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2018 was a challenging year for my family. In March this year, my breast surgeon gave me the all-clear as I crossed two years from when I first found a pebble in my left breast. Our happiness was short-lived. One month later, in April, a close family member was diagnosed with critical illness. I’ll leave the details out as this is another person’s diagnosis.

But I would say that we walked through “the valley of the shadow of death” for months. Amidst the darkness, I lost focus and could not hear God.

Then, I had a freak accident.

I accidentally stabbed myself in the left ear forcibly with a sharp object that left my left eardrum tattered and torn. I’m not entirely clear how it happened except that the accidental stabbing traumatized me severely. I hardly cried through my cancer surgery and treatment. But I bawled my eyes out over the thought of going deaf in my left ear.

When I saw the ENT doctor, he showed me the ghastly damage on a TV screen and told me it was 50% damaged. Given the severity of damage, he thought I might require surgery. But he was a believer in natural healing. So he gave me antibiotics to prevent infection and asked me to see him in two weeks’ time.

At my 2nd review, my ENT doctor saw that my body had shown initial signs of repair. He decided that we would wait it out for another 4 weeks to see if I needed surgery. He said he was hopeful that my body would heal itself.

For weeks, I listened to a wind-like sound blowing through the big hole in my left ear. It was like being stuck on an airplane for 6 weeks.

When I saw the doctor again, we were amazed. My left ear drum was scarred and scabbed. But I was fully healed!

KeepCalm(Quotesgram.com)

Quotesgram.com

As I stand at the cusp of a year that is passing, I look back and thank God for many things. In particular, I’m thankful for these:

  • On Christmas Eve, after 9 months of treatment, we received the scan results that death had lost its sting and my family member had received the gift of life. It’s a miracle!
  • We experienced God’s love through prayers and support of friends and an outstanding doctor who journeyed with us through the valley of despair.
  • Friends who reached out when our family was at our lowest point and pointed us to the Healing Room at Cairnhill Methodist Church. That first visit there marked the turnaround of healing and recovery in the most amazing way. It gave our family hope and sustained us through the year.
  • Last week, I saw my ENT doctor one more time as my left ear felt slightly blocked. We looked at the TV screen hooked to his ENT camera and I saw the most incredible sight. My left ear drum was a completely clear membrane, without any sign of scarring. The scab had fallen off and was blocking my ear canal, which my doctor vacuumed out. I have a brand new ear drum!

In this Christmas season and final days of the old year, I remember the “old” and look to the “new” and am thankful for how God sustained us through the year and has made all things new.

 

“If anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come. The old has gone, the new has come.”

– 2 Corinthians 5:17

 “And He who was seated on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.”

–Revelations 21:5

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Many things have changed since Caleb’s arrival into Ben’s and my world.

My new-normal lifestyle now sees 6 new routines:

1. Tac-team dining

Ben and I have gone through a few phases of dining.

Pre-marriage, it was fancy dining at the latest F&B spots.

Post-marriage, it was more zhi char and hawker fare.

With Caleb, we have now gone into tac-team dining. One person eats first whilst the other feeds…Caleb, that is. Then, switch! The other eats and the first takes him for a walk otherwise he starts to fuss.

7th month

2. New dining spots

Right now, we have a repertoire of a few regular places which we eat at. They all have things in common: Enough activity to entertain Caleb. Spacious. At least one item which Caleb may eat.

At one time, we relished burger cafe Relish which has a great view of a very busy bus-stop. Then, Malaysian food street at Resorts World Singapore  gave us our hawker fix and outside, nice boulevards for Caleb’s “bicycling”. Until RWS doubled its parking charges.

Now, we have gone alfresco at the National Service Resort & Country Club near the airport for the very close-up views of aeroplanes which keeps Caleb seated through dinner. And dinner conversation.

8th month

3. New attire

The new-normal is “practical”. It’s pants and comfortable flats so I can catch Caleb as he does his Usain Bolt sprint the moment I put him down.

9th month

4. New routine

It’s all about routine with toddler. Meal time, nap time, evening walk time. And now, writing time for me is night-time. And the lack of time has produced a new productivity in the past 12 months. I have completed 8 picture book manuscripts, of which 7 are commissioned by clients.

10th month

5. New social life…or lack of

Although I’ve managed a few breakfasts with friends now and then, I’m no longer the organiser-bunny I used to be. Managing toddler and conversation at the same time is too energy-sapping. But before I turn into a hermit crab, I shall attempt to be less slack in this department.

11th month

6. New balance

A mother who homeschools her 4 kids tells me she past the “busy” stage when her youngest recently turned four years old. Someone else told me this “busy” stage goes on for another 10 years.

Well, I have yet to find my balance. But I will get there, each baby step at a time.

12th month

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