Wednesday, 25 December 2013

I Believe In The Magic Of Christmas

I do believe in the magic of Christmas after all.  It was nothing short of a miracle that Dad could be discharged just in time to come home for Christmas.  

When he suffered that stroke last Thursday, he looked so frail and he could not lift his left arm and leg.  An MRI later revealed that he had quite a few blockages and the situation could have been disastrous if Mum had not taken him to the hospital in time.  From what the doctors and nurses had been telling us, it looked like he would be hospitalized for at least a week to two weeks, maybe more.   It did not help that from time to time, Dad's frustrations at being 'confined' had made him defiant and not willing to cooperate with the therapist when it came to his rehabilitative exercises.

However, Mum and I were at the hospital daily to comfort him, kept him company and persuaded him to focus on recovery.  I was determined that Dad did not give up,  So I spent that time talking about his days as a politically detainee and searched for photographs of his old friends who were fellow ex-detainees on my iPad so that it could trigger his memory.  I gave the other patients around him names too.  I named them after his old friends just because some of them resembled his old cronies, and that made him laugh a lot. To help bring back strength to his left hand, I persuaded him to "ring the door bell and run away". So, he rang the buzzer to call for the nurse, and when the nurse turned up by his bedside, he said "I don't need anything."  That annoyed the nurses, but both of us had such a good laugh.

Perhaps, the laughter, the old stories, the company, and just knowing that his family loved and supported him, was enough to motivate Dad to recover enough to get discharged earlier than expected.  

So while we cancelled every Christmas party, my parents' 45th wedding anniversary party and several other social engagements, I went ahead to host our annual family Christmas Eve dinner.  Dad gamely showed up at my home for that dinner, the day he got discharged.  Understandably, he still looked frail, but noticeably happy.  And he had a glass of wine too to celebrate Christmas with us.

When I looked at my entire extended family happily chatting around Dad, I was a-washed with bliss.  I felt so much gratitude for the prayers for Dad from my friends in Singapore and all over the world.  When mum and I were feeling so down because of Dad's hospitalization, the only reason we had hope was because of the prayers of everyone who supported us.  So from the bottom of my heart, thank you for helping me BELIEVE in the magic of Christmas.

About the writer:

The writer of this blog post is a 44 year old mother of one, who spreads her time between her day job as a Marketing and PR professional at a financial institution, her hobby as a Certified Professional Tarot Reader and Numerologist, and her family which includes a 20 year old son and 3 dogs with personality disorders.  She's married to a Scot who has been affectionately called "The Crazy AngMo" and prays that he does not find out that the colloquail term when translated, has labeled him as a "Ginger Head".   Together, we create a home made up with more nuts than a fruitcake but filled with plenty of love.

I truly do

Dad  - Blending in with the sofa.  He looked tired but happy

Mum and I having a good laugh at
the antics Dad and I got up to at the hospital

The antics never cease.  Grandma did not realise that I clipped a wee Santa's hat on her head.  She went home looking like that.

Our roast turkey with figs and chestnut stuffing.
It was the best turkey yet.

David cooked these.  Roasted potatoes with rosemary,
roasted parsnips with honey, roasted carrots with orange juice and brussels sprouts with wasabi glaze

David, the exhausted chef


  1. Jo.. glad that everything went well, and that Papa Ong is getting back to his usual self. Your post made me tear, but it reminds us to always be thankful for all the little blessings in life.

  2. Thanks Meen. It was such a difficult period for us where we were surrounded by uncertainties. The only thing certain was hope through prayer. I had been putting work above all else for way too long. My family does come first. And I would give anything in the world to see Dad happy.