As I sit in hospital looking at my mum sprawled on her bed, looking so fragile, I can’t help but think of the countless times in the past when this same scene played out before me. First, the stroke when I was 13, then the heart attack years later, then the heart bypass… in the midst of all that illness, my mum found her faith in Christ.
When Pastor Kee came over to pray for my mum the other day, he read from Psalm 121, one of the Psalms that I truly love.
I lift up my eyes to the mountains—
where does my help come from?
My help comes from the LORD,
the Maker of heaven and earth.
He will not let your foot slip—
he who watches over you will not slumber;
indeed, he who watches over Israel
will neither slumber nor sleep.
The LORD watches over you—
the LORD is your shade at your right hand;
the sun will not harm you by day,
nor the moon by night.
The LORD will keep you from all harm—
he will watch over your life;
the LORD will watch over your coming and going
both now and forevermore.
My mum’s roommate is this old Indian lady who has a rare colon disease. She has been in hospital for the past 3 weeks. I see her elderly husband sitting by her side on the uncomfortable hospital chair, day and night, keeping her company. She doesn’t talk much, her medication keeps her drowsy, but her husband just sits by her side, in silent comfort. It must be really tough and tiring being in the hospital for that long. I am just so inspired by this man’s dedication to be by his wife as she goes through this illness.
My dad, when he sees my mum in hospital, shows his care by asking her if she has eaten, if she is comfortable. I can tell that he is worried for her. At home, his Alzheimer’s kicks in, and he asks my sister, “Isn’t someone supposed to be here?” (points to his bed).
I can’t help but feel a little saddened by the many sick people I see in the hospital. I guess it’s easy to just ignore when things are going ok, when you are just out there, doing your own thing, living your life without any interruptions. Not everyone, like the old Indian lady, has family members who care.
It’s time to stop, reflect and show some love.
My mum and dad, taken during my family portrait session in 2009.
As we are sad to see Shu Wan leave, we are happy that we have a new family member in the Integricity / Stories family. We’re glad to introduce you to Weiming! He will be our new resident Digital Artist. Here’s a little write up about Weiming so that you can get to know him as well!
Weiming How graduated from Multimedia University with a degree in Film and Animation. This has helped him in the laying of a strong foundation in design, visual, & cinematography knowledge. In his years of studies, he always had a keen interest and great passion for photography. It is beyond his wildest imagination that he is pursuing his dream and working with one of the best in the industry. Every day is a learning experience for him. Being an avid photographer himself and having a strong foundation in multimedia has been a real help to him in working as a Digital Artist in Stories. He is interested in creating special moments on digital images and creating shots that can be transformed into magical stories that linger in lives.
Weiming, I am sure we will have lots of exciting moments ahead, shooting under heat or rain, or shooting for many hours without food (you already did that with me last week! Haha), rushing for datelines or just creating works of art for all our clients. Welcome to the family!
After almost a year of working with Integricity Visuals, our digital artist Shu Wan has decided to move on and explore the world – not necessarily on a plane, but in various aspects of life and career. Shu Wan was the main person who did all the photo touch ups, album designs, animation and video editing for most of the work that you have seen on our blog the past few months. She is a really talented individual and we are sorry to see her leave. I enjoyed having her company as we traveled from shoot to shoot, and just talking about anything in life. Outwardly, she seems like a quiet, unassuming person, but she really is a focused, passionate person – especially about the things that she cares about.
Here’s what Shu Wan has to say…
It’s too soon for me to say goodbye here. I know. I never think it’s coincidence that I was here. From the day I met Grace, my life was changed. I was actually planning to take my step into the animation industry. But then I thought, I wanted to learn different skills, so in the end I decided to join this family.
Time has proven that I made the right choice. Throughout my days with the Stories team, I learnt a lot of new things… ranging from photo editing to video shooting. Grace has been a really good mentor. She taught me patiently and shared her knowledge with me generously. As she hold firmly to her belief in education, I have been given opportunities to attend conferences and training camps so that I can grow better. Looking at what I am today, I must say it’s because of God’s amazing Grace! :)
This was certainly an interesting journey. I am glad to be in this company of awesome people. Really nice meeting all of you who are lovely and kind to me along this road. Thank you for walking together with me and leaving me with tremendous memories! I truly appreciate it. Hereby I end my journey here with this blogpost as I am heading off for a new adventure! There are dreams to be fullfilled before it gets too late. So wish me luck k? =)
Ohyaaa, did I tell you that I love my title very much? :P It’s because I long to be an artist but too bad that I can’t draw very well. Haha. So now I could tell people, “hey I am a artist, digital artist!” :P
It’s my fourth year of marriage today. Even though the memories of our wedding day are still pretty fresh in my mind, it also seemed like such a long time ago. Thinking back about the wedding day, I guess it was pretty perfect in my eyes. On hindsight, I guess I would have liked to do certain things differently, but at the end of the day, it doesn’t really matter.
What matters now is the marriage itself.
I woke up this morning feeling excited about the day. I glanced over at Alex, and said a silent prayer of gratefulness to God for our lives together. I truly believe that I am more in love with Alex today than 4 years ago. I am excited thinking about life, and what the future holds for us. I know that life will never be perfect, that there will be times when heartaches will fill our hearts and make us feel as if life is cruel. But despite all that, today, I choose to give thanks for what I have.
Marriage has taught me to be less selfish. Since I am the youngest child in my family (with my 2 other siblings 12 and 16 years older than I am)…I’ve been a little ‘pampered’. (Not complaining! I COMPLETELY enjoy being pampered. Hehe). I tend to sit back and expect things to happen or someone to do the hard work for me. But Alex made sure that I became more independent and responsible for my actions. It definitely takes a conscious effort to think of others first before yourself, but I think I’ve improved. :)
I’ve also learnt that it’s so important to have someone who shares the same passion as you do. Before I got married, this question always stood out in my mind… “How do you know if he is THE one?”. Now, I think I have the answer. He needs to share the same values and passion as you do. I don’t think that there is one perfect person in this world for you (now think about it, if you married someone ‘wrongly’, you would have robbed someone else of their perfect partner, and therefore the entire world is doomed cause SOMEONE made a mistake).
So the person is only perfect because you made an effort to make it perfect. And boy, it’s a lot of hard work. I am so thankful that Alex and I are excited about the same things and that we can journey along this path of life together.
Dug up some old photos from our wedding day… This was taken by Joseph Siew.
And these photos by Andy Lim. Thanks guys, for capturing memories for us!
Alex and I wrote our own wedding vows to each other and I thought I’d post them here.
Alex’s vow to Grace
From this day forth, I, Alex Lam take you, Grace Tan,
To be my wife.
As long as I shall live, before God and all my family and friends,
I pledge my life to be your friend, your lover, and your fellow dreamer.
Let me be the shoulder you lean on, and the rock on which you rest.
I promise to be honest with you, and to love you always.
This life of ours is a voyage,
Which I will sail with you,
Through the calm of the sea,
And the raging storms,
Though we cannot see past the uncertain future,
God will be with us, and my ship will always remain by yours.
Today marks the first day of an eternity as two hearts on one journey.
And as inscribed on your ring, I vow to “Grow old with you”.
Grace’s vow to Alex
Alex, today, and as long as I, Grace Tan, shall live,
I take you to be my husband and give you my heart.
Intertwined, two hearts, one journey.
With God as the glue that binds us together,
I promise to always love you, submit to you, and be honest in
all that I do.
Today, I pledge to stand with you, come what may.
When the sun is shining brightly, I will laugh with you.
When the sky is dark and grey, I will hold your hand.
When a storm rages outside, I will hug you and never leave you.
Sharing dreams, hopes, tears and joy.
I am proud to say that today, I am marrying my best friend.
He has been by my side for many years, encouraging me when I feel down, cheering me on when things are going well, holding my hand when I am sick, my adventure buddy, my partner, my lover. That’s Alex.
This is my fourth year of marriage, and boy, has it been exciting. This month, we celebrated Alex’s birthday, and I thought I’d write a post to celebrate him. The best part about my marriage is the fact that I can journey together with him, going on our little adventures together. It’s not just about a trip to the beach or an extravagant holiday somewhere, but it is the little things in life that I appreciate. Him waking up early in the morning to prepare me breakfast. Him carrying my camera bags from the car at the end of a tiring shoot. Him looking after my parents while I am away.
He’s an amazing man.
Photo by Dawn McCarthy
Yes, we have our squabbles, like any other couple (like him getting exasperated at my short term memory, or me getting annoyed at him for leaving receipts and bills all over the floor)… but at the end of the day, it doesn’t really matter. I believe in not holding grudges and working at a relationship to make it work.
So… to celebrate his birthday, I did a few things…