a letter to my person

Dear Hannah

I miss you. Or as the French say it, you are missing from me. You have been the most constant person in my life, I don’t remember a part of it where you are not present. You’re always there, sharing the clothes, bedroom, mattress. The person I can have spontaneous conversations with anytime, anywhere. The one who can read my mind, who understands what I’m trying to convey with just a partial thought, or a half-baked sentence, or even a single glance. The one who rebukes when I’m wallowing in self-pity, or pride, or both. Funny how at times you become the older sister, sometimes wiser, more sober than me. You’re not my best friend, I have two wonderful ladies who fill that position (and they’re terribly missed as well). Nope, you’re not just a friend.

You are blood. You are my person.

The one I’d call if I have to drag a dead body across the room, a la Grey’s Anatomy, or Downton Abbey.

Remember last year when I almost died? I was lying there staring, I remember the sky was blue and cloudless and I couldn’t breathe. There was literally no room for my chest to expand. I thought about how far the town – the nearest hospital was. Forty-five minutes to an hour across the sea. There is no way I can last that long without proper oxygen in my lungs, let alone survive the travel. Too much Grey’s Anatomy made me think of haemorrhage and fractures and failed organs.

I started having the “Is this it Lord?” conversation with God. I thought of dying and I felt fear, but no more than a hint. I thought of meeting Jesus in couple of minutes. I thought about what He would say. No there was no fear. There was regret. I didn’t want to go because I felt that nothing has happened with my life just yet. That I haven’t done much for Him, I don’t want my creator to meet the insecure, fearful, wide-eyed, full-of-dreams version of me. I want Him to meet the version that He intends me to be: Victorious and full of Joy, much like my name. So I was lying there, thinking hurt, tight, heavy, breathe, I’m going to die today.

Then papa kept telling me to stay awake, telling me to relax, to keep my eyes open. His voice was very calm, but I could hear the panic behind it. I was sleepy. Then he kissed my temple. That’s when I realised I can’t die today. Because papa will be sad. And I thought of my life without you (you were currently screaming at the medicine man) and I told myself  I can’t die. Because I will be the most affected with your leaving. And you will be affected with mine. Remember when you visited the hospital the next day? We didn’t say anything, we just started crying. I turned my face away from you because I knew how scared you were, (thus your allergy attack that night). I knew I’d be scared if something happened to you.

Remember when you left for Singapore? I drove you to the airport with mama. It was your first time flying solo out the country. Out to the unknown. The rain was heavy that night. I admired you then. You’re much braver than me.

Do you know I still cry whenever I watch Frozen? Because A) I see so much of myself in Elsa (you’d know why), and B) it reminds me so much of us.

So here we are, time zones apart .

I’d be lying if I say that I don’t feel homesick. But there is no place I’d rather be right now than with Jesus.

I heard a preaching here where the pastor described Abraham as the quintessential expat. He lived as an alien, holding lightly to everything, including his son. He never anchored anything in this earth even though he had great riches. He knew that home was not something behind him, but is somewhere before him. And that every setting of the sun is a day spent closer to home. It is not the place I left. Home is where we will go. This is not heaven. We are not here to be comfortable. And so I left my comfort zone.

I’m afraid Han, I’m always afraid. I fear the unknown, I fear most of my waking hours, I fear rejection, I fear that I’m not good enough, pretty enough, or strong enough. I fear that people will look down on me here.

But I fear God more, I fear any place where He is not present, and I fear missing out on His plans for my life. So enough with the fears. It may not be comfortable living without you around the house, but at least the next time we see each other I have tons of stories to tell.

I love you.

Your ate,







2 thoughts on “a letter to my person

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