It’s time to reflect on the past year.
1. I had approached last Christmas with a depressed spirit. A very good friend had been diagnosed with cancer, the kind that led to a rather quick death.
He had treatment, very successful therapy. He lives, and healthily, too. That was an answer to a Christmas prayer. A “pray without ceasing” type.
2. Tuition enrolment picked up quickly and I had twice the number of 2019. Classes were enjoyable, as always.
Covid-19 came. The MCO followed. Tuition classes stopped like almost everything. When the MCO was lifted, I did not start classes again. I am among the vulnerable. Already 70. Sadly but without regret, I retired. Finally.
3. Our RH Brothers in Ipoh have had a weekly morning breakfast time for some years. Our last session was on my birthday in March. Then, we suspended our sessions during the MCO. I missed the Ipoh brothers and their spouses very much.
We now meet again, once a week, enjoying old friendships again. The camaraderie is excellent. There’s little in the way of nostalgia. Instead, we build on friendship suspended for 40 years and more by distance, profession, family and so on. We now make time for each other.
4. My family, the one of which I am head, has grown. My wife and I, now married for 45 years and a week, had 3 sons, 3 daughters-in-law, and 3 grandchildren. There were 11 of us.
We now have an addition to the family, a grand daughter. She was born at the end of November. We are now 12. God blesses. We are grateful.
5. I had never stopped working. Life was busy all the time. I stopped working for others at end 2018, but taught tuition. The pandemic ended that.
You might think that life is monotonous and boring, that time passes slowly, and that I hate it. You would be wrong. Time passes quickly, much too quickly for me.
There is so much to enjoy each day. I am now living the reverse of the parts of the poem, “What is life if full of care, And we have no time to stand and stare?” I have time though not a great deal. I stand and stare.
An old Chinese lament goes like this, “Yan sung, yao ge toh sup lien?” It translates literally, “How many tens of years does a person have?”
Not many years are left for me. I am 70 and probably into my last ten years. At least, I pray, I could be healthy for the rest of my life, and watch as my sons bring more new members into the Thong family, and as my grand kids grow into young adults.
The Lord is gracious and good. Praise to His Name!