It has been raining after lunch for the past few days and the whole island was filled with a layer of mist.
Smoking alone as I watched the rain fell from the sky, and a lot of stuffs rushed into my mind.
I received a call two days back from an old classmate Lea Swee, informing me that one of our friends, Meng Soon, has passed on and the whole gang was at the wake.
Upon hearing that, I went over to the wake with a heavy heart, thinking that I have not met this group of friends for years, and never have I thought that we would see each other under such circumstance. And the thought of Meng Soon passing on at the young age of 46 made me feel that life is truly short.
As I looked at Meng Soon lying peacefully in the coffin, I noticed that he has also aged a lot and a sudden sadness rushed into my heavy heart. And I prayed for him to be blessed.
Patricia came to sit beside me to catch up. She used to be my best friend during those days.
After chatting for a while, she said: “He was cool and left with peace….”
I threw her a puzzled look.
“He left this world in his dream….”
“When he found out about his heart problem a few years back, he rejected the doctor’s recommendation to implant a pacemaker in his heart. Thereafter, he contacted the insurance company and withdrew all his money and spent his years travelling around. We saw his pictures in his Facebook updates and it seemed that he has spent the rest of his life happily….”
When I left the wake, I posted my status on Facebook: When death calls upon us, there’s no way we can reject. We just have to live life as if there’s no tomorrow. Say what we want to say when we can, love who we want to love when we can, as tomorrow may never come…. It is sad to see one leave this world though I’ve not seen him for 20+ years… And it has never occurred to me that when I see him again, its the last goodbye… May Buddha bless him and bring him to the land of peace…阿弥陀佛！
Life is truly short, and unpredictable. And more importantly, it doesn’t seem to be within our control at times.
A plane could go vanish in the air; A person could be knocked down even when waiting for bus at the bus stop; A healthy person could just suddenly pass on; And here we are in this world, working so hard and yet we do not know what we are pursuing. Perhaps, we can plan for future but not get too paranoid about the unknown.
For the past couple of years, I have tried my best to balance between work and life so that I can spend time fulfilling some of my dreams.
I have brought my wife and daughter for overseas trips so that they can enjoy and experience different set of lifestyle apart from the daily routines;
I have fulfilled my wish of bringing my parents out to Taiwan and enjoyed the company of my siblings and their families.;
This year, I will be bringing my wife and daughter to Europe to fulfil my wife’s dreams;
But what about my own dreams? I guess I have lots of them.
I want to improve on my Chinese prose writing so that they can touch the hearts of the readers;
I hope to take better pictures, and it will be even better if I can capture pictures about life, and blend them together with my prose and write about life;
I wish to contribute more to society and offer my help to those who really need help;
I wish to love those whom I want to love and take care of them;
I hope to go to places that I have dreamt of.
When Kok Keong sent me the above picture last year, I was “wowed” by the beautiful night scene and told myself I want to go to this place. It was later that he told me that the picture was taken by his friend in Suzhou in China. As the Chinese saying that goes: In Heaven there is paradise, on Earth there are Suzhou and Hangzhou. I let my thoughts wandered to these two beautiful places.
If there is any place that I truly wish to visit, it will be China. I have promised myself many years back that one day, I shall put my foot on the mainland of China. I love the sceneries there, I love the old architectures there and I just love the way the Chinese speak pure and clear Mandarin.
Today was Meng Soon’s cremation day, but I wasn’t there. I was afraid that I am too weak to witness the cries and unbearable pains of his loved ones. And it has never crossed my mind that Patricia would send me a message telling me that it’s over and then she sent me this picture of some of us which was taken many years back.
I have borrowed a couple of books on visiting Suzhou 2 weeks back and also did some research online. Apparently it is not too difficult to travel alone free and easy in Suzhou and Wuzhen, which obviously became my first destination in China. Hence, I gathered more information from my China colleague and hope to plan for a China trip in mid August. I look forward to this trip where I will be travelling alone at my own pace, taking pictures of the scenic places and my own ME time before I come back to Singapore to take care of my loved ones.
If possible, I will want to visit different parts of China every year, starting from this year…..