Saturday, 12 April 2008

Thank You For The Smiles...


Once I calmed down enough, I opened the scholarship letter and read it...properly...


A few lines jumped out at me, and two of them were: "The Scholarship Committee was particularly impressed with the overall excellence of your application......"

"It is expected that recipients will energetically be involved and assume a leadership role in......and community outreach activities. "...




And while chatting with my friend Ae Mi on MSN, I ventured this little thought, that hey, perhaps, dear Chee Keong has been playing a hand in my sudden stroke of good luck, and we both laughed at the thought of him weilding his 'influence' up in Heaven...

But really, if it were not for all the special children I had the chance of working with, my application would have not been what it was...I wrote my personal essay (on a national/international issue and its personal importance to me) on the pressing need for the world as a whole to not forget the special people in our midst, because they have as much right as us to live.



Why was it important to me? Because Chee Keong's memories stay with me...


There were quite a few essays to write; another equal amount of recommendation letters from teachers to get written, and among the questions the scholarship committee wanted to know was why I wanted to choose this particular field of study/work.



Today, I want to pay tribute to some of the smiles that I have had the chance of sharing...






A small group of special children I spent some time with at the Al-Hidayah Islam Kindergarten in Pasir Panjang...






From left: Jiun Wei, Me, and dear Bernice who suffers from vision impairment and is a slow learner...She is the sweetest girl, and always remembers her 'please' and 'thank you's'...






Little Ernest who is blind, with me. He is an affectionate child, who loves cars (can identify model by touch!) and his heart sees a whole lot more than us 'normal vision' people...






Shahirah, a darling child with Down Syndrome...She loves my lap (the minute I squat or sit, she will be on it!), and was extremely fascinated with my braces...






Me and Lee Son, another child with Down Syndrome. He refers to girls as 'beautiful', and horse-poo as 'not beautiful', and actually asked me to take a picture with him. Directly behind me is 18 year-old Xin En, and on her left is 17 year-old Esther (all with Downs)...







Khai Yue and Me...The little darling was raising her hand in response to her mum's question: "Who is Khai Yue?"...Ain't she sweet?





And the little boy who never fails to make me smile, no matter how bad my day is: Chee Keong...




What has all these got to do with the 'overall excellence' that I mentioned above?


I believe it was the lessons I learnt about love, patience, giving, wonder, passion, joy and a whole long list that I cannot possible mention, which made a difference...


I believe that in the final analysis, it is not what I have done (because I am willing to bet there are a whole lot more deserving candidates in terms of things 'done') which counted, but what I learnt from them which mattered...I guess you could say I had an unfair edge because these kids found me...


And I believe that those smiles you see above say a lot...=)


And to all of you reading this blog, thank you for sharing in the stories...



42 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hey Daph...

Really proud of you and keep it up..:) Those special people have been part of my life and my friends too...

ST

Wakmasnoor said...

Im smiling Daph. And still cant stop smiling. (It may take hours for me to get the face back to normal).

For the very simple REASON of HAPPINESS. Seeing you spending time with the kids. The efforts and willingness...were amazing and fascinating. Then seeing them and you, smiling together, cherishing a beautiful splendid moment that many would HAD REGRET in not able to do so (in their entire lifetime), made me realized, what a BEAUTIFUL GOD-GIVEN GIFTED PERSON, you are dear. And im so LUCKY to have you as friend.

Those special kids NEED US. BUT with you being around them, guess, they can do WITHOUT US afterall. Because YOU DAPHNE LING dear, represents more than a fine, cheerful, smiley person. You are,(if there is one ever), a version of an earthly-walking ANGEL spreading its wing, sheltering them and us with your cool shades of LOVE and KINDNESS.

Thank you dear. Thank you so much.

jimi said...

" Many persons have a wrong idea of what constitutes true happiness. It is not attained through self-gratification but through fidelity to a worthy purpose." ~

Helen Keller The Simplest Way to be Happy (1933)

*Email sudah dihantar ke email Daph, ya. Tahniah sekali lagi.

Jarod said...

I admired your will to help those who r in need. I My self actually are afraid and dunno how 2 deal with them when i see them. I do visit some of the DownSyn people. I need to learn to be more like you. After reading Chee KEONG POST, I CRIED IN MY HEART, You are such a brave girl! Keep it up! MAY GOD bless YOU!

mott said...

why u always make me cry???????!!

you really really deserve this scholarship...and you are definitely one special person!

Akmal said...

Daphne,
I have this firm believe of how our life can influence others, and the other way around.
You deserves what you got, Daph, and everyone here happy for you :)
*smiling*

Wan Ying said...

U r remarkably inspiring. Keep on shining will ya!

Anonymous said...

im soooooo happy for u !!

u definately deserve the scholarship !!!!


cco

the Razzler said...

Dear Daphne..

I am so mighty proud of you and so glad that I have this rare chance to know you!! You have so much love in you. You are one special human being .. & you certainly deserve the best!!

Hope I will get the chance to treat you to a great meal (of your choice)!! :) :)

Faridah Khan said...

I was very touched with this post Daphe. It was so real and sincere and straight from the heart that my eyes were beginning to cry. It was so beautiful to see the smiles of you and the children. YOu and the kids sure enjoying each other's company. God bless you. You deserve the scholarhip! :-)

rina said...

yay!!!
good news good news!
eh, damn good news rite?
and best of all, u absolutely deserve it since u've done a lot of great stuff for so many kids.
congratz!

ruby ahmad said...

Hi Daphne,

Well done my dear.

Only very few people are willing to do what you do. It does not matter what people say. What counts is why you did it and how much satisfaction you derived from your good intentions. That no amount of money can buy! Only very few people know that!

Daphne Ling said...

Hi Kak Sya (ST),

Good to know we share the same passion then...And thanks for the comment =) Will see you around, I hope...

Daphne Ling said...

Hi WakMasnoor,

Aiyo...I think you have made me blush-y!

Am no angel lar...I just happen to enjoy what I do. I think you would agree that when you enjoy what you do, you would do it well...It's called passion! =)

If you ask me to volunteer to do say, erm, teaching tuition, I won't be so enthusiastic lar...

A big thank you to you too for sharing in this good news =)

Daphne Ling said...

Hi Jimi,

Now, that's profound indeed...Helen Keller is truly a special person, huh?

As for the email, I have already replied! Thanks again...

Daphne Ling said...

Hey Jarod,

Thanks for coming over and leaving a comment...

As for being uneasy around things/people we are not familiar with, normal lar right? When I first started working with these special children, I was scared too...

But after a while, I realised that the best thing to do is to be myself...

Best thing I learnt! =)

You can do it too, you know?

Daphne Ling said...

Hey Mott,

Ala, I didn't mean to make you cry lar...But thanks anyhow ;)!

By the way, I visited lil' fella's blog...He sure is cute! Happy one-month old to Jin Han!

Daphne Ling said...

Hey Akmal,

Yeah, you believe in ying-and-yang huh? Hehe...But yeah, life is a circle...

Thanks for sharing in the happiness Akmal, and congrats to you too for being accepted into Medical School...

Hope to see you around, if all goes well...=)

Daphne Ling said...

Hey Wan Ying,

Thanks dear...Hope your final year in Medical School will treat you well...When you become Dr Tay, we go celebrate! =)

So very happy for you, and proud too!

Daphne Ling said...

Hey Anon (cco),

Thanks a lot for coming by and leaving a comment...=)

You have a good day, ok?

Daphne Ling said...

Hi Uncle Jimmy,

You're sweet lar...I am very glad I got to know you too, and am sure hoping I will get to see you before I fly off also lar...You and a whole bunch of people, actually =)

When I get down to KL (and have a free schedule), I will sms you ok? Sounds good?

Daphne Ling said...

Hi Faridah,

Aiya, another person crying ah...I'll try and not make it so emotional next time, ok? =)

And yes, you're right, I am very happy when I am with the kids...Thus the smiles :)

See you round!

Daphne Ling said...

Hey Rina,

Haha...Yes, it is great news...A big, huge relief would about sum it up ler...=)

And thanks for sharing in it...See you on Saturday, and wishing you all the best in your application to your university too!

Daphne Ling said...

Hi Kak Ruby,

Hey, hey! Long time no see! Good to know you're doing well =)

And thanks for coming by and sharing in this...We must make it a point to meet up before I leave, ok?

Salt & Turmeric said...

im all teary-eyed reading this post. :P

Dhahran Sea said...

Hi Daphne. Its been a while since I last dropped a note in your blog (you didn't have your photo in it then, yet). Really good to see & read your latest posting... really touched my heart. May Allah bless all your good work and good luck in your future undertaking... take care and keep up the great work!

tokasid said...

Dear Daphne:

I have not left any comments for a very long time here,but I always come and read your entries.

I am glad the Scholarship commitee is imprtessed with you. Who wouldn't?
They would be blind if they think otherwise. But,even blind people will be impress with what you have done thus far.

Being a social worker esp with the kids really brought the best out of you.I remember reading when you 1st started the volunteer you felt awkward.But you had come a long way from that day.

Keep on doing the good deeds.
Congratulation.

Fusion16 said...

Wow. Congratulations, Daphne!!!
Don't forget this lil' guy over here once ur over there, yeah? :D

Nightwing said...

Congrats again like everyone mentioned...u deserve it.

Thank you for sharing the news and ur stories with us.

Keep on doing what u r doing...cheers.

Raden Galoh said...

Am so happy dear...so so happy...
can't wait to see you...

lukmanw@gmail.com said...

Hi Daph

Pasir Panjang? It is some where near Sitiawan?

This is my 1st time drop into ur blog. Ur articles about OKU (DS) in Malaysia really going-in-deep in heart especially I had spent few years with them in OKU Special Class in Taiping.

Beside that 2 movies ur mentioned in earlier post, u should have Rain Man dan Forest Cat (Fei Mau), Hong Kong Tv Series (early 2000).

Last Sunday Mingguan Malaysia and Monday Berita Harian also highlighted this issue.

Keep strong Sis!

lukmanw
http://orangkecilorangbesar.blogspot.com/

Anonymous said...

Congratulations Daphne on you scholarship!

Those pictures speak for itself. Beautiful just plain beautiful. Oh ya I hope you still remember me, I have a son born with Down Syndrome and happy to tell you that he is walking now. He turned 2 years old last March 3, 2008. He is full of life, sometime loves to be in his own world, no worries in the world. Happy to see smiling faces in these pictures because I know they are genuine innocent smiles. Just melt you heart away don't they? Give them all my loves and hugs.

Nan

Daphne Ling said...

Hi Kak Farina,

Hehe...Don't banjir ya? =)


Hello Dhahran Sea,

Thank you for coming back and leaving me this message =) It must have been really long since you came (I don't remember when, but I remember the nickname) cos my photo has been there for ages! And thanks for the words of encouragement...

Daphne Ling said...

Hi Doc,

Hey, hey...Thanks for the 'Good Luck in your exams' message...=)

Oh sure lar...When anybody starts out, will surely feel kekok and kayu-like...But like everything, you will get comfortable and feel very at home...

Am so sorry I missed you at the bloggers' makan-makan last week...Would have loved to have met you =(

Daphne Ling said...

Hi Khael (Fusion_16),

Haha...Won't forget you one la...And thanks!


Hey NightWing,

Thanks for the wishes again and thanks for sharing in the stories here on this blog...

I will keep blogging about it, so you keep reading too, ya?

Daphne Ling said...

Hi Aunty Dalilah,

Thanks...And I really am looking forward to seeing you too...Finally! Till then...=)

Daphne Ling said...

Hi Lukmanw@gmail.com,

Thanks for coming by...

No, Pasir Panjang is not near Sitiawan (at least, not this particular one)...Pasir Panjang is somewhere in Sabak Bernam...

As for the movies, yes, I have watched Rain Man and Fei Mau, but I couldn't possibly include all the movies in ma...=)

But you're right, these movies are beautiful...

You should share the stories of you with the children in Taiping...You really should!

Daphne Ling said...

Hey Anon (Nan),

Yes, I do remember you...You commented in my post of 'Mak Tak Guna', right? =)

As for the smiles of the children, your heart sure will melt wan...No matter how bad your day is, the smiles will make you feel a little better, huh?

I am so happy to hear that your son is doing well, and even greater to hear that he is now walking and all...

Give him a little hug from Jie-Jie Daphne, will ya?

zorro said...

DAPH,"PASSION" THY MIDDLE NAME IT SHALL BE.

Puteri said...

Congratulations! Er, was that a scholarship offer?

Daphne Ling said...

Hi Uncle B (Zorro),

Ah...Poetic lar you...But thanks! =)


Hey Kak Puteri,

Hello! Long time no see...But yes, that was a scholarship offer =)

Theodwyn said...

Congratulations on receiving a scholarship Daphne. Your blog is a very inspiring read!