Sunday, 18 June 2017

Love never fails.

I am glad that some things we do don't make sense. I am glad that at times when it matters we are largely irrational. 
At such times, we do not care if our decision adds more work and less pleasure to our life. More importantly, we do not care if our actions have consequences that burden us even more and leave us with worries, anxiety and uncertainty.
Koh Ming Hao ("Ming"), just a day after his 34th birthday, died last Thursday, and Straits Times chose to remember him in today's paper. 
He had fought with terminal cancer diagnosed 4 years ago and "barely a year after marrying his long-time sweetheart (whom he met and dated when they were 15)" he passed away. 
But Ming never gave up the fight. It reports that in his battle with cancer, he met with other cancer patients, "shared his experiences, and helped and encouraged them."
He still lived his life as any normal person would, despite losing weight, as he continued to work, travel and exercise. 
His wife, Daphnie Chong, 34, decided to walk down the aisle with him one year before he passed away in Aug last year. 
She said, "I couldn't leave when he was at his lowest...I wanted to be with him every day for the remainder of his days." 
In economics term, she had made an irrational choice as her decision would probably at that time lead to a certain morbid outcome. It would be a grief so deep that she risks never recovering from it. 
Yet, Daphine added, "He will always be in my heart. He will always be the best boyfriend and best husband to me." 
Lesson? Just one. And it's about love. That mushy word the stoic heart and the tear-less refuse to mutter, even underneath their breath, for fear that it would soften their image or make them look weak.
But sometimes, love is all we have and it is enough to make the difference, and to make the experience not just empowering, but unforgettable. And at such time, love is really all we need. 
I shall therefore not shy from rendering a simple and sincere tribute to love in this consumption-driven world. 
They say love counts the costs. She does, but her calculus operates in reverse from what the world's logic would dictate. 
Love pays no heed to price tags. She is not discouraged by labour, for joy is her labour of love. Love looks not to immediate gratification. She is not obsessed with self. 
Love sacrifices, and no cost is too great for her. Love hopes too, even in the face of uncertainty and doubts, even when it seems irrational. 
Love yearns for every second spent, and does not take even a fraction of it for granted.
As such, I am blessed in life not by the material that one so easily salivates over. But I count my greatest blessing from witnessing love in action, in Ming's and Daphnie's life, and in the life of my late brother-in-law and his wife, who like Daphnie, stuck with their childhood sweethearts to the very last breath. 
Alas, it may be a short journey with love, you may lose all with love, and you may even struggle physically and mentally together with love. For love brooks no easy path for the beholder, that's for sure. 
But love is, without fail, always transforming. Love's rewards are beyond the economics or the rational. You can't incentivise love, or entice her, with gifts, promotion or property.
Love is her own reward, and to love, and savour it, but for that moment and that moment alone, is far better for the soul and spirit than to have never loved before, or at all. 
Money may no doubt make the world go round, together with power and fame, but love, the kind that sacrifices herself for another, takes the soul out of the endlessly spinning world and transforms him or her beyond what the world can ever hope to do or achieve. 
Alas, the world drives us to our bone, but it never quite satisfies us in our soul. It is thus a soulless pleasure. 
But love drives us from the heart, and it quenches our deepest longing for connection, for meaning, and for joy inexplicable. It is thus a soulful miracle. 
Let me end with Daphine's own words to the love of her life:-
"Hi everyone, am heartbroken to inform everyone that Ming has ended his journey peacefully at mid-night...thank you for all the love and support through his toughest journey. Till we meet again, babe." 
...and love never fails. Cheerz.

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