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The Covid Chronicles: Fostering Edition

It's been a total of 5 weeks since Covid left its imprint on our family. For more than 2/1/2 years, our family had been Covid-free, likely due to our semi-geographical isolation in our little corner of Singapore, as well as our general dislike for shopping malls and all things crowded. But on the 2 July, the dotted "T-line" was finally crossed, and I was the first in the family to come down with the virus. I wrote the following words in my Facebook announcement: "Thankful that it's so far been mild; fever over the past two days and an incessant dry cough. And so when I realised it was Day 1 yesterday, I just took it as a matter of fact. What's been hard has been the non-stop work. Teaching continues with or without Covid. Zoom workshops continue. More laboured as I seem to consume a bucket of water for every two hour session. Admin work continues. Still preparing for a major 11-trainer, 55-workshop session next week, with all the client meetings and trainer b
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Crossings - Convalescing from Covid & Re-calibrating the Cadences of Life

The much-anticipated moment was at hand. The focus of our attention was just metres away from us; and it seemed like that moment would never come. But it did. And so last week we took the final step of getting our passports checked; and we crossed the land bridge between Singapore and Malaysia for the first time in more than two years. Not a car on the road as we made our first trip to Malaysia in more than two years. I remember the last time we crossed that bridge. It was 19 March 2020, just one day after Malaysia effected its Movement Control Order in a bid to curb the spread of the deadly Covid-19 virus. Ours was the only car on the road, and the usually crowded crossing was devoid of all traffic. It seemed as if a deathly stillness had descended on the area; and we didn't know then that it would be the last time we would be travelling, for what has seemed to feel like a lifetime away. So as we embarked on our travels to Malaysia once again, there was a sense of anticipation and

Saying Goodbye - Mourning the Death of Nibble the Hamster

Nothing quite sends your emotions into a tailspin than when you hear your son sobbing uncontrollably. And when he tells you that his beloved hamster had just died. That was the scene yesterday evening, after we had just come home from dinner. Sue shares what happened in her Facebook post mourning the loss of our beloved Nibble. "Goodbye, our sweet Nibble. Your passing was too sudden - we had just gone to the vet yesterday and started you on a new course of meds for your ringworm and skin abscesses. Poor E burst into heart wrenching sobs when he found you lying still when we came home. I had already been concerned for the past few months because you were losing weight and spending more time sleeping, though we knew you were in your senior years for a hamster. Nothing prepares you for the loss of a pet and as parents it is doubly hard watching your child go through the grief. " This is a picture of how Nibble will remain in our memory - always curious, always inquisitive, and a

Setting Sail

A boy and his boat. E embarked on the Optimist Sailing Introductory Course recently. It was his first experience on the water. He started off raring to go. However, a few weeks later, Covid guidelines dictated that we stop again for a few weeks, and he lost momentum and spent the break gradually feeling more anxious about being out on the open sea and about the challenges he had had controlling the boat. Sailing is hard work. Each time you have to take the boat out into the water. And you have to take the boat back to shore. Week after week, we went through the same cycle of talking E through his fears and trying to balance between hearing him out and reminding him to stay the course and persevere in the hard things. My prayer was that our son would encounter God when he cried out to Him with his genuine fears, but I was also struggling at the same time with my own worries about what could happen out at sea. I knew there was a very experienced coach, but there were still so many factor

Remembering Our Children - Memories in Fostering

It is said that time heals all wounds. Well, what's not said is that much of what we remember is so closely associated with our emotions; after all, our emotions are strongly etched in our memories when there is an intensive firing of the neurons in the brain; and all of this leaves a deep imprint of the intense feelings associated with an event. In fostering, there are so many emotions involved, and as such we remember so many of the incidents. And these memories will stay with us long after the children are gone. What triggered the current surge in emotions is the end of what I have termed as the "Noah's Ark" Covid restrictions, the rules that stipulate that we need to dine out only in groups of two. It has almost been two months since the start of this round of restrictions, and I remember that the start of the lockdown almost coincided with the departure of our last foster child K. I remember that we had to cancel most of his farewell plans because at that time, a