My dad

My dad (Ayah) pass away unexpended on Tuesday morning June 17th, 2012. He should not have died, he just text my mom few hrs. earlier, talking about the Ramadan preparation, taking my sister to work and how he’ll promise to pick my mom up from the airport on August 5th. Everything went so fast that night it seems blurry to me. I remember getting the news around 10:30pm, family and frantically trying to get hold of anybody back home.. then finally hear the truth after talking to my crying sister. I remember the pain, so unbearable, it actually physically hurt. I remember how my mom keeps on fainted the whole night… he should not have died… there are many plans left….

Here I am writing this memorial for my dad’s memory book and it shouldn’t be that way.  My dad should not have died on Tuesday morning July 17th 2012. He was 65 years old and although he’s been complaining a minor chest pain lately, he’s fine. Then this, he died of a heart attack… leaving us here.

Losing my Father is one of the most difficult things I have gone through.  As I am writing this today, I realize how fortunate I was to have him as my Father.  There are not words to express his influence in my life. Ayah is (was) a great dad and a loving husband. He is also a wonderful grandfather. There are so many wonderful stories I could tell you, but there won’t be enough pages in this books… wonderful memories he left us with… and that memory keep him alive inside me, my mom, my sister and my two little girls, and among all people that loves him just as much. As Tyra often remind me, “grandpa will always be here with us” as he point to her chest.

I learned from him the value of education and hard work. One main lesson he gave me is that how as a woman, I should have skills, I should have a degree, a career, so I don’t depend on men and therefore no man will ever took me for granted and valued me. I am who I am today is because of my parents, because of my dad… he is no saint by any means, he’s human who made mistake and learned from them, but now I know he did the best he could with what he had. In many ways he succeeded better than most.

Family, relative and friends have said to me over and over again, how my dad was a great man, loving, kind and generous. Most of them remember how much he loves his family, how much he loves my mom and us his girls. He passionate about the world and history, he loves to play the piano or organ and sings, he loves to dance, him and my mom took samba, cha cha and salsa lesson together and enjoy it. Recently he enjoys cooking and I’m fortunate that I got to taste that! He is also very passionate about God, about Allah and never stop teaching me small little pray to get me through the day and difficult time…

He always reminds me to trust God with His plan. Remind me to achieve more and yet to stay humble, he assures me that all will be okay at the end. Now here I am, still filled with sadness, grief, and little anger. I need to remember his words, his advises, and most of us trust God that all will be okay.

There’s a saying in Indonesia rough translation is: “how a person live their life will be reflected when he die.” Hundreds have come and pay their respect, many cries with my family, some even wish is should’ve been them instead of him…  my sister told me that till this day we have not spend one cents on his funeral or memorial services. Everything has somehow been provided for us by relatives and family friends. From the cemetery plot, memorial service expenses, food expense…  all has been taking care of.. Everybody loves my dad. My Dad loved us, worked hard for many years for us, was liked by many people, and loved God.

 My dad passing was very quickly – just what he always wanted, no pain, no suffering – expect for the one he left behind. As if he knew his days were numbered, one of his last text messages to my mom was:

“Many people told me I’m unlucky for not having boys to carry my name. On the contrary, I am the luckiest father and man in the world, both our daughters grew up to be respectful daughters who took care of me and spoils me. When I was in Denver Sendie spoils me and her and Pheng never stops show me a good time. Now I’m back home, Acha did the same. Always make sure I have all I need, especially my favorite food. I’m sure both girls turn out well because of you, because of your upbringing. Thank you my love for raising our daughters’ right. I know you will be in their great hands.”

I love you daddy and I miss you so much….  Thank you for everything, for being the greatest dad a daughter can ask for, the greatest grandfather for my two little girls…  for all the wonderful memories you left us with… Until the day we meet again…

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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

Balance is overrated!

As summer ends, my husband and I have to make tons of adjustments. Scheduling for example, Tyra has started school back in July but we still have our niece with us to help baby sit Kalia, now she’s back to WI and Kalia need to be back at day care. Tyra will also have to go to before and after care and that brings up another adjustment, budget! Having two kids is crazy expensive!!! We have to pay $1600 just for child care alone! I don’t know how others with more than 2 kids can do it, we barely able to afford ours!

Now we all have to wake up super early I’m sure my husband beat the rooster (if we would’ve own one) waking up sleeping kids and baby are another thing I have to do, waking up Tyra is easier than Kalia, I mean, how could you wake a peacefully sleeping baby? So cute and comfy snuggle in her blanky and here’s come monster mommy waking her up? Oh.. breaks my heart every time! Good news is kalia normally wake up as soon as I’m up as if she can sense it. So I hardly have to wake her up.

 I do enjoy making and having breakfast with the family though.. even if it’s just as simple as cereal and milk. Once a while pancake or waffle is on the table, depend on my mood and how early we can get everybody ready.

The first few weeks, I got to work exhausted. Mostly mentally, thinking about what to prepare for snacks tomorrow, what the kids will wear, what’s for breakfast, what’s to cook for dinner tonight. Etc…. I drive myself crazy.

Then coming home to a messy house, the house I clean every morning and every night, it will miraculously messy again by the time I get home around 6pm. My husband is pretty helpful, he do dishes, laundry, vacuum and mop. However he and I have different concept on where toys and dirty clothes should go. It’s not on the floor!

Few weeks ago I broke down and have one of the biggest fights in our marriage life. It’s so big that it almost involve elder (it’s a Hmong thing) not that my husband believe in the elder but almost. Good friends talk to me and calm me down and we manage to get through this. I think everything just happen all of the sudden the change the adjustments we have to make and it’s all built in to the point that I can’t take it.

Finally I talked with my Mom and just cry myself out. Then, this is what my mom told me “having balance at home is over rated! There are no such things as perfect balance in life and in marriage. It’s all about give and take. The house will always be messy – you have two kids and two dogs what do you expect? – and you will always have disagreement but that’s what life is. Talk it out and work it out, that’s how you get through it.”

She said it’s okay to have a messy home once in a while, that’s mean my kids actually have fun and bring the house to live.

I always compare my life to my mom’s and have the image of a perfect marriage and perfect household should be. My mom told me to stop and remind me how even her life is not perfect. Once my mom and my dad were separated, they get back together and work it out. It hits me even my “perfect parents” have problems too.

She also remind me that she have plenty of helps back home with maid, gardener and drivers at her services.. (my dream life!) and most importantly all the family back home. She also then told me how proud she is of me and not sure if she can do the same if she was in my position. She thinks of me as a strong woman who is able to manage a family life with just me and hubby and we have as close to perfect as a life should be. That is the biggest compliments I heard from my mom! Over and over again I learned from my Mom. What will I do without her?

So last night, I let it all lose, I watch as Tyra and Kalia play together, this time instead of worrying what they will break or what they will spills, I just watch and listen. I listen as they both laugh while they were chasing each other. I watch Kalia do silly dance mimicking some TV commercial and then her laugh…

It’s beautiful and the house wasn’t all that bad. Just pick up few things this morning but I have the best night ever! As I quote my mom ‘Balance is over rated! Have fun, laugh often, build memories is more important than have your house looks like Martha Stewart Magazine.” Love you mommy!!

Tyra & Kalia being silly

Sendie-Lou’s musing

Yesterday marked the 10th year of the 9/11 tragedy. I still remember what I was doing that day. I was off that day and after saying good bye to husband for work, I watch Golden Girls – Yes, I’m a fan of the Girls! 🙂  then my husband call told me to switch to the news. At that time it wasn’t sure of what happen yet, we know a plane crash the twin tower but not sure whether it was an accident or what.

Later on that day, the pieces started coming together and it sickens me. It was a very dark days for a lot of people including me. I was grieving for those who lost their life, I was grieving for those who left without a husband, wife, mother, father, son, daughter, brother, sisters… those who lose their family.

I also personally grieve in the name of my religion. A group of small minded people decide to do this in the name of religion, in the name of God. It angers me. I was angry for a long time and I’m still angry. To be honest for a long time I was so prejudice against people from Middle East thinking they have ruins my religion.

I have never ashamed to be a Muslim that even that day, but I was ashamed Islam connections to Middle East. I’m not sure why I took my anger out to Middle Eastern people I just do. Later on that same year when we celebrate EID, at the mosque after the prayer and the sermon that’s the first time I feel like I can let go of the anger.

All Muslim – the true Muslim – regardless of where we came from condemn this act of violence. Including Arabs and the rest of the Middle Easterner. They hate it as much as anybody with the right mind.

It hits me, I was no difference then the terrorist for having that small minded. I am no difference then bigots for being so prejudice towards Middle Easterner. I feel so ashamed. I guess I was so angry and somehow direct my angers towards Middle Easterner. I apologize for having such a small minded.

There were (and still are) so many anger towards Islam and us Muslim, there are so many hate and unanswered questions. I can honestly say I understand the feeling, I understand the anger and even the hate. However as times goes on, I also wish that people will see that 9/11 wasn’t the act of a true Muslim and bring the message of Islam. As times goes on I wish that people will and can see that even Muslim was hurt by this.

Instead of linger with anger and hate; I try to see the message behind this tragedy. It’s about life. How life is short and it can be taken anytime. As corny as this might sound, but really I am trying to live my life as humble as possible, forgive often and be grateful for everything I have.

Life really is too short, let’s makes it the best possible way, so by the time we end this chapter it will be a celebrations of life instead of memorial services.

Love always,

Sendie

Last space shuttle is headed home…

I wasn’t paid too much attention to the launch of the Atlantis in 2006. I just had my first baby, we are in the process of moving from Colorado Springs to Denver. I remember the good news after the fear of the unknown. It was a happy ending. At that time, I promise that I will share my excitement and the memory with Tyra and my  future children when another moment comes.

Yesterday on the news, this headline catches my attention, The last space shuttle is headed home. I wasn’t paid much attention thinking “oh, Atlantis coming home.” Then people stared talking how this will be the last Nasa space shuttle program, that it was over and etc… I’m not sure how to react. It was spoken briefly and then we all move on with our daily activity. Not until I read Heidi’s post about this, It immediately took me back to my childhood memory and that when it hits me the promise I made to Tyra and to myself how I will continue the traditions especially now that we’re living here in America.

I have vivid memories of my childhood in Indonesia when my parents took me and my cousins to watch comet Haley goes through earth. I was very little that day and wasn’t really sure how to react. Then my dad talk to me about the comet, stars, the space and the astronauts. I was so fascinated by it.

Around the same time, (I can’t remember if it was earlier or later) I remember all of my family gather that night (it was night time in Indonesia) I was trying to fight sleeps because all of the family just so excited to witness history being made. We all glued to the TV watching the launch of Challenger. Sadly our cheers soon turn to tears when we heard it had exploded. I remember waking up to my cousins brother yelling that the Challenger had exploded, and I remember my Mom cry.

Then 2003 – I already live here in US with my husband and with friends we anxiously watch the Columbia launch. I still remember all the Astronauts with a huge smile on their faces waving goodbye. Once again, our hearts broke. The Columbia and her crew were lost during re-entry over Texas on February 1, 2003, and the we all mourned again…

Now, I feel like we all mourned again, people will never guess or know much about my fascination with the space. And maybe my fascination is mostly just based on childhood memory with my dad – my hero – and my family. Either way, it just hits me that this is something that I won’t be able to lok forward to share with Tyra. You know the saying “you don’t know what you got till it’s gone.” It’s kinda like that. Something you took for granted now that it end, it just hits you.

I can only wish that it’s temporary and that one day I will be able to re-create the memory with my children. In the meantime, I will tell Tyra and Kalia  a story, a great story of the space and hope I can do a great job fascinate them they way my dad does.

Just as the NASA Flight director Kwatsi Alibaruho said, “I try to look at that as an adventure, rather than focusing too much on the memories,”

Rainbow

I’m a pretty positive person – most of the times. 🙂  – I normally can turn a bad situation around into a good one or if not, I will take the lesson then move on.

I just needed to vent somehow and hey, blogging is the most efficient way I know!! It is way cheaper than therapy. Well, friends too.. ha!

My post yesterday, by all mean was not meant to bad talk about family. I honestly respect my husband’s family. My in law despite few rocky roads has done wonderful things to us and I respect them as my in law, my children grandparents and my husband’s parents. Without them there won’t be my husband and there won’t be two little angels whom I adore.

There’s always bumping in the road and what happened yesterday was one of them. Yes, I was hurt, I was disappointed, but I have accepted the situation and move on. What happened yesterday will not change my respect for them. I will be more careful going forward but they will always have my respect and my children love.

As I drove home yesterday, there was this huge rainbow in front of me and its follows me until I reach home. It’s like the sky was smiling at me and at that time, I feel God presence somehow, I take it as God trying to tell me that everything will be okay.  

Rainbow

I seen a rainbow yesterday
But too many storms have come
Leaving a trace of not one God-given ray
Is it because my life is ten shades of grey
I pray all ten fade away
Seldem praise Him for the sunny days
And like His promise is true
Only my faith can undo
The many chances I blew
To bring my life to a new
Clear blue and unconditional skies
Have dried the tears from my eyes
No more lonely cries
My only bleedin’ hope is for the folk who can’t cope
With such an endurin’ pain that it keeps ’em in the pouring rain
Who’s to blame for shootin’caine into you’re own vein
What a shame you shoot and aim for someone else’s brain
You claim the insane and name this day in time
For fallin’ prey to crime
I say the system got you victim to your own mind
Dreams are hopeless aspirations
In hopes of comin’ true
Believe in yourself
The rest is up to me and you

TLC – Waterfalls

Decisions.. decisions.. decisions…

We’re only in July of 2011. We’re more than half way through the year! For me it’s time to look back and reevaluated everything.

This year has been emotionally hard for me. It might sound very silly, but the realization of living far away from family just hit me hard this year. Maybe watching my dad cry as he say good bye to us at the airport few month ago, maybe the lost of my brother and uncles? Maybe now my priorities just change? I don’t know…..

I can say this that even though I live far away from family, I’m one of lucky one to be surrounded by friends who are so good to me & my little family. Most of my weekends – if not filled with invitations or celebrations – are mostly spent with them. For no special reason or occasion, just relaxing together, playing volley ball, children plays together and normally we’ll have pot luck and dinner together. And talk… we talk about everything. Giving input to each other, advice, talk about past experience, hope for the future…

Being with this awesome group of friends helps tremendously, no one can understand how crucial those weekly traditions were for me in times when I felt down hearted or homesick, especially after my last home visit. Not even my friends themselves will ever know.

At first, after coming back from Indonesia my husband and I wanted to be closer to family, but moving to Indonesia will have to wait few years. There are a lot that need to be done before we can pack up and move across the continent.  So moving to WI seems to makes more sense, that’s why we decide to sell the house. Now that we’re much closer to the big move, we’re still can’t made a concrete decision whether we wanted to stay in CO or move to WI.

There are also a “unique” history between husband and his family in WI which I’m not going to bore you with the details. Unfortunately the uniqueness is not all good just leave it as that.

My sister in law was here few weeks ago and she met all of my friends and hang out with them. We also talked to my sister in law about moving and her respond was surprising to me, she said (pretty much), “If you’re moving to be closer to the family in WI and leave that awesome group of friends, then you’re stupid. I wouldn’t do that.” Keep in mind of the “uniqueness” history between the family and us.

Forget about the adult… there’s the kids.. nieces & nephews, cousins for Tyra & Kalia. Ugh.. my heads hurt just to think about it. We are getting closer to moving time and still have a lot of things hanging over our head. This is probably the most stupid and unorganized plan I ever did in my life.

I pray more and more now… pray for guidance. I know that God will listen and will somehow help me makes clear decision.  Someone shares with me this bits of wisdom about prayer: When God say YES, then our wish has comes true, when God says NO, then He will give us something else, something musch better than what we originally wanted. If God says WAIT, then we will receive the best at the right time. God knows not to give right away but at the right time. Amien.

The beginning……

About a month ago just after we got back from Indonesia we went to Tyra’s school orientation. As we enter the Gymnasium there’s a huge banner on the wall writer “Welcome class of 2024” Somehow, there’s a lump on my throat and my eyes are getting warm and heavy,

Lost of words, I just sat there quietly while waiting for the orientation to start. My husband try to show me and introduce me with some of Tyra’s friend’s parents and teachers, I just shake their hands, smile and nod quietly.  Somehow I was just emotionally drained.

Finally the teachers and principal enter the podium. The first thing she said to us parents (jokingly) that “the world will not end; there is still a life after you drop of your kid at school.” Everyone was laughing. I think she meant that for a stay at home mom, because she continue with suggestion of shopping, going to the gym, pursuit hobbies etc..  

She’s then calling all students to stand at the stage and there she was, my Tyra among them. They were all looking so proud and I can’t help but shed tears at this point. If you can just see them, the future of the next generations standing there in the podium. I didn’t bring my camera with me – gosh I wish I did!

I didn’t pay much attention after that. My minds went circling back through time. When Tyra was born, her first steps, her first word … everything.

When did she grow up?? It seems only yesterday that she was born. I remember I used to watch her sleeps and just admire her beauty. The girl who comes crying to mommy with booboo and wants some comfort. It’s like she grown in a blink of an eye. Time really does slipping through my fingers.

By all mean, I wasn’t trying to stop it. How can I, by delaying her going to school? By keeping her in the bubble of home? How selfish… this is the cycle of life, this is her time.. this is part of the beginning of her time….

Yes, this is just the beginning, but that’s it. It’s the beginning of her journey. I know there will be more moment to come. All kind of thoughts just flashing through my heads…  things won’t be quite the same anymore. I say a quick prayer, that she will do well in school and life. She will be protected and surrounded by love and support.

 First day of school is approaching in just two weeks.  I hope I can contain myself better this time.

My mom used to sing me this song, and I remember she request this song as part of the song that played during my wedding… somehow it’s playing in my head the whole time.

Put on a happy face

“Annie” at the age of 5 yrs old already taught us to put on a happy face regardless of what inside.

That’s what I’ve been doing. I hate to be blogging about my problems and sorrow and down stuff, but this is part of me being honest to myself and to heal.

In collage, I was known as being very bubbly and easy going. I like the idea of I always be the one to go to when my friends are sad or need shoulder to cry on or someone they can trust. I guess since that time I tried to keep the same image as the go to person. I forgot I also have feelings and I also human that are not immune to sadness and hardship.

 I recently find myself in places where I’m the one who need helps and I’m the one who is sad and not happy. Yet, I keep it all inside and don’t share it with anybody. I’m afraid they will change their image about me. Girl that is always happy.

 I know I’m sad and unhappy and wanted to scream and ask for help but unable to. This stupid pride keeps on blocking the way! I turned into long hours or television watching any stupid shows I can find just to dull the pain, to block it out. I was hoping if I ignore it long enough it will eventually go away.

 Finally, I can’t just keep on ignoring it. There are these voices inside of me that keep on screaming at me calling me a loser, a coward for not speaking out. Until friends calls me out on it. Until that time I never realized how important it is to really sit with whatever it is you are feeling, whether it’s depression, anxiety, frustration, anger and self-doubt when they show up.

You can try to ignore it and hide from it but eventually, you’re going to have to face the tough stuff.

So where did it go wrong? The happy girl I once am, I have a good life, two beautiful girls, a husband, a great job and I’m very blessed with it.. where did it go wrong? Am I just that ungrateful?

 I know that part of it is just being overwhelmed with a lot life changing event that happening to me recently. I guess I just don’t deal with it as good as I should. I guess I’m just not strong enough.

There are still many questions linger, but now I know to face the demon and to talk it out. I won’t let this beat me. I will find and be that happy girl again.

And I thank my friends (again) for helping me reach that realization that I can’t do it alone and I don’t have to. The role has reverse and they will happily hold my hands during this tough and confusing time.

Today is best friend day, I quote from email a friend sent me, ‘Friends are angels who lift us to our feet when our wings have trouble remembering how to fly.’ There is no beginning or end.. Yesterday is history. Tomorrow is a mystery. Today is a gift

Also in honor of best friend day, I read a quote by Katybeth that I truly love:

 “As we grow older, more friends become best friends in different ways. There is a childhood best friend that knew you back in the days; the best friend that you raised your children with over the years; the best friend you may only talk to twice a year, but it only takes you a few moments to catch up; perhaps the best friend you gossip with at the office; or, perhaps, the sister or brother that was once a thorn in your side but grew up to be your best friend. While our list of best friends may have grown to include more people, what makes a friendship “best” is sharing our most important secrets, hopes, dreams, aspirations, and disappointments with each other throughout the day or over the years.”

To you all my blogging friend, you had helped me getting through this tough time too through your post and your comment. Thank You!

-Sendie

All that glitter aint gold

 

 

 

I work in Financial Services industry and part of my job is getting financials from our customer and to analyze them. Quarter end or year end is one of busiest day for us. I was just talking to one of the manager here that the worst customer’s attitudes are lawyers and doctors. (No offense for you if you are lawyers and doctors). They have attitude that they are better than us regular people.

10 years working in retail financial services, I couldn’t agree with him more. I always have a hard time collecting needed document from client who is a doctors or lawyers. Lawyers always acted like they are too busy to deal with you and doctors acted like they are God or Goddess and too important to deal with you. Surprisingly they were all nice when they need the loan. Hmm.. go figures….

I understand that doctors and lawyers are smart people. Both profession requires long school years and dedicated. Is that why they acted so snobbish? Because they think they are smarter and therefore they are better than the rest of us?

My first job here in America is QC for MCI and as I listened to a phone conversation between customer and representative. 99.9% of doctors who called, they will immediately identify themselves as DOCTOR and how they waited too long in line and how MCI wasted their precious time and they should be compensated. 99% will tell you how much money they make in an hour and wanted to be compensated for wait in line to get to representative. I’m not kidding, 99% of them will do that! 

Does Doctors really need to be respected more than normal? It is a very respectable profession, don’t get me wrong, but they are no God. They human like the rest of us, and what about teacher? Why don’t/can’t we respect them more? If it wasn’t because of them, they won’t be any doctors or lawyers in the world. Is not like they just sprung out of the ground.

We have to respect each other. They are no question about that. We also have to remember that we are only play a small part in this world. We all have a role to play big or small, that role complete the whole set. We all just as equally as important as the next person. Is what I believe how God intended. In the eyes of God, no one is better than the others. When we all die, we all back to dust, regardless of who we are.

Well, not only doctors and lawyers have this attitude. I truly don’t understand when people think they are better than anybody, periods.  It’s funny but those who do achieve more and had accomplished more in life are mostly humbled. In Indonesia we have a saying or a philosophy called rice paddy philosophy. Rice paddy, when they are empty they stood tall, as they filled with rice, they head bow down…  the more we know and the more we learned, Is when we should realized that we still don’t know anything and that they are still more to learned.

Back to doctors and lawyers… I think sometimes we (regular) people to thinks too highly of them. I remember watching the new commercial for Target pharmacy, where it shows a girl and her accomplishments throughout school and how smart she is? Then she becomes one of Target Pharmacist, well friends made a comment “Well if she is that smart why she don’t just become a real doctor instead of being someone who dress like one?” Really??? They are just as important… oh well.