Saturday, February 16, 2019


Hello Son, 

Something amazing happened yesterday on Friday, Feb 15.

We were having our Chinese New Year celebration in school.

Mom had asked Justine to go to school to help us take photographs of the children and the event.

When Justine came in the morning, about 8:30 am, she told Mom that she got a splinter beneath her nail on her thumb. 


How did it get there? 

Your sister said as she was opening the door to the car park, there were wooden loose slits sticking out at the knob, and somehow she pricked her thumb ... 

right under the nail ... 

She couldn't get it out.

Hmmm ...

Mom didn't think it was a serious matter ... 

We'll try to remove it later, after school, your mother said.

Justine complained it was painful and uncomfortable .. wince wince ... but she went about taking photos of the children and the lion dance performance ...

Fast forward : End of the event

Justine reminded Mom about the darn splinter.

Meanwhile, Aunty D said she may need to remove the nail to get the splinter out, and Uncle C said she may need to see an orthopedic surgeon for an emergency surgery.

Pause for the words to sink in.

They can't be serious.


When two doctors share their advice in that manner, what else can you do but worry.

Anxiety said hello.

Tension said long time no see.

All of a sudden, everything negative and fretful paid Mom a visit.

The darn splinter.

Mom told Justine, let me see it, maybe Mom can get it out.

Justine showed Mom her thumb.

"See? See that? That black thing ... it's from here to end of the nail here ... can you see it through the nail?"

Mom narrowed her eyebrows, for better vision.

Your mother was wearing her contact lens, and with the lens, her clarity is not so good near distance.

She couldn't see anything that was remotely wrong with the thumb.

Justine wanted to go to the hospital to have it taken out properly.

So around 230pm, we left the school.

Dad, Mom and Justine.

Mom suggested one of the private clinics nearby in Taman Desa.

3 minutes away.

Approaching the clinic, we saw an empty parking bay right in front the clinic.


Dad said, "You're meant to come here, Jus."

We parked.

Mom and Justine went to the clinic. 

Dad went to the cafe beside the clinic to wait for her.

At the doctor's ....

After the initial introduction and brief explanation of the problem, the doctor proceeded to check Justine's thumb.

He said, it was deep but he will try to get it out for her. He put on gloves and took a tweezer-like equipment and tried to pull the splinter out.

No luck.

He said, as Mom just sat there and listened, "the nail may have to be removed and the splinter has gone quite deep" ... then he mentioned about "using laser" ... before he changed to another tool and tried several times to get the splinter out but still couldn't.

He finally advised us to go to the medical center nearby ... perhaps they may have better tools that he doesn't have, he said.



Aunty D and Uncle C's words came back to haunt.

Remove nail ...

Orthopaedic surgeon ...

Emergency surgery ...


We left the clinic in low, low spirits.

Mom honestly thought that the doctor would be able to help.

She was also sending You frantic telephatic messages of SOS ...

Help Justine, Son. 

It's just a darn splinter.

How did it become so serious??

Do something, Son. Do something.

The doctor did not charge us for the consultation.

No charge.


Mom walked to the car, whilst Justine popped over to the cafe next door to get Dad.

In the car, we had no choice but to decide to go to the Taman Desa Medical Center. 

Dad and Mom honestly couldn't believe that this bloody little thing could be so darn serious.

It was about 3 pm.

We had to go back to school by 4 pm. 

Dad said he will drop Mom back at school and he will take Justine to the medical center.  

Mom said ok, but she wanted to go back home first to change from her outfit ... she was wearing a cultural outfit for the morning event ... it wasn't comfortable.

Dad mentioned that the cafe guy did not charge him for the drink he had in the cafe. 

Two servings of Japanese Tea, Dad said.

No charge.


No excitement there.

Sorry to say.

We drove home.

At our condo, Mom went up to change whilst Dad and Justine waited in the car.

About 10 minutes later ...

Yup, about 10 minutes ... she had to change to something more comfortable and also had to remove her lens ... she couldn't help it but she knew she was moving in a daze, thinking about the hospital and the removal of nail and orthopedic surgeon and the emergency surgery ... omg ... so yup, 10 minutes ... before she went down to the car.

Approaching the car, Mom noticed that Justine was not at the back seat. 

Dad was at the wheel, fiddling with his handphone.

Mom got in.

"Where's Justine?" your mother asked, thinking your sister may have gone to the bathroom.

Dad said, "She went up ... (home)"


Dad replied, "Not going anymore ..."

Not going to the medical center anymore??


Dad said, (and these words were like Bohemian Rhapsody to Mom's ears)

"It's out ..."


Dad repeated lazily, "The splinter is out ...."

Omg what??? 



Dad said, he had a look at Justine's thumb, and whilst Justine pulled back the skin (away from the nail, if You can imagine) as much as she could, Dad attempted to pull out the splinter with a make-up tweezer that Justine brought along with her. She had been trying to get it out with the tweezer the whole time but couldn't.


A wave of relief immediately swept over Mom.

Omg, seriously.

At the doctor's ... FREE.

At the cafe ... FREE.

That's You. 

Not once, but twice. 

Take notice.

Definitely YOU. YOU. YOU.

(your pink t-shirt with the FREE words on it ... see how God plans things ... 9 years after you left us physically, spiritually you never left at all ... not at all ...)


Justine was elated, Dad said, and Mom can just imagine your sister's face.

Dad joked, "In the BMW, with these head lights above as my operating theater and the make-up tweezer, we got it out ..."

Actually, Mom thought she too could get it out, she's good at these things, except that she couldn't see the darn thing with her lens ... However, after the doctor at the clinic said he couldn't, Mom didn't try ... 

Isn't it strange that Mom had to go back to change so that Dad and Justine could have a few minutes in the operating theater in the car ... 


Had we gone straight to the medical center right after the clinic, we would have ... have ...

Oh, let's not go there.

You know hospitals ... 

We know hospitals ...

If we can handle the problem ourselves, it's better not to rush to the hospital.

Thanks Son. You were surely with us. 

Justine is so happy and relieved, told Dad, "You're my Hero, Dad ..."


Over to You, Daniel-Son.

What's happening over at your end?

Love, Mom

Sunday, February 3, 2019

Call 600 : EMPTY SEAT

Hello Son

It's been quite a while since Mom last wrote to you. 

More than a year and a half.

A year and a half???

Yikes! How time flies.

Mom hasn't been on the long-distance call because she's been talking to you daily (wherever she is) and you have made your presence felt each time. It has been amazing how you constantly remind Mom that you are near. 

Also she's been keeping herself busy in school.

Today, something amazing happened ... yet again. 

Mom told Dad, I must write to Son tonight. 

Besides, we are on a 10 day Chinese New Year holiday. 

And it's Day 2 today. 

She has time ... so much time ... eventhough there are 2 guests in the house.

So anyway, the story goes like this.

Saturday, 2/2/2019

Justine, and her friend V, were in Penang on a 2 day trip. Your sister has received her posting and it's now confirmed to be in Penang General Hospital. So your sister and her friend were in Penang to look for accommodation as they would soon be working.

They have been busy viewing apartments to let in different buildings around the hospital area and a little further away ... each time sending Mom and Dad a video of the place they viewed.

Morning passed.

Night came

Good bye Friday.

Yet to find a nice place. They were flying back on Saturday, last flight at 10pm. So they need to find and confirm a place before then.

Among the texts that Mom sent and replied to your sister's updates of places viewed, there was one which Mom said, 

"It will be the last one."

You must have whispered to Mom. 

"It will be the last one, Ma ..."

Of course You must have whispered to Mom. Why and how would she say such a line and so confidently too?


So anyway, on Saturday morning, Justine and her friend were out viewing another apartment with the agent.

Mom and Dad were at home.

Aunty C was clearning out her room at the time, and had come across some old photos. 

She sent these photos in the family chat.

(10:34 am)  Aunty C with You

(10:35 am) : Aunty C with Justine

(10:45 am) : Chess Set

At the same time, Justine and friend were viewing this apartment, and they had expressed some interest in it. Justine sent your parents a video of the place.

The owners were still living in the apartment, and the master bedroom had all their wedding photos. It was weird.

Mom didn't like it.

It's okay to view an empty place, but to view it while the owners are still staying there with all their stuffs ....



Mom didn't want her to get it. They were negotiating with the agent to bring down the rental since the owners are going to close up one room and rent to them 2 rooms only, which means they are unable to bring in another friend to share the rental. So each will be paying quite a high price.

At 1:06pm, Justine sent a text and said, " Agent talking to owner now."

Oh dear, are they really gonna take that place? Mom thought.

Then your sister said, "We are trying to confirm now, because there's another person interested in the property now."

Mom rolled her eyes. 

That's what they do to push you to make a quick hasty decision.

So anyway, around 2 pm, Justine sent some photos.


Lion King, Jus said.

Mom asked if she were checking out any other units?

She said Yes, one more. In the same building as they visited the day before, but a different unit. Your sister said, "Old furniture, old place, not likely to take that place." They would view it anyway, while waiting for the wedding unit owner to come back to them.

Mom said, old furniture never mind, as long as comfortable and clean.

Mom didn't want her to take the wedding unit.

At 15:31 pm, Jus sent a text and said, "oh no we like this super big unit."

the unit number

Your sister sent 2 videos of the place and also the apartment number.


Mom saw her favourite numbers.

This must be the one, she thought.

Mom asked your sister whether there were any others to view. Apparently not. This would be the last one.

The last one?

Oh, this must be the one.

Mom started to push her (hehe) to get this duplex unit. 

Yup, duplex. 

Walking distance to the hospital too.

As it turned out, Jus and her friend also liked this unit.

So they started to negotiate with the owner.

Owner's price was 2100.

The girls said, if rental can be 1800, we will confirm immediately.

The owner said, okay, 1800 for 2 tenants.

They counter-proposed, 1850 to lift the restriction.

Owner said okay ... but no car park. 

The girls felt it was okay not to have an inside car park because there was a large FREE parking compound just outside the building.


At 18:34 pm, Justine sent a text and said, "Confirmed! 1850."

Mom was very happy. Thank goodness they didn't take the weird wedding unit.

Your mother sent a text to Justine. "Did I not tell you it will be the last one?"

Justine replied straight back, "DID YOU?"

Yup, in all the capital letters.

Mom wrote back, "Yes, I did. Dad heard it too."

Justine asked, "When did you say that?"


Dad replied, "She wrote."

Mom was in fact trying to remember when she uttered those words, and was in fact quite surprised that Dad replied on her behalf.

Oh yes, she wrote it somewhere in the text messages.

Justine must have scrolled up to check the earlier chat that took place, and replied within a minute, "OMG, I saw ..."

Anyway ...

Over at our house ... it was time to take our 2 guests out for dinner. 

Dad's mother and aunty, the 2 guests.

It was about 7 pm. 


Dad was like, shall we go? 

Shall we go? 

for the past half an hour or so.

Finally, we turned off the TV.  

We went out of the house.  As we walked past the corridor towards the lift, Mom smelt something nasty in the air and heard the familiar "fogging" sound.


Oh no. 

Fogging, Mom turned to Dad.

We are at the top floor. As we looked down at ground level, we saw the quick accumulation of thick white smog. 

Mom announced, we will go down in a bit.

So, we went back home to wait for a few minutes. 

Meanwhile, as we were waiting for the contaminated, poison air to subside, Aunty C dropped by to pick up her chicken rice. 

Aunty C said it's yummy and juicy. :D

Haha ya ... Dad had bought an extra yummy must-try chicken rice for Aunty C, for lunch, but because she was out she only came to our place at around 7 pm. When Aunty C came into the house, Mom was reminded of the 2 photos Aunty C had posted in the family chat earlier that morning, and Mom had smiled to herself.

A secret happy knowing smile.

Something amazing was about to happen ...

Mom did not know yet just how amazing ...

It must have been around 7:30 pm before we finally went out of the house again.

The air had cleared.

We took the lift, went down to ground floor. 

Dad brought the car around, and we hopped in.

Dad was driving, grandma in the front, aunty and Mom were behind.

The radio was playing.

A familiar song had come on.

Mom heard it. 

Her ears had pricked up.

She found herself holding her breath.

What song was that? 

She knows the song, she knows it, but couldn't place it at first until she heard the line:

Daniel, you're a star ....

Time stood still for Mom.




Quickly, Mom grabbed her handphone to send a text to Justine. 

"In car. Song comes on. Daniel, you're a star ..." (19:35 pm)

Just as Mom sent that message, Justine's text came right in. 

Her message : 

In the grab (cab) now. Daniel by Elton John playing softly. (19:35 pm)

Mom exclaimed loudly as she texted back, 

"OMG, we are listening to it at the same time!" 

Daniel is traveling tonight on a plane

I can see the red tail lights, heading for Spain

Oh and I can see Daniel waving goodbye

God, it looks like Daniel, 

must be the clouds in my eyes

It was a ZAP ZAP ZAP moment for Mom.

Right after the Daniel song, the next song that came on was PAINT MY LOVE.

Gosh, Paint My Love ... that was your sister's very first pop song ... Justine sang those words one day, and Dad and Mom will never forget it.

This Paint My Love comes right on, after Daniel? 

The photo of You and Justine that Aunty C sent earlier that day sprang into mind.

What a coinciDANS.

Mom wrote to Jus, very excitedly. She said, Just now there was fogging ... we went back to the house ... I made everyone go back to the house ... imagine the Daniel song is like what 3 minutes ... had we gone to the car earlier, we would have missed the ZAP ... we were in the car at the perfect time ... Then right after that, is Paint My Love .... your first POP song, Mom reminded ... and the funny thing was Aunty C posted both your photos in the family chat this morning ... 

Now when was the last time anyone did that?

Not that Mom can remember.

It was a wonderful feeling. You are clearly reminding that You are looking out for Justine, and had helped her to somehow find her accommodation.

Not only that .... but listen to this. Earlier in the afternoon (14:03pm), Mom had sent a text to the new teacher who was supposed to start right after Chinese New Year. To replace Justine, now that Justine will be working. The teacher did not reply to Mom's text.

Mom was waiting for a reasonable time to pass before calling her.

At 18:20 pm, Mom gave the new teacher a call.

Ring ring ring.

Voice mail.

Is she avoiding Mom's call? Mom was getting a little annoyed.

Your mother called the number again.

It rang ...

and then it went into voicemail.

So Mom sent a text to the new teacher (18:22 pm), asking if she would be coming after the Chinese New Year?

No reply wheatsoever.

Back to the car ...

Whilst the Paint My Love was still on and Mom was still reeling with the feverish excitement of being zapped, her handphone rang.

OMG. It was the new teacher.

She called to say, yes of course she would be turning up for work after the CNY break, and she apologised for not replying sooner ... said she left her handphone at home when she went out ...

Oh but Mom did not care ...

She was elated.


Mom sent a quick text to Justine. 

"Omg. The new teacher just called to cfm. Whole day didn't reply to my sms. Called 2x and she didn't pick up ..." (19:41 pm)

The new teacher just called. OMG!!!

Mom continued to tell your sister, "I was just telling your brother, now Justine's one OK d ... how about mom's teacher? Gonna ruin my CNY hols (worrying about whether this new teacher will turn up or not) ... then the call came ..."

Omg. Seriously.

Justine was like, "Omgggg!"

Mom said, "I was like scolding him d."

Your sister replied, "He must have been like, Waaaait maaaaa, I'm tryingggggg."

Haha ya ...

Now we can go for dinner ... Mom with a big silly grin on her face ... honestly, before the call, she must have looked very constipated. 


Thanks Son, Mom wrote back.

Yes truly, thanks Son.

Still in the car, Mom ran the following details in her head.

Apartment number : 29-4-4




Mom and Justine both wrote about the Daniel song at 19:35.




Mom checked the time Aunty C posted your photo in the chat group. It was 10:34 am.



All You.

Omg. Seriously???

What are the chances???


At the airport ...

Justine and her friend were flying back after their successful effort to find a place to live in Penang.

It was really weird but your sister sent Mom a text to say that "It's an almost full flight ... Yet there's no one sitting beside me ... When we came, there was no one sitting beside me either ..."

Her friend is sitting beside her ... but there's an empty seat on her other side, that's what your sister is trying to say ... and it was an almost full flight ...

Mom found herself smiling as she typed back the words, 

"U mean there is someone sitting beside uuuuuuuu ..."

Did you not hear the song? 

Daniel is travelling tonight on a plane ...

He's with you, Jus ... 

The seat beside you is not empty ...

Both times, when your sister flew to Penang and now back to KL, the seat beside her was so not empty ... and it was weird that she had to mention to Mom that the seat beside her is empty, just so that Mom will help her to connect the dots ... to remind her of the Daniel song ... to remind her that he's so so there right beside her ...

This is the photo that Justine posted to show the empty seat on her left.

Now You tell Mom ...

Is it not strange for your sister to send Mom a photo of the empty seat by her side and telling Mom that both times on the plane, the seat beside her was empty?

And of all the songs in the worlds, billions and billions of songs, both Mom and Justine had to hear DANIEL at the same time! 

And right after that, PAINT MY LOVE. Direct connection to Justine.

Do You see that Mom is supposed to help your sister connect the dots???

It was amazing, Daniel.

Once again, You made your presence felt.

We know You are right beside us, in that empty seat.

We love You, Son ... and we miss You so very much.

Hope You are having a big celebration up there as we are down here on New Year's Eve on the 4th.

4th ...

Mom's favourite number.