Living in the moment

February 13, 2013

A couple of weeks ago my older daughter was coming home from winter camp.  I had promised to leave work a little early so I will be there before her bus arrives at the school.  Despite my best efforts, I couldn’t get out of the office quite as early as I had hoped, and as a result, instead of getting to the school before the bus, I got there about 10 minutes late.

As I walked up to the bus, all I saw was a flury of activities:  volunteers helping to unload the luggages from the belly of the bus; parents helping their kids pick up their bags, making sure they haven’t left anything behind; kids running around playing with each other; teachers trying to keep the kids in line.

As I got closer, the cloud of frenzy began to clear, and I saw her:  standing a few feet from the crowd by herself, holding her little backpack in front of her, eyes looking around, searching for me.  As her eyes found mine, she broke into this beautiful smile, ran up to me, gave me a big hug and said, “I thought you were going to be early!’

All the ink in the world is not enough to describe what that moment feels like.  Yet there was a time in my life, now feels like a lifetime ago, when my heart was so caught up in my work, that I would have just hurried her to get her bags because I have a meeting to rush to, or have some other business waiting for me.  Today, having hit the “reset” button in my life, I found myself simply holding her, savoring the moment, helping her to get her bags, and then out of the blue, suggested, “Let’s get some ice cream on the way home!”

Last Sunday I was watching her play hockey, freezing my butt off on the bench, all the while being my usual obnoxious cheerleading self for her. (She says it’s embarrassing, but I know she loves it :) .  All of a sudden, one of the other dads (whom I don’t know) came up to me and said, “Can I tell you something?  I have been noticing you since the beginning of the season and I love the way you cheer the kids on and encourage them.  But what I really want to say is, I watch all the parents, and you are ONLY one who never took out your phone or blackberry to text or email during the game.  You are really HERE for your kid.  I have to confess that it’s hard for me to turn the phone off and just watch them play.”

To which I simply smile and said, “I once was like that too…”

Be the first to comment


May 10, 2010

Yesterday we threw a 45th wedding anniversary party for my parents.  Mom and Dad didn’t want a huge deal, as they really wanted it to be a night to spend time with a small circle of long time,  life long friends.   The four of us (myself and Anna, my sister and her husband) became the de facto organizing committee for the party.   My Dad, in a bit of a surprising move, asked me to perform a set at the party.  I of course was honored to sing for them at such a beautiful occasion.  As the date drew closer, my dad made a special request:  he wanted me to perform the well known Mandarin love song “月亮代表我的心” (The moon reflects my heart) for them.   The song carried a special meaning for me:  The first day we picked up Taylor from China, the whole group of “new parents” went out for dinner that night at a large Chinese restaurant in Nanjing.  It was the first meal we had together with our little girl.  At the restaurant, there was a live band singing, and as I held my little girl, the singing was singing that song (月亮代表我的心).  I just never knew that it was a special song for Dad as well. 

There were many touching moments at the party…old family pictures that we have not seen (thankfully!) for a long time, friends that my parents have not seen in over 10 years came, the grandkids presenting their gifts to their grand parents, just to name a few.  But my favorite moment came when I was singing that song that Dad had requested.  As I introduced the song, I tried to put my Dad on the spot by  asking him to sing it instead.  No chance :-)    But as I was singing the song, Dad sat down beside Mom and sang the song to her.   Anna was singing with me and she said she had to look away, because if she looked any longer she would not have been able to finish the song.

Thinking back now to last night, I learned from that moment what made it possible for my parents to have been married 45 years.  Both of them are not as healthy and strong as they once were.   In fact, mom’s leg was giving her so much pain that she had to shuffle around on an office chair with wheels throughout the night.   But they both shared with everyone how much the passing of time had made them treasure each moment they have together.  As Dad sang that song to Mom, it was as if he was saying to her, “It doesn’t matter what circumstances we face, as long as you know what’s in my heart, that is enough.”   I learned, right there and then, that no one can set out to build a 45 year marriage.  You can only build your marriage, from your heart out, one moment at a time.

你問我愛你有多深﹐我愛你有幾分; 請你想一想﹐請你看一看﹐月亮代表我的心


Friends and Family…

September 28, 2009

Whew!  What a busy, busy weekend it was!  On Thursday night, I performed with a couple of good friends at a Starbucks in a fundrasing event for Canadian Free the Children.  On Friday, we performed again at a Canadian Red Cross youth event, trying to encourage the youth to make a difference with their lives.  Then, [...]

3 comments Read the full article →

In a split second, anything can happen…

August 26, 2009

Today started out just like any other day. Got up, drove Anna to work, dropped Taylor off at school, went to the office. Travelled to another meeting that ended early. Had 15 minutes to spare before I had to pick up Taylor from school. Decided to stop by Chapters to browse. Found out my favorite [...]

2 comments Read the full article →

Another Step Forward

May 18, 2009

This past Sunday we enjoyed an interesting worship service at our church. Rather than the “typical” teaching/preaching time, we had what was called a “family worship time”: Each of us were given a piece of paper and crayons and we were encouraged to draw a picture in answer to certain questions about our experiences of [...]

5 comments Read the full article →

Out of the mouths of babes…

March 11, 2009

With our little one quickly reaching grade 1 (where did the last 4 years go?), we are going through the discussion that every parent in the city has had one time or another: “May be we should move into a ‘better’ school zone.” Now, we haven’t actually decided to move yet, but when we are [...]

4 comments Read the full article →

A Chinese New Year photoshoot :-)

January 27, 2009

We were sitting at home on Chinese New Year’s Eve with nothing much to do in the afternoon when we remembered that Taylor was supposed to wear a traditional Chinese costume to school the next day! As we dug through her closet bringing out the different outfits, we decided to do an impromptu photoshoot at [...]

1 comment Read the full article →

The dance

December 3, 2008

“We played the flute, but you did not dance…” Matthew 11:17 This morning one of my staff member handed me an interesting document. It was the script from the speech that she gave at her daughter’s wedding. Knowing that I have a public speaking background, she wanted to share it with me and hear what [...]

2 comments Read the full article →

A Quiet Longing after a busy weekend

December 1, 2008

I felt slightly weary driving to work today after a busy weekend. As I mentioned in my previous post, we were busy cleaning up and purging stuff on Saturday. On Sunday we did a little more cleaning up, had lunch with my parents, did some grocery shopping, and as usual, I went to play hockey [...]

8 comments Read the full article →

Thoughts from a day of purging…

November 30, 2008

“Of making many books there is no end, and much study wearies the body” (Ecc 12:12) Today, in preparation for doing some renovations in the house, we spent the day doing some much needed “purging”. As part of that process, Anna and I went through our collection of books, some of them from our university [...]

1 comment Read the full article →