Wuan and I have been blissfully married for five years today but it felt like we have been together for a very long time. Rightly so, as we met fourteen years ago and dated for nine. Knowing her was the best thing that has ever happened to me. After so many years, we are still very much in love with each other. Yes, we are! Life is good. I would not want it any other way.
Every year this day, I spend some quite time reflecting. I no longer think so much about how my life could have turned out had I not made that fateful dive into the pool. I could have become an engineer like what my father wanted me to be to take after him. I could have become a politician. I could have turned to crime. I could be very dead by now. I will never know. That is not important any more. I cannot turn back the clock and change that any way.
Instead, I reflect on what I have done so far with what I have and what I can be. Life is too short to be wondering about what could have been. Searching for a purpose in life was difficult in the beginning. It took a lot of hits and misses for me to discover what I wanted to do and one that I could do well in. Blogging was the first step. Then I had the fortuity to make friends with people who nudged me in the right direction. Kuan Aw and Christine deserves all the credit for being the wind that filled my sails when I first set out from the harbour.
Dr. Kenji Kuno of the Japan International Agency (JICA) gave me every opportunity available in his collaborative projects with the Jabatan Kebajikan Masyarakat since 2005 to learn about Independent Living Programme (ILP) and Disability Equality Training (DET). My perspective on disability and rights of disabled people are shaped by the philosophies and principles propounded in these courses. I am now a senior trainer for DET and resource person on ILP because he gave me many opportunities to learn and put them into practice.
Wuan is instrumental in encouraging and supporting my work in disability advocacy. Without her, I would not be able to do so much. I may be independent but I still need assistance with my activities of daily living. Wuan helps me with that and that makes it convenient for me when I am out and about. Even at home, my life is easier because she makes sure that my needs are well looked after before she goes to work and after. She is always there for me. Indeed, she has been my pillar of strength since the beginning of our relationship.
On this anniversary, I want to celebrate these wonderful people who have come into my life and made a difference in so many ways. I am who I have become today because they have been generous with their kindness. They have proven that disabled people, given the opportunity and support, can achieve much more than we are made to believe. I am that irrefutable proof.
The road ahead may still be long but because of the foundation that they have helped me build, I am now doing work that is not only personally fulfilling but one that has the potential to change society for the better. To them, I want to say a big thank you from the bottom of my heart. My life is all the better because of you.
This Samsung Galaxy S II smartphone is my belated birthday present from Wuan. I have been looking for a replacement for the Nokia 2600 Classic that I have been using for the past three years. The initial budget was RM1,000 but there was none that I liked within that range.
After much consideration, I decided to go for the top-of-the-range and settled on the Samsung Galaxy S II running the Android OS. We got it at the IT Fair at Mid Valley last week. Since I am already a Digi user, I switched to the DG Smart Plan 48 with a 12-month contract to get the phone at a discounted price of RM1,699. RRP is RM2,099. The plan comes with a monthly data bandwidth quota of 1GB.
Knowing that I have a tendency to drop my mobile phones, I got a Case-Mate Tough for better protection at the same fair as well. The case consists of a silicone cover that fits snugly to the phone and an ABS hard plastic shell. I am glad I got it as I dropped the phone on the third day. Fearing the worst, I picked it up to discover that there was no damage whatsoever. The RM90 price was worth every cent I forked out for it.
I am still learning to use the many functions of the phone. Just yesterday morning, I did not even know how to answer when Wuan called. I had to read the manual for instructions. What I like about smartphones is that I can access my emails and search for information while I am on-the-go. This device is going to be especially useful now that I am dealing with customised wheelchairs and accessories as a sideline. Thank you, Wuan, for a wonderful birthday gift.