Sixteen years on

It has been sixteen years but you are still very much part of the maths. I will never erase the number out of our cosy family.

Vincent Loh Yet Aun
Born : 24 Sept 2001
Heaven : May 1, 2002

Of course, it will be easier to just say I have four sons but I always proudly say I have five. After all, I carried you in pregnancy, I cared for you more than any other babies and though seven months only, that was the longest seven months ever.

I remember a few years back, when I taught Form One, the class students were born in 2001 too. I felt a sharp stab in my heart when I realised that because that’s how old you would be too. It is not hard to imagine what life would be like for you. So, I quickly brushed it aside and accept that whatever had happened, God knows and God has His own plans.

Your little brother is our world now. Not your replacement. Never. Because I am pretty sure your temperament would not be like him. You are you. He is he.

Many times, I do imagine what would you and all your four brothers be like. Then, I quickly brushed aside again because it is merely imagination. Strangely, nowadays I no longer think that much. Maybe because my faith has completely, without a doubt, believed you are in a better place. So, I stop wondering.

Not sure why I choose to dig the old wounds. Maybe because if I don’t write it down, I feel guilty like I have forgotten you, my son in heaven. So, I dig the pain, release some of those tears so that I can shake it off. It feels good, to be able to feel those emotions. At least I know you mean a lot to me still. Enough for me to embrace a new religion that promise heaven and life eternal.

The religion that compels me to keep moving, keep doing till we meet one day. You made Bible real. Otherwise, I doubt I will be such a good Catholic girl. Because of you, I jumped into Christianity.

So yeah, my dear sixteen year old son whom I get to keep for 7 months only. I hope to meet one day, cos the Bible said so. Till then….

My 53 – The duathlon and first out of Penang trip

Fifty-three. Living it.

So I managed to squeeze in a duathlon so I can brag about it before my 53rd birthday. Thanks to my old blog reader Kaynui whom I had kept in touch and friend friend till now, I got his MAN SENIOR (mind you, he is only 40 something and not even VETERAN) bib.

If that is not bragging point enough, for the first time in my life, I drove out of Penang borders to Perak. At 5 am in the morning and the roads were like dark till cannot see anything. Bagan Serai is so ulu, even their overheard bridge is like a little nose job done badly. I remember seeing tiny lights left and right and wondered what they are until I was near and saw an overheard bridge. A tiny small small one.

Somewhere along, some stupid accident happened and the PLUS towtruck was facing contra traffic on my left. So I was like shit, have I driven into some one way cos I could see the bright headlights from far and yet, I was sure I am in the right side of the road.

Fear? I don’t allow fear to stop me. The night before, I had meticulously packed my bags as duathlon needs transition bag and regular stuffs I plan to keep in my car. However when I was into the Jelutong Expressway at 5 plus am in the morning, I realised SHIT! the brdige smart tag was way at the back of my Naza Ria and not in my driving bag.

Alone, dark, 530 am, images of woman being hit by an 18 wheeler because she stopped at the highway flashed through my mind. You know….later all the FB kepochees go post ugly photos of mine? Head here, leg there etc. However, no choice as I cannot go through toll gates without it. So I stopped. All the while making sure no 18 wheeler belakang hentam.

Anyway, I think the drive was scarier than my 5KM run, 30KM ride and 5KM cramp like hell walk. I am amazed that never once I thought of self-doubting. From the moment I told Kaynui that I want his bib till the part when I cramped till both legs cannot bend. It was Finish it, Lilian, suck it up, you got no one here to pity you, just blardy walk and finish it.

Thank God I did not cramp during the ride though some parts I felt my lower abdomen pain. It was the first time I realised even the cibai can cramp from cycling LOL. Really. When you are all alone, in Bukit Merah and some forsaken kampung, you just got to go go go and finish it. I had cramps at my calves, hamstrings and quads but never lower abdomen. Cycling if you get cramp is serious as you can neither get down from your bike nor put yr legs down to stand. So I have to estimate self when want to totally OKU. Slowly, I loosen the gear and kayuh till I finished the 30KM. All the while laughing at what I would need to do should I really cramped at the groin area. Spray heat spray and hope to die LOL.

I love doing it alone. Whether it is cycling or running or swimming because that solitude with my ownself thinking about life is very therapeutic. The Bagan Serai, or rather Kerian International Duathlon has the most beautiful route and I totally love it. The first 5KM run put me on top of the world. Running alongside guys in their trisuit is empowering. Nevermind the fact that they are doing 10KM and faster than my 5KM. Just being able to run is awesome. The guts of taking a Men Senior bib and be a man. I didn’t do too bad in the first leg and was ahead of many men. Eventually, my result was of course rather bad if I go by the bib due to the cramps at the last 5KM leg but I was about 4th placing if I use my timing to compare with women category of my age group.

So, I can tick off one duathlon in the bucket list. I had done triathlon and going to do aquthlon in Novemmber. I had also done several cycling events so yeah, feeling good that I can brag these at age 53. I thank God and praise Him for giving me the never say die attitude. I had not once felt helpless during those events. Of course, when I cannot, I just UTurn, not like can die also la. But I completed whatever I can and stand proud.

Around the island on a bicycle

The only time I ever gone around the island in one trip was back in 1981.  It was with some random guy from another school during my school mates round island trip.  LOL as the head girl who only ride the head boy motorbike back in Form Five, I had to maintain standard and picked one good looking, very tall guy from Heng Ee to go around the island at 17 years old.

The below photo is at Balik Pulau on the way to Telok Bahang.  800 is a iconic location for cyclists.  The 800m is to point that it is 800 m to the Tropical Fruit Farm.  However for us cyclists, depending on which way you are cycling, it is a sign of either going downhill or uphill.  Yesterday was my only second time passing here.  The other time was in 2016 when I took part in CFAL 8.

CFAL or Campaign For A Lane is an annual cycling affair with thousands of cyclists from all over the world and Malaysia.

However, last year, I could finally boast that I had conquered the round island on a bicycle at age 51. Solo. Well not entirely solo because 3,500 riders with about 1,000 ghost riders (those people who never pay money to join but enjoyed the closure of roads type la) also participated la. Well, I did not exactly complete because it was rather late and about to rain so I went up the lorry at the last 20 KM.

This year, I cheated a bit and thought I could almost finish it. But cramps held me back at Copthorne Hotel which is very near the Finish line. But again, up the lorry I went with pride. Cos the other buffaloes in the lorries are all males so yay, another round island trip in one single trip. On my bicycle and some parts had to walk and hobble when my legs cramp.

The above is Pastor Cheah. Back in Feb this year, I had the chance of riding with him on his motorbike as he led a group of Malaysian and Singaporean cyclists through Chiang Rai to the Golden Triangle. In the 11 hours ride, I had learnt a lot from Pastor Cheah. About faith, about God and about doing things. Pastor Cheah said he is coming for this CFAL 9 using his Penny Farthing because he said he wanted to inspire people to ride. He said, “If I can ride a Penny Farthing around the island, anyone with two wheels can do the same.” Pastor Cheah is from Penang but had set up an orphanage in Chiang Rai. His Penny Farthing has no brake, and has no gears. So can you imagine the difficulties? My mountain bike has 30 gears so I cannot say ‘cannot’.

It takes guts and very strong determination. Though I have biking friends, I prefer not to join as a group because I cannot catch up and do not want to slow them down. I met Kumar and our regular Bike On Saturday Sunday (or BOSS) gang. They had gone ahead while I slowly climb the hills of Bukit Genting and Balik Pulau. So I took my leisure ride, feeling nauseous in the beginning stage as I felt sour Milo in my throat. Then, cramps got to me but lucky my threshold of pain is high so I endured that too.

Therefore, I can now look back and claimed that I had gone around the island on bicycle more than I had done with car. Actually I had never done round island car ride before. And I can do it without one handsome looking guy to ride in front. So yeah, another feather in my cap.

A grace filled Lent

Tell me, which boss consulted everyone about firing you but did not even talk to you about accusations she heard? Well, that was what I get. A Whatsapp to ask me to resign. Not a private one but to a whole group about some baseless accusations.

So began Lent. A period of 40 days in the desert. A boss who put you on public persecution based on what she claimed she heard. Told to you through third parties.

I am much too dignified to embroil myself with emotional woman. So the obstinate me put on my obstinate mode to fight it out. By remaining silent. If there is no God and if there is no Christ, I would have kicked up a fuss. But I remind myself with Psalm 56.

In God, whose word I praise,
in the Lord, whose word I praise—
11 in God I trust and am not afraid.
What can man do to me?

But I chose to remain silent and took up the matter to the highest office. I got no time to debate with someone who cannot even speak the truth. Someone who flung all sorts of accusations.

I told the big boss. I am not resigning because if I do so, it will give the woman the chance to throw even more lies against me. Moreover, times are challenging ahead and I will want to be part of the waves to go against the injustice that enveloped us.

How do you feel when 20 people spent an hour throwing all sorts of accusations against you? In your absence! Then the woman started to get everyone on her side. Dude, I am not even your equal, I am merely a lower rank staff. I am what I am because that’s how I am. IF I am more famous than you, I can’t help it. Even MPs asked, “Lilian’s boss? Who? A woman?”

I could feel so Jesus-y at that moment. Like Jesus doodling on the grounds kinda scene. So, if there is a Lent that I will remember, it is this one. How turning to the Lord is what kept me what I am. Let the other woman rant, plot, gossip, telling more lies and such because I will just tralalala doing nothing.

Of course, the core of Christianity is forgiveness. IF I dont have that in my heart, they would all get my laser tongue. I am a much better debater because I live by principles and I know right from wrong. So, yeah, I kept silent. For over a month.

So, I applied for leave for Good Friday. And I also submit my hospitalisation forms. She refused to sign. Never mind, throw it by the door like those are pieces of rubbish. Never mind, I take it to the higher department. And I asked an innocent question – Why didnt she sign my religious leave? How come she can sign unrecorded leave on the same day I was in hospitalised MC for three of her staff? So how now, brown cow? Is it also my fault that the higher office knows about it?

I am a drama queen. I am a social media queen. I can write things and convince eskimos to buy fridge, ok? I could have abused all that but I kept it quiet. Because I am much more matured than the one who screamed about sacking me, asking everyone else to take sides to say Yes or No.

I am so disgusted when new staff who are clueless were asked to speak against me. You know…like Pontius Pilate looking for people to scream Cruficy Him? And they laughed like a pack of hyenas when a new staff said “I am shocked. I do not know what to say.” Those laughs make me sick to the stomach. What kind of heartless people are you?

So I went through 47 days with that sort of nonsense every day. Do I feel sad? At one point, when a few people messaged me they are worried about me. I did almost break into tears. Not because I fear for my job. My husband can feed me, I don’t need the salary. Everyone knows that, that Lilian work for her belief that she can change people’s perception with her words But I was so touched that many that I didn’t expect contacted me.

To those who are unsure, yes, you have all been lied to. When she said, Dia panggil saya cibai x 3 times….as if I scolded her in person or to others, I did not. It is nothing like how she had lied to all of you. I had kept quiet because I wanted to be sure.

Now, I am sure. There is no such thing. Thats why I challenged her to show proof, lodge a formal complaint where I said it, whom did I say it, how I said. Give me a formal showcause letter. I will deal with that. In truth, I DID NOT speak to her at all nor did I verbally shouted at her or even to another person.

Stations of the Cross had been so meaningful to me. I actually am lucky to know that I can focus on God more. I have more time. Like I told the youths in the camp, praise the Lord for this incident. I learn what tough cookie I am. I learn what Jesus means about turning the left cheek, right cheek. I discover total surrender, inner peace, trusting in the Lord and best of all, know who are your friends and who are the chaffs.

Finally, Lent is over. The time in the desert is over. Christ is Risen. And so will I. Now I have said this in public, I hope all will not be misled like I had killed someone’s grandma. I was being abused by people who abused her power. I took it silently because kicking up a big drama earlier when I was very angry will have repercussion on the whole system. I stayed low because I care about the whole system. Now, I don’t care about any emotional woman. But I will stay faithfully as a servant to the system.

So yeah, finally Lilian speakth. Even a few of my close friends did not know about it.

Tamagotchi release reminds me I should be Mom of the Century

I just read on FB that Bandai released a new Tamagotchi. That reminds me of that agonising months and maybe years when I have to take care of its shit when my eldest son was in school.

I still remember I bought the Tamagotchi from Yaohan which had long closed down. It was rather expensive but as parents, we never think about those things as it was the ultimate digital toy to own at that time.

The Tamagotchi is one slave driver. You got to feed it, clean the shits and without cleaning, it gets sick. So much work over a simple gadget like that.

If you still have the old version, try selling it. I read that the thing which cost about USD17 is now worth USD130. I doubt we have ours cos when the kids have grown up, it got lost.

So are you going to buy the newly released Tamagotchi and torture yourself with the attention seeking squeaking digital toy

The mob mentality kills

Am reflecting on the last days of Jesus. Today (Sunday) Jesus entered Jerusalem and was hailed as King. The people cheered and welcomed him by waving palms. However, within a few days, people shouted for Him to be crucify.

I bet those crowd did not really know what they are doing except to follow the mob. If one says so, the rest follows.

I am seeing that a lot online on social media sites.

So in life always use the mind given to us. Think, ponder, see for ourselves and never follow the crowd. Be the brave one to stand out, to stick to our gut feelings and to stay till the end. When Jesus was carrying His cross, only a few were left to follow Him. Only a few continued to hang on, follow through and never leave Him. I prefer to be that few and never with the mob. It is always easier and more popular with the mob but it is meaningless as we do not challenge our own mind.

So blog is not dead?

The other day, I attended a social media course on advertising. I get frustrated when there are so many tips on advertising but no one tells me where those advertisements are going to land.

So, I asked, where is the content? You are selling something and yet, where is the ad going to lead you? Well, it is not products but ideas and opinions. So where do they go?

Guess what? The answer is blog or website. Like my Chan Lilian dot net. So this will be the place to store important info, brainwashing stuffs, propaganda and things people search.

I was just looking through some of my old blogging pals and they have turned their blogs (once very famous) into billboards. Some sell technology, some sell foods, some sell fashion etc.

I am not good with selling stuffs because I am just too obstinate. I am too full of opinions which cannot be changed. So, my blogs lie dormant but not dead.

I think my blogs died during the hey days of the Pay Per Post but I am not regretting them because those brought me good money. Now I am just too lazy to lift my fingers to explore but who knows, there are still money to be made out there.

Have to get over this lethargy and be prepared for the next big one. Big what? Election. Meanwhile, it will be a scribble board for me.