It was at grandad’s wake, new faces I saw. I didn’t remember or know all those people in my family. I could tell that we were related by their strong jawlines and pear-shaped body.

There was a lot of chatter and whisper going around in the room, mostly about who would inherit what, and a little bit gossip about the affair between aunty Joan and uncle Peter.

I moved my wheelchair through them quietly, and the sympathy look they gave me made me feel uncomfortable. The accident was over a decade ago when I was three. It’s not as if I knew a better way to live. I was quite comfortable in my skin and a happy person.

I removed myself from the crowd and tended to the orchids grandpa loved. We used to go around the nursery to appreciate their beauty, trim dead leaves and spray mist to keep the humidity up. I knew I would always find grandpa here even his body was laying cold in the wooden box.

Grandpa told me lots stories about his past as well as his plans for the future after he turned his toes. I knew for a fact that everybody out there in the room would hate me. As much as I wanted to live on the sidelines for the rest of my life in this family, just like the past eighteen years. But I knew it wasn’t going to be possible. The truth was going to come out when they realised there was no inheritance that would go to any of them.

Over the years, grandpa and I gradually moved all his wealth to the National Trust as a silent donor, except this mansion, all its expenses for maintainance, current staff and other outgoings, and medical treatment and substantial amount of cash would come to me. Grandpa made sure I would always have my home where he promised to visit from time to time. I was content because I would always have a home where grandpa’s love echoed within these four walls.

I could hear “Time to Say Goodbye” playing and I guessed everyone in the family was in the main hall for grandpa’s funeral. A butterfly landed on the prayer plant in front of me which made me smile. It’s a sure confirmation that grandpa was absolutely not in that coffin, instead, he was here with me.

Shining bright

There is nothing more rewarding than to see a constantly failing person succeed.

The first time we met, I still remember clearly how she came wearing defeat.

I asked an open ended question ‘What can you tell me about yourself?’
She told me she was an academic failure, extremely anxious and a snail learner.
Then I asked her ‘Who are you deep down?’
She had a long awkward pause, then…’I am a kind person always willing to help.’
I saw a sparkle in her blue eyes framed by an alabaster heart shaped face.
I probed ‘What do you think it’s standing between you and your success?’
The words fell out before she could even catch them. ‘Only if people see me instead of my disabilities.’

I shared with her my observation.
We all came with gifts and talents.
One’s disability in a different environment is a unique ability.
We are mostly ignorant to things which we don’t quite understand.
Therefore when people don’t know how to cater for your unique abilities,
they tend to reject you.
The key is to search for an environment where your gifts and talents are valued,
your ability will be seen and you will be a star.

Today I received an email from her.
She told me she has been busy using her gifts and talents
in a place everyone sees her ability to be kind and helpful.
I opened the attachment. It’s her selfie. Her blue eyes are shining bright like twinkling stars.

Sydney Homelessness

I am reposting this as the Sydney street count is fast approaching this month (August 2019).


373 people sleeping rough around the inner city on the night of February 19.

I was there counting…

Their faces rushing to me like the dying souls swallowing by the swamp
Their stories I had heard playing like vinyl records

I ain’t got mama ain’t got nothing, papa’ s punches driving me scatty…
If you licked it and you liked it, a couple pearly dewdrops will get you high and die in ecstasy…
I was raised crooked in a dungeon, the city street lights are bright and shiny, it’s so much safer…
Not going back that sty, slave to two pigs from a mode. God I hate them sweet Jesus…
I am a failure as the financial crisis. I have sold my soul to the grog, 10 seconds sober to see my princess walking in school…
When Mama died she prayed God would take me. Now I am here and I don’t know why. Where is my Mommy…
My Dad needs help, he is all schizoed out. My mates can’t help, the weed can’t help…

I was there counting…

One by one the forgotten in our city
The stories were told
None has changed

373 people sleeping rough around the inner city on the night of February 19.

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