Join Me for Next Training

New Year Resolution for 2008: Swim faster, Run longer, maybe return to cycling.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

A Birth, A Death, and Blessings

AJ gave birth to little Asher at 1751hrs on Saturday 25 August. I went to see mother and child at KK on Sunday after the Army Half Marathon. Asher's so cute with hair and even sideburns! His little baby squirms and squeeks were a joy to savour, especially after a long absence of babies on my maternal side of the family tree. Asher's gonna be my first nephew, and I immediately took to doting on that little precious bundle of joy. Yep, within the hour I went to get baby wrapper blankets and a baby journal. haha...

A week later on 31 August, we got news that AJ was hospitalised for dizziness and fever. We later found out that she was warded for Dengue Fever. Wow... it was AJ's second time down with Dengue. On hindsight, isn't it a blessing from God? I mean, what if Asher wasn't born yet? It takes approximately 2 weeks for dengue to incubate and develop into a fever. This probably meant that AJ was bitten a week BEFORE Asher was born. It's a blessing because things could have become really complicated and might have turned worse if Asher's birth was delayed. After all, Asher was supposedly a couple of weeks premature. I understand that AJ is recovering well in hospital and her platelet count is stable. Thank God.

The weekend also saw the passing of an aunt. To be exact, she was my father's cousin's wife. She was 70plus and I understand she was ailing for awhile. I remembered visiting her home every Lunar New Year at Tanjong Pagar. It was only the past 2 years when we stopped visiting because of the sheer number of families we had to visit on the first day. It was surreal to see her lying in the coffin. The embalmer's handiwork made her look so much younger than her actual living frailty. It was even more amazing to imagine that the entire process of death, embalming, make-up and preparation for the wake was done in only a few hours. I couldn't help but realise that the entire process only took the time when I took a short swim and went to the office in the afternoon.

Yesterday (Monday) was the cremation at Mandai. My paternal aunts were crying. I'm sure my uncles and my dad were very sad too. The funeral procession through lunchtime CBD (Tanjong Pagar) was short, but there were tears. It's again so 'funny' how traditional chinese funeral processions are accompanied by long-winded and sorrowful music. It would be inevitable and unavoidable not to shed a tear or wail loudly. Such was the atmosphere; and somewhat very different from funerals of other cultures. So solemn and sorrowful... and I began to wonder about my Christian faith: aren't we supposed to be happy that heaven has received our earthly dead, while the taoist 'believed' in going through the 10 courts of hell before being considered for a chance at reincarnation. The views differ in each religion, and perhaps that's why the differing feelings to managing death.

No comments: