Sunday, 14 October 2012


I was spared this emptiness until now.  The first 30 of my 63 years to this day was without her. Then thirty so years of mirth and life. And God allowed her to be taken away. In one fell swoop the person of Miranda was gone. She has yet to recover the mid-brain, and the left dent appears as deep. Today I have only one hope - that in her place God has given me a Comforter for a soul-mate. A far better comforter now than her personality or "soul" as some might say. This thought helps me survive day by day, taking care of her body and maybe nourishing her "soul". In her place is the belief God comforted me, assuring of care, protection and love for both of us. I pursue this daily. That is how I try to have complete rest in mind and sleep. Some may say I've gone crazy or into a state of denial. But God's rest should be far more perfect than resting in an earthly union with a life partner. God has given me the pleasure of her life, and now in her place I hope, given me something far more. This should be my strength and purpose to go on living, taking care of the "shell" as  I had avowed to do. It may cost me health-wise, but illness and calamity does not spare many. I have received bountiful joy from the healthy Miranda so how can I run from this task? Also the pleasure of returning love and care of someone special and dear.

10am: She slept last night and more responsive today, despite still unaware. But we should not give up hope of improvement.  "The Lord is good to those whose hope is in him, to the one who seeks him." Lam 3:25

Monday Oct 15 10am: While I'm still filled with deep sorrow and loneliness she slept well and focused her eyes on me this morning.

Wednesday Oct 17 2pm:  Had this dream in November last year which I'm not sure is foreboding or augur well. I saw a large crowd of people, mostly middle-age and young ladies coming down a round stairway, all wearing white flowing robes. Seemed like they were ending a function and heading home. So I asked one why. She said that now Miranda's suffering is over, it is time to leave.

"One has no power to make another live again, once dead.
And one has no right to wish another dead once she is made alive or half alive.
But God has both to take away or heal completely."

Friday Oct 19 noon: Today she could turn her head a little compared to zombie-like yesterday. Sometimes she would utter a cry of frustration.

From Psalm 39: 4-9
Lord, make me to know my end, and the measure of my days, what it is: that I may know how frail I am. Behold, you have made my days as an hand-breadth; and my age is as nothing before thee: verily every man at his best state is altogether vanity. Surely every man walks in vain: surely they are disquieted in vain: he heaps up riches, and knows not who shall gather them.
And now, Lord, what wait I for? my hope is in thee.
Deliver me from all my transgressions: make me not the reproach of the foolish.
I was dumb, I opened not my mouth; because you have done it.
Remove your stroke away from me: I am consumed by the blow of your hand.

Sunday Oct 21 11am: With normal sleep cycle she did her exercise well. But her awareness is minimal, head locked left. Need to pray for recovery of the mid-brain damaged thalamus. The photo will help her overseas friends pray about it. [ The photo has been removed since the subject is unable to give consent]

 This top view was first sent to the neurosurgeon (NS) to access redness of her infection on 19 Sep 2012.[ The photo has been removed since the subject is unable to give consent]

Monday Oct 22 11 am: As she focused on me I told her tearfully that the reason she's what she is today is because of the 10% chance in hope that God will restore her completely.

Wednesday Oct 24 4pm: When her normal sleep cycle returns like last night she becomes more aware of visitors. Other than the mid-brain and left lobe her body seems healthy - sometimes I do wonder whether she will outlive me because I used to have more medical issues than her. It is in times like these that one asks the question deep inside all of us:  
What do I want to do with the rest of my life?

Thank God that the redness infection have subsided since this photo was taken for the NS. For overseas friends who have yet to see her her hair has started to grow over the stitches. This is the first close-up of her ever since her stroke.

Friday Oct 26 8pm: When I greeted her her eyes tracked me on the left.  A small mercy indeed. So even as I worked as hard as possible to get her attention and engage her mind I could not acquit myself of the guilt for not spending time enough with her when she was healthy.

Sunday Oct 28 11am: Tried again to get her to track me but was greeted with a wide stare this time, looking left at nothing. Such vacillations are frustrating.

Tuesday Oct 30 2pm: This stage of her recovery would benefit from personal interaction, because her eyes are more focused.

She has been called a terrific person. Let me share what is it like to live near the fire. In all points she's more likeable than myself. Everyone lauds her openness and generosity. Acutely aware of the feelings of everyone, she would restrain my many outbursts each time I insist on my rights. However she willingly argues for the truth. But Miranda has her favorite persons. She's enamored by babies and children as her young Institute mothers will profess. And her generosity and altruism is infectious to a fault. Once we were crossing the bridge at HK's posh Causeway Bay, the walkway littered with beggars. Pressing a fistful of dollars into my hand she insisted me, a consummate saver, to practice giving.

Thursday Nov 1 10am: Hoping to see a change for the better today I was disappointed. She's back to her inert self, unresponsive to my greetings. I think this week's break from the blog would be good.

Thursday Nov 8 8am: Came back from HK break but she's still inert. It was to be our annual vacation, and probably now my last. Memories of her linger, favorite golf holes, idyllic landscapes, and when it came to food Miranda sparkled. We reveled especially on the delectable roadside fare which Miranda will insist everybody tries. This time I became somewhat disoriented, missing her indelible presence and sense of safety. I must not become a lost puppy.

Friday Nov 9 1pm: Today her eyes could connect mine and I could talk to her. But no way of getting acknowledgment of her understanding. Her eyes also follow visitors a little. Pray that it continues to improve.

Sunday Nov 11 8pm: Today she is able to focus briefly as I talked and even occasionally gave a sigh of heaviness. But that is all - her awareness of the environment is as before - minimal. She is also currently being treated for signs of UTI (urinary tract infection).

Tuesday Nov 13 5pm: UTI has ebbed, thank God. But my efforts to cheer her to consciousness still unrequited.

Friday Nov 16 11am: Today she stood solidly on her feet as I held her on our usual standing physio. But her brain is still asleep, unaware of what we say to her. I'm starting to feel that it is status permanent. How could a brilliant scientist be reduced to this zombie in a single stroke, I still wonder...

Sunday Nov 18 11am:
When everything is tried, every path forked,
Every visitor moved on, every well-wisher said their last,
Every prognosis of medical care as it is expected,
All things done as it could be done,
Yet the stroke has occurred and the brain damaged:
There is nothing left but hope. And prayer.

Wednesday Nov 21 8am: "Durians are dropping by the roadside!" , as I tried cheering her when she awoke. Defying ST's instruction even stole her several sips of coke which she is famously known to have such affinity for. Eyes brightened at the taste of her favorite brew they focused intensely on me as I talked.

<End of Post> Next - "Hope"


  1. Dear Kian
    I completely agree with your description of Miranda's character. The magnanimity of her heart has left a profound imprint in my life. I am so grateful for her. Praying that you can both rest in the shadow of the Almighty as you walk this journey.
    Former student

    1. Thanks for your comment - I was happy for her enthusiasm when she mentored at the A*Star Academy. Her openness disarms people but she was also mentally fast. Rare to have both brilliance and warm people skills, which seems far more important. Now as I walk this journey alone, I often ask what will she do in my daily experiences. Grateful for your prayers.