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Stories of love & compassion

Updated on September 30, 2012

Stories of love and compassion

Yesterday was 14 Feb 2009 - Valentine's day. It warms my heart when I read the the stories about love featured on the local newspaper. Here's a shorter version of some of these stories ...

In Sickness or in health...

As a 17 year old girl, Siti grew up in Bali Indonesia and worked at her mother's satay stall after school and would always tease a chinese guy by the name of Chong who patronizes her mother's stall everyday. He was working in an ornamental fish farm in Bali. She would urge Mr Chong to get married quick so that she could take care of his children. Love works in mysterious ways.

One year later, Chong did get married and Siti was the bride. He was 35. She was 18. They moved to Singapore and started life together. Their blissful union gave them 2 boys and a girl. Life seemed complete. Mr Chong got a job a lorry driver and she looked after the kids.

Then tragedy struck. One day, Siti received a phone call from the police station that the husband had been found unconscious in his vehicle. A blood vessel had burst in his brain. He went into a coma for a month. The doctors advised Siti that even if he came out of it, he would be severely paralysed. But Siti scolded them and said she would stick by him no matter what.

A few weeks passed and Chong opened his eyes one day. After a few months of therapy, he was discharged but was paralysed on his right side. He is fully aware of what goes on around him despite having limited movement of his limbs. Madam Siti now has to take care of him and the family. She cannot look for work because Mr Chong requires special care (for example he needs to be fed every 3 hours). Neighbours help Madam Siti cope and keep her sane but Madam Siti worries constantly because money from their central provident fund insurance is depleting day by day.

The family is close, despite all the difficulties they face. When the youngest son comes home from school, the first thing he does is to kiss his father's feet and bury his head affectionately in his neck. When the reporter asks if he worries for the future of the family, he lets out a guttural cry and a trickle of tears seeps from the corners of his eyes....

For richer or poorer...

The story is about a former CAD head and lawyer who lost his jobm home and friends but his wife stood by him. In 1991, Mr Glenn Knight lost everything after he was nabbed for attempting to cheat a would-be investor out of $3 million. He was jailed for a day, fined and struck off the rolls of lawyers. He lost pensions and benefits. He now lives in a small 1 room HDB flat with bare essentials to get by. What moved me was what the wife said when they shrugged off the tremendous loss they had suffered. She said "You started with nothing, along the way you get somewhere and you lose it. Well you just have to shrug your shoulders and get on with it.... You can't bring these material things to your grave."

So live life happily and be grateful for each other and what you have.


For better or worse, till death do us part....

An elderly couple penned her love for each other with the help of music therapist Melanie Kwan.

Mr Tham, 75 is wheelchair bound, and has lost a leg to diabetes. His wife, Madam Chan lay weak and frail on a bed, down with breast cancer. Melanie asks the couple to share their feelings for each other and she will use these as lyrics in the song that she will compose.

Mr Tham wrote (in Chinese),
"I love you for being kind
I love you for being uncomplicated
I love you for being loving
You are a rare wife"

Madam Chan responded:
"I want you to be happy
I want you to be free
I want you to be healthy
I'm glas for our 40 happy years together"

Madam Chan was diagnosed with breast cancer in late 2007. She died peacefully one evening, on March 2008 as Mr Tham held her hand.


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