Forgiving Papa

Dear Amma,

I finally went to visit papa today. He had a smile on his face when he saw my car pull up to the driveway.  He was happy and relieved to see me as he had not seen me in 2 weeks.

I couldn’t find it in my heart to go and see him after knowing what I know. I feel dead inside, I wish I could say that I was furious…but I can’t. It feels like a volcano that’s internally exploding.  I really don’t know how to express it any other way.

We spoke about the trip that we took to Kuantan. Papa was reminiscing about the times that his parents would take them to the beach on Sundays for a picnic. What fun times they had as kids. He just wanted to know if I had shown Vicky his old school, his old parish, St Thomas Church. Told him that I didn’t but only to the beach. Funny, in all of my growing up years, I don’t remember us ever going for a picnic ever at all. Anyways, some things in life, once its gone, it is gone. Right , Amma?

I brought up the conversation that I had with Aunty Saras. Secretly, hoping that there’s just a small chance that it was all a misunderstanding. He never said a thing. Not even deny it or get angry with me. Nothing. Instead, he decided to divert my attention to other topics. I looked at his face and it was a face of guilt. A face of remorse. I looked at him and slowly told him, ” Amma, told me everything but I didn’t believe her. Now, I know it is true. Amma forgives you for everything. I forgive you for everything too. What happened I don’t want and don’t need to know. It is now between you and God. ” With that, I closed the topic. He still didn’t say anything except to nod in agreement.

We changed the topic to Vicky’s work and on the cats. After a while, we left back home. During the drive home, my thoughts circled on my one glimmer of hope that shattered. “He is guilty as hell!” This echoed continuously in my head. I can’t change the past and he is now in his twilight years. Has my life and all that I known been a lie ? I just can’t explain the deep darkness in my soul. Nothing is true anymore.My rainbow glasses taken off and I see the reality. I hate it.

” Heavenly Father, help me!” I just feel like screaming. I feel so alone and scared. What karma am I facing? What do I do , Amma? How do I move forward? It must have been worse for you. I now understand why you kept saying that you are still alive and kicking because of me. I was your motivation to keep going on.

I am so sorry for being such a terrible daughter to you. Forgive me , Amma. I always sided with papa for everything , being a daddy’s girl. Oh! How much I must have hurt your feelings, Amma. I am so sorry for being such an idiot.

Thank you Amma for everything that you have done for me and for your unconditional love

Missing you dearly.

Your loving daughter,



Dad’s fading memory

Dear Amma,

It has been a while now since I last wrote to you. How are you? Hope you are well over there with Frisky, Brownie and all that I have known from this lifetime.

So much has occurred this year. This whole year has been an enigma. It seems so surreal. Like it’s a dream. The whole world united with a common virus as a unifying factor and at the same time, we still can find ways to find differences and fight over it.

Papa is slowly losing his memory. His dementia is becoming more prominent. He says that you left him to work in Australia because he didn’t take care of you well . He seems really angry about it. At the same time, he wants to remarry as he doesn’t want to be lonely. He seems stuck in the 70s. He doesn’t remember that you passed away.

Thank goodness he still remembers me. I can’t accept this honestly…I am losing him…my only living parent. I am too scared to face anything else from him , because I don’t think that I can take it . It eats me up inside, amma.

What should I do?

Your loving daughter

Is this the end of the world?


A virus that is misunderstood and deadly, that it’s wiping out people on a daily basis from every country in the world. The stock market has tumbled down. Jobs are shaky and one does not know if there is one to go back to.

The anxiety is getting to me. I am scared, plain and simple. What is going to happen? I don’t know. Isolated from the world is not new for me, so this restricted movement is a welcomed gesture to curb the disease. But has anyone thought beyond this?

There is no security in anything. One virus and the world is brought down to its knees. Are we in the pages of Revelation in the bible? Are we at the end of times as prophesied by the spiritually inclined?

All religious and holy sites in the world is closed.


Is this what the devil intended to happen? Is this the work of the devil? The final battle between God and the devil? So many thoughts in my mind.

As the Pope prayed during “Urbi et Orbi”, the look and the message that the pope had was very clear. It is about judgement and we are to be blamed for this. My eyes moistened as I watched the Pope lift the Blessed Sacrament. My heart filled with prayers for the world and for the affected families. Peace and forgiveness for what we have done.

This pandemic has shown another thing….humanity. No matter what, you see humanity shown without seeing gender, creed or colour. Now that is beautiful and it gives a wee hope to us all that there is a silver lining after all.

How do you all feel about what is going on in the world today?

Beauty from ashes

Dear Amma,

Happy Lent! How are you doing? What do you all do for Lent in heaven?

This is going to be a special journey for me with the Lord. A journey in which I will walk with him and see what he has gone through.

I am battling depression. It has been tough to get myself to do anything. It is a huge struggle just to do even a chore. Why am I like this? Deep inside , I want to go out and do different things but in reality, I can’t even move out from my bed.

I left my job in December and been looking for work. With 19 years of experience and a MBA, you would think that a good job is easy to come by.


So many road blocks. I am beginning to believe that I am a big zero that got lucky for 19 years . Either that or I am getting excuses just because my skin colour ain’t yellow. Did I just screw up my own career? Is this God’s way of saying the corporate life is not for me? What about my aspirations? I already lost my dream of being a mom, owning a home to build a family, to actually have a family that accepts me. Nothing 45…

God gave me time, talent and resources….I blew it, didn’t I?

Just my ranting, ma. Please pray for me, ma. I love you and miss you.

Your loving daughter

Happy 77th Papa

Hello Amma.

How are you, way up there with the stars?

I met Papa today at the nursing home after not seeing him for more than 2 weeks. 8th Feb is his birthday. His 77th. I don’t know what I was expecting when I went to meet him. No, that’s a lie. I knew exactly what my expectation was…at least the bare minimum. For him to at least smile and be happy that I came. At least a sarcastic sentence that I finally had the time to visit him.

Instead, I had a man who just had a blank stare, had a disgusted face looking at the chiffon cake that both Vicky and I brought for his birthday. He had nothing to talk to me. I had to keep asking him questions. He doesn’t even know tomorrow is his birthday. He thinks it’s Valentine’s Day. He doesn’t know his age. It was so frustrating for me to talk to him. He is my papa physically, but I don’t know why I feel that the man staring at me is a stranger. Where’s my papa, amma?

I left the home disappointed and frustrated.Vicky tried to console me, it didn’t work. My mind was preoccupied with what happened.I cannot accept that my papa is no longer my papa that I hero worshipped as a child. Granted over the years that our relationship has been turbulent. No matter what , he is my papa here on earth. I know you have always advised me to live my own life and forget about him. How can I? He is all that I have now. Neither his siblings nor relatives (except Aunt Saras and her kids) care enough to visit him at least once on their own accord.

I came home, thinking nothing about today and while I was watching a Christian preacher via YouTube, I broke down. The pain in my heart felt like someone ripped my heart and left a hole in my chest. Painful feeling of grief as if he had passed on.

I cried out to the Lord to help me. I reached out my hands to HIM. “I am scared, Lord. Help me!”

You always advised me that if I have any trouble, just talk to Jesus or write to him. You were right. He hugs you when you are in pain and gives you a sense of peace when you ask for it. I told him what was in my heart and my body trembled . So much of pain and fear, amma. How am I to live in the world, alone? I apologised to God for being a total failure. He hugged me tighter , amma and told me that he loved me.

Amma, I need you and your words of wisdom and comfort. I miss you so much. Please keep me in your prayers , amma.

I love you, Amma. Oh yeah…maybe wish Papa happy birthday in his dream tonight or something if you are not too busy. I am sure he will be happy to see you.🥰

Till we meet again!

Your loving daughter ❤️

My Story : The unintended journey


A word that changed my life forever and threw me into a role that I was totally unprepared for – being a caregiver.

A brief history about myself. I am an only child. My father was a pharmacist and my mother, a nurse. Our life as a family was pretty simple and happy. We did things like other families did : going to church, weekend outings and what not. I did well in school and graduated as a chemical engineer. However, after a short stint as an engineer, I didn’t like the job. It wasn’t the right fit for me. I changed my path into the pharmaceutical industry and worked my way up to middle management. Finances was good and I decided to further on my studies while working. I took up MBA so that it would give me the extra edge to move on up the corporate ladder. Being single, I had the advantage of not having much to worry about.I had a certain lavish lifestyle which I enjoyed. My path was clear and I never once thought about the health of my parents.Why should I?  In my mind, they would always be there and enjoy my successes. They won’t fall terribly sick. They will live until they are a 100 years old. Naive thinking, indeed.

February 2009, everything changed. My mother suffered a stroke at home. Rushing her to the hospital in the middle of the night, sitting there in the emergency room, my mind blanked out. Her face drooped to one side and her speech slurred. She spent a week in the hospital with her blood pressure fluctuating.  The reality that I was facing slowly woke me up from that well planned career life that I had envisioned. Anxiety was keeping me up at nights. I tried reaching out to family and people that I knew for help. Lots of lip service and nothing else.Just disappointments. When she discharged and returned home, managing my career and handling mom with her nutrition and medication was not easy. Luckily, my father helped me out as much as possible at that time. We worked together as a team until she was well again and independent to go about her normal routine.The stressful months of getting her back to her feet made me realize that I have to re-evaluate my goals in life. Not too long after that, it was my father’s turn to suffer a stroke.

What am I to do?

This time, I had exams to sit for and work was piling on me. I was lucky in the sense that the neurologists that took care of both my parents were acquaintances of mine from work. So, as far as the medications and care in the hospital, I was not too worried. However, the stress was just too much to bear and depression took over. Adapting to sudden changes was never my strong hold. It brought on insomnia which could last for days at a stretch. It was great for finishing assignments, studying and preparing for work the next day but it was not too great health wise. I started going for therapy to treat my depression. I needed to get myself on my feet and face the fact that I am the sole caregiver and breadwinner for the family. A choice had to be made and there’s no turning back. Not an easy decision to make at all. I lived in denial, thinking that I am just over doing and over thinking things. I kept saying that this too shall pass.

Then in February 2010, God showed me that it was time to make a choice and stick to it. Life is going to change from this point onward. My mother suffered her second stroke and this time she lost her ability to use her right hand.

My choice…

I left my lucrative job and started working in job that gave more flexibility for me to be there for my parents and more money too. One thing that hit me terribly was the finances. My parents didn’t have any health insurance. What my father had, he lapsed payment. So, that was of no use. The blessing of healthcare in Malaysia is being senior citizens, they get free medication and treatment from the government hospitals. The only drawback was the waiting time, which at times takes the whole day. Being the sole breadwinner of the family meant managing all sorts of expenses. My dad’s pharmacy did not do well and therefore, he had no savings left. This meant a total change in my lifestyle, no more Starbucks and holidays!. It was tough on everyone. Somehow, we managed and for the next 5 years, life went on like this. Work and hospital visits were the only thing going on for me. Occasionally, some lovely souls would come by the house just to break the monotony. In all this, I never even noticed that early onset of dementia had set in for my mom. Doctors told me later that this could be due to the stroke. This meant more hospital visits and pills. It did not look like it is going to get better anytime soon. I would joke and say that I am a mother to a son and a daughter. The reality was that I was lonely and just angry all the time. I didn’t deserve this. Ladies, my age, were having a family and moving up in their life. I was stuck in this rut.

Turning point

My personal life was going no where as well. The men I went out with, were intimidated with the kind of responsibility that I was carrying. Almost everyone shunned me away except one. Looking back now, it was a good thing. My husband is the only one that saw this ” burden” as the most attractive trait in me and he was keen to be a part of my life.  Initially, I was skeptical of his intentions but he proved me wrong. What made our relationship even more special was we had a long distance relationship (he is from India and I am from Malaysia). He would call daily at night on Skype just to talk to, not so much me, but my mother. He had built such a good rapport with mom that anyone would have thought that he was her son. Finally, some happiness.

Unfortunately, my world shook again in 2013.

My father had his second stroke in September 2013 which made him paralyzed from the waist down. He laid in the hospital for one month. I didn’t know how I was going to take care of him when he returned home. I had a mom with dementia and now my father, paralyzed. I just tendered in my resignation and decided to look for anything which was part time or something that I could work from home. I took full control of the household and my parents. It wasn’t easy to manage my father. On top of his stroke, his left leg had diabetic ulcer which required daily dressing. I did the dressing, something which I learnt along the way. A month later, my mom suffered a debilitating stroke which took away her ability to speak and read. She even couldn’t recognize letters or write. Communication was a challenge. My husband (at that time, my boyfriend) came over to Malaysia to assist me. It was an overwhelming situation. I had to keep a watch out on my mother because she easily loses her balance. I used to bathe her and help her out from the bathroom. I had an intense fear of her falling down and breaking her bones. If that  had happened, she would not be able to tell me anything. She behaved like a toddler. I did my best to give my care to both of them, but it always seemed inadequate. I spent more time with my mother. Although she couldn’t speak but she had a sense of life in her. She wanted to live and she was getting better. She was not the most compliant in taking her medication, but she made caring for her a breeze. I had every confidence that she will conquer it all so, I didn’t anticipate what happened next.amma

3rd of January 2014, my mother left this world peacefully in her sleep. Her departure hit me like a ton of bricks. Totally unexpected. My world went blank. I couldn’t grief because I still had my father. I just had to function, for his sake, as before but physically, my body was tired and I felt terribly ill. Finally, I decided to look for a nursing home or an assisted living center for him. In all these years, I never once stopped to look after myself. It affected my health badly.  I had to get over my guilt of sending him to a nursing home and think of my own health.


Now, my father is in a much better state and happy. He has friends to talk to and he actually looks much younger now. What I had experienced made me realise that we are not prepared in being caregivers to our elders simply because most of us may not have experience this with our grandparents.

I hope that my personal story of my journey would be able to inspire you and give you the encouragement in caring for your elderly. Always remember this. You are not alone! There are many who are like you too.

Disappointments all over

Loneliness that kills me over and over. How do I get out of this dark pit of hopelessness? Trust is gone, my faith still strong in my Lord. Fear of the present and the future haunts me. How am I to do this alone?

Is this all what life is? Just keep sloughing away to pay the bills? No fulfillment. Nothing to look forward to.

Can I go now? NO ONE CARES! This lonely, empty life is killing my soul. My faith prevents me from taking my next obvious choice. I need guidance from above on what to do next.

My faith alone is keeping me alive


September is here and I can’t move on

I am stuck. Is it a rut? I don’t know. All I know is I am stuck. I can’t move. Inside a rage is building up and the mounting pressure is unbearable.Broken hearted and dead inside. I want to share this with someone, but the one soul that I can share anything with is now no more.

Everywhere I turn, a discomfort follows me around. I can’t laugh at myself, I can’t chill. All I can see is failure, rejection and self loathing because others have used me as a doormat. When will I ever learn? Why is it that I am not allowed to have my own say in anything? Why can’t I be rude? Why must I conform to others? Who are others to me? Do they mean anything at all to me? Hell, no! I must seem like a joke to all.

I contemplated jumping today from my balcony to just end this pain. 9 stories down, that should do a nice job of ending it. The look of my 2 fur babies purring at my feet , made me rethink the thought. “Who will be there for my babies? I need to live for them.” I went to the altar instead and cried out to the Virgin Mother, ” Amma, I can’t do this, I am tired and I am scared! Help me! ” Saltwater kept streaming down my cheeks until I calmed down listening to hymns from an online mass playing from Medjurgorje.

Opened the bible and the words that came to me was patience and trust in the lord. The next thing that I felt in my heart was pray, pray pray. I tried but I couldn’t. Instead , I just spoke to God and asked him to teach me on how to be me.

The pain of loneliness and rejection that my mom went through during her living years is what I am going through. It’s true what they say , “Karma is a bitch.” I am sorry , amma. I never realised what you went through. I am not as strong as you amma, to go through this.

I just can’t do it.

Letting go of your belongings

2 days of the festival of Eid ( it is a muslim celebration post Ramadhan and its a holiday here) and all of my plans of cleaning and redecorating the house went for a toss. What was I doing? Watching Netflix. It starts with one show and then another, it goes on and on. You know how it is , right?  48 hours that I will never get back , mind you. What was I watching? I was looking for series that talks about happiness , I wanted to find a way to simplify things , find out why I feel such a void and crippled in everything that I do. What did I find? Marie Kondo series and a documentary on being a minimalist.

I have been a fan of Marie Kondo for a while now , ever since I read her book, The Life Changing Magic of Tidying. During the same time, I started learning about this whole concept of minimalism. It is a simple concept with deep meaning rooted within it. It helped me to start to declutter my house starting with my stuff and then the rest of the things that my parents had ( my dad was already placed in a nursing home and he had everything he needed with him there). Did I turn out to be an excellent organiser? Far from it. Did I learn something from it? Certainly, yes.

There’s one episode of Marie Kondo on Netflix in which a widow was “doing the konmarie” of her late husband’s things which really gave me a flashback to the time when I sat through my mum’s things. It was a literal “torture” to declutter and choose what to keep of my moms as everything seems precious to me. I still remember my frustration when I saw that she kept all the handbags,purses and sarees that I bought for her in a bag hiding in the closet. She never , ever used it once. All I could think of was, why was she keeping it and not using it? That was a sheer waste of money. It took me awhile to figure out why she did what she did.

When a person passes away, they leave behind all of their stuff behind for their loved ones to clean up. It is a LOT of things. We just consume and store everything without even thinking how this will effect our family when we leave. What are they to do with them? Keep them or give it away? It may look easy, but it can be an overwhelming task. Never underestimate the power of material things with your emotional attachment to it. I certainly had them and to let go was and is never my strength.

Back to the show, as this widow went through her things and her late husbands’ things, the raw emotion that she tried to hide from the cameras came out strongly. I could feel her pain with every piece that she placed into the donation bag. Her anxiety as she drove to the thrift store, I understood that, I was there once. I could empathize with her. Something she said resonated so strongly with me ; ” No one can take away the 40 years of memories with my husband”. That’s so true.

Amma’s things was just her things. Yes, I still wear her kaftans to sleep because I want to feel her close to me. I still wear her chain and rings for special occasions. The rest of her things that I donated away, I don’t miss it. No one can take my memory of my mother. That is something I will always have with me till the day I die. Which brings to the subject of happiness…

Am I happy? No. I have to come clean and admit that I am co dependent on my hubby to find my happiness. I may be the breadwinner of the household but for my emotional needs, I cling to the hubby. Growing up I clung to the approval of my parents to claim my happiness. I never had the guts to do anything I really wanted to do. For everything, I had to compete and be better than someone else’s child.Everything was a competition. I just wanted to be noticed and I enjoyed the attention, no matter how shy I was as a child. It came to a point that I grew fed-up not being able to enjoy things that I loved. I just quit everything. I loved playing the piano but I just quit before anything because I was bored when it was more of passing exams and statements like these came about daily, “…wait till you become a piano teacher and you will be able to make money.” I just felt pressured and fell out of love for anything that I did when it became a competition. You can say that I “ran away”. Fast forward to the present, I am still the same. Like it or not, I am thoroughly ashamed of myself. I have no value for the dollar.For me, it’s an arbitrary number and means nothing. I buy things for no reason. Once upon a time, I would get angry if anyone told me not to get something because it was expensive and even asked me to budget. I now understand the cause of my anger. I used money to buy things just to fill the void and give me a temporary happiness. It is better than nothing. Same concept that I used in relationships which turned out to be more of 1 night stands or just used for fucks/ “friends” with benefits. Am I proud of it? Hell no. Stupid , stupid mistake of my youth. In all my intelligence, knowing full well their intentions, I still went for it thinking that its “love” , I was just looking for love in all the wrong places. If amma knew any of this, it would have broke her heart to know that her girl did this. I am sure she knows all about it now.

I digress….back to minimalism. Finding that happiness in your life will never happen until you find who you are and accept that first. It is not easy and its a process. A process that I am still learning as a 44 year old woman. Do you really need all the things that you have right now?  Does it spark joy? Ask yourself that.

If you want to learn more about minimalism, just click the link below to know further:

Would love to hear from any of you who would like to share on how you managed to declutter through your deceased loved ones things. Maybe, you are going through the process right now and you want to vent or even ask any questions, please feel free to leave a comment /question below. Happy to help if I can , if not, happy to listen to you.


Forgiveness & inner healing

Dear Amma,

Last weekend, we went over to Kuantan to visit Aunt Saras ( papa’s cousin) and it was a weekend that answered many unanswered questions left within me.

All throughout my drive to Kuantan, watching how the sun breaks through the clouds, the beautiful mixed array of colours that awakens your soul in the morning and the morning mist, kept me in a self realization mode that this trip was going to be something more than I could ever wish for. It was not just purely to show the hubby Kuantan nor was it to accompany Aunt Saras , but it felt as if God was showing me something else of what life was like for you and papa.

Arriving at Aunt’s place, I was,at first,taken aback ( in a good way) that she had prepared so much of food and was really looking forward to our arrival to her place. She’s more frail than the last that I saw her but still strong and independent in doing her own work. I had to hold back my tears when I drank her coffee. Reminded me of how you would mix coffee for us, ma. Just dunking in buttered bread into milk coffee was simply heavenly and a welcome breakfast after a 4 hour drive.

All the time that we were there, she shared about her life, her children, her grandchildren, her separation and ultimately her divorce from an unfaithful man. Listening to her and on her transformation from someone so gentle and demure to a strong headed and independent woman, ensuring her children received the best as a single mum turned my fondness into respect. She too, like you, was a nurse. During her ordeal, she had a job to fall back on to support her children. But, amma, you did not…

I learnt from her about my dad’s unfaithfulness to you with her own sister, as she termed as “your dad’s lover”. The story went on how papa’s sister and you, one day, caught them red handed and how you went after the “witch” with a broom to beat her up. You sacrificed your career as an OT nurse in India, came all the way to Malaysia, to a land in which you don’t even know the language, trusting this one man and he turned out to be a bastard. As Aunt Saras narrated this story, I could relive every moment of it, how you must have felt. Cheated and betrayed by a man who promised you the world. One thing baffled me, why did you not just leave him then? Return to India and go back to work? Annul the marriage and forget any of this ever happened? Was it the shame that you had to face if you returned back? Was it your true love for papa? Certainly , it wasn’t me, since I have not been conceived.

That night I was troubled, I could hardly sleep. I was so disappointed with myself. For 39 years that I lived with you, I never knew this in such detail. I always knew that you were always suspicious of papa but now that I know the backstory, you were right to be so. The man that I hero worshiped as a child, turns out to be someone that I never knew. Was my life and my image of a perfect family all a lie? Towards the end, my relationship with papa went sour and whatever that I am doing now for him is due to my obligation as a daughter and a human being. Why things went sour and what was the secret that papa was hiding from me that literally ruined our family and finally brought to your demise, I now do not want to know. What’s the point?

A peace came into my soul and I could picture the possible scenario in my head and understood the “torture” that you went through. I am so sorry, ma, for not understanding your pain. You protected me from everything so well that I never saw it at all. I could only hear one voice, to forgive him (papa) and myself ( since I have blamed myself for everything) and live the life that I have been blessed with.

The loneliness that I now feel is less scary, I have accepted it as my destiny.You have been preparing me to live a better life than you ever had. But amma, a life without you by my side is meaningless. I know that you are watching over me . Keep praying for me, amma as I will be praying for you too. My soul needs time to heal from its wounds and soon your little girl will make you proud, amma. I don’t know what I am going to do or how but with your prayers and Abba Father in heaven holding my hand, I will make it , ma.

I have yet to meet papa after my trip to Kuantan. I don’t know what to say to him. One side of me says, ” Just confront him and forgive him for what he has done” and another side says ,” Do nothing”.  Let’s see what happens when the time comes.

Amma, my candle that shone brightly to guide my path, thank you for everything that you have done. I am here today because of you. My eternal gratitude to you.

Your loving daughter