Garfieldhug's Blog

This & That Including What Ails

Fragility Of Life – A Dedicated Prayer

How Odie and Garfield send selfies to each other. I love the unique love they have for each other. Garfield shows tough love whereas Odie is his old slobbering and innocent naive self in showing Garfield unconditional love.

Life at any age is fragile and precious to loved ones..

Regardless of human form or animal form, a life is a life and when they pass, it hurts.

I know, I lost my pet dobermann, Gretchen, in 1989 whilst I was working in the land of the Fragrant Harbor.

I remember returning to lil red dot at past midnight, seeing her blind and crippled from heart worm disease but wagging her bob tail on hearing my voice. I spent 10 minutes stroking her head and telling her I was home.

The next morning, I found her body in rigor mortis. She must have passed after I spoke to her and retired to bed as I was unwell, with bronchitis.

Mr Kind texted me last evening to share that his father (90 years old +) woke up from bed, fell and had a stroke. He did not tell me anything about it till 48 hours later, when his dad was stabilised.

He continued to send me daily memes for those 2 days and acted as if nothing was wrong.

I felt bad as during that last Thursday, I was still talking shop to him and he did not cut me off on text. His kind demeanour continued to let me ramble on.

I apologised for my insensitivity as I could have been more reserved in chatty chats given his mind on his father, overcoming the sudden stroke.

When one is at such an old age, do we celebrate life or mourn death?

I too have aged parents and often wondered – my conundrum, celebrate their lives or mourn their deaths?

I took my mum and dad for our usual weekly dinner.

I felt bad that I am unable to do more often on account of work as well as my swollen foot.

Getting up at 4am or 5am. Being at the office at 6am so as to go home by 6pm and get ready for the rigorous cycle the next day is my norm.

Each time I take mum and dad out, I am only able to put head to pillow by 12.30am and this takes a huge toll on my spine as I get tired out.

So when mum started her whining on her “bad life thus far” I lashed out at her.

She has no debts. She has money compared to the homeless. She can afford to eat whatever she chooses and declines whatever she did not like eating. There is no banker waiting to repossess her home due to unpaid mortgages is another example of how lucky she to be financially able.

Basic needs are there for her and she is fairly well for a woman of her age.

I reasoned with her. The homeless have no choice in lodging or food choices.

Since young, I have had orthopaedic issues with my spine and am living in much pain on a daily basis.

When she moaned about no one helping her, I rebutted. It is her choice not to have a live in helper. It is not the case where she cannot afford one, but a mindful choice of not wanting one.

As to why none of her other children bother to care about her, I ticked her off too. She did not wish to speak up and I have been the bad guy, going after my 2 other siblings to remember their parents.

My parents continuously make excuses for the other 2 urchins to console self that they are busy, live overseas (out of sight, out of mind philosophy) and have their own lives. Thank God, I am not a mother as I will never kotow to this mentality. Filial piety must be guided and taught.

Perhaps on knowing my 2 siblings, I felt that children should not be born as they will only grow up selfish and unappreciative of parents.

None of my other 2 siblings were victims of financial budgets. Only this black sheep was. But I feel it is to my advantage as it taught me hardship and the ability to work hard for my own money.

Alas, I am the one that is direct and obtuse.

When each of them wanted to live in a land other than Singapore, she did not object.

When I fell in love with my economics graduate teaching fellow (he is 12 years my senior) in the university it was either I relocated to USA or he moved in Singapore.

He tried to get a job in Singapore but was unable to do so back then.

I had to let him go as I was the only idiot left in Singapore and if I flew the coop, what would become of the 2 elderlies?

My brother nor sister batted an eyelid to up and go, leaving their parents behind.

They could not be bothered with their parents and till this date, also do not care. The only thing that ties them to my parents is the windfall they will get once they both keel over.

Such is life, rightly or wrongly.

So when I heard from Mr Kind of his family supporting the incident in the family, I felt the loss of warmth in my own family. It made me reflect on my own community of “family” and it made me very sad.

I was sad as it reminded me of how I would struggle on my own to ensure my parents are well to be discharged from hospital when they fell ill. I had no family support. I had to ensure my dad was safe, trudge off to work and report at the hospital nightly or catch doctor’s ward rounds between 7am to 8am.

The last critical heart condition of my mum, required me to blast the 2 urchins to return else they regret not saying goodbye to mum if she did pass.

Life is fragile.

I want to celebrate the life of my parents and not mourn their deaths when the time comes. It is easier said than done but what else can I do?

Mr Kind was right to revoke his father’s driving rights back then as it would have been worst if an accident occured from a stroke.

Meanwhile, I pray hard for Mr Kind’s father to recover from the stroke with minimal impediment to motor skills else it will be frustrating for his feisty and full of life father who likes independence.

May the deities above, bless and guide Mr Kind and his family to overcome the health issues faced by his father and sister. Grant them both good quality of life and the tenacity to overcome.

May all families stay safe during this covid 19 pandemic.

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A Tribute To Mr LCA

Contribution from Mr Kind, I find apt to use here

A soul, lonely and old,

With many tales to be told.

Yet, alone and cold.

If only anyone is bold,

To sit by bed and hear of tales to be told.

Many tales will unfold,

From wisdom and depths of life as gold.

A lonely old soul we behold,

Once upon a time friendship moulded.

I am told by Mr Kind that a mutual friend we know, LCA, at age 96 is dying of lung cancer and a weakened heart.

I know him as a man with good humor, booming laughter and a kind heart. He shared with me once that he was so silly to trust his friend and stood as guarantor for the friend’s property.

Long story short, friend defaulted on loans and he ended up paying for a house his friend lived in and that was why when I met him at age 76 years old then that he had to work.

I pray for his painless passing to walk with angels as friends.

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Mortality – Fear It Or Choose To Embrace It?

This post is written for someone I know who seems to be afraid of the thought of those dying before him and thereby reminding him of his own mortality and days left!


Words like, “my dentist is my good friend and is dead and he is younger than me!” made me see how terrified he was of facing death.

I am not holy in any way nor am I a person with capabilities to spout the bible. But as a lay person, my words to him would be “that the Lord giveth and the Lord taketh.”

If a person has served his or her dues on earth, then his or her dues are done and the person leaves the earthly realm. This is my simplistic way of looking at life and suffering.

I have gone through a lot in life. Horrible bosses of the Ogre kind, the love of my life showing me that I was not worth 5 cents in his life and unending surgical procedures – what did all these taught me?

I could wallow in self pity and lose self in the commonly and erroneously used term of “depression”

Nope, I fought tooth and nail.

I was recently reminded by Technician that in some way, God stood with me for this fight. He put these obstacles there and must have a reason for it all to happen to me, but offered solutions.

So there goes, my beating of breasts and crying “Why me O’Lord?” – Out the window!

Each surgery I underwent, took a toll on my body yet, each surgery left me without major disability. I have a brain that functions, legs that walk (although in pain sometimes) and hands that move (did I mention my scapular hurts) – others do not have this luxury!

My doctors may be financially paid to heal me but each of them have become my good friends that truly care for me when I am ill in hospital or require surgery.

Yes, I could be a transaction; a financial transaction at best and I respect the lines.

But for Doctor James to offer me masks when I had none is another touching point of caring. 

He need not do it but he did out of the compassion of his kind and giving heart.

There is also Technician who cares enough to help me understand all my pain and suffering and explaining to me trials and tribulations of life when he could be earning bigger bucks slicing and dicing another patient.

In life I have given to people and not looked back. Giving need not be a monetary act but an act that translates in giving the person in need of whatever, a solution (interim or otherwise).

Being human, I often angst over those I feel I have given but not bothered to acknowledge my existence or abused my love and trust. I learnt that in giving, it must be unconditional.

I feel I am alive, despite all my issues, that I still have undone work left on the earthly realm.

I believe that once I have delivered all that is expected of me, I will leave.

Hence my philosophy and way of life is to live each day like my last. Do no harm to anyone.

As for the love of my life, I will browbeat this person to recognize that what he did to me was wrong.

I am someone’s daughter and sister.

I hope he realizes that his future generation could face the karmic deeds of his and may suffer the same way as he made me suffer.

But I know I will never get to hear his words of remorse which exudes sincerity in any form as he firmly believes he has done no wrong. To him, I am expendable and of use, that is all!

So, I will let karma resolve that. Past life I may have owed him, so this life, I have repaid my debts in full.

Meanwhile death is nothing to be feared.

It has to come – some sooner than later. Others before even life can begin as they are still borned, no chance to even give a shrill cry of life!

As for “good friend” – I will take it with a pinch of salt for the words “good friend” used by the person who feared death and prompted me to write this post.

“Good friend” to the person who feared death is used loosely. He feels he will die a death that is surrounded by thousands of his “good friends” – illusion or reality, we will never know till it happens.

I am less enthusiastic, I will die and if I am lucky, surrounded by Garfield and hopefully 1 or 2 “good friends”.

So my words to the person fearing death is “Stop whining! Man up!”

Let’s please not use the words, “I am in depression” loosely as it makes the real ailment of depression a joke!

Depression when diagnosed is a serious disease and the right support and treatment is required.

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Donating My Cadaver

I shared with some of my close friends and siblings that I chose to donate my cadaver when I leave the human realm and these are their hilarious replies:-

My Sibling1

“BTW, long distance swimming and treading water!😨”

Note1

Obviously Sibling1 has the heart to worry about my ghostly spirit doing long distance swimming and treading water in eternity. Clearly Sibling1 is worried about me getting tired at some point or another. But hey, being dead, so I feel anything? I am unsure but his statement spoke volumes to me.

My Sibling2

“Ha! Ha. Wonder who goes first?”

Note2

Sibling2 is skirting the issue and chose not to comment. I expected this as Sibling2 is not one to talk about death freely and without qualms. A sibling of few words and a polite guffaw.

Mr Docile:

“I cannot applaud this. But you are very brave and am proud of you. I salute you”

Note3

Mr Docile cares a lot about me. I was only blind not to see it. He has never stopped caring for me since the first day I met him. Till this date, I get daily greetings and questions from him on my well being or how am I doing. As to what to make out of his reply, it could be he is not happy about it, but he has to respect my wishes as this is not an easy decision he feels for anyone.

Chicken

“Aiyoh!”

Note4

A lament in Singlish, our colloquial slang!

Ms Legal Eagle

“I always wanted to. I am scared. I want to get rid of my body in the most biodegradable way possible. It would be nice if there is an alternative to burial in lil red dot. Basically, they “plant” you as fertiliser for a tree. Being a tree would be nice.”

Note5

Ms Legal Eagle is a planned out and well thought out person as I suggested for her to be buried in a private property that she buys and no one would know LOL! She said there were laws on proper disposals of the cadaver. She is a good lawyer!

I have a niche ready and my epitaph on it could read as,

“Here lies Garfield Hug 1993 (date bought from ToysR Us till his Master’s Expiration) Whilst Master At Sea!”

I hope you enjoyed and laughed here. It is not macabre. To me, it is addressing a reality of life.

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Daily Worries

I worry about how to care for my parents as they age.

I worry about end times in my parents life span.

I worry about life post “after parents are gone to heavenly realm”

I worry about financials.

I worry about how long more I can physically work given my many surgeries.

I worry about my coming surgery on 27 December 2019.

I worry about my own old age.

I worry about my own mobility issues as I age, given I am single.

I worry if I will have enough finances for my old age.

I worry too much.

I should just live one day at a time and address the nuances as challenges or little hurdles to cross then it comes.

It is a curse to have a brain that actually likes to be mentally prepared for all sorts of scenarios and be the strongest in the family to react decisively.

Automatically, I become the go to guy and problem solver, by default and the one who speaks, naturally bears all cost.

Sigh! What a year end reality check on my life! Blahh!

Garrrrrfieeeeld where are you, I need a hug!

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What Makes A Friendship Or Relationship?

My recent hospitalization has left me with food for thought and fodder for posts on WordPress.

I am one person who hates to inconvenience people as I know like any wage earner, not much time can be spared for doing things especially when one has a family to care for.

I silently went into hospital, telling only MR EX.

I did not expect visitors, as I also told my office colleague that it was a small procedure, I did not feel up to visitors as well. It later became a big deal and several of my close knitted colleagues gave me a surprise by showing up.

It is hard when I have to sit up and entertain visitors and felt that it was worst as I took people’s time, money they spend to buy me get well items.

Strangely enough, I had the comfort of Mr Docile, Mr Beer, Ms Classmate, Chicken and on 3 occasions, MR EX.

I guess, my biggest sadness was expecting that one person to care more than others on account that we have had a longer befriending history of as long as I have lived thus far, deducting pre college years.

So what makes a friendship or a relationship?

I really do not know.

To me, it is caring and sharing, being there for a person in need of comfort, giving time or just lending a ear.

MR EX accuses me of all sorts of expectations and in turn says I do not give him a thought on his financial woes, struggling to earn dollars to sustain his lifestyle.

I find it hard to accept really as to the world, he and his family are always dressed to the hilt in designer togs such as Gucci, Prada and the likes.

They are always seen at gala events and he is all decked out in his tuxedo and enjoying the high life.

There are 2 personas of this man and Ms Classmate said it best, it is probably his way of showing to the world.

Was I then seeing the real MR EX?

Is he as poor as he makes out to me?

He drives a brand new Mercedes Benz which he wrecks it by driving carelessly each time.

He travels the world for business and touts charities he has opened and sustains.

Why the need to do all this?

Am I being prejudicial?

Am I not giving him the benefit of the doubt?

Is he really in dire straits?

What puzzles me is that he will go to famous people’s wakes whom he does not know so as to be caught on social media.

He will donate to charities for that glamour moment.

But he will not consider offering me a helping hand to lug groceries or give me time to take me to the doctors when I need help.

Mr Docile explains it best. MR EX is unwanted noise and is hanging around to harm me.

Ms Classmate said that MR EX is who he is and left it at that.

When MR EX showed up on my door step 2 days before I was to be admitted for day surgery for histology specimen to eradicate cancer, I asked him for help.

He appeared his usual insensitive self and left in 2 minutes after dropping off mooncakes, telling me he was not interested as he wants to earn $.

I did not need his mooncakes but I took it as it would be rude to throw it at him.

In turn I asked him for 2 minutes of his time to know what I was going through.

He refused.

We quarreled.

I forced him to listen and he left.

Silence has ensued.

I have never felt so alone that night as I realized the true meaning of friendship and the relationship I thought I had with MR EX.

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Remembering Grandma

Grandma owned a sizeable coffee shop somewhere along Serangoon Road. I do not remember much of Grandma except that she was visually impaired as she aged and that she loved my mum immensely.

The love between my mum and Grandma was mutual and though Grandma was unable to see, she looked forward to our weekend visits.

Grandma worked hard, was business savvy and passed on these values to my mum and my mum passed it down to me.

Grandma passed when I was 8 years old I think. I vaguely remember the grand funeral that lasted 7 days complete with opera, nightly dining for well wishers and the ritual I had to go through as a grand daughter.

What I will never forget is the giant wooden dark wood casket that held her. It was a looming sight for me as I slink past it to the toilets each time throughout the wake. I did not understand death then. The last I remember of Grandma was when I was given a clump of soil to throw into the burial pit.

Soon it will be the start of the 7th month and as the gates of Hades are opened, I am glad that Grandma can have a good break to visit loved ones and continue to bless us.

In remembrance of both my maternal and paternal grandparents this Hungry Ghost Festival.

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How Will I Die Or Leave The Earthly Realm?

I have always asked self how will I die?

If I had a choice, I would like to die a painless death.

A death that is swift, not sliced and diced like those on autopsy tables but a quick death!

I have been through near death experiences, spending 3 months in Bates Motel with tubes running out of my veins and it was not fun. It was painful and horrid.

What will my legacy be?

Nothing really I feel.

I thought I had or am helping people. I do this and did this with altruistic means but I learnt that people tend to take me for a sucker and made use of me and discarded me like yesterday’s newspapers!

I remember helping a part timer at my first job who had sped on the autobahn in Italy and could not control his car, killing is passenger and 2 other lives in the other car.

I went all out to get him repatriated and safely home to Singapore. In return he bad mouthed me for things I never did to his contacts. He never thanked me for saving him from criminal charges as Italian courts rule a person guilty till proven innocent and he bore no guilt for killing 3 people.

The worst part was before he left for his work stint in Europe, I warned him against speeding as speed thrills but kills and that he was a young driver without the experience.

My utopian wish is for me to be able to leave behind a large legacy to help others.

We are all sufferers of one form of illness or other.

MR EX laughed at me when I said I had an autoimmune disease and said it was nothing, unlike cancer! To him cancer is a real disease and Sjogrens, Lupus or any other disease that is not cancer is not a disease as it does not kill.

Illiterate and ill informed is MR EX when he chooses to be.

I had wanted to bequeath my cadaver for surgical learning. But these days with augmented reality and artificial intelligence, cadavers are dirty and messy. So, I am reduced to a pile of waste that must be incinerated.

My final resting place is in a niche in a columbarium.

These days one can scatter ashes in a landfill or out to sea or onto rose bushes!

I cannot see self in a landfill, suffocated!

I cannot see self everyday riding the waves as I suffer from vertigo!

I cannot see self amongst rose bushes, pricked to bits on a daily basis!

So, how will I die?

Not my choice or choosing. I will need to find someone who is even willing to push the button to incinerate me else I become a rotting pile of waste!

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Tribute To Goldlin Gretchen

Goldlin Gretchen or my family members and I would affectionately call “Gretchen” was a magnificent Doberman Pinscher.

She had a satin black coat and displayed great intelligence, compassion, bravery and love for her family. It is a pity that in those days there were no cell phones with cameras and I did not own a camera and so, we have no photo of Gretchen.

I remembered the day she was brought home to our family.

Just a month old but tall lanky with weak legs. She wobbled and trembled as she walked. Mum immediately bought her Vitamin B Complex to boost Gretchen’s muscles.

Gretchen grew up strong and became the love of my mum and I.

I remembered whenever my mum potted in the garden, weeding carpet grass, Gretchen would lie beside her, accompanying mum till she finished.

I remembered one evening after returning from clubbing, a cobra slithered into our garden and came at me after I drove into the car porch. Gretchen lunged at the cobra and barked furiously to protect me. I was more afraid of the Cobra hurting Gretchen. Gretchen won this match as Cobra slithered away cowardly!

Gretchen loved her Saturday baths. She would stand very still as I soap her, brushed her teeth, cleaned her ears and wiped her face. Once I was done, she would run off and wriggle on the fresh lawn as if to say, aha I like the way I am now. I can picture her smiling face, tongue lolling out of her jaw, legs in the air.

I left for school in Oregon and then after to work as an expat in HK. I missed Gretchen and I was told, she missed me terribly too. She would sit at the gate and wait for me to return.

Gretchen lived to a ripe old age of 13 human years or 91 dog years. She died of heart worm infection that left her kidneys failing.

Hospitalization did not bode well with her and she finally passed peacefully at home after waiting for my arrival, hearing me speak with her and patting her.

I wished I sat through that evening with her but I had stepped off the plane with bronchitis and was too ill to sit with her too. She passed without me by her side.

Loyalty, bravery and a heart filled with warmth and love was what Gretchen always showered us. My mum and I would often speak of Gretchen and rate her as the top dog in our lives.

Gretchen was not a pet. She was a valued family member!

[1980 to 1993 Rest In Peace Gretchen!]

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A Tribute To Fairy Lim

Chicken lost her father whom she calls Fairy Lim (after death) to lung cancer last year. My heart sobbed with her as I knew she loved Fairy Lim a lot.

Fairy Lim was a joker in his family and he worked hard to achieve the lifestyle for his brood. I felt helpless as I could see how fast Fairy Lim succumbed to Lung Cancer.

In months, from hospital to hospice and soon after Fairy Lim became legendary after reporting to Heaven.

Fairy Lim did not smoke and yet he contracted Lung Cancer. Not long after, another dear friend of mine, The Nun, told me that her mother was also diagnosed with Lung Cancer (non smoker). Nun’s mother also passed shortly after suffering for a while.

Cancer is horrid as it yields to no human. Can Cancer be stopped in its tracks? I suppose so, depending on age and extent of the war Cancer cells have raged. It can also rear its ugly head whenever it chooses too.

Though in another realm, Fairy Lim continued to bless and appeared in Chicken’s night images, showering her with money, love or funny imagery.

What I admire about her, is her ability to overcome and stand firm. Chicken is stoic and I sometimes see how firmly she can discern on money grabbers and being realistic without wavering in her ideals. I wonder if I will have her strength and character in the event of any calamity.

Part of living is dying and part of dying is living. Any religion teaches us good but sometimes religion is silent and open to interpretation. I used to joke with the people I know that the faith I was brought up in is in dire need of re-branding as it is losing out to the more funky and hip methods of worshipping. What is real? What is not? I do not know. Is there a heaven and is there a hell? Can a person be given absolute forgiveness and enter eternal bliss? Or is it the need for the living to find solace? No departed soul has returned to advise me and I believe, it could be the case of the living trying to make sense of the meaning of “departure” from this world.

What I do know is to practise religion (regardless of which religion) with conscience and with sincerity. If religion is used to purport a monetary goal then it becomes cloudy.

I am no expert in religion and am in Spiritual Limbo after losing antenna connection to the faith I was born with. Till I achieve an understanding, will I make a mindful choice.

This is my tribute to Fairy Lim – in remembering his life and what he had done for Chicken as her father!

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