Life is…

Be kinds to others for everybody is fighting some kind of battle…

Taken from Yahoo Images

 We probably heard that once or few times in our lifetime. I am no exception and not to the saying either.

This year has been interesting to say the least. It starts off very good. Everything seems to start falls into places and I’m happy.

Comes March.. late march is when we heard about Kalia hearing problem. We learned that our beautiful baby girl is hard –hearing.

At that time, I don’t ever recall hearing more devastating news in my life.

I was so overwhelm with grief and guilt – for whatever reason. It wasn’t a good time.

 April came then things are slowly getting better again, both of my parents are here! I’m so happy I get to be a child again.

I love waking up to the sound of my parents talking about stuff over their breakfast.

It’s such a fond childhood memory where I wake up to see my dad with the newspaper and his cup of coffee on the table

And my mom sitting next to him while putting on make-up commenting on the news…

It’s comforting…

 Then June came, my dad have to leaves. He needs to go back to Indonesia to tidy up some business deal.

We made plan of him returning back in the fall so I can shows him beautiful CO during the fall season    

.. and its Tyra’s birthday as well.

We have so much plan….

 Then July came.. exactly one month after I say good bye to him at the airport, I have to say good bye to him again,..

This time forever…

God decided that it’s time for my dad to come back home for good. Leaving us here grieving, wondering why…

 Now we’re in October.. how time flew…

I survive the first holiday without my dad.. another one is around the corner..

 Leaves are changing, air is crispier. I wish my dad can see how beautiful it is here now..

I started remembering the plan we made…   promises I made to him.. 

 Life is cruel…

 Many – many times I wish I go back to my childhood.. When the life is so care free.

Playing and playing and playing with my friends…

 Life is cruel..

Then I remember something… a saying from Hadist

I said to Allah, I hate life.

Allah replied, who said love life. Love me and life will be beautiful.

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Motivation

Lately, I haven’t been feeling much of anything. I got so caught up in the routine that I have become so passive.

The motivation is just not there. It’s bad and I know it’s bad but man I got so lazy that I just ignore it.

Then my sister emails me a news clip from Indonesian newspaper.  The newspaper reporter went to a very remote area in Indonesia and snaps a picture of local kids on their way to school.

It breaks my heart and put me to shame. These kids have to walk 6 K to school one way also have to cross this “bridge” with the risk of falling into the river. They endure all that for school, to better educate themselves, to better their life and their future.

Judge by their uniform, these are elementary students, so they can’t be more than 12 years old.

Here I am, living a very convince life and still complaining. I realize that when things get tough instead of fighting I curl and just wish it to go away. Instead of working harder try to make it better I makes zillion of excuses to feel sorry about myself and act like a victim.

I vow to make changes in my life and instead of lay down and dreaming to actually wake up and work to make it come true.  

Taken from Kompas.com

The day of forgiveness…

Most of you know that I’ve been fasting for the past month. Today is the last day of Ramadan, and even though (honestly) there are part o me that relieved the fasting part of it is over, but there are part of me that’s really sad that it is over. Ramadan is a holy month for Muslim, it is the month that all sins are forgiven, the time where we truly can redeem our self and reborn as new person that is sin free.

Tomorrow is EID or Eid Ul-Fitr [Eid in Arabic means festivity, whilst Fitr means purity] so to sum up its mean the festivity of purity. Victory is another word use a lot during the festivity. EID is also the day of forgiveness, the celebrations involved apologizing to others and forgiving those who have hurt you in turn.

This holy month always brings a mixed feeling for me. I have many – many fun loving memories of my childhood especially during this holiday. The house is glowing with decoration and the smells of the traditional holiday food cooking in the kitchen….

My Mom normally already picks the new prettiest clothes for us to wear for the celebration tomorrow and I can’t wait to wear it! That night all of the kids at the neighborhood come out and play and we chant Takbir – glory and praise to Allah, we play fireworks … it’s like a whole block party, even better, it’s the whole nationwide party cause majority of Indonesian is Muslim and we all celebrate EID!

Tonight the EID eve or end of Ramadan is one of the best night for me to have as a child… the whole atmosphere seems to filled with love, happiness, laughter, with Takbir always at the background. Can’t wait for tomorrow, the EID where after prayer we went and visit relatives asking for forgiveness and for us kids, we’ll get money!!! YAY!

To me, EID is a very beautiful holiday, it’s about thanksgiving, forgiveness and charity. No gift exchange involves, no material stuff. All pure humanitarian holiday from the heart. We supposed to ask forgiveness from each other. This is the year where I know I have the best parents ever. They will humbly ask forgiveness from us – their child. It’s always makes me cry when my mom and my dad will hugs me and ask for forgiveness – sincerely.

I mention earlier how I feel a bit down because again I spend holiday away from home… here in this place, where even most of my friend doesn’t share my excitement of this holiday – gosh I’m such a baby! I look at my family’s picture on Facebook on how the holiday is back home and it’s always bring tears….

Beside the normal pray I said, I also pray for peace and little hope maybe I will be given a change to celebrate next holiday with my family and share that special moment with my two girls. Amien.

Eid Mubarak to you all.

My travel diary: Indonesia – Pictures from Indonesia

I hope there are better words for me to describe my going home-vacation experience. I don’t know if I can ever put in the right words to explain how I feel being home, being among family. Seeing my dad & my sisters and others family member that I haven’t seen in a long time.

I can’t. There too many memories all with mixed feelings – all good – but mostly melancholy cause I miss them so much.

I hope you enjoy the pictures as much as I enjoy sharing them with you all.

As we’re approaching to land in Jakarta – finally I’m home!

 

This is the face that my baby gave me at the airport. I think she’s mad cause I “leave” her for such a long time.

 

The housing complex right by my parents house.My parents have a swimming pool so we swam almost everyday.

 

Swimming almost everyday

My parents have a papaya tree and (almost) every morning, Tyra would ask the gardener to pick her one. She didn’t like papaya that much, she just love watching him climb the tree!

Tyra & her papaya.With some of my beloved family.

 

With some of my beloved family.

 

The view from my parent’s mountain house.

 

My husband having fun at the fish pond.

 

My bedroom in Jakarta - how I miss it

 

Before flying to Medan

 

When Tyra was born, my parents got her a horse named Chloe. It’s only natural she loves horses and good at riding it.

 

Kota Tua (Old City) Jakarta

Our visit is also coinciding with Kartini Day. Kartini is woman hero for Indonesia. We went to local kindergarten and see kids dress up in variety of Indonesia local traditional outfit. I used to participate every year!

 

Swimming with grandpa - my 2 spoils brats!

 

My parents throw a 1st birthday bash for Kalia at a restaurant. We have over 200 people in attendance it was crazy. They have MC and everything. Love my parents to death!

 

Went on a safari

 

Tyra posing with picture of me when I was her age.

 

At the airport before we leaves. Good Bye – see you all soon!!!

 I hope you all enjoy the picture!! I hope I can share a bit of my love of Indonesia and my family.

Cheers, Sendie

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

So hard to say goodbye

I left home 10 years ago, I guess a part of me never really leaves. Everytime I left Jakarta, it took a piece of me. It takes a lot for me not to cry (too hard) at the airport cause that will make it much harder. Everybody cries at the airport as we say goodbye…. the whole time we’re driving to the airport, I try to look at outside as much as possible. Try to remember it one last time before I leaves.
 
I was born and raised there and it’s my home. It’s a city that never sleeps, city of 19 million people (roughly) the city that the traffic was so bad that you feel like you live on the road.. but it my city. It’s my home. I never thought of leaving Jakarta for so long or wondered if I’ll ever lived there again.  Regardless of all the bad, I am just so addicted to Jakarta, I miss the dynamic of life there, I miss the routine. Most of all, I miss my family, my whole family.
 
Of all the trips I took to Jakarta, I felt this particular one was one of the most emotional one to me. This time I have my own little family. My two little girls. How I’m so glad I can share my love and part of me with them. I can see they enjoy this trip as much as me maybe more with all people spoils them rotten! Tyra is old enough to experience the life there more and I’m so happy I can share part of my childhood with her. We took her to places that have momories for us, taste the food we love and more. As for Kalia, even though she still little, I’m sure she can sense all the love around her. She’s the baby that light up the house! Her laughter and giggle truly bring miracle and blessing for my family.
 
On a different note, one of my cousin brother is dying of cancer and even though he lives in different city, we manage to fly and see him. He still able to recognize me and told me he will fight till the end and never give up. I’m grateful I got a change to see him. His situation has worsen from what I heard. I pray for whatever best for him. God knows best and I leave the decision is God’s hand. I pray for his strenght, him and his family. My uncle also pass away while we’re there. We attend his funeral. I remember him and his smile when he was at my wedding, I remember his joke and now he’s gone. May he rest in peace.
 
All that good and the bad makes it so much harder to leave. I have a great job here in Denver and beautiful home, but it feel empty without family (other than my immediate) to share it with. Back home our family is such a close knit that we share everything together the good and the bad… I miss that. Even I am surrounded by a lot of great friends here but it’s different.
 
And also..
 
I wondered if I will see my parents again, will I see my family again, will all of them still be healthy enough the next time I visit?  Or even just a simple question as “when can I see them again?” I can only set a plan, but only God  decide.
 
I can’t ever seemed to find the answers, I don’t have control over my future, none of us do. I am just very grateful to Allah, that I have more than a girl can ask for, I have tastes the best of both world, having a great childhood and a great family and a life in America. It seem very selfish of me to ask for more, I know that no matter how hard everything may looked or sounded… there’s a reason for everything and  there’s always something about your life that you can be grateful of.
 
 In the meantime, I’m grateful that I have the best of both world..I know I’ll always have a place to call home, other than Denver, a place I will always look forward to come home to.
 
Nothing goodcomes without any sacrifice… this is my sacrifice.

My last post until next month….

My dear – dear friends… I’m leaving tomorrow for a vacation to my home country. So weird that I’m going home for a vacation! I’m all pack and ready to go. Everybody is just as anxious as me and my husbands. I’m actually looking forward for those long flight hours and going from one airport to the next. My guess is I’ll be too busy to have time to write.. as much as I love to share with you my experience but it’ll have to wait until I get back.

In the mean time, enjoy your Spring time as I will enjoy mine getting a message, soaking in the sun right by the beach in a cabana! I’ll probably embarrassed myself by moaning uncontrollably.

Jakarta via Wikipedia - This is where I'll be!

Here’s my story…

Weekend Story

Weekend was crazy as usual. We have family came to visit from WI and they went back home Saturday. Saturday was so gorgeous here in Denver. We were blessed with 80 degree weather but with a nice breeze. I expected friends will go volleyball and I was right around 11am I received several text: “Volley Ball today @ 2pm. Bring meat so we can grill for dinner.”

I haven’t play since high school and normally I have my baby with me so I have to watch her anyway and my husband will play. I have no excuses this time cause I have no kids with me so they force me to play.

Oh, this remind me.. few Volley Ball 101 for dummies – like me!

  1. Don’t play Volley Ball after you’re getting a manicure!
  2. You should warm up first – especially when you haven’t play in 15 yrs!
  3. Dress appropriately, you don’t have to show your big tummy to everybody when you try to hit the ball!
  4. Run towards the ball not AWAY from it!
  5. And if you insist of playing (even after 15 yrs) please remember to rest first before you join the kids on Wii dancing competition. Or you’ll wake up with double sore in every inches of your body!

(early) Birthday Bash

My birthday not till mid-April. I’ll be  21 this year – hush! I’ve been 21 for 13 years, this works!

My co-worker surprise me today with a little early birthday bash. There’s cheese cake with candle, card, and they even sings! How sweet! After we sing, some beg for me to take them with me to Indonesia. Hey.. I’ll take anyone who want to come.

That truly was a sweet gesture of my co-worker… but I’m looking forward for my real birthday bash in Indonesia next week!

Random thought

I have relative that lives in Osaka Japan. They are okay, reading their email give me a complete different perspective on Japanese. Time if tough she said. Limited food supply and there’s power limitation throughout the night. But all Citizen have a complete faith in their government that they will do everything the best possible way they can to bring Japan back. That faith that the Japanese have towards their leader and their government truly touch my heart. She also convince me that everything is not as bad as what the western media has reported and portrayed. Yes the devastations is  unimaginable, but the Japanese hold on together. One thing we have to remember Japanese just like most of Asian culture aren’t very good at communicating. It doesn’t mean they are not doing anything. They are but they’re much better at actions then words. See the opposite? But no words can be taken as nothing get done.

 In my perspective, The Japanese is setting standards on how to recover from a national catastrophe. It’s citizens aren’t sitting around waiting for someone to come to their rescue or waiting for government handouts. (Most) of Western individuality is fine when times are good, but the “me and only me” mindset fails in disasters that require an “us” attitude. Just look at  the difference between this and Katrina. No looting, people waiting patiently in line for hours to buy gas and food. I’m in awe every time I see it.

I’m very fortunate that I have visited Japan and see it at it best. Unique! It’s the words comes to mind how to describe my experience. Have you watch Black Eyed Peas  video of “I Can’t get enough.”? That video truly capture the modern essence of Japan – at least Tokyo. I attach it here. I hope you enjoy it.

Until next time!

“The coconut here is green!”

In less than 2 weeks I will be joining my daughters and family in Indonesia. This has been the longest (ever!) I ever parted from my kids and the feeling is unbearable! It really doesn’t get any easier over time. Before they leave I thought I would use these free kids day as a days to relax. I can sleep late, wake up late – especially on the weekend. Bu no…. I actually sleep less!

I become more of a restless sleeper. I woke up often dreaming of my baby and reaching my cell phone at 2 or 3 am in the morning to check on how they are doing… however, aside from missing them like crazy, there really no regret of my decision sending them early with my mom. Everyday Tyra have something new to tell. More story to share, more experience to remember, and more memory to cherish. It’s too cute to hear her talking on the phone about simple thing that amaze her. “Mommy, Daddy, the coconut here is green not brown and it taste good!”

Thank God for technology so I can still talk to them everyday and see pictures of them having fun everyday. Tyra & Kalia being the youngest child in the family has received so much attention and love it’s unbelievable! I even think they have too good over there that they will put up a good fight before wanting to go back home to Denver with us!

12 more days before my husband and I join them in all the fun! Until then… I’ll try to make the best of it.

"Hello Mommy, Daddy.. I miss you!"

The coconut here is green!

Children of the world…

I manage to survive the 1st week without my children. It’s hard!!!!!  It’s like the first 5 years of my marriage life. Still in honeymoon phase, having fun. I don’t have to cook every day, we can eat out, go out with friends…. But this time I feel miserable. I miss my baby smells, I miss Tyra (smart alec) questions …. I miss everything about them.

Comes to think I almost didn’t want to have any kids at all. Not that I don’t like children, I do and I want to have one, but living in Indonesia where the gap between wealth and poverty is huge I always wanted to adopt. That has always been my passion. Especially when you drive down in Jakarta Street and you see 5 year old children in the street selling news paper and snack…  working when they should be having a fun and carefree childhood.

When you see children where their childhood were rob by poverty when kids can’t afford to go school and have to work first so they can’t pay tuitions – there was no free schooling back then. When you witness all these growing up, I think it’s either makes your cold (so you don’t feel anything) or makes you want to give up everything to help.

I remember my parents always do two parties for our birthday, one with the family and one at the orphanage. We bring food and gift for them. I can still remember the excitement on their face. At first I think I was only 6 yrs old. I ask my mom why are they so happy to see us, how can they bee so happy and appreciative with simple things we gave them? That’s when I learned to appreciate even the smallest thing that was given to me. That’s when I start learning never to take anything for granted.

Unfortunately, my husband is still haven’t grasp my passion on adoptions. He is just as loving and giving as a person can be, but the thought on adopting is still very foreign and strange in his mind. And I won’t force him. This is something that a couple should be able to come to a mutual decision. Bringing a child into this world – whether your own or adopting is a very big decision and even the intention is good, but without mutual commitment the result could be bad and it is not fair for the child.

Few years ago with the help of my parents I create a foundation in Indonesia to help out children. It just a small family foundation. Our intention is to help neighborhood children on their basic necessity. So far I’ve been blessed that I have family that able to support me on this and do the leg work for me.  On our trip back home in 3 weeks, that will be the first time I will actually come and see the result with my own eyes. I hope I can share good news on this after I get back.

Cheers, Sendie-Lou.

I’m Lucky!

I remember my parents thank me twice in my life. Real thanks, not just a simple “thanks” after getting them a glass of water etc…

Once was when I graduate from college.  This is back in 1999. They sat me down and thank me for graduating with honor and for sticking through it. The second time is when I got married. I remember the night before I got married and we going through the plan for the big day, my parents thank me again for being a good daughter and do everything the normal way.

Honor is a very big thing in Asia. (Perhaps it is too here, I’m just not too familiar with American culture). I didn’t dishonor my family by dropping out of college, getting pregnant before marriage or things like that.

It sounded pretty boring maybe but my parents points are, that I’m not a trouble child, I went through life normally (as possible anyway.. 🙂 ) I finish college, got a good job, met someone, fall in love, introduce him to my family, got engage and we got married – all in order! J So they thank me for that. They say, in all the wrong they did, they must’ve done something right because both their girls turn out great and bring honor to family.

As bias as this sound, I think my parents as the best parents in the world! I don’t think my parents did anything wrong, yes, no one is perfect and neither are my parents, but how many times do you actually hears parents admit their not perfect? Hardly ever.  Especially coming from Asian parents.

I learned a lot from them. They have a way for me to still enjoy life as a child, as a teenagers as a college girl and still able to hold that trust they gave me and not betrayed them. It is not easy, note that I live in Australia for 3.5 yrs during my college time and I live on the beach of Sydney! It’s party almost everyday! I won’t be who I am today without the love and guidance of my parents.

Over the weekend, my parents thank me again. For my two little girls. As I wrote earlier last week, my mom takes both my girls to Indonesia. One of the hardest decisions I ever had to make! Separate from them for 3 weeks. We kept their trip to Indonesia as a surprise. All family members think they girls will come with me and my husband in April.

The surprise is a success! They were screaming, jumping up and down with joy and delight as they see them coming out of the airport. My dad stay in the car cause he can’t find parking, and as he saw the girls, my sister told me he just brakes and jump out of the car and start dancing like crazy as he approach them. As Tyra told me “grandpa is so funny, he can dance like ‘imagination movers guy’” – that’s a show on Disney by the way. 🙂

At night, we do a video chat with them and my dad was crying to us and he say thank you. Thank you for letting the girls comes sooner so he’ll have more time with them getting to know them. He literally cries and keeps on saying thank you. He made me cry.. even now as I type this remembering that moment.

It is still very hard for me not having my girls with me. But I know they are having fun, they are in great hands and they bring joy to everybody there. It’s a good decision, and I can’t wait to go home and be part of that.

I’m so lucky to have a great and loving parents and my children are lucky to have grat grandparents!

Baby Tyra with grandpa, grandpa & auntie

Baby Tyra with some of her cousins