Sunday, August 20, 2017

Letters 538: Love Never Fails

"I can't see it but I can feel it."

- Landon Carter (A Walk to Remember, 2002)


To whom I have met,

          Around 10 years ago, I made it a point to show kindness to at least one person a day. You see, it was hard at first to put someone else's needs before mine but luckily, things got better.  
    
          Day by day, I began to understand the joyfulness of extending kindness. It had nothing to do with materialistic things. I guess it was more to the sheer pleasure of seeing smiles & hearing the shout of happiness. Can you imagine, Samantha, the feeling of going to bed knowing that you helped someone or made his/her life better? I did. It makes me ecstatic. I felt like, finally I had a purpose to serve others & be humble. 

           For the past 10 years, I have been helping out at an orphanage every alternate weekend each months. Apart from monetary helps, I gave them free classes while spending the extra hours playing with them. It meant so much to me, to see the little act from me lighting up the orphan's faces. The feeling was amazing like nothing I had felt. 

           Dear Samantha, I would just like to say that one of the best & most satisfying things you can do is to think beyond yourself. It can be small ways such as opening the door for someone or greeting a stranger with a smile. I believe, if you spread your kindness, it will certainly come back to you because love never fails.

          Until then, have yourself a wonderful week wherever you will go. I miss you. :)



p.s

When I have nothing to lose, I have everything. 


Yours sincerely, 

The Half Moon Serenades.

20th of August 2017.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Letters 537: Miracles

"To find each other & to feel, that is the purpose of life."

- Walter Mitty (The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, 2013)


To whom I have met,

        When my grandmother passed away in 2000, it took me awhile to get what it meant. My 11 year old self stood outside of the old wooden house in Relau while the adults, more mature than me solemnly attended to her. When I was growing up, my late grandmother would excite me with stories about old Penang in her thick Hokkien dialect & gave me RM 1.00 as a reward for listening to her wonderful stories (even more impressive given that she was bedridden for close to five years). I would pretend to lose to her in the game of Snakes & Ladders in order to get the extra ringgits. But after her health got worse, I didn't asked for the extra ringgits as often any more.

          Anyway, the laid her body out in the typical grand coffin according to the Chinese tradition. Lots of relatives came to hug me & I hugged back because it seemed polite. To be honest, it took a huge effort to figure out exactly how I should behave. Should I wept next to my grandmother coffin as some were? Or sitting the uncles outside of the wooden house? Or helping the ladies at the kitchen?

           So when the rest of them followed the funeral procession towards the Sungai Ara Chinese Cemetery, I took the option of staying back in the name of protecting the house from unwanted thieves. I remember sitting at the corner of the living room, thinking that all these people only made the effort to come by to pay their last respect after years of disappearing & abandoning their own mother

            I felt sad. I felt that she lived the last few years of her life alone (apart from my mother & the late uncle who took care of her). Until today, I am still not sure what I felt that day. But I know I did not cry. My mother just hugged me when she returned from the cemetery. I guess some deaths are less permanent than others. 

            Life for me Samantha are already His miracles. Today mark the first anniversary of completely tumor free. I can only praise Him for His revelation of how He works. Indeed God is faithful all the time. For the past few days, I noticed that you are living your life to the fullest. Full of happiness to be exact. There is a little part of my heart that jumped with joy each time I saw you with a smile. But in your pursuit of happiness, Sam, be patience in everything & continue the journey in hope if you faced hardship.

            Until then, have yourself a wonderful weekend over there. I miss you. :)



p.s 

I am thankful for each little blessing that comes my way. You are one of the blessings.


Always,

The Half Moon Serenades.

13th of August 2017. 

Saturday, August 5, 2017

Letters 536: Of Moon & Fairy Tale

"Take her to the moon for me okay."

- Bing Bong (Inside Out, 2015)


To whom I have met,

           Here I am sitting in my office room, on Saturday writing another letter to you. Well, today weather is a bit weird but the view of green grass outside of my office with trees & bushes surrounding it did a huge favor in helping me to relax a little bit after one busy week. 

           You know what is the best part of coming to office on the weekend? Everything is dull & everybody is quiet. They either sat in their own cubicle, read, playing online games or sleep. The only noise is of police cars or ambulances zooming through on the main street.Of course they are going from us, not for us.

            Anyway, last night I went to the orphanage & read for them a story book called 'Sleeping Beauty'. Well, I bet some of the volunteers there did this before but it seems they prefer yours truly here instead of them. God is mysterious. He didn't turned the orphans into a prince or princess while I read for them this fairy tale but He definitely sent them tonnes of beautiful smiles from Heaven.

            They slept on my leg (okay, I am fat & my legs looks as comfy as cushion) as I turned a simple fairy tale into a life action epic again & again. The moment I moved one of my leg, they grabbed it tightly. Can you imagine sitting there for two hours without going to the toilet?

             Lately, I felt that you are too busy with your life Samantha. The silence was a little bit deafening as you went through your exams or activities. So I might as well I wrote a letter for you in case you accidentally read it. Remember Sam, hope in God in case you ever found yourself in deep stress or trouble. He performs wonders & miracles that cannot be counted.

              Until then, have yourself a wonderful weekend there. I miss you.


p.s

I want to make you smile & not wasting the tears.


Always,

The Half Moon Serenades,

5th of August 2017.

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Letters 535: Of Words, Failures & Limitations

"Words are in my not-so-humble opinion, our most inexhaustible source of magic."

- J.K Rowling (Harry Potter & the Deathly Hallows, 2007)

To whom I have met,

          I saw the word 'FAIL' many times especially in the few first few weeks or months of learning something new in my life. Let it be at school, college or workplace. But those preliminary results changed my life. Yes, it took me quite sometimes to recover. Eventually, I learned tonnes of lessons in my life & determined to do better from then on.

         You see, everybody has limitations. You name it, most probably we have it. As for me, I will say my weakness is losing my control over sad stories & failures. Cry? No. It is so much more than that. It is about learning a downfall of someone's life & listening to their sad stories while failed to help them. 

          Few weeks ago, I was forced into facing my limitation in shedding tears & failure. Of course by my client. An old couple told me stories about their hardships. I tried to make silly jokes & laugh maniacally but the stories had to go on. I tried to be careful not to scar their life more. Thus began the endless spiral of working hard to help them. This old couple were as patience as humans could be. However, while sweating through words, I would occasionally notice their pained expressions. I guess this made me become even more resolved to try harder & do better in helping them.

           The moral of the story, dear Samantha? Limitations are a pain, as they pit a roadblock on you. But you know what? Surpass your limits. That's the only way you will ever get somewhere. For me, you have the potential to overcome the challenges in your life & inspire others. People say every humans in this world is similar but I guess everyone is special in their own way.

            Lately, life wasn't all good for me. My mother is not in a pink shape of health due to her heart condition. Frequent traveling to the hospital feel so normal for me this past few days. But yours truly here still in full spirits & positiveness. I put my energy into helping others & thanks to the Power above, I can improve hundreds of lives. Yes, hundreds. Let it be the beggars on the streets, the client at my office or the kids at the center. Love lights up the world, Samantha.

             I guess that's what my letter for you is all about today. I will continue my writing for you. Until then, have yourself a wonderful day out there. In case you stumbled upon my writing, spare a few minutes & pray for my mother. Pray for yours truly here too. :)



p.s 

If you found yourself in the darkness of high pressure life, always remember that God will help those who seek refuge under His wings. 


Always,

The Half Moon Serenades.
27th of July 2017. 

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Letters 534: Fulfilling Life

"Don't feel sorry for yourself because only asshole do that."

- Haruki Murakami (Norwegian Woods, 1987)


To whom I have met, 

             The challenge we face daily can indeed feel overwhelming. But they can take on great meaning when we can look beyond our perspectives at the bigger picture. I am a believer. I believe the greatest obstacles are the one we put on ourselves. 

              When I went to the shelter home for my weekly volunteering session, I saw a lot of lost souls searching for salvation in their life. They felt that God abandoned in every way. Thankfully, we do not need to experience the kind of adversity that this girls & many others have faced repeatedly. But their life stories show me real happiness isn't something that can come from outside ourselves.

               Few years ago, there was a young girl came to the shelter home seeking a helping hand from the operator. Coincidentally, I was there to lend her listening ears. She told how she constantly pursue happiness externally until she can't see & differentiate the rights from the wrongs. She didn't believe that she already possess within herself the happiness needed to lead a fulfilling life. She mixed with the wrong group of misfits & ended up here seeking our help.

               Dear Samantha, there will be certain point in your life where you will ask yourself 'what's the point of it all?'. Take a look at people around you. Their life is a testament to the idea that life doesn't come with a ready made meaning but rather it is something we are supposed to give meaning to.

              I guess that is what everything for the past 8 months was all about.There was some good times, there was some bad times. This week itself was a testament about trying to be there when you needed me. To be honest, I was about to give up regarding the things you asked me for help. I told myself, 'if I told her no, there will be no harm'. The kind of feeling where you feels like the requests throws at your way are just too much to help. 

              But then, after I called you, I heard a soft voice. A voice of someone who put a hope, not too high, on my shoulder. From that moment, I realized that if I loved you so much, your happiness matters to me. So I helped (the Under Armour that I gave you helps too) & put back the smile on your face.


               This is life. I hope I can make a small difference in your life. Until the next hello, have yourself a wonderful weekend ahead.


p.s

Letters are just pieces of writing. My gifts for you are just materialistic stuff. But your happiness is the one I cherished the most stw 


Always, 

The Half Moon Serenades.

22nd of July 2017.

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Letters 533: Imperfections

"This part of my life, this little part, is called happiness."

- Chris Gardner (The Pursuit of Happyness, 2006)


To whom I have met,

           We all expect things to be perfect in our life. But for me, there is a great happiness in taking something with all imperfections & perfecting it into they way it should be. 

           For the past few days, I heard tonnes of complaints from people around me about how life is so unfair. It is not wrong. We have all complained at some point in our life. This people wonder why some are doing so well, while others have to struggle day by day? I suppose it is easier for them to lament about what they do not have than to be thankful for what they have. 

            I've been successful in many ways, there is nothing to hide about it. But at the same time, I am always mindful that I can lose everything in split seconds. Each time people seek my help, whether at my office or at the center, I consider it as a form of trust. With this kind of mindset, I am not only have the make the best of the help, but must also be able to pass on the blessings way after I helped them.

            Lately, few girls showed their 'unhappiness' or 'jealousy' each time I bought something for you. Even a simple bar of chocolate that cost me RM 2.00 can be a source of they mixed emotions let alone the Superdry shirt . But for me, they should not have this kind of feelings. My actions, my joys & my possessions that I shared with you are nothing to boast about. God placed it in my mind as a way to make you happy & it is up to me to change it into a reality. 

              But the reality here Samantha, the world simply drives me crazy in quite the opposite direction lately. I got caught up in the busyness of work, using up precious time & resources. But I finally found a time for you last Wednesday. Somewhere down the line, the simple McDonald's lunch is not just about the meal. It was a three hours food for thought. The kind of thought that warmth the soul.

               Until then, have yourself a wonderful week ahead.


p.s

Lately, I saw with eyes & ears how you struggled in your life as a tertiary student. But always remember this Sam, you are simply too blessed to be stressed. Seek God & He shall clear the path for you.


For the other half of the sky,

The Half Moon Serenades.

16th of July 2017. 

Monday, July 10, 2017

Letters 532: Every Mile

"The wound is the place where light enters you."

- Rumi


To whom I have met,

           In our hectic world, many of us claim to have thousands of stuff to do but in reality, the number of important stuff can be counted on two hands. I think a lot of it has to do with our time management. Our bad time management often make us feel defeated even before we start because the problems seem so big & insurmountable.

           Few nights ago, I walked along the five-foot way at Campbell Street while visiting my friends at the UNESCO Heritage Day celebration. I saw a beggar sleeping there, his shirt reduced to rags, smelling like a dead fish. At the same time, few youngsters dressed fashionably covered their mouth & nose walked passed him. While some people may not mind as they could be used to this kind of treatment, severe ostracism as portrayed by the youngsters towards the beggar can lead to loss of self-esteem, depression & in rare cases, worthlessness. I am wondering, instead of taking their time off covering their mouth & nose, why not they just buy a bottle of mineral water? But then, why not the beggar take a time off in a day to use the public bathing facility located stone throw away near Kapitan Keling Mosque & cleaned himself?

            Talking about time, within the next few days, you will sit for exam in the college. Based on our conversations last night, you have been struggling with a number of study-related inconveniences recently. There are time when I felt that you are about to give up because you did not seem able to see the light at the end of the tunnel. 

            But remember this Sam, in our life, we should dare to think out of the box. You should not worried if you are worst than others just because you are not good in certain subjects. You just need to try your best & God will help you with the rest.

            It is definitely not easy in life as a college student. Each time you sat next to me in my car, all I heard was how reluctant you felt to attend certain classes. How about stop thinking about the problem & instead making the days there count? :) 

            
p.s

8 months was a short period of time. But I know every mile making you happy will be worth my time, stwy.


Till the next one,

The Half Moon Serenades.

10th of July 2017.

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Letters 531: Courage is the Little Voice

"If you can fill the unforgiving minute with sixty seconds of worth of distance run, yours is the earth."

- Rudyard Kipling (If, 1895)


To whom I have met,

          Life is full of brick walls. But the brick walls are there for a reason. I bet your life is full of brick walls too. Some people have this idea that brick walls is there to slow us down in this world.

          In truth, the brick walls are there to give us a chance to show how badly we want something. It is not there to keep us out from this unforgiving world. I believe the brick walls are there to stop people who don't want it badly enough. They are there to stop the other people. 

           Lately, I know you are facing difficulties in your new life. It hurts a little bit knowing about it. So, let this letter be the piece of writing where I can voice out my hope for you. 

           You might heard some people said that we must try our best in everything. But for me, it is not enough that you do your best. Sometimes, you must do what is required without losing your courage. Courage doesn't always roar Sam. Sometimes courage is the little voice at the end of the day that says:

"I will try again tomorrow."

             Yours truly here is a slow walker. But for sure, I will never walk back. I am the kind of person that if I knew the world would come to an end tomorrow, I would still plant a tree. I guess that pretty much summarize my words for you for the past 6 months.

              These are the kind of words I like to tell you because in the writing, I am praying for a life well lived for you. Until then, have yourself wonderful moments & make each day counts, Sam.


p.s

Sometimes even to live is an act of courage.


Till the next one,

The Half Moon Serenades.

4th of July 2017.  

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Letters 530: It's the Little Things

"He stepped down trying not to look long at her, as if she were the sun yet he saw her like the sun even without looking."

- Leo Tolstoy (Anna Karenina, 1877)


To whom I have met,

           Life is full of thorns & thistles. I first encountered this terms while I was doing my reading on someone Bible translations for her Master thesis few years ago. It refers to 'things in our life that bring us discomfort, torment & judgment'. I remember being overwhelmed towards this term, by its concept of course. I used to wonder whether this terms is important in our life & today deep down within me, I know it does. 

          When was the last time you did something for the first time? I found something that I never thought I would enjoy in my lifetime for the past one month. I never thought sewing, writing Hangul (Korean form of writing), drawing portrait, doodling to name a few for the first time can be hobbies to fill up my times lately. Also for the past two weeks, I bought three pairs of sneakers & sports shoes for you, something I never did to anyone in my life.

           Anyway back to my main point, I am not exactly expecting much nowadays but rather keeping it slow & reflect what has this year been to me. Come what may, no one is better at being me than myself. Each time I encountered bad times, I told myself timing is everything & things will happen as they meant to be. 

            In life, you will be constantly put into trials & situations, where you try to fix them. You will break down once in awhile because no one is perfect in this world. But always remember, for every thorns & thistles you met, you grow a little bit more in your life.

            Until then, enjoy your travel with your family. I am praying for your safety as always.


p.s

Aim for little things first because it will warm your heart. Don't ask for big things & end up upsetting yourself because things do not turn out the way you want it. I am very sure you on the right path, S.


Love, 

The Half Moon Serenades.
25th of June 2017.           

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Letters 529: Perfect

"Happiness is anyone, anything at all, that's loved by you."

- Clark Gesner (You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown, 1967)


To whom I have met,

            For the past one month, tonnes of people asked me why I stopped my writing. I told them that I'm having writer's block but the fact is I am not. How can I have writer's block when my life has been so inspiring & amazing. It is just that I was a little bit busy preparing for your birthday which fell on 17th of July (yesterday).

            Lately, I do not need to seek refuge from my writing because my soul has found someone, you. So I want to dedicate this piece of writing to you on your special day.

            It started about nine months ago when I sketched the image of you on a piece of paper. It was a labor of love with months of hard work such as sitting in front of YouTube in order to learn how to draw your hair & also searching the internet in order to figure out how to color your eyes. But all the hard work paid off when I finally finished it eight days before your birthday, framed it with black on black on black frame (your favorite color) & handed it to you last Wednesday when we went out together. But of course apart from saying the customary thankful words, the cuteness in you decided that it is cute to ask this question (which I knew you will ask):

"Where is my braces in the portrait?"

             Yes of all questions about the portrait, your first concern was the missing braces. Because of you, I won few bets with my friends (I told them you will definitely ask about it). 

             Anyway, did you remember few weeks before your birthday, you found yourself in a deep stress? I went out there & bought a bag of 25 chocolates (which I repeated last Wednesday) for you. You hold onto the bag so tight when you sat next to me in my car. As usual, your customary cute question:

"Why my Reese's melted, why?"

              Luckily, I baked few chocolates chip cookies for you too (which I knew you secretly ate & posted it in Snapchat). For that, I am grateful after the hard work of sitting in front of my oven waiting for the cookies. 

              Last Wednesday, when we went out for your birthday, I cooked for you, a bowl of tomyam kung & a plate cheese prawn macaroni. We even stopped at the roadside so you can eat it after one long day at the college. Sitting there next to you & looking at you eating it with full force makes my heart melt over & over again. This is the girl of my dream, eating my home-cook food. But silly me cooked too much for you & we put it aside in order to go to Queensbay Mall to shop for your favorite Adidas sport shoes. Not that I didn't gave you tonnes of birthday presents before (Daniel Wellington's wristwatches, LANSI cap, Vans Sneakers, Herschel bag, portrait & that 100 days sketch book) but the look at your face the moment you heard that I am bringing you there to buy it, I am so excited too.

              On the way back from the college, you drove in your own car. You snapped a photo (eating the macaroni) while driving because you are hungry. I was super happy but worried at the same time about your safety.

              People said why wasted my money on this girl who might not even appreciated my kindness. I might just as well find another girl as backup plan. But little that they knew you are not the kind of person & me too. You appreciated all my gifts. You see, when a guy said 'I love you' to a girl, that love should be just be for her & only for her. 

              A day before your birthday, I decided to go to your college, armed with four H & M gift cards & searched for your car in the huge parking lot. I took a good 15 minutes to find it & then I put it right at your windshield. Few hours later, the bouquet of roses from 50Gram arrived at your home too. I was so happy to see you liked it.

             Love is patience. I wrote it in almost every e-mails, messages & cards for you (remember, this is the first sentence in the bouquet card?). For all the gifts, time & moments we shared, it was not just about my love for you. Love is secondary. The one that I am looking forward each time we met or each time we talked is your smile & happiness. 

              Happy birthday Sam. Godspeed your success in everything. Never, never, never give up on pursuing your dream, happiness & many more wonderful things. There is always someone left to love & to fight for in this life. That someone is you.


p.s

I am not the best guy out there or someone that a girl can be proud of in their life. But definitely, I will be the one that never leave you when the morning comes despite rough days. Enjoy your perfect moment there.


For the other half of the sky,

The Half Moon Serenades.
18th of June 2017.