice esp when the whole family watches together. So, it does not really matter. It was still enjoyable. It costs US$4.50 to watch. That is about S$7. Heard Singapore raised the movie price.
After movie, it was raining and very windy..but not as bad as we thought it would be. Anyway, we went home and freshened up before going out for a chinese dinner buffet nearby. There were fresh oysters, beef bulgogi,snow crabs, fresh sushi and many many others...all for the price of US$10. Very cheap. Got ice cream also. Bro ate so much!! He was eating mountain of meat and huge bowl of ice cream.
After a full dinner, we went to visit dad. Tonight, I had the chance to talk to dad one on one as the rest went to talk to the nurses regarding insurance and the arrangements. So, I was alone with dad for quite a while and we talked. He said he is glad I am ok. That made me feel very uneasy as I told him, I wish I was the one who is on bed now instead of him as he took the blow for me. My dad said no. Mum overheard and said, they will all feel more bad if I were the one who got hit since I am young and have a bright future ahead. Sigh. I was touched to see how loving my dad is and how peaceful he looks.
He told me his whole body hurts..it is aching badly as he has been on bed for 2 over weeks. I asked him what can he remember about the accident. He remembers trying to reverse the car but he cannot remember anything after that as he told me he was knocked unconscious. I told him that I first saw him unconscious and I told dad that I thought he is dead. So, I told him everything I saw and felt. It was nice talking to dad as he is so strong and still so encouraging to me in this time.
Dad suddenly told me he had diffifulty breathing. Initially, I told him that it was normal as his lung is bruised. SO, it takes time to build up his lungs again. However, he told me to tell the nurse. SO, I went and the nurse sucked up a lot of stuff from his throat that is preventing him from breathing properly. Glad he felt better..
I told dad how disappointed mum was with the storm. It was a big hoo ha regarding the storm such that mum went to buy so many vegs. Then in the end, it was rain and wind but not that bad. I told dad how kan cheong mum is. Haha...he just shake his head and smiled. Even the nurses tonight told us that they were disappointed to. They brought a lot of food and wanted to have a storm party. Haha..
Oh, during our visit, we met this couple whose daughter was involved in a car accident and was in coma. Doctors told them that there is no hope, but tonight, the daughter opened her eyes slightly. When we told dad, he said,"Pray for her." That is how strong dad is. So, before we left, we prayed for dad and the girl (who is only 16 years old).Dad told us to find out her name so that he can also pray for her...as dad told me that he can only pray in bed since he cannot move. So as we were leaving, we saw the dad and he told us that he is a pastor. He was telling us that he does not know how to go through this without Christ...as with Christ, we have no fear but peace. SO, it was encouraging to hear him as mum also encouraged him that we will be praying for his daughter, called Ashley (easy to remember). The guy also told us that he will visit my dad soon to pray with him as well.
IT is wonderful to know that despite cultural differences, we have the same heavenly Father and there is just no barrier or differences anymore as we are part of family.
At about 7 plus am, Reeda knocked on the door to pass me her car keys. She dropped her car here for me to drive as we will be away to Brazil for mission trip. So, since her car will be left at her place, she offered to lend it to me. So this morning, I drove mum, bro and Pam to the hospital to visit dad. It was slightly scary passing by the train tracks to the hospital but I guess the tracks are much safer since there are warning lights.
We brought ginseng tea for dad but he does not want to drink as it is very uncomfortable for him to swallow. So, he would rather rely on the feeding tube to the stomach instead of going through the mouth. Dad was feeling rather tired as he was breathing on his own. So, he was using a lot of effort. He is like running a marathon race.
We spent the time singing with him and praying as usual. After visiting, I brought my family to Bel Air Mall. It is a shopping mall. I felt it will be good to bring my family around since they will be leaving soon. Went to Dillards shop in the mall. I held my mum's hands as we walked as she needed some support. She does not use the wheelchair anymore as she would like to be more independent. Bro and Pam walked around on their own.
I bought for mum a pair of earrings. Almost the same pair which she lost in the accident. So, I bought it for her to make her more happy.
After walking around, we went home to wait for Pam McCarthy's call. She will be taking us to the accident site so that we can revisit that place with bro and Pam and to face our fears. Pam picked us up at 1130pm and when she was going to park her van at the side of the road just at the tracks, the train came! On the opposite side, the car stopped, but on our side (same side where dad was driving just before the accident), we were so afraid that the car will be hit by the train. We were all saying, stop stop stop...and so frightened. The car hit the e-brake and stopped just in time for the train to pass by. The train passes very fast and this train sounded the horn.
It is really unsafe from the golf course out as the railroad crossing sign is blocked by the trees and the train tracks is at an angle such that it is difficult to see the oncoming train and it was blocked by overgrown trees. Sigh. When we visited the place today, it was very peaceful and there were still glasses on the grass. I told my family where the car was and where my mum was thrown out. Revisiting the place was different as on the accident day, there was panic, shock, blood, smashed car, passersby..so chaotic.. Now, it was so peaceful, green grass, no people around..only with glasses still on grass. My bro prayed for us together and just asked God to heal us for any fears.
After the visit, Pam dropped us back home as she needed to rush off somewhere else. We went home and prepared lunch. I was making lagsana for fun..not for lunch. I felt since I have time, rather do it now when my family is still around. Mum was cooking porridge for lunch. There has been weather report on a tropical storm coming today, for 3 days consecutive. Warnings were sent out to prepare for the storm. Heard that many bought water from the supermarkets as there may be a cut in water supply. Mum told us to go buy veggies as we do not have much left.
So, I drove mum to the "Fresh Market" 5 mins away. It is a high class supermarket with romantic lightings...so the price is a bit higher, but the things there are much fresher. It was drizzling and quite windy. So, after a quick buying of stuff, we went back and finished cooking lunch. Had porridge, spinach, my fav canned fish and lady fingers with sambal blachan. It was a nice simple lunch. I love simple food and dishes. Just give me porridge with fish or wth egg and chai poh, and I will be very happy.
Pam has not been feeling well, so I drove Pam and kor to the family clinic. The nurse told us that consultation would be about US$100!!! Can u believe it?? That is US for you..That is why most people here need to buy health insurance.
After waiting for an hour, Pam came out and told us that she is pregnant!! haha..I going to be auntie liao..We all kind of expected it as she cannot stand the smell of a lot of things and has not been eating well, esp her fav desserts.
For US, we have to get our medicine somewhere else at a pharmacy. So, we drove to the nearest pharmacy to get medicine. And we had to wait 30 mins for it. So, we walked to a nearby ice cream shop to eat and wait. When we were driving home after collecting medicine, we were guessing what our mum's first reaction be when we first tell her. I guessed right as I told them that mum will say, "Really ah?" and she said exactly that. Mum of course was very happy as she has been waiting for a long long time to be a grandmother already.
We reached home close to 6pm already. The waiting time to visit doctor is a torture. It makes me appreciate how cheap doctor fee is in singapore now and how quick it is to visit doctor in singapore.
Mum cooked dinner tonight and we ate char siew ribs, chinese cabbage and ginseng chicken soup. Very yummy. Missed eating char siew..so it was a nice eating it again. After meal, we went to visit dad and told him the good news. He was grinning from ear to ear. Mum says it is God's blessings, just like Job in the bible. Job suffered so much, but God blessed him so much as well.
Kok fong & wife, James & wife visited dad as well. Mum could not wait to share the good news that she just told them. Ha.. We told dad what happened today and what we saw in the accident site. Dad can remember everything now and remembered that I was holding his head when he was bleeding in the car. My dad is in very good spirits and always smiling. He does not seem to be in any pain and instead, just being so peaceful. My dad told us to tell his brother not to worry so much and to accept Jesus.
My dad was the last person to accept Christ in the family and from last time till now, God has really changed him a lot and has grown a lot. I feel so happy that despite what has happened to him, he still thinks of his family and hopes for them to believe in Christ. My dad has been an encouragement to me last time and even now, just looking at him encourages me.
We have taken a lot of pictures of him but in due time, we will def show it.
Thursday, June 09, 2005
He asked me if I liked it, I said, Of course. I never expected it. That is my dad for you..sweet and thoughtful, despite his condition. I brought for him milo and ginseng chicken soup to celebrate my birthday with him. He enjoyed the milo especially. I had to feed him spoon by spoon. It was difficult for him to swallow as he was still on the ventilator on his throat. He told me it was very uncomfortable.
After visting him, we went home and prepared for lunch as we will be having lunch with Reeda, one my my church friends here. Reeda just works beside my apartment and she got out to have lunch with us (me,mum,bro and Pam)before she leaves for Brazil tomorrow for mission work. We had a wonderful lunch just 5 mins from my apartment. It is a Lebanese, Greek Grill cafe. I had chicken meat with pita bread. It is very tasty.
After a great time chatting with Reeda, she sent us home before she goes back to work. She said that she will drop her car at my apartment tomorrow so that I can use it. She is very sweet and thoughtful. I thought I can use the car to drive my bro and Pam especially to see more of Mobile since they came here instead of their honeymoon trip, despite how fearful I am of the roads here. I am very familiar with the roads, it is just after the accident, a bit shaken. But I guess love casts all fear away as I just like to bring my family around as much as I can before they go home.
So, Reeda will be dropping her car at my apartment at 715am before she goes to the airport as my apartment is quite near airport.
I am very touched to receive flowers at my door for my birthday. It was given my Serene Gan. She actually remembers and despite how far we are apart, she still manages to send flowers here. Serene is my family friend from parent's church. She also gave flowers to mum to cheer her up. So there were 2 gifts from her. Many smses were also sent to me to wish me, even my secondary school friend whom I do not really keep in contact with. Even through this time, my sec sch friend has set sms to encourage me. Sigh..so sweet. Just small gestures like this does touch me. Very humbled. My relatives also sent sms to me and my aunt passed my present to my mum to bring here. So, I had presents even before my birthday. There were gifts from Marianne and my mum in law as well which my mum delivered to me when they came.
After lunch, the lawyer called back and said that we have a case as he went down yesterday to investigate and the trees were overgrown and there are no warning signs or anything. So, even if stop completely, it is quite diff to see the oncoming train. The lawyer also said that they are willing to fly down to Singapore to interview my dad and get his testimony if he is unable to fly back 18 months later...as we have to wait 18 months for the first court hearing. The system here is crazy. He will call again tomorrow to discuss further with us.
My brother finally confirmed when he and Pam will be flying back. They will be flying back together by commercial airlines as the air ambulance will prob be able to take mum only. My bro and Pam will be leaving on Tues morning here. So, they will prob reach back Singapore on Thurs. We asked the hospital roughly when my dad will fly back. They said beginning of next week probably. Their rough estimate. So, that is why my bro and Pam will fly back on Tues.
So, I called Pam McCarthy up who is arranging their flight to let her know. Actually, they are supposed to go back on 10 Jun, tomorrow. But too soon..so they pushed back. My bro talked to Pam McCarthy and asked her if she was free to send us down to the accident site as my bro thinks it is good for all of us to go down and my bro also wanted to see it. So, Pam McCarthy will be driving us down tomorrow. I feel a little scared as it is reliving what happened on that fateful day..but I have to be strong and overcome this fear. Escaping is not the solution.
CT came home early today-at about 5 plus pm. I opened the door to welcome him and he asked me to go nearer to him. He started taking out a bouquet of red roses. I was happy of course. Then he took out a soft toy- it is a carebear with sunflower on the tummy. He said I like sunflowers, so he got that. Then lastly, he took out a card from the card for me...and the words he wrote looked really sincere and loving. My heart just melted. He told me he took one hour off from work to buy for me. He told his boss that it is my birthday and he like to get some stuff for me. His boss actually asked him if he needs 2 hours instead of 1. Ha..such a nice boss.
We waited for CT to bathe, then we went out for a dinner. One of my fav place here in Mobile- Golden Corral. It is a great buffet place with great great food. They have fried chicken which is tenderly fried crispy, fried fish, steak which they grill for you, BBQ ribs, beef stew..etc lots of stuff..with a lot of dessert and ice cream with cone. All for the price of about US$12. (about S$20)
The steak they grill is fresh from the grill and cooked to your taste. It is thick and juicy as well. Yummy. I enjoyed the fried chicken as well. Very tender and juicy, yet crispy on the outside. As usual, my bro amazes me with his appetite. Pam was not feeling too well as she has not excreted out anything ever since she came here. So, she felt bloated and uncomfortable. So for once, she did not really take any desserts, but ate lots of veggies and fruits. Poor Pammy.
After a sumptuous buffet dinner, we went to visit dad. He missed us. We sang songs by his bed and prayed for him. My dad looks normal now, even his face. He looks the same. They did a great surgery on him and the only thing that is 'abnormal' is the tubes everywhere. But other than that, my dad looks great. His spirits are high as well and very strong. He has been smiling quite a bit as well.
I brought the soft toy which CT gave me and showed my dad. He smiled as well. His swell in his hands has gone down a little..at least now, can see his knuckles. Pray that he will get much better and take away any discomfort he is feeling.
I am sure my dad feels sad he cannot celebrate birthday with me...and at the same time, i also wish for him to enjoy this day with me. But it is different and I just pray for his speedy recovery.
How timely it is when today's Oprah Winfrey show was an interview with Dana Reeves, Christopher Reeve's wife. My mum was crying as it was a touching interview of how Christ Reeves hung on and inspired so many other people who had spinal cord injuries. I am sure my dad will do much better and will be stronger than Chris Reeves. :)
At about 10 plus pm, Kok Fong(Ct colleague) and Gek Teng came over and gave me flowers as well to wish me a happy birthday. Sigh..no words can express the care and love I have gotten today. Thank you Lord for all my friends and families. By the way, my apartment now, looks like some florist shop. It smells like one as well.
Wednesday, June 08, 2005
After visiting him, CT''s colleague, Bon drove us to lawyer's office and we talked for about an hour. This Alabama has a law that protects train stations, insurance and airline. Only 4 states in US still hold on to this law, stating that if only 1% we are at fault and 99% we are not at fault, the train station will still win the case. However, the lawyer has been very friendly and concerned. He said he will investigate and see whether despite my dad coming to a full stop, whether he can see the oncoming train or not from the thick bushes and trees. If despite coming to a full stop and still cannot have a good view of train, we can win the case. However, the prob with the track is that there is no warning lights, no barrier and no horn or whistle from train...but all that is still useless if my dad did not come to a full stop and he is supposed to. Lawyer also told us that if we take the case up, we have to wait about 18 months before we go court and my parents have to come back to Mobile, Alabama for about 2-4 trips for this case. So, it has a lot of hastle. Our purpose to take up this case is not to get back at the train station or for compensation. It is in the hope that the government will do something regarding their railway stations so that future accidents can be minimised or prevented.
After lawyer's office, we went for lunch at "Red Lobster" and gave Bon a treat for driving us around and waited for us at the lawyer's office. I had grilled tilapia in a bag. It is actually like paper wrapped chicken , but this is fish instead. Mum had lobster chops-lobsters and scallops in skewers. Bro had fish and chips, Pam and Bon had New Orleans Salmon with rice. The rice tastes like olive rice.Very tasty.
After a very full lunch, we went back and Reeda Taylor called me. She wanted to come over to visit my mum. I know Reeda through church and she will be going to Singapore from end of July to beginning of Dec. So, that was how I got to know her and tell her a lot about Singapore. She visited us and we spent some time talking. Reeda does mission work in Siberia and Brazil. She will be leaving for Brazil soon to set up chapels and to have some children camp. She asked if I like to borrow her car since it will be left alone.She is very nice. I might consider since my bro and Pam has not gone to many places ever since they came.Bro and Pam went out for a walk when Reeda came as they just wanted to get out.
After that, me and mum watched Tv and I was playing computer as usual. Bro went to my apartment office to collect flowers as someone called and said there are flowers being delivered. Very big and nice. All fresh flowers. They are from my relatives-my dad's side. So touched. Very sweet. Take a look at it.
We had fried rice tonight as had a lot of left over rice from last night's food. After that, went to visit dad. He was sleeping very soundly. So, we spent about one hour singing to God and just praising Him by my dad's bed and we left after that. Dad looks like he is glowing..very nice. Mum is thinking that she and and dad will fly back next week as Dad seems to be getting better. So, hopefully, if all goes well, they will be back next week.
Tuesday, June 07, 2005
So, we went home at about 10am and me and mum started preparing lunch. We will be cooking curry chicken today. Yummy. I was also playing computer game-Sims 2. Bro brought over from Singapore for me to play in case I will get bored. Gek Teng came over to visit us and we spent some time playing Sims 2 as we see Pam and my bro creating their families in the computer game. They were trying to create themselves in the computer game to make it more realistic as the game allows you to change facial features in detailed.
Gek Teng went home when we were going to have lunch as she has already cooked lunch at home. We had a nice lunch- curry chicken with potatoes and tau kwa, kai lan with pork, french loaf and rice. I packed today's lunch for CT's lunch tomorrow. After lunch, I just spent the time playing my computer game and watching TV.
There were a lot of calls I had to answer, especially one call from Prof Tan Ser Kiat. He is the CEO of SingHealth, my mum's good friend. We have asked him to arrange a place for my dad and a doctor to oversee him when my dad goes back to Singapore. He has been a great help given his expertise as he is also an orthoped surgeon.
CT came home at about 6pm and he told us that tonight's dinner will be delivered by his colleague. His colleague will be sending us dinner. At about 6 plus, his colleague delivered sweet and sour fish and veggies. Very yummy. It was the whole fried fish. My bro enjoyed it very much, sucking and eating every part. Take a look at the picture.
After a filling dinner, we went to visit dad as he should have finished his surgery. But when we went there, the nurse told us that he went into surgery at only 7pm as the surgeons had to attend to emergency cases. The nurse also told us that it will take a couple of hours and after that, he will be sedated. So, we thought we left and visit him tomorrow. So, we thought it was a good time to go grocery shopping since it was still early and we were running out of suppplies. We went to a Christian bookshop first. It was a nice shop with a lot of stuff. I got a father's dad present from there. Bought him a book to encourage him. After that, went Walmart for grocery shopping. Bought a lot of stuff. It seems as if my family is staying here forever from the things they bought! :) So, today, not much of visiting. The nurse called us after his operation and told us that everything went well. There should not be anymore operations already. So, have to just wait for his condition to stabilise, then he will fly back to Singapore.
Monday, June 06, 2005
We received a letter today by an old neighbour from Tiong Bahru who sent the letter to the hospital giving words of encouragement. It felt heart warming to know that they are also praying for us and encouraged us by asking us to trust in the Lord.
We spent about one and a half hour visiting him and had to go back as CT's colleague was waiting for us outside. He is on shift, so no work today. That is why he can come send us here.
When we went home, I was preparing lunch with mum. We had potatoes with minced meat, chicken with ginger & oyster sauce, and a spinach ikan billis soup. The chicken dish reminded me of my dad as he cooked that just the night before the accident. He was in charge of preparing dinner for us. It was the same dish. There are just so many happy moments spent with him just hours or days before the accident and now, everything has changed in a sense.
On one hand, I feel sad that it has happened, but on the other hand, I feel stronger and humbled that God has selected my family for this. It is like a King selecting his soldiers for a great mission. Very honoured. I always think about how much Jesus has suffered even more and how God had to see His own son die on the cross just to save us. That is even more painful. I just pray my dad understands this and will continue to be joyful and strong in the Lord. I know he will as he has great determination.
At night, when CT came back, we went for dinner at Cici's Pizza-pizza buffet place. It was the place my family were going to after our golf game but never made it to because of the accident. Went here as my bro will def love it and he was telling me how hungry he is. The place served diff kinds of pizza. They even have ham,cheese, egg pizza. All freshly cooked and piping hot. So, it tastes really yummy with the hot melted cheese. You can even request what kind of pizza you want and they will cook it for you fresh! All for the price of only US$5! (including free flow of drinks) I think we had about 10 slices of pizza each. There is also a salad bar and pasta with hot creamy sauce or tomato sauce.
After a very full dinner, we made our way to visit dad at 8pm. He was again trying to write but cannot. He seems a little frustrated. We kept asking him to take things one step at a time and not rush. The doctor told us that he will be having his plastic surgery tomorrow (Tues 4pm-that is Wed 5am singapore time). She told us that dad's jaw is broken into 3 different sections-in very bad shape, and his bones around his eye area also broken. So, pls pray for his surgery tomorrow.
From tonight, my dad looks rather weak and tired. He was put on a chair this afternoon for 3 hours and his heart rate we saw tonight was very low (only 40 plus). Think it is because he is tired and weak. Before we left, he wanted us to straighten his leg, which was already straighten. Somehow, in his mind, his leg is not straighten. We had to lift up his leg to show him that it is straighten. He has absolutely no feeling and he looks sad. Pray that he will be emotionally encouraged and not disappointed.
Sunday, June 05, 2005
Nurses told us today that we can think about what soup to bring as he will soon be able to take liquid diets like soup, jelly..etc. So, we were pretty excited that my dad can finally taste home made cooked soup already. He says he misses it. So, we will prob cook ginseng chicken soup to make him feel better. We also told the nurse that we like him to do his plastic surgery here since he is covered by travel insurance. So, we asked dad if he like to look like who? brad pitt? hehe..he smiled. Dad says he just want to look 20 years younger.
We left an hour plus later and went home to watch swordsman VCD together. It is the last episode of a series I was watching way before my parents came. It was pretty exciting, so the whole family sat down to watch. After watching, I was very tired that I went to rest. Usually, I do not take naps but after a week long of visitations and cooking for family, I was drained..So, I slept and slept till 6pm. CT and my bro went to play tennis.
I felt feverish when I woke up but no fever. I guess it was just fatigue. Mum was preparing dinner as she learnt I was very tired. However, after a bath, I felt much better and decided to help out a little. We had bean sprouts with salted fish, beef with zucchini, pork rib herbal soup. Very yummy. I missed eating and smelling salted fish. Mum brought over for me. We were watching "Spiderman" movie while eating.
After that, we visited dad again and he was looking very tired as the whole morning,he was breathing on his own and in afternoon, he was moved to a chair to get out of bed. So, that probably took a lot of energy from him. So, his eyes keep closing a little. He asked me very few questions like- rented car how? did it happen after golf? after lunch? happen on the buggee? He wanted to find out more about the accident as he cannot remember...just like my mum. So, I filled in the details but stopped a bit. I did not tell him the full details as I felt he was looking too tired. I just told him what happened before accident and then how the train hit us. But I did not tell him how he was bleeding profusely and how I went back into car to try to help and what I saw and did.
He also said he wanted to go out for a walk. We told him once he is better, we will bring him out...but not now cos he is still with a lot of tubes. All in all, dad is getting better. It is nice to see how much he has progressed. The nurses also say he is doing so much better and has improved a lot from the first time we saw him.
Right now, a lot of decisions to be made like hiring an attorney to look into this case and to inform the govt to take precautions and do more improvement to the tracks where we were hit as they is no lights or barrier. Decisions like to fly back with international SOS or with air ambulance by hospital. So, there are a lot of things to do and decide.
He was again trying to communicate through us and we had to play charades with him. It takes a lot of patience for us to figure out the word, letter by letter and sometimes, dad tries to mouth the words but we just cannot figure what he is saying. After visiting for an hour, we went back home. I had to prepare jelly for tonight as we are going to a CT's colleague cum church friend's (Bob and Tracy)place. Actually, they invited me,CT and my parents to their house tonight on this day but now, things have changed a little and instead of my dad, it is now my bro and Pam to join us for this dinner.
I guess most would not have the 'mood' to go out during this trying period....but we feel that no matter what happens, life still must go on and my mum hopes for everything to be as per normal. I also felt it will be good to go as eversince my bro, Pam and my parents came, they have not had a meal in an American home. So, it will good to try the food and enjoy their hospitality.So, I decided to make the Jap jelly to bring and let them try..by putting longan fruit in it.
After making the jelly, we went for the next visiting hour which was 1pm-2pm. So, we left for the hospital again. My heart beats faster when the car approaches the railway track near the hospital but at least I feel safer since this track has warning lights, unlike the other one. When we reached the hospital and went up to the ICU, they were doing something to dad, so, we decided to have lunch first at the cafeteria. While we were eating, Doug and Bette approached us. Doug and Bette are a very great Christian couple. I would say, they were God-sent. It is very amazing how God brought them into our lives and how much they have blessed us.
It all started even before I came to Singapore. My mum passed me a contact name and number of a church in Mobile, Alabama where I was going. She got the contact from the Bible Study International fellowship database. My mum was afraid I did not know which church to go to, so she asked around and got me a contact name, number and a church which I can go to. The name she gave me was actually Bette. So, that was how I first contacted Bette. After the accident, some friends of my mum in Singapore got hold of Bette's contact and told her to pray for my mum and dad who just met with an accident. So, Bette and Doug (her husband) went to my mum's hospital but the hospital did not have mum's name as it was under her maiden name, Chong Teng Yin..but her friends know her as Margaret Ling. So, Bette and Doug decided to go to my dad's hospital in hope to meet all of us (CT, bro, Pam and myself).
At that point in time, we just finished visiting dad and were leaving to go to the car to visit mum when all of a sudden, CT wanted to go toilet. So we all waited for him. Then after that, we made our way to the car and when CT wanted to drive off, someone came knocking at our car window and she intro herself as Bette. I was so surprised. She said she was praying that she could meet up with us to find out where my mum was so that she can pray with her.
Isnt it amazing how God planned everything so well and so timely. If CT did not go toilet, we would not have met Bette and Doug. SO, they followed us to the hospital and from there..many miracles came one after another.
Bette and Doug initially visited my dad and left a card by his side. And when they went with us to visit my mum, we told Bette and Doug that my dad's favourite song was "God will make a way" which was sung by Don Moen. We told them as Doug works with Don Moen (from Integrity). Then the next day when we went to visit my dad, we took the card and we saw that the back of the card has the song, "God will make a way". Bette actually sent us the card even before we told them my dad likes the song. It is like God assuring us that He will make a way. The song goes like this: