International Women's Day 2020

International Women's Day is here once more. Some celebrated it. Some feel should not as a celebration of womanhood should be everyday. To me, these days can be served as a reminder to us.  We can be preoccupied with our responsibilities, activities, our families and of life that we sometimes even forget our own birthday. 

Today I reflected on the women who have impacted me. Because of these women, they inspired me to write a woman song in 2018.

Women Song sang on 8 March 2020, dedicated to all 
women readers here. I wrote it in 2018. 

There are so many women out there who made a big impact on me over the years since a teenager until today. Let me list them whom I can remember offhand:-

1) Anne Subashini - founder of The Inclusive Outdoor Classroom. I have the privilege to get to know her since drum circle days. Her passion is infectious. Her faith, her belief that there should be no division between children no matter of their backgrounds, no matter of their health conditioning is empowering. I have attended a few of her activities which made me open further of my mind and heart. 

2) Chong Sheau Ching - founder of . I first met her many years ago with Yvonne Foong who gave invaluable advice on how to proceed with publishing her first book. We reconnected years later when I was in the hospital with Patrick. Though years have passed, I am glad to see her heart is still kind, her contributions to womenfolk have been much more today. Her passion to make a difference is inspiring. Her constant encouragement especially to write my blog, "Unexpected Living" was due to her contribution. I would not have thought of doing so because I have thought I had no time to do so because I need to be on my toes constantly to observe Patrick's symptoms. To me, I will write of my experiences probably a few years later after Patrick is more stable in health. 

At that time, I was in this constant state of tiredness then which I thought I could not do anything further except to rest my physical body more. When I do not get enough rest, I find myself falling sick easily with flu and cough. I do not want to fall sick when my son's immune system is weak. Her advice on writing my experiences would serve as a guide to other mothers of similarly sickly children. It will also serve as a healing platform for me. I was not certain whether should I commit myself. I dislike giving my word when I could not commit a certain time frame. Luckily, Ching is flexible with my writing. I am to write when I find time available. I also prayed and meditated to get clarity on whether should I commit myself to a blog. And here's my blog today.

3) Ramlah. She is a mother whose son died earlier this year of leukaemia. I think her son was 10 years old. I admired her strength for willing to share her experiences at Ronald McDonald House Charities Malaysia. (RMHC) They invited me to attend an appreciation day organised by RMHC, thanking the donors and sponsors. I have taught the staff and parents of cancer children to make sock dolls making. To me, I empathise their mental and emotional state especially when they need to attend to their children in the hospital. I hope my class can be a form of relaxation, smiles and a temporary activity that can uplift their emotions. 

Ramlah & myself

I met Ramlah during my sock doll making class at RMHC last year. She attended twice of my classes. During this time, I have interacted her, I could sense her worries and sadness. I am aware she is parent staying at RMHC, which meant her child probably have cancer or another illness. I did not inquire from her then. RMHC is a home where parents can stay at a cheap cost so that they can stay near to their children in the hospital. 

She was the second speaker for the Appreciation Event for sponsors and donors of RMHC. She was to share about how RMHC made a difference for her. However, she could not speak much. Overcame with emotions, her voice occasionally choked up. She cried a little. I wanted to stand up so that I can give her a hug. Before I could do so, a nurse who was standing nearby hugged her while Ramlah continued to cry a little more. I told myself I hope I could talk to her later and hugged her before I leave the event. 

Token of appreciation by RMHC.

And then it happened. We had a conversation on how she is coping. Sometimes she seem fine. Sometimes she is not. She cannot helped remember the memories of her late son. She is still resting at home, not seeking for any work yet. For a while, she appeared so much fragile compared to the time I taught her sock doll making last year. We hugged before we parted. I listened to her more than to give her any advice. Sometimes in situations like this, being a listener is much more impactful than giving advice on how to manage this. Sometimes we are aware what is the way to overcome grief yet grief is something so personal especially when comes to a loved one. There is no time stamp when we are to heal. 

4) Yvonne Foong - she died last year. She was suffered from Neurofibromatosis 2, a rare genetic disease. The most amazing thing about her was - despite her condition, she went on to assist other people's fundraising besides her own. She became an author, motivational speaker and more. Her heart is open to giving beyond her own physical illness. Sometimes some people have empathy to those who reminded them of their own sickness. For her, she impacted those who seek for her when they have depression, seeking for their worth and of other sickness would approach her as well for guidance, for hope, for more. 

She was a beacon of Light for many different people; community, gender, race, age, religion and more. When I first known her at 19 years old, already she was an inspiration to me because her passion to live especially to help others were so strong. I hardly hear her complain about her life especially of her challenges. She always adopted a good humour, a good compassionate side and loving side. Although daily she may face physical pain. She has shared this briefly with me when she was alive. I understood deeper when I had my daily physical pain and discomfort when I was pregnant. 

Yvonne wrote two books based on her life experiences. If you are interested to read them, they are still on sale today. She have written two books, each sold at RM25. Currently, the book proceeds would be given to Yvonne's mother who is alive today. A mother who have spent almost twenty years in attending her daughter's medical and physical needs. All the proceeds will be for Mrs.Foong's cancer treatment. You can get more information through this link

Yvonne Foong attended my marriage registration.
5) Annie Dan - a compassionate humanitarian who spares her time weekly for Mustard Seed Soup Kitchen's activities. She shared with me what she has done, how her life becoming meaningful since her involvement with humanitarian work. She also been very kind to Patrick, encouraging him by gifts and even a birthday cake the year before. 

6) Idayu  - She worked in Ronald McDonald House Charities. I got to know her through Annie. During the moments of sharing, I got to learn her beginnings at RMHC and how it changed her life forever;more meaningful, more involved with communities. How sadden she was when the children became ill. How happier she is when she is part of the changes that made families stronger and better. I felt touched by her loving side. 

Annie of Mustard Seed Soup Kitchen, Idayu from RMHC
 and myself. The man standing next to us is the founder
of Mustard Seed Soup Kitchen.

7) Elaine Wong - an artist who constantly challenging her boundaries by facing her weakness and fears. With each triumph, Beauty becomes her. Creativity blossoming. Her heart opening. True strength don't come from brute force. It comes from deep within us, the willingness to heal, to face our darker issues that have entrapped us and to give ourselves permission to be who we are without blame and shame. 

8) Miki Wong - a lady whom I am singing together currently of my songs. She is an Intuitive Rhythm and Sound Healer of Light of Sound using hand drums, vocal toning and more. She has learned sound healing from me. 

She is passionate to  give back to the community, to be part of the change makers to make a difference to womanhood, to children, to communities and more. Ever big hearted lady who cares for others deeply. 

Below is a video where we perform sound healing and singing my song, With You and Me during Malaysia Women Marathon. The founder invited us to do so. 

We sang With You and Me song during Malaysia Women 
Marathon event on 7 March 2020. I wrote this song in 2016.

I sang my song "With you and Me" during a social event in 
2017 while I was pregnant. Since I wrote my song, I have 
been invited on occasions to sing my song as a song
 of encouragement, hope and more.

Our Sound healing @ Malaysia Women Marathon 2020

It has been a few years since I last come out to sing among the public. My priority have been of Patrick especially once realised his diagnosis. 

As for sound healing, you may wonder what it is. Before I became more of a stay at home mother, I had been teaching meditation ( non religious), practice Qigong and sound healing specialised in vocal sound toning. Sound and tones have been shown to be an effective in bringing about more positive states of being and has been incorporated as a form of therapy.  Medical research can be found here.

9) Oi Ling - another woman who have lived by Faith to God, who have spent time to teach aborigines and rural children. I have seen photos of her activities. I have heard her passionate sharing. Her sincerity, loving nature in giving selflessly is admirable. 

10) My mother - she has been a stay at home mother for more than 50 years. Taking care for our needs. She constantly reminded me the importance of family. And she really truly lived by her word when I had been in worse experiences in my life. When I needed encouragement, hope and all seems lost, confusing... I will never forget how my mother despite her fears, with her love for me, took courage to remind me, "Always remember! We are a family. We are a family!" She showed me what being a family means; through storms that threaten to break us apart as a family, we stay united and persevere together. Thank you, mom. I always remember your advice until today.

And for the many many women I have not named. Whether you made an impact on me/others. Thank you for your love, efforts, presence. You have made the world a better place. 


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