This Blog Of Mine

This weblog was not only to keep up with the Joneses of Internet advancement. It was meant to jog my memory to bygone times, one where I could turn to whenever I wanted to call to mind what I was doing or thinking of on a particular day months or years past. It would have been nice to read about days long-gone that I thought was important enough to be written down. It would have been interesting to see how much I have grown, or have not, through the years. It should have been a record of my life shared with anyone who was sufficiently curious to learn what went on in the mind and life of a severely disabled man. It should have been my story – The Story of Peter Tan.

However, whenever the desire to be reminded of those days arose, I would be shrouded in a cloak of trepidation to let bygones be bygones. There was this perpetual dread of having to pore through the archives. Buried in the shallow tomes of this still infant project are accounts of events that I wished I had not made a note of. This weblog not only tells my story alone for I have unwittingly documented the last days of my mother’s life as well. Curious I may be to bring to mind those days when the light of my life was unsuspectingly turned off I seldom have the courage to relive them through what I have recorded with my own hands.

Those few times that I was bold enough to venture into it, I ended up weeping. When I thought I had steeled my resolve to move on and let the memories of Mum be pleasant ones only, when I thought I could read those jottings without the accompanying profound sadness, I unfailingly broke down again. I had thought I could handle the loss and the ensuing grief but I was obviously mistaken. Mum’s passing had affected me deep and hard. Sometimes I wondered if men my age take a parent’s death like I did or am I the exception?

Only Wuan knew how much I was hurting prior to Mum’s demise. We would talk on the phone in the middle of the night for hours and hours on ends. I would update her on Mum’s condition and confided in her about my inability to do anything to ease her suffering but just see her gradual decline helplessly. In the darkness, I would cry unabashedly while she would wait for me to settle down and then console me.

As Mum was slipping away and her end had become a certainty Jenny, my former physiotherapist, had wondered how I was going to take it. Jenny knew very well my physical abilities and how much I had depended on Mum for my daily routines and how close we were to each other. In her own subtle ways, she eased me into accepting the inevitable. Even then, I was reluctant to accept the fact that Mum was going to die. She was a fighter. She had gone through more trials and tribulations than I ever dared to imagine and each time, she had triumphed over them. She was not going to be defeated this time. I was confident.

The inevitable did happen and my life suddenly changed. Living without Mum was very unreal those first few months. Only Wuan knew how much tears I had shed and how I had cried my throat hoarse. I felt despondent for not being able to help Mum when she was suffering. Outwardly, I displayed a mien of controlled mourning but inwardly, I was teetering on the brink of a deep depression. Wuan was hurting as much, maybe even more, to see me sinking deeper and deeper, yet she still persevered in trying to raise my spirits night after night.

Once, Rosalynn had asked Wuan if I was suicidal after reading my entries about Mum. The truth was for a fleeting moment it did cross my mind. A body my weight would not take that long to hit the ground after falling twenty storeys. Depression deprives the mind of its sensibilities and impregnates it with a dark aching despair that is difficult to shake off sometimes. It also crossed my mind that if I did die and meet Mum, how was I going to explain to her why I came so soon after her? How was I to explain to her why I had not chosen to go on living when she had long ago taken pains to prepare for the day when she was no longer here and I could still live comfortably? The fear of being admonished by Mum at the other side was far greater than the fear of death itself that suicide stayed a figment in my mind and did not come to fruition.

One year on, I am still mourning. The tears are still flowing and the heart is still grieving. I am slowly picking up my life again. To stumble thrice, one harder than the other and trying to climb back up is really tough. I did not take it as badly as when Dad passed away, perhaps because I was not as closely involved in his nursing care as I did Mum’s. Another reason was because Mum had been always there for me no matter what that made her death so difficult to get over.

Although this time around I grieved more profoundly, the playing field was radically changed. I found God, or He found me. For twenty years, I had questioned His existence but that one moment of vision I had was more than enough to convince me there indeed is a God. Twenty years of doubts vanished into thin air just like that. Was Mum’s death essential in altering my belief? Would I have eventually accepted the faith if Mum was still hale and hearty? That I will never know. What I do know is that the divine insight I had beside Mum’s deathbed provided me with the impetus to seek a spiritual rebirth in Jesus.

This weblog has recorded it all – the happy, the exhilarating, the divine, the betrayal, the grieving and the hurt. I will continue to write about God, about Mum, about my grieving because that is my life and the purpose of this weblog. It should keep track of the significant whether happy or otherwise. Anyway, my life is not all that glum. There are some bright and joyful instances too, colourful characters that had touched my heart and scrumptious food that had tickled my appetite. These will all be documented here. Perhaps one day in the future, I will find the strength to relive those heartbreaking moments leading to Mum’s death but for now I will just read the happy and funny to tide me over those gloomier days. Here is my life and you are invited to join me in this journey as I continue to move forward while taking little peeks into the past from time to time.

Author: Peter Tan

Peter Gabriel Tan. Penangite residing in the Klang Valley. Blissfully married to Wuan. A LaSallian through and through. Slave to three cats. Wheelchair user since 1984. End-stage renal disease since 2017. Principal Facilitator at Peter Tan Training specialising in Disability Equality Training. Former columnist of Breaking Barriers with The Borneo Post. This blog chronicles my life, thoughts and opinions. Connect with me on Twitter and Facebook.

12 thoughts on “This Blog Of Mine”

  1. Peter

    I thank god that you have found the strength to carry on.
    Because i believe you are
    a honest and caring person,people like you are hard to find.You share some of your inner most thoughts and feelings through your blog.

    May god bless you and your mum always tc

  2. Sweetspirit,
    Thank you for your kind words. I found renewed strength in God and in all the caring people who had supported me through my period of mourning. May God bless you too.

  3. Yes, thank God that you chose life and the strength to continue living.

    “The fear of being admonished by Mum at the other side was far greater than the fear of death itself”

    I couldn’t help but smile at that. I’m sure your mom is very proud of you and your writings of her. You are passing on her loving legacy by your journal entries – it has touched many lives including mine.

  4. Ariel,
    I have come to understand that every life is sacred. God gave us each one to do as we please. If I messed up mine, I only have myself to blame. I am glad you found meaning in my writings. I have been praying for a cause that I can serve. Perhaps this blog is one of them.

    Thank you. Every day that I am alive is a blessing by itself. I have cheated death once, or maybe a few more times that I was not aware of. I guess He wants to keep me here a while longer. So it shall be.

  5. Hey Peter.

    Though I only know you for a short time, a year…I think, I have always looked up to you as a person of extraordinary strength and perseverence, in admiration. I have always admired your courage and determination in life, in whatever you do. Let me also take the opportunity to use your blog to share my thoughts as I may be too lazy or too unskilled in IT to start one myself. 🙂

    Sometimes, even a strong person would have silly thoughts crossing his mind especially when it comes to such heart-wrenching issues.

    However, as long as we believe that God has put us here for a purpose, we will often be able to find a reason to live on.

    Some may find this a little too sappy to say here, but, believe it or not, you are among one of the biggest reasons why I have become stronger than I was. And I am confident that many of us who know you, feel the same way too.

    Memories of loved ones will definitely linger on in our minds for a long time to come. Forever, I hope. But along with those beautiful memories are the sometimes painful and unbearable feeling that may suddenly rob us of our sanity, for a moment. I guess it will be too petty of me to tell you to be strong when that happens, for, you are a much stronger-willed person than I, many times over.

    However, whenever you feel depressed with the loss of a loved one, just like I still sometimes weep uncontrollably over the thought of my nanny who passed away at the ripe old age of 99 more than 10 years ago, it would probably make you feel better if you try to think that our loved ones would be safe and sound and blessed with eternal happiness in the hands of God.

    No words can describe the importance of those dear to us. No one may understand the pain that we feel in our hearts when we think of those whom we loved who has passed on. The pain will be more unbearable if these are the people who have, in one way or another, touched our lives in a meaningful way. And, for them, I believe we need to live on, and spread a little cheer and goodness to those around us — just like the way they have touched our lives. This way, I believe we can one day leave this world with a peaceful heart and then, those who love us will also be somewhat consoled by the fact that we are leaving behind a world that has become a slightly better place than we have found it. May God bless all those whom we love and cherish.

  6. Chee Wai,
    Wow, that certainly was a long comment. It must have taken you a while to write it. I appreciate that. You are putting on me a hat that is bigger than my head. I am an ordinary person trying to live life as best as the circumstances allow except mine is more dramatic because of my condition.

  7. it’s a good thing that you have a weblog to keep track of all that’s been happenning and going to happen. but what’s better than that is you have friends/readers coming in to give comments/encouragement/advise.

  8. Lucia,
    I cannot tell what is going to happen. I am not a seer. And yes, this through this blog, I have come to realise that strangers can be as empathetic as good friends.

  9. Peter,

    I just couldn’t find the “correct” words to say at the moment, so it’s short.

    God bless you and your mum. =)

  10. Dear Peter,

    My tears came in reading your post. Thank you for sharing your grief with us.

    God bless.

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