Thursday, March 31, 2005

The will to live

It is claimed, by Terri Schiavo's parents, that she has the will to live.

That is why, the plug should not be pulled on her.

Had an interesting discussion during cell about 'Living Wills', ie a will you can draft out to specify what is your intention should you be in this state. Personally, I would want to be kept alive as long as (financially) possible. I am of the hope that I can wake up, recover, and possibly lead a normal life. But there are moral issues as well as spiritual ones to the Schiavo saga. Other reasons aside, could pulling the plug on such a patient be counted as murder? The rationalization being that, yes, the patient, although depending on artifical life support, still has a heartbeat, which means that she still has a spirit. She still has life - it could be argued though that the definition of 'life' itself is suspect. After all, she is nearly half-dead, and some have claimed that letting her live on is prolonging her suffering. Without the advances of medical technology, she could well be dead by now. But it is a form of euthanasia to pull the plug, even removing her feeding tube. Which is more or less humane? It just baffles me - Giving a quick injection for a speedy passing away, or a 2 weeks' starvation to death. Neither seems appealing.

In the face of it all, most importantly what does the patient want for herself? This, perhaps, no one will ever know. (Because she did not make a living will - then again none of us have) I am romantically inclined to believe that comatose patients can hear, have a mind and can respond, inwardly...they still have a will. That is why in Schiavo's case, she hung on for the last 15 years. She wants to live. Then again, perhaps she does not; but it is the artificial life support that forces her to keep breathing.

Asked my parents what they wanted for themselves if ever they were in this predicament and both said that I could (as a first-born child) make the decision to pull the plug. Perhaps my parents are fatalistic - well they believe that going to heaven earlier is beneficial for them - and also they would not want to be a financial burden to their children. Everyone knows how expensive medical care is here, furthermore one which could last for years could leave the ones left to care for them financially drained. This leads to another moral-spiritual question: If one is diagnosed with cancer at the Stage 3 /4 where there is usually no hope, due to financial concerns or other reasons, the patient refuses medical aid and treatment, is the patient guilty of suicide then?

It is a blessing to live.

Pastor Rick Warren said let us not forget that we are not only human beings on a spiritual journey, but spiritual beings on a human journey...

Let's focus on the eternal, then.

Monday, March 28, 2005

An unsurpassing definition of unfaithfulness in a man-woman relationship context

Call me Miss Goondu. At least for the day. It must be the hot weather... that has fried my brains. I'm red on the nose, both cheeks, arms and neck incidentally from my novice trip at tennis at an undisclosed location on the 7th storey of a condo in Hougang facing Hougang Point. Ha. And I only swung the racquet for one (blazing) hour. Just hope I turn a golden brown. So, anyone asking how goondu I was...?

So scatterbrained(aka goondu) today that I waited at the bus stop for a bus that did not stop there... and it was the bus stop I always take buses from, the one nearest to my house. Sigh. So demoralized after that. Then, kept bumping into Izac... He gave pathetic sounding 'ows'. Think my bones were disagreeable with his, or just that today I could not estimate proportions well. But we did have a good time hanging out and solving albatross puzzles and eating toa payoh famous rojak. I know for sure I'm a quality time kinda gal; yeah I do need the physical presence of people I enjoy being in their company with, from time to time. Once again, I reiterate my point of view that it has to be love that keeps a couple together, I really do not see how 2 diversely different individuals can live together for long if there is no love.

But when love grows cold it is a different thing. We were discussing from last evening like if we were in a serious relationship what would we do if the other half was unfaithful. For me, I treaded down that road, once, many years ago when I was still selfish and naive. But to a certain extent, it takes both hands to clap despite that obviously one side was more persistent. And I also believe that well, perhaps there are already certain problems in that relationship for the partner to want to find happiness, however momentary, elsewhere. But from one who is now wiser and more discerning to the ways of the world, my advice is that it's not worth it. Why throw away a possibly happy marriage and lifetime partner for a moment of passion that you know only belongs to fantasy, not reality? The heartache and guilt, moralistically, will punish your body and soul for a long time. Once you've done it - been unfaithful, you can no longer look at those and say, I'm innocent, and condemn the downright despicably lustful, or those who are just a tad too naive and have fallen into something very likely to hit many of us as we grow older and expand our social circles.

I define unfaithfulness strictly. Perhaps I should-have-known the signs before, so now I am really wary of how my body language or speech might be suggestive to even the least sensitive of guys. As friends, I have close friends that are guys but there are certain limits that one has to set when interacting with them. Even when you are not in a relationship nor seeing someone else. Integrity. I mean I don't expect myself to behave one way when I'm single and available, and another when I'm fully commited to something that will last. Mixed signals are worse. Confusing, and they leave the other person feeling awfully jaded. I've been there.

Everyone has their own limits and it's good to talk it out. Certain mindsets form in every single individual, perhaps shaped by past experiences, what other people told them, or otherwise. I was always told early in a relationship, don't talk about marriage, kids' names, the future together, you're setting yourself up for a hurtful fall should it not come to pass. But hey, my thinking has changed, I think now that its good for new couples to come to a ...stalemate... or a mutual agreement about certain things that they are convicted about. It would be horrific if they like each other and agree to be together then find that the future together is impossibly difficult to fathom. Yea. But that's just my two cents worth.

Saturday, March 26, 2005

Thank God its good friday

Good Friday comes early this year... Was asked, why is it called GOOD Friday anyways? I couldn't answer. Asked a few of my friends yesterday; they too were baffled.

J's mum passed away early in the week. Intestinal cancer. I realize morbidly around me speaks of death and illness. Went to the wake on Wednesday evening - was shocked to see auntie looked so - dead, so haggard. Last saw her a year ago when I was at J's place. She was always petite, but still had a healthy glow. I guess only when good health is gone you realize how much its being taken for granted. I'm still thin from the dengue but I'm back to exercising and walking everywhere. Though it's bad to walk too much, being hazy and all.

Maybe concidental, but I felt events leading up to my Wednesday wake visit was really purposeful. Firstly, I happened to be wearing a black-and-white ensemble, which was so unlike the usually brightly dressed me. I actually changed my mind about what to wear before going out, which is what I seldom do as well. Also, I was running errands the whole day and I did not even drink as much as a drop of water. Even when I hurriedly reached home to bathe and zoom to the next place, my house...had no water! Arh. So I just opened the refrigerator and grabbed the nearest drink. Red bull. I usually cannot sleep after drinking that, but I just felt that I needed the extra energy. True enough, I stayed at the wake till 4am and J remarked how fresh I was. =)

I am glad that my parents are blessed with good health - they have not even been to the hospital even once, rather its us children that get sick. I wonder whether sickness strikes alternate generations so that the healthy ones can look after their sick parents/children and pay for the bills. Maybe my parents are slightly younger than my counterparts so the old sickness has not stricken them yet.

Hope that when I go service later Mr Foo tells me about the reason behind the name.

Friday, March 18, 2005

God is so real

I've really learnt so much in this short span of time.

How to be a better Christian.
What is my response even in the small things?

How to be a better cell leader.

How to be a better friend, lover, encourager, inspirer. To better comfort, advise, move, and lead.

God is so real.
I need to trust Him more, worship Him more, pray more, focus better.

I ask for opportunities to share about His glory and grace. To cherish hope where there is none.

Tomorrow. Knowing that it will probably wear me out, I will share what God has taught me in these days. About a right response. About His love. His purpose and plan for all our lives. We shouldn't live losing sight of His promises. I just want to share from my heart, hoping that it will make a difference in someone's life, somehow. I will be brave, to speak out where for so long there has been silence.

When you call on His Name,
He will come and save...

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Grief and a Jar of Clay

"But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this allsurpassing power is from God and not from us."

Was with Mr BestFriend this morning. Went to a quiet little chapel nearby our place. We were hoping to find it unlocked and empty, a peaceful cloister apart from the noisy traffic; but it was secured. The chapel has changed from a tiny, old one to a rather modern-looking, clean, spacious new place. Very different from the place that we used to remember walking by when we were much younger. We sat at the open-air pavilion, and words flowed freely as he shared that despite the grief, his trust in God is clearer. Mr BestFriend, you are my hero and inspiration.

He shared how it was evident that God was with him throughout, even when he thought that he would miss his connecting flight to Singapore and thereby miss the cremation, God orchestrated many divine incidents that led him to various people that just helped him throughout the journey. It was unbelievable, as I listened to him recount how many people helped him to get onto the flight despite the obstacles. And he made it here in time, to see her one last time.

He missed her tremendously. I guess for him, the reality of the loss is just starting to settle in. It's not just one- of a many- relationships for him, for him, she was and still is God's best. I shared to him how unfair it seems, for him, he takes love and relationships very seriously (unlike me), and this had to happen - to him! Then he shared about the many things that he had planned to tell her but was waiting for a momentous occasion, the things that they had planned to do together when he returned from his exchange; even a small thought of how he would propose to her if the relationship works out. My heart broke at hearing what he said about the girl that I know he loved deeply, and for a moment I truly wished that I would have the chance to see him happy again, in love again. Not like this, in grief - and even though he does not need to tell me, I know he cannot sleep at night, and wake up tossing, thinking of her, talking to her and then realising he is alone. Even though both of us know that the moving on must be done, it is going to be a painful one. For now, I wish he can linger on in the sweet memories while they are still fresh. He kept almost every one of their sms-es and emails; and he said, every thing she said to him, it has a greater significance now. Everything reminds him of her.

Mr BestFriend is still strong. He shared that how through her death, many people's faith are shaken. But for him, God revealed that God is still a purposeful God and He did not intend this to happen, and God has sent so many people every step of the way to help him, and through sharing his grief, people have been moved, and transformed by the power of God. I believe alongside with him that God can use something bad that has happened for his glory. It is our response in times like this that shows how much we love Him, too. He has come to terms with her suicide, Mr BestFriend is convinced that she is resting, at peace, now. He is left, to continue on the mission of sharing God's purpose to her family and friends. He has such strength of character. I confided in him that if it were me, I would be very angry and definitely not able to do it. He is my hero! He smiled, weakly, and said, "We are like jars of clay - weak vessels that can show God's all surpassing power that is in us." He was tired; so tired, but he said that if he could just win one more to the Lord, it would all be worth it.

I was there intending to comfort, help, and hold;
Instead, my soul was comforted.

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

When Love takes a dark turn...

An unhappy story.

She died. She committed suicide.

And now my Mr BestFriend is left to pick up the pieces. He's back, from Seattle. He loved her deeply. He's devastated. I still remember he enthusiatically told me how when he came back he would give her the ring he bought. There is no need for that now.

She will never get a chance to wear that ring.

Inside, I'm ranting. WHY why WHY WHY????? Why did she kill herself? What happened, to be driven to such desperation? Why must she be so selfish? Why did he fall in love with her? Why did this happen?

I saw her obituary in Sunday Times. Just a simple photo with a verse and other details. If you weren't even looking for it, you won't even see it. How transient Life can be, a memory reduced to an insiginificant wisp. I've never even seen her before; but we did have plans to double-date, when he comes back... and Mr BestFriend was the one that encouraged me to embark on this relationship I'm having now - that I would otherwise be much more skeptical about. Why has Love dealt him such a blow on his first relationship, I guess I'd never know. His notions of love will forever be a bittersweet one, tinged with the maturity of the knowledge of loss, of death. Me, I hope to be a little less frivolous with the feelings of others, and I told my fellow yesterday how thankful I am that God has placed him in my life in this season.

Mr BestFriend, I never dreamed this would have to happen to any one of us, to me too, it seems so surreal. But I know you are strong - please don't bottle up your feelings. I know you cared for her. I know that in the short time you knew her, you loved her. And that is what matters. You are not destined to be together with her, all you can and should hold on to are the fond memories and significant conversations. The memory of a flower that God gave you will give you peace and a shelter from the pain and hurt I know you now feel. And as always, I will be there listening and comforting you, when you need it.

In Memory of Lily, 11 March 2005.

Monday, March 14, 2005

Dengue fever

After more than one week of being an invalid at home, today's my first as a well-person.Although I haven't really gotten out yet...something I really crave for, and of course eating all the nice foods again.Well, dengue fever isn't that bad after all. Guess I'm the most touched by a particular leadership cell praying for my recovery, even though not all of them really know me... I think I will give them the sheepish look when I see them at service. Really wonder who initiated it, it is such a nice gesture. Must be why I've recovered so fast! =)

I shall slowly exercise and regain back my strength and energy... most of all to be back on track with my cell again.

Thursday, March 10, 2005


It's been a rather horrendous week for me. I've been so sick I couldn't even sit down for more than half and hour, there was one time I kept retching violently Dad sent me to a 2nd Doc and I got another jab (The first one for my fever). I'm having rashes on my palms and soles and everywhere else seems in need of a scratch too. I'm hungering for solid food, have a craving now for the 7-eleven mashed potato and various fruit juices. Still get tired quite easily but I can't sleep anymore... I hope tomorrow I'd be better. Still doubtful if I can go to service. Getting bored from sitting down and slacking, but my body's so weak I cannot do anything much. Started to exercise a little, felt better. After the nightmarish week it's better now. Hope I'm on the speedy road to full health.

Sunday, March 06, 2005

The sickest I've been in 4 years

Sick at home with a virus. Didn't realise how bad it was until last night - was spasming and could not sleep because of the pain in my legs, could not bend them and I tired myself out from the moaning and crying. Went to see the doctor, found one that was open on a Sunday. He gave me a jab and told me I had a high fever - 39.3 degrees...strangely I did not feel feverish, in fact felt worse yesterday afternoon. Thank God Izac sent me back from church yesterday, on the verge of collapsing then.

Think I cannot recover in time to lead and prepare for Tues' cell.

Finished reading Mary Forysthe's 'A Glimpse of Grace'. A very moving, inspiring book. I'm glad she came to share her story in the YAS service. It reminds me of my weaknesses and how I need to depend on the Holy Spirit, to hear God's voice constantly. I'm not dependent enough on Him. Nor prayerful enough. I hope that He will give me the direction to speak rhema words to people in need. Ministry happens constantly for me, but sometimes I just lack the boldness or the interest to impact other people's lives the way I should.

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

I presume. I assume.

"I presume. I assume."

-Copyright Giffy.





Rachel's Schizology 101 Chapter 1

I don't really know what I really want. You don't really know what you really want. No one really knows what they really want.

Or do they?

Okay. Kinda preoccupied in my thoughts, did not realize that till I keep dropping things. Like my dinner - nice gravy-egg just rolled off my arm and plopped onto the floor, and the chocolate wafer I was eating decided to footprint the egg's territory, so glad I didn't spill the green tea and the keropok stayed firmly in my grasp. Mum was shocked, I think she imagined me to have some slow-reflex disease, like - hand cannot connect to mouth in time, so , 'oops'... Or rather she was just concerned about the bacteria festering in me mouth should I decide to eat it from the floor. Been aching too, I mean physically... ain't that strange 'cuz I'm usually hand carrying heavy bags (Small, but definitely weighing a ton) I notice muscles forming/swelling at my wrist... It must be the gym... or the haze (which despite the rains I can still smell it tonight) ...Alright, the gym. Dying to have someone squeeze my armbones. Wrote seven different cover letters today which was a mean feat cuz two weeks ago, I was a cover letter virgin... And now I feel so experienced, so mature. Found two pros to give it a once-through also. I'm so free now I can write another novel, or thousands of poems, or be a pro gamer... But I guess I'll just take time off for myself. After all, I'm two years ahead of most people... academia-wise.

Rachel's Schizology 101 Chapter 2

It would be so much easier to live life backwards, or to ensure that you do things without stopping to think, or to stop to think without doing things, or to do things and be un-remembering, or to only remember the good parts, or to do things without mixing all the good parts with the bad thinking, or vice versa, or continually living in the present so that the things is always prefixed at the continuous tense state, or even living in the past, with no memory of things happening, just that they happened... ...

Giffy said speak out what you think, continue, forget, look ahead. u feel sad wont change anything you already did it

There's a crazy person in all of us.