I do not believe that there is somebody who can really tell what a new year will turn out to be. But when my mother suffered her second stroke last year on January 1, 2008 – I guess I already had a strong feeling about how the year was going to turn out.
Sure enough, we weaved in and out of the hospital for most part of the year. And the state of our finances was like the aftermath of a hurricane of the worst magnitude – ruined, tattered and in shambles! If this had happened when I was younger, I would have been terrified. But thankfully it happened when I was at a certain age where I could take things in a stride and simply say, “It could have been much worse”!
It was not great optimism at work. It was rather some kind of resignation or perhaps acceptance that it is the natural order of life - to weather financial roller coaster rides, and having responsibilities for as long as we live!
There will always be great lessons from the past. Sometimes we learn from them, other times we do not. So what did I learn from the year 2008? Hmmm… I guess it is more of a realization that caring for an old parent is not a sacrifice or a misery. There are more spaces now in my heart for caring and loving beyond romances or personal gratification. I think I could say that our family is lucky enough in a sense that we are given the chance to show our mother how much we valued and loved her. Not all people have that chance…