My Birthday Wish

August is the month that invokes many moods in me. This is the month that Tunku Abdul Rahman declared Malaysia’s independence forty eight years ago. The sight and sound of Tunku raising his hand and shouting “Merdeka” never failed to tug at my heartstrings. Sixty years ago this month, the Second World War ended, but not before two atomic bombs were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Each year, when August 6 arrives, I am reminded of the tens of thousands that died in Hiroshima and the sixty million who died as a result of the war. This is too big a price to pay for the militaristic and expansionist ambitions of a handful. I am thankful that I was born after those difficult years, especially after hearing tales of Japanese atrocities and the hardships that my parents and their parents had to go through during the occupation of Malaya.

We never learnt. We are still waging wars against each other. In wars, the worst of human nature are revealed. Innocent lives are needlessly lost or crippled for life. Weapons are continually being made to kill or main another fellow human. While we can neither prevent wars nor the ensuing misery elsewhere, there are little things that we can still do here. Even in times of peace, people are still suffering due to diseases or tragedies. Some are suffering from one form of terminal illness or another. We can help make their lives more comfortable for their remaining days. They are the ones we should help in any little way we possibly can.

On August 6 this year, bloggers worldwide are banding together to blog every thirty minutes for twenty four hours straight. We are doing this all in the name of charity. I will be blogging with five others at Bloggers are Morons for the Hospice-at-Home-Programme. The programme provides palliative care for patients with terminal cancer. One has to go through those last few months with someone who is dying from cancer to be able to fully understand why their work is so important. I have gone through it and I can only say that without the Hospice’s support, it would have been very difficult to manage those final days of someone I truly loved. When all hope is lost, the only thing left that we can do is to let them die with dignity. This is exactly what the Hospice is helping families of dying patients do.

August 6 also happens to be my birthday. I have stopped celebrating this significant day two years ago. There are just too many sad memories associated with that day. This is also the first time that I am revealing my birthday online. For this day, I have only one wish. I fervently wish that readers of my blog will donate money to support the Hospice-at-Home-Programme. Please pass the word around and get your family and friends to support this cause. When you wish me “Happy Birthday” please spare a thought for those who will never be able to celebrate theirs next year. Help the Hospice help them. This is my one and only birthday wish for this year.

* This entry was posted at Bloggers are Morons.

Easing The Journey Into The Last Sunset

Out there somewhere, some people will never live to see another sunrise again. At the same time, some are counting down to their last sunset. Those are one of the most agonizing times anyone can ever go through for those that are terminally ill and their family as well. Like Paul, I could never have imagined how depressing it was to see a loved one slowly wasting away until I had to look after Mum.

She suffered chronic lymphocytic leukaemia, an incurable blood disorder where her body produced large quantities of malformed white blood cells. During her last two months, she was in much pain when the cancer cells began to invade her bones too. When I saw her writhing in pain, I wished I could ease some of that by suffering it on her behalf. Painkillers were not totally effective. The ache began to set in long before the next dose was due. The sense of hopelessness was simply distressing.

Fortunately, Mum had the privilege to be enrolled under the Penang Hospice-At-Home-Programme. Karen, the nurse charged with Mum’s case, would drop in to check on her several times a week. It was a great relief to know that should I need nursing and medical advice, I could always check with her. The most important aspect of this was that Mum was accorded the dignity to live out the remaining days of her life in the comfort of home while getting the essential care that she needed. I was truly grateful I had this kind of support in looking after Mum. It would have been very difficult had I had to go through it alone.

When Suanie asked for my suggestion on the charity to support for Blogathon 2005, the first and only organisation that came to mind was the Hospice-At-Home-Programme. No act can be nobler than easing the final journey of the terminally ill cancer patient like what this group of people are doing. After all that I went through with Mum, I wholeheartedly embrace and support this concept of caring. I hope all of you who are reading this will feel the same way. This organisation functions mostly on donations from the public. They need your support to continue with what they are doing effectively. Please pledge and donate generously so that someone somewhere waiting for his last sunset will have an easier passage to his final destination.

* This entry was posted at Bloggers are Morons.

Bloggers With A Cause

Within us, there is a potential to make things better for ourselves and for others. All that is needed is a paradigm shift from thinking inwards to thinking outwards. The beauty of thinking outwards is that little effort is required. To achieve that each of us need only to genuinely care for our fellow humans, be it for their well-being or by offering just our friendship.

This coming August 6, bloggers from around the globe will be blogging simultaneously for 24 hours straight. We bloggers have been known to do weird things but this time it is all for a good cause. This is all made possible by the wonderful people at Blogathon 2005. We will be blogging for charities of our choice. In doing so, we hope we may be able to make a little difference for people who need it most.

Edrei participated in the blogathon last year. He will be doing it again this year and has selected the National Cancer Society of Malaysia. Yvonne Foong will be blogging for Eden Handicap Service Centre. Leo Goh’s charity of choice for this event is UNICEF. I have pledged RM50 each for the respective organisations they have selected. Ee Yean, a blogger from Penang, has chosen to do this for the National Kidney Foundation.

On my part, I have become a reluctant participant in this praiseworthy project. There is no way I can write an entry every thirty minutes for 24 hours. Suanie roped me in as a co-blogger for a new blog that she set up especially for Blogathon 2005. Together with Shaolin Tiger, Minishorts, Paul Tan and Kenny Sia, we will be blogging at We will be blogging for the Penang Hospice-At-Home Programme.

Individually, we can only contribute so much to these charities. By coming together and contributing our time and effort, we hope to be able to draw the attention of many more people to these charities and hopefully be able to get them to contribute generously. The non-profit charitable organisations that we have selected have transformed the lives of many for the better. My sincere wish is that all you who have been reading my blog will donate and change even more lives. For details on how to donate, please read this.