Now I'm at the airport going home from the Gold Coast Australia starting off this year's story which will revolve around the theme of Departures and Reunions, hence an update of my facebook cover and profile pic as seen below :
Be aware, as in all previous Never Ending Christmas Stories shared so far and their videos, that they are based on part truth and part fiction so hope you enjoy it :
All departures in life can be happy or sad experiences as one can be happy to be leaving for the next destination and at the same time feeling sad that one can be leaving close family members and friends behind. For those seeing another departing, they can be happy that the party is going to a destination of better hope for the future or they can also feel sad to miss the party leaving. These moments of time where mixed feelings of opposites are experienced at the same time are common.
Early in the year 2014, the world experienced a different kind of unexpected departure of passengers in the flight MH370 that left Kuala Lumpur for Beijing.
Dad like everyone else was baffled about the missing plane and started to fast and pray for answers at the Eastern beach in Kuantan Malaysia that faced the South China sea where the plane was first thought to have crashed.
A little miracle sign was received to find a little green toy plane on the ground behind the bench where he was sitting in deep meditation. A sign from heaven perhaps that the plane had not crashed into the sea but had landed somewhere on dry land?
Mom had departed from earth the year before on 6 Nov 2012...
... noting that many came to witness her final departure at the Mandai Crematorium at the appointed time of 5.15pm as displayed in the blue LCD screen of the above photo with her name printed on the screen.
After Dad returned from the little miracle of finding the green plastic plane at the beach, he rested that night and thought he would have a dream that would reveal more about MH370 but instead, as recorded in his journal post, he woke up the next morning feeling as if Mom had spent the night in his room with him! It was as if Mom had returned back for a short time as a post written on 4th April 2013 covering Dad's spiritual experience in seeking answers about MH370 was actually on Mom's birthday.
Dad also remembered that at the very same spot he was meditating on the MH370 puzzle, Mom had walked the beach behind it with Ray and our dog Simba when she was alive as portrayed in the above photo.
This is the spot that Dad chose to meditate from where Mom can be seen in the far background with Ray and the dog as a tiny spec.
Mom got to see Han, the oldest boy, depart from Changi Airport to leave for a 2 year mission for the Church in Manchester, UK. That was the last time he got to see his Mom, i.e. in June 2012
He arrived in the UK and became a ukulele singing star too seen above with his Mission President Robert Preston and his wife. You can here him sing with his companion by clicking part of his mission journal here.
Life seems to always have a departure and a return home as Han did in June 2014 at Changi airport.
His two sisters came home from the US with their spouses to be reunited together in Mom's memorial resting place. Mom could have visited us at special events of our family but we know for sure she had returned to the heavenly home of our Heavenly Father!
Here is everyone that made up the BIG familylane reunion who departed from their home to arrive to be together in Singapore in June 2014!
Our last reunion with everyone together including Mom before the one in Singapore was in the USA in June 2011 where all of us boys with Mom departed from Singapore to be with the girls and their spouses to take the above photo.
After MH370 plane crash on March 8, two more plane disasters occurred with MH17 shot down on July 17 and the AirAsia flight QZ8501 crash that just occurred on December 28, at the time of writing this post! 239 people went missing on MH370, 298 were killed in MH17 and 162 went down with QZ8501.
Sudden departures whether from a plane crash, other common accidents, natural causes of sicknesses or even deaths as a result of human motivated murders or wars bring much despair to the close ones of the departed. It has been a noted phenomenon that everyone knows they will die one day yet, everyone live their lives without really worrying about death or wondering is there a purpose to life or what happens to us after we die!
This photo was taken when Dad, on the far left, was 18 at the departure hall of Subang International airport in January of 1977 leaving for his tertiary education in Australia.
Cautious and curious of aviation technology, he decided to visit the cockpit of the MAS plane he was on...
... with fear that the pilots may feel sleep like he did on that flight to Australia!
A near death experience when he was riding his motorcycle in the city of Geelong caused him to ponder about the purpose of life and find it, an experience recorded with much detail here.
In 1980 he departed from Australia not only as a graduate of the school of commerce but as one called to preach the gospel in his homeland as he had learnt from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints commonly known as the Mormons.
He returned to Melbourne in 2014, 34 years since he first left to find a Melbourne Mormon Temple there.
Soon some of the next generation decided to serve too like Su flown to the Oakland California
Han to Manchester UK...
... while Shuan has expressed his desire to serve next year after his release from National Service as an officer in the army.
Now all of the children were blessed with the opportunity to fly on a plane to many different destinations of the world in safety. A common destination is to the USA and some had gone to Australia, China, Russia, Austria, Hong Kong, Philippines and short flights between Singapore and Malaysia all with a safe flight record.
Here is Ray and Ern flying back to Singapore from Kuantan airport
Dad remembers following Su back on a plane to the US after her mission to continue her studies where he had to be in the cockpit again to help steer the plane!
Dad's record hasn't been really on steering large planes!
Small planes perhaps and when questioned, he responds in his usual manner,"You've gotta do what you've gotta do!"
He is more the man who performs better at sea-levels...
...but more often it's like what his tee shirt above declares, "I survived."
To be continued and edited where necessary....
Apologies for the delay as a whole backlog of photos and stories at the year end are still being sorted, compiled and written! I'm posting the album of a great time we had in Lenggong below :
On Christmas Day of 25 December 2014, after the wedding dinner of my oldest brother's son Woon Ming the day before in Kuala Lumpur, where all the 4 boys from Singapore and I had attended, a trip was planned to visit the small town of Lenggong to reunite with 2 women I had met in my trip to Medan Indonesia a year ago recorded here. The photos of the reunion activities are found below embedded from a facebook album :
Postdated Event :
6 November 2016
Met up with the younger woman Seng Kai Kin when we arranged to meet to ride together on a car free day in the streets of Kuala Lumpur :
Click here to watch the live video with sound posted in facebook.