Wednesday, 7 November 2007

Moving On: Beyond The Little Shoe Box...




Staff Nurse Emi Sandora, me and Chee Keong, at the nurses' station...




I went shopping with mum today, and we went looking for a gift for my mum's friend who had recently had a baby...


The whole thing brought back bittersweet and warm memories, but it also gave me a lump in my throat...

Just being back in the baby section, looking at things a baby needs, seeing familiar looking clothes, toys, nappies, bottles and the like, it just felt so weird...





Chee Keong and me during happier times =)...

Note that he has a head bigger (proportionately speaking) than his body...He was about 2 years old, but had the development of a baby,..




I came home, and the first thing I did was go look under my bed for a Crocodile Shoe box that had been sitting there for about seven months; a box I had not had the courage to open for a while, because I could not bare to see what was inside...






The Crocodile Shoe Box...




It was a box of clothes my mum and I had picked out for Chee Keong about a month before he died...When we made plans to visit him, we were so excited...We went around buying all kinds of clothes in different colours for him, removed all the tags, washed them, and labeled them, all set to go...


And then I got the news he had passed on...And the whole box of clothes, along with the diapers, milk, nestum and bath gel went into hiding under my bed...I could not bare to look at them...

That is, until today...





The Blue Suit, with the yellow ducky (He had another yellow suit, no 'holes', which also had a yellow ducky)...





The cream-brown suit, with the teddy bears...






The light pink suit...He had the exact same one, in white, blue, light apple green, light yellow, and light orange...So we thought, why not get pink too? =)






The yellowish suit, with the sheep...






The 'prisoner' outfit...We thought it looked cute...






The white suit, with little mice! Some call Chee Keong anak tikus (because he was so tiny), so we thought it was cute...







The set of new towels mum bought for him, cos she thought his old one might have thinned out...






And the most special of all, the little Winnie the Pooh romper I bought for his 3rd Birthday...It still has the tags on =)





And all these clothes are now sitting in a box, labeled with CCK, and with no baby to wear them...And they're brand new.


I think it is time I give the clothes up, to some baby who needs it in the Pediatric Wards...I will keep a special look-out for OA (Orang Asli) children...


I remember just before Chee Keong left, my best friend Yean Mei and I went around handing some of Chee Keong's clothes out to the OA children...Some were brand new, some were worn only a few times, but we thought the OA children needed the clothes more than he would in the home for the handicapped...We also handed out (brand new) baby bottles...The look of gratefulness on the mothers' faces, was priceless...



I think maybe it is time to hand out clothes again, and hope that these clothes will help keep other babies warm (and cute!), and that the act of passing them on will keep his spirit alive...=)




But, I will keep the Winnie the Pooh romper for memories...I am gonna keep it to remind me of the little boy who didn't get to celebrate his 3rd Birthday, but who will be forever remembered, and loved...




*Note: A Happy Deepavali to all!

43 comments:

Anonymous said...

You remind me of Betty Cooper from Archie comics!! Simple plain Jane who is actually very pretty. And has a good heart who do the right thigns!! Is your best frind a Veronica Lodge?

kl-gal said...

Very touching.Its amazing, isnt it how some inanimate things hold so many memories that it takes a while to even look at them let alone handle them. I agree that passing them on will keep his spirit alive. He was blessed to have had you in his short life
PS: Happy Deepavali to you too.Come to LA and I'll take you to an all you can eat Champagne Indian brunch, we can eat, drink and be merry :))

Kerp (Ph.D) said...

i think she's more like lisa simpson. young, bright, with a big heart.

so anyway D, you're doing the right thing by giving away the new clothes to other needy kids. i wanted to suggest you to keep one before i came to read the last paragraph.

while moving forward i know 'the old man' will forever remain in your heart. thats comforting enough, trust me.

PrincessJournals said...

hhmmm dunno wht to write. hugs to u daphne.

justnoregrets said...

Hi Daphne, it is great to see how much you have `sayang' Chee Keong. He may have left you physically but definitely i am sure you could still feel his `presence' every now and then .. all the fond memories he has left you with. Those clothes are gorgeous. It is a good idea to donate it to the needy, as you rightly said `orang asli'. I have seen the indigeneous kids. They do not progress in pace with our society. It will be good helping hand even for few pieces of clothes. It means a great deal to them. Keep up your good work. Your kind heart will drive you much further than what you have achieved now.

Jo-D said...

Daphe,
I think anonymous was right with betty cooper. You look so different in this pictures. I like ur current look. Def more ladylike :-) What is the connection with lisa simpson? Big hug to you for cck.

tokasid said...

Dear Daphne:

What can I say! You've kept the box for 7 months now?

Yes, it time to give it away ( and keep 1 as a momento). Its time to let go off certain emotions.

Don't worry, CCK will always be in your heart forever. His memories can become your strenght. Strenght for a Super(b)woman.

mott said...

Oh..u made me cry so much.

Hvg kids, I also kept their clothes. After 2 kids, my mom told me to pass them on to charity.... I gave some away to a poor Malay Couple who was expecting. But, I just couldn't give away one romper too... It was too emotional. And..now u really made me cry.

Chee Keong was really a blessed kid.

Puteri said...

Yes, time to move on, Daphne. Give away those clothes to those who have need for them. Chee Keong's memories will always be yours, and no one can take that away from you.

Raden Galoh said...

You are definitely someone petite with a bigggg heart sis... and here's a biggg hug from me...

Just read your Nokia advanture with the orphanages and the little kids...hmmm, you went to my mother-in-laws (2nd wife) house the Tunas Harapan House in Kuala Selangor...She looks after a group of the orphans there and her house is the first one before the Chinese house...

Must be self-fulfilling kan those adventures....

Mat Salo said...

Daphne,

You know when people leave us, they leave things associated with them. This is the reminder that jerks our heart-strings most. I remember when I lost my beloved grandpa who died of old age. The one I cannot tahan was seeing the kain still on the bed, or the baju melayu still hung on the doornail. It's as if he might come back at any moment and put them on..

It's good you have given most of CK's clothes away where they're put to good use. He must be smiling up there that che che is doing the right thing.

By all means, go ahead keep that Winnie The Pooh romper if it helps you to think of him, which I'm sure you do a lot anyway.

He was blessed, and he went away having known he was cared and loved.. and remembered.

the Razzler said...

Dear Daphne..

The memory & your love for Chee Keong will stay in your heart forever!! ... even us, too, who may not have the chance to know little Chee Keong personally.

There's so much love & compassion in you. :) :)

sharlydia said...

by reading this post alone brought tears to my eyes...but u know wat? though this lil boy has left, the memories will stay with u! so dont be discourage & let's move on...

aemi said...

Nai nai..

Sek sek..

I know what it feels like.. I didn't take any of Maxi's clothes but I did keep one empty jar of his Gerber baby food thingy (I know.. its quite silly)..

Sigh.. Although he's such a big boy now.. I don't think he eats them anymore.. but its a comfort having that jar (albeit empty) but is actually full with his baby smile and laughter..

Chee Keong the flower has some new friends.. we planted some tulips yesterday.. the pack said they'll bloom in April/May(assuming we planted them right.. hehe).. He's a happy boy :)

winniethepooh said...

Im sure little Chee Keong will hv love to share all those clothes that u brought specially for him to some other kids who need it more than him at this time.

i guess the feeling will be smiliar to as 'organ donation' that one life can inturn do good and save alot of others too...in this sense, one set of clothing can 'save' another kid too?

u take good care ok Daphne and hv a great weekend!

J.T. said...

Hey Daphne

Been a while since I have dropped by here. Sorry for the absence. This does not mean you have been out of my mind. :)

Giving away things belonging to a loved one who has passed away is one way of having some form of closure. Of course, there will be some things we can never part with but that is okay. Those items, in a way, keep our missing loved ones alive in our hearts.

Daphne Ling said...

Hi Anon 10.18 pm,

Wah...Mana you terpesong ni? ;)

I really don't know whether to take this as a compliment or not actually...

Cos Betty always loses out in love and she is always taken for granted and she is a very plain Jane...

Hmmm...Somehow or other, this conversation reminds me of one I had with Kak Farina of Princess Journals who says I am way too plain! =(

But I guess I will take compliment about the fact that I do 'the right thing'?

And, if you really look at it, I am very different from Betty lar...She can repair cars better than the guys, she can bake darn well, and she's darn good in her studies...I can't and I'm not...

And no, my best friend ain't no Veronica Lodge...She's ain't a millionaire's daughter, she ain't snobbish, self-centred, and we don't fight over a boy...

We share him! ;)

Daphne Ling said...

Hi KL_Gal,

Yeah, it is amazing how something so inanimate and 'worthless' like a sock or shirt can hold so much meaning...

I guess it says something about moving on when you can look at the thing...A few months back, if you ask me to talk about it, I would have been a blubbering mess, and sobbing away...

And thanks for the invitation to LA...Could I have your email pls? Looks like I have two friends in LA now...=)

Daphne Ling said...

Hi Kerp,

Haha...Now I am not only a plain Jane, but I am also quite annoying! ;) Haha...

Yeap...Giving them away is the right thing to do...Keeping them would be such a waste when other children can wear them...And old man will remain in my heart, always...=)

Daphne Ling said...

Hi Kak Farina,

No need to say anything...The hug is enough *Hugs*

Daphne Ling said...

Hi JustNoRegrets,

It is sad that the orang asli remain a somewhat forgotten bunch...You're right about how small things really mean the world to them...I gave away milk bottles to the orang asli children once, and you should have seen the mother's face...She was going to cry...

I would never have thought I could sayang that little old man, too...But oh well, love is blind...And it has sometimes no sense of smell either (babies poop) ;)

Daphne Ling said...

Hi Jo-D,

Ah...Another comic comparison? =) Thanks dear...

Daphne Ling said...

Hi Doc,

Yeah, I like to believe that I will be a stronger person from all this too...I remember Uncle Zorro saying the same thing (paraphrased): That when you shoulder burdens, you'll have stronger shoulders for the future =)

Thanks Doc!

Daphne Ling said...

Hi Mott,

Haih...Not being able to give away clothes of children who are alive and growing, huh? I know what you mean...I have 'attachments' to objects too (psychologically speaking, I guess ain't too healthy ;))...

I think you can appreciate how much more difficult to give away the possessions of a child who has passed on...You know, there's this part of you that is desperate to hold on to anything that can remind you of him...

After all, sometimes I wake up, and I get so worried that I have forgotten how CCK looks like, how he sounds, how he feels...

So, holding on to his stuff helps me try and hold on to as many memories as possible...It's a desperate measure, but it helps...sometimes =)

Daphne Ling said...

Hi Kak Puteri,

His memories to me will be mine and mine alone...That's true...Everyone who shared his short life will have their own unique memories =) I just hope I will remember them just as like it was yesterday...

Daphne Ling said...

Hi Aunty Raden,

Haha...Would be great if biggg heart comes with biggg pocket...Can do so much more!

Aiya...I was in that home (the one next to the chinese home)...I didn't know you were related! What a small world this is. Thanks for sharing =)

Daphne Ling said...

Oh, Aunty Raden,

Biggg *hug* to you too!

Hi Abang Mat,

Yeah, I can appreciate what you mean...I keep my late grandpa's glasses and his clock too! And his old pair of socks =) And his medical reports...Don't ask why...;)

Haih...This CCK, he never really showed he recognised me when I was with him...Although when he left for the home and I went visit after not seeing him for over a month, he started to 'come alive' when I picked him up...It was the first time he showed signs of recognition...It was like he was saying: Where have you been? Why leave me alone?

Our conclusion? When I was with him everyday, he took it for granted that I was to wait on him, hand and foot, like it was my duty or something...He thinks he is the king, after all ;)

And you're the first person to refer to me as che-che with regards to CCK...=)

Daphne Ling said...

Hi Uncle Jimmy,

Haih...I hoped you would all have felt a little of CCK's presence through my blog =)

Thank you for sharing...It means a lot to me *Hugs*

Daphne Ling said...

Hi Sharlydia,

Yes, his memories will live on indeed...I've moved on...That's why I can look at his stuff =) Thanks Sharlydia...

Daphne Ling said...

Hi Aemi,

Nah, I don't think it is stupid to keep the Gerber bottle...Different things (although stupid to others) hold lotsa meaning and memories to us...

I have the hospital tag CCK used ;)

I saw the photos of CCK-flower...They're gorgeous! So lovely...

You take care dearie...*Hugs*

Daphne Ling said...

Hi Winnie,

That's a novel way of seeing things!

I'm sure CCK won't have minded me giving his clothes...Even when he was alive, I was giving them away, not to mention a whole group of people who would insist on stealing the poor little boy's clothes...

It came to a point I had to label everything and even count all his clothes every morning...

Haih...

Daphne Ling said...

Hey JT,

I know you're busy, so no need to apologise =)

Yeah, we need some things as remembrance...It really does keep those we miss alive in us...=)

And really, giving away the belongings of a loved one who has passed on does provide some closure...A small bit of closure...But I'll settle for it...*Hugs*

esuhara said...

Dear Daphne,
I fell in love with you almost immediately. I stumbled upon your blog accidentally and just couldn't stop reading it word to word. How many are there the likes of you in Malaysia or for that matter in this world, a young lad with the heart of gold? I could sense sincerity in every breath you take, in every word you say and in every deed you cherished. Kisses from me.

Melayu Lelaki said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
truth said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
ika said...

Hi there Daphne,

I stumbled upon your blog some time ago and have actually been keeping up with your posts! Enjoyed readin everyone of it! You're such a passionate person - such big heart you have! I shed tears reading your most recent post about CCK. If I were in your shoes, I would have probably done the same thing, keep the things for months! I can totally relate to that - it really is difficult parting with something, apa lagi someone who have deeply touched our existence!

kl_gal said...

Have e-mailed you my e-mail address.

adam and eve said...

...................................

speechless in a good way

Daphne Ling said...

Hi Esuhara,

I am honoured you found a 'stumbled blog' worth commenting on! And thank you for the lovely words of encouragement...=)

I think there are many people the "likes of you in Malaysia or for that matter in this world, a young lad with the heart of gold"...

The only difference is: This one decided to blog about it! Hehehehe...

I try my best, that's all I can say...

Many kisses from me too! *Muax*

Daphne Ling said...

Hi Ika,

Why, thank you for coming out of the shy-shy-ness and leaving a comment! Awww...Aren't we all sentimental fools ;)? I am, anyway...=) Will hop to your bloggie soon...

Daphne Ling said...

Hi KL_Gal,

Thanks for the email! Get back to you...

Hi Adam and Eve,

Thanks! =) Tongue untied yet ;)?

InnocentWitch said...

Hey Daph....

I went to survey bout u le... kekekeke... nola... sort of asking Pn. Yasmin about " Who is this Daph.....???? Writing so much bout the Ipoh Hospital"
And she mentioned u are in Penang now doing Psychology???
Anyway, great to know u and your Chee Keong... definitely look leng chai to me... *Grin*.....

Mama Aisyah said...

Goshh...

Sooo...sad! Cant imagine if this things happen to me and my baby.