Seems I’ve been looking out of the window for a long time and what Ive seen is impossible to touch. There is a world on the other side of the glass, outside the train, outside the office and sometimes I remember how it feels, how it smells, how it looks and how it sounds. When I die, I don’t want to regret the time I spent looking out of the window but rather celebrate that i came to the realisation that none of the …. Matters and I got off the train to see, hear, see and smell the world. My only regret should be that I did not love you ENOUGH, although I loved and loved and loved.
Category Archives: Prose and Poetry
My mom only had one eye. I hated her… she was such an embarrassment. My mom ran a small shop at a flea market. She collected little weeds and such to sell… anything for the money we needed she was such an embarrassment. There was this one day during elementary school.
I remember that it was field day, and my mom came. I was so embarrassed.
How could she do this to me? I threw her a hateful look and ran out. The next day at school…”Your mom only has one eye?!” and they taunted me.
I wished that my mom would just disappear from this world so I said to my mom, “Mom, why don’t you have the other eye?! You’re only going to make me a laughingstock. Why don’t you just die?” My mom did not respond. I guess I felt a little bad, but at the same time, it felt good to think that I had said what I’d wanted to say all this time.
Maybe it was because my mom hadn’t punished me, but I didn’t think that I had hurt her feelings very badly.
That night…I woke up, and went to the kitchen to get a glass of water. My mom was crying there, so quietly, as if she was afraid that she might wake me. I took a look at her, and then turned away. Because of the thing I had said to her earlier, there was something pinching at me in the corner of my heart. Even so, I hated my mother who was crying out of her one eye. So I told myself that I would grow up and become successful, because I hated my one-eyed mom and our desperate poverty.
Then I studied really hard. I left my mother and came to Seoul and studied, and got accepted in the Seoul University with all the confidence I had. Then, I got married. I bought a house of my own. Then I had kids, too. Now I’m living happily as a successful man. I like it here because it’s a place that doesn’t remind me of my mom. This happiness was getting bigger and bigger, when someone unexpected came to see me “What?! Who’s this?!” …It was my mother…Still with her one eye. It felt as if the whole sky was falling apart on me. My little girl ran away, scared of my mom’s eye.
And I asked her, “Who are you? I don’t know you!!!” as if I tried to make that real. I screamed at her “How dare you come to my house and scare my daughter! GET OUT OF HERE! NOW!!!” And to this, my mother quietly answered, “oh, I’m so sorry. I may have gotten the wrong address,” and she disappeared. Thank good ness… she doesn’t recognize me. I was quite relieved. I told myself that I wasn’t going to care, or think about this for the rest of my life.
Then a wave of relief came upon me…one day, a letter regarding a school reunion came to my house. I lied to my wife saying that I was going on a business trip. After the reunion, I went down to the old shack, that I used to call a house…just out of curiosity there, I found my mother fallen on the cold ground. But I did not shed a single tear. She had a piece of paper in her hand…. it was a letter to me.
I think my life has been long enough now. And… I won’t visit Seoul anymore… but would it be too much to ask if I wanted you to come visit me once in a while? I miss you so much. And I was so glad when I heard you were coming for the reunion. But I decided not to go to the school…. For you… I’m sorry that I only have one eye, and I was an embarrassment for you. You see, when you were very little, you got into an accident, and lost your eye. As a mother, I couldn’t stand watching you having to grow up with only one eye… so I gave you mine…I was so proud of my son that was seeing a whole new world for me, in my place, with that eye. I was never upset at you for anything you did. The couple times that you were angry with me. I thought to myself, ‘it’s because he loves me.’ I miss the times when you were still young around me.
I miss you so much. I love you. You mean the world to me.
My world shattered!!!
Then I cried for the person who lived for me… MY MOTHER
Two men, both seriously ill, occupied the same hospital room. One man was allowed to sit up in his bed for an hour every day to drain the fluids from his lungs. His bed was next to the room’s only window. The other man had to spend all his time flat on his back. The men talked for hours on end. They spoke of their wives and families, their homes, their jobs, their involvement in the military service, where they had been on vacation. In addition, every afternoon when the man in the bed next to the window could sit up, he would pass the time by describing all the things he could see outside the window to his roommate.
The man in the other bed would live for those one-hour periods where all the activity and color of the outside world would broaden and enliven his world. The window overlooked a park with a lovely lake, the man had said. Ducks and swans frolicked in the water while children sailed their model boats. Lovers walked arm in arm amid flowers of every color of the rainbow. Great old trees graced the landscape and a fine view of the city skyline could be seen in the distance. As the man by the window described all this in exquisite detail, the man on the other side of the room would close his eyes and imagine the picturesque scene. One warm afternoon, the man by the window described a parade passing by.
Although the other man could not hear the band, he could see it in his mind’s eye as the man by the window portrayed it with descriptive words. Unexpectedly, an alien thought entered his head: Why should he have all the pleasure of seeing everything while I never get to see anything? It didn’t seem fair. As the thought fermented, the man felt ashamed at first. However, as the days passed and he missed seeing more sights, his envy eroded into resentment and soon made him bitter. He began to brood and found himself unable to sleep. The thought “I should be by that window” now controlled his life.
One late night, as he lay staring at the ceiling, the man by the window began to cough. He was choking on the fluid in his lungs. The other man watched in the dimly lit room as the struggling man by the window groped for the button to call for help. Listening from across the room, he never moved, never pushed his own button, which would have brought the nurse running. In less than five minutes, the coughing and choking stopped, along with the sound of breathing. Now, there was only silence–deathly silence. The following morning, the nurse arrived to bring water for their baths. When she found the lifeless body of the man by the window, she felt sad and called the hospital attendant to take it away–no words, no fuss. As soon as it seemed appropriate, the man asked if he could be moved next to the window. The nurse was happy to make the switch and after making sure he was comfortable, she left him alone.
Slowly, painfully, he propped himself up on one elbow to take his first look. Finally, he would have the joy of seeing it all himself. He slowly strained to turn and look out of the window beside the bed. Much to his surprise, it faced a blank wall!
Moral: The pursuit of happiness is a matter of choice. It is a positive attitude we consciously choose to express. It is not a gift that gets delivered to our doorstep each morning nor does it come through the window. Moreover, I am certain that our circumstances are just a small part of what makes us joyful. If we wait for them to get just right, we will never find lasting joy. The pursuit of happiness is an inward journey. Our minds are like programs, awaiting the code that will determine behaviors; like bank vaults awaiting our deposits. If we regularly deposit positive, encouraging, and uplifting thoughts; if we continue to bite our lips just before we begin to grumble and complain; if we shoot down that seemingly harmless negative thought as it germinates; we will find that there is much to rejoice about.
A poem found online by Correina MacRae. This was written for her Grandmother but seems so apt for the wonderful family here, who give their time and their hearts so willingly. Thank you all for being our angels of HOPE.
You are an Angel
Strong and smart
loving and sweet,
you are one of the
greatest people I ever
got to meet.
I’ll never forget you
you’re in my heart
and even though you’re
not with me
we’re not far apart.
You are an Angel
in everyone’s eyes
gentle and caring
for the good, you changed
You are an Angel
with a big heart and
a gentle smile.
When you’d do something
for someone you always went that extra mile.
You are an Angel
always there to lend
a helping hand
you were always so loving
and would always understand
You are an Angel
strong and smart
loving and sweet
you are one of the greatest
people I ever
got to meet.
INVITATION TO “GIVE ‘EM HOPE”:
I’m hoping that you’ll share your inspiring and positive energy with the world through my Give ’em Hope Campaign; an inspirational online video initiative to inspire and uplift those who feel marginalised or isolated. We exist to bring hope to those who need it most.
The purpose of the campaign is to encourage the benefits of living authentically. We should not be limited by labels that are imposed by others, if these labels are negative and wrong; especially when it comes to stereotyping and when the result may be lowered self-esteem and a possible impact upon an individuals ability to fulfil their personal potential.
Make us a video or write about this. Your story or your video can have such an impact and would be a welcomed addition to this campaign. Here is a link to the fb group for more info: https://www.facebook.com/groups/GiveEmHope/
Please Check our UPDATED WEBSITE HERE for INCREDIBLE VIDEOS OF HOPE AND INSPIRATION: http://www.nbiassociates.co.uk/Give–em-Hope-Campaign.html
A young woman went to her grandmother and told her about her life and how things were so hard for her. She did not know how she was going to make it and wanted to give up. She was tired of fighting and struggling. It seemed as one problem was solved a new one arose.
Her grandmother took her to the kitchen. She filled three pots with water. In the first, she placed carrots, in the second she placed eggs and the last she placed ground coffee beans. She let them sit and boil without saying a word.
In about twenty minutes she turned off the burners. She fished the carrots out and placed them in a bowl. She pulled the eggs out and placed them in a bowl. Then she ladled the coffee out and placed it in a bowl. Turning to her granddaughter, she asked, “Tell me what do you see?”
“Carrots, eggs, and coffee,” she replied.
She brought her closer and asked her to feel the carrots. She did and noted that they got soft.She then asked her to take an egg and break it.
After pulling off the shell, she observed the hard-boiled egg.
Finally, she asked her to sip the coffee. The granddaughter smiled, as she tasted its rich aroma. The granddaughter then asked. “What’s the point,grandmother?”
Her grandmother explained that each of these objects had faced the same adversity–boiling water–but each reacted differently.
The carrot went in strong, hard and unrelenting. However after being subjected to the boiling water, it softened and became weak. The egg had been fragile. Its thin outer shell had protected its liquid interior. But, after sitting through the boiling water, its inside became hardened.
The ground coffee beans were unique, however. After they were in the boiling water they had changed the water.
“Which are you?” she asked her granddaughter.
“When adversity knocks on your door, how do you respond? Are you a carrot, an egg, or a coffee bean?”
Think of this: Which am I?
Am I the carrot that seems strong, but with pain and adversity, do I wilt and become soft and lose my strength?
Am I the egg that starts with a malleable heart, but changes with the heat? Did I have a fluid spirit, but after a death, a breakup, a financial hardship or some other trial, have I become hardened and stiff?
Does my shell look the same, but on the inside am I bitter and tough with a stiff spirit and a hardened heart?
Or am I like the coffee bean? The bean actually changes the hot water, the very circumstance that brings the pain. When the water gets hot, it releases the fragrance and flavor. If you are like the bean, when things are at their worst, you get better and change the situation around you.
When the hours are the darkest and trials are their greatest do you elevate to another level? ~ AUTHOR UNKNOWN ~
I’m hoping that you’ll share your inspiring and positive energy with the world through my Give ’em Hope Campaign. The Give ’em Hope Campaign is an inspirational online video initiative to inspire and uplift those who feel marginalised or isolated. We exist to bring hope to those who need it most. The campaign was founded by David E Watters in early 2011 and has grown, with the support of numerous international cheerleaders and proactive participants. Stage Two of the campaign has included written stories of HOPE from those who have freed themselves from limiting labels and who can now celebrate their individuality.
Write your story or make and send your video to: DavidWatters@nbiassociates.co.uk
Here is a link to the fb group for more info: https://www.facebook.com/groups/GiveEmHope/
by Jern Siong
Hey, son! About time we talked, don’t you think?
About what, dad?
You, my dear son, you. It’s been a while.
Yeah, sure has.
We missed you.
Dad, you know how much I hated that small town where we lived. The feelings were pretty mutual
Come on, son. You know it wasn’t for no reason you and your friends couldn’t get along.
Oh, so it’s my fault then? Great, dad, calling to tell me that I’m a jerk. What else is new?
You haven’t exactly been a … well, friendly kid back then. Can’t blame others for what you did to
Why don’t you try being friendly to a group of kids who kick your butt into the dirt every day?
I’m sure it wasn’t that bad. After all, the teachers wouldn’t have allowed anything to happen.
Dad, the teachers hate me too, remember? All that crap about me ‘straying from the path of the
righteous’ and ‘mixing with a bad crowd’ pissed the hell out of me.
Well, you were a bit of a troubled kid, disobeying orders and never finishing your homework.
I was busy surviving high school, dad. That place was a freaking nightmare. One wrong move, and
I went to the same school when I was your age, and it was pretty fun.
You were the jock, dad. I was the kid everyone pisses on.
Maybe if you weren’t so… flamboyant, people might have left you alone.
That’s who I am, dad. I can’t change who I am. But nobody understands that. Even you and mum
think I’m twisted or something.
Son, guys your age spend time playing football and hanging out with girlfriends. They don’t….
What, dad? Dance and sing? Play the piano? Watch musicals? Don’t be ridiculous, dad.
You spent entire days singing along to songs from Grease and Cats. What was I supposed to think?
That I liked musicals? Why don’t you try that for a change, huh, dad?
It’s not just that. It’s…. well, the way you behaved, and all. People were freaking out. Your mum and I
were freaking out.
Oh my God, I can’t believe you’re telling me this crap. There’s nothing wrong with the way I
Son, of course there’s something wrong. You’re a guy, and guys don’t act like that.
How the hell do you know how guys are supposed to act? It’s not like it’s written in stone or
It’s in the Bible, son. Maybe if you’re not so busy you could try reading it.
Read something that tells me I deserve to burn in hell? No, thanks.
But if you repent, and accept God’s love, you can be in heaven with us! Think about how sad we’ll be
if you weren’t there.
Technically, if you’re in heaven, you should be happy. If you’re sad, it defeats the purpose, doesn’t
Dad, you still there?
Yeah, just thinking about what you said.
Oh, screw that. How’s mum doing these days?
Well, about that… she isn’t exactly hale and hearty, but she’s hanging in there.
Hanging in there? What the hell are you talking about?
She had a stroke last year, and I tried to call you, but you never picked up….
My nose is runny. Wait a minute.
What happened after that?
Well, she was hospitalised for a couple of months, and during that time, she kept asking for you, but
no one knew where you were.
She got better after a while, but we’re keeping her health in check. Can’t be too safe nowadays.
You know, even after all those fights back then, I still cared about her. But she didn’t give a damn
She did, son. She just didn’t want to show it. When you left, it pretty much broke her heart. She
cried for days, and when she wasn’t crying, she was walking around the house like a zombie. She
kept saying that she failed as a mother.
Well, she sort of did. Mothers were supposed to love their children no matter what, and she pretty
much failed on that part.
Don’t put the blame on her. She has strong values, and you can’t expect that to change overnight.
I waited seventeen freaking years for her to change. That’s not overnight.
I think what tipped her over the brink was the night you left. Remember that?
Yeah. It wasn’t pretty, was it?
No, son, it sure as hell wasn’t. We were all screaming at each other, and after a while, you
announced that you were leaving. I swore that when you walked out that front door, I felt sure as
hell you were going to come back. You always did before. But that time, you didn’t.
I slept in the park that night, dad. I knew I couldn’t possibly go back again, so I hitchhiked, got a job,
moved around for a while. Then I met someone. We were cool for a while, but then he broke it off.
So I bunked around at friends’ for a while until I got enough money for an apartment. It wasn’t
much, but at least I had someplace I could call home.
Well, you could’ve come back here.
And what? Start another row? No dad, I’ve had enough with that place. At least out there, I had
some peace of mind.
So you’re still staying in that apartment?
What, now? Hell no. Left that place ages ago. Moved in with someone.
Oh. So you’re…
Still that way. Yes dad, I am, and I can never change.
But how do you know that?
If you were me, dad, you’ll know.
But I don’t understand.
I don’t wanna talk about this. The last time we did, it ended in a fight, and I doubt you called me for
that. How’d you get my number anyway?
A friend of yours passed it along. Took me a while to convince him, but I finally did. The thing is, son,
your sister is getting married. And she’s hoping that you could come to the ceremony.
Oh my God, Ella’s getting married? Who is it?
Some guy she met at her workplace. Name’s Rich. Nice guy, treats her well and all that. But most
importantly, mum likes him. She thinks he’s a ‘true gentleman’.
Unlike me, I suppose.
Oh, don’t go into that. So, are you coming?
Hell yes I am! I love Ella, and I’m definitely going to be there on her big day.
There’s one more thing. Can you… not bring anyone?
What? I can’t even bring my boyfriend to my own sister’s wedding? Who the hell said that?
Son, let’s try to work things out here. Our relatives would freak if you walked in arm-in-arm with
Who cares? Definitely not me.
But it’s your sister’s wedding, son. Don’t ruin it for her. She’s been planning it for months, and she
really wants to see you again. Please, work with me.
Hmm… all right. But remember, I’m doing this for Ella, not for any of those snotty, stuck-up bastards
we have for relatives.
And I’d appreciate it if you don’t take off immediately after. We’d all like to spend some time with
you. It’s been a long time, son.
We’ll see how it goes on that day. When’s the wedding, anyway?
What? That’s like three days from now!
I know. This is a pretty short notice, but I really hope you can make it.
Well, it shouldn’t be a problem. I’ll have to cancel a few plans, but Ella trumps anyone else in my life.
She’s the only one who remained supportive throughout all those years. Damn, I miss that girl.
You’re going to be seeing her pretty soon, son. And the rest of us old folks as well.
Hey, dad. I got to go. There’s some work I have to finish. See you Saturday.
Stage One – The Give ‘em Hope Campaign is an inspirational online video initiative to inspire and uplift those who feel marginalised or isolated. We exist to bring hope to those who need it most.
The campaign was founded by David E Watters in early 2011 and has grown, with the support of numerous international cheerleaders and proactive participants.
IF YOU LIVE UNLIMITED BY LABELS…
THEN TELL US HOW IT’S DONE
Make and send your video to: DavidWatters@nbiassociates.co.uk
MAKE A VIDEO AND MAKE A DIFFERENCE
Stage Two of the campaign has included written stories of HOPE from those who have freed themselves from limiting labels and who can now celebrate their individuality.
Here and below you can read a diverse range of personal and incredibly inspirational stories which complement the Give ‘em Hope Video Campaign
ANYONE WHO PREFERS TO WRITE SOMETHING OR WHO IS UNABLE TO MAKE A VIDEO -TITLE IT “My Give ‘em Hope Story – NAME” and email to DavidWatters@nbiassociates.co.uk
By Jern Siong
He ran. Against the hurt, the pain, the abuse.
He ran. From the anger, the hatred, the past.
It took him a long time to summon enough courage to flee. To defy his parents. To leave behind what was familiar and strike out on his own.
In search of a better future.
So, he ran. They tried to hold him back; with tears, poisonous words laced with honey, even threats of bodily harm, but he had steeled himself. Told himself firmly that once he was safely away, none of this would matter.
He knew that once he left, there would be no turning back. But he also knew that if he stayed, there would soon be nothing left. His soul, slowly ripped to shreds by those who claimed to love him, but instead only looked out for their own interests.
He ran. From bigotry, from prejudice, from ignorance.
From those who would never understand how he felt, simply because they refused to.
He had felt lost for so long. Wandering the world on his own, with no help from those he looked to for guidance.
There was a time when he believed what they said about him. Believed the lies, the admonishments, telling him that he would one day burn in hell. Oh, how those monsters had struck fear in his heart, leaving him broken and battered in their so-called homes of worship.
Where was God when he needed him? Where was God when His followers were doing such evil in his name, under his very eyes? Fuck you God, where the hell were you?
He soon learnt that the only place for solace was within his soul. Within the knowledge he painstakingly gathered from months of research.
When he finally learnt the truth, he felt the blanket of pain slip gently off his shoulders onto the ground, and he could breathe freely for the first time.
He had been lost before. But no longer. No longer a fool, believing in the hurtful words of others.
No. He would trust none other than himself. Never again would he fall prey to those who only looked to destroy him and his kind.
It had been a long time since then. Four years and five months, to be precise.
He turned to the warm body by his side and kissed it gently.
If this was happiness, then perhaps he had found it.
Throughout his twenty-three wretched years on Earth, he had never felt this safe. This warm. This contented.
He had wanted for so long, and finally, Nick walked into his life.
It was a chance encounter at a bar. How corny, he had thought that first time, when Nick came up and offered to buy him a drink. One date led to another, and soon he found himself falling hopelessly in love.
Looking at the sleeping form beside him, he was glad that he did not hold back. Of course, there was the fear; the fear that it might not work out, that Nick would leave him for someone else.
But then again, there was Nick. Perfect, gorgeous, sweet, funny Nick. Who always knew how to make him laugh, to cheer him up when he was down, and to give advice when he needed it.
He loved him so much that his heart ached with the pain of it. He wanted to burst out in song and announce to the world that he was in love. With this wonderful man by his side.
Two years. Two years was how long they lasted, before Nick was enticed by another lover, one so powerful he could never hope to compete with.
Romantic novels always described the agony of broken hearts, but only when it happens to you do you realise how truly painful it is. How an emotional pain could hurt worse than a kick in the groin, he didn’t know. All he knew right then was that he would happily take a hundred knees between his own, if only it would bring Nick back.
But it wouldn’t. He knew that, but his heart refused to accept it.
Why? Why do you have to leave me alone in this world?
In the days after, he would lie in his bed, not eating, not thinking; simply staring ahead into the empty walls where their pictures used to be. Where Nick would hold him tightly and plant a kiss on his forehead, promising him forever.
A promise, so easily made, now broken.
He felt tears run down his cheeks and allowed his emotions to take over, falling to the ground in a wretched heap.
He looked up at the man standing in front of him, and nodded.
Slowly, he placed one trembling feet after another on the wooden steps. Climbed onto the stage and strode over to the podium as confidently as he could, even though he was shivering inside.
He turned and stared at the millions before him. Some held placards, while other merely held each other.
There were tears, words of anger, but it all quietened down when they saw him.
It was time.
And he spoke. Spoke about the incident that took his lover away. About the men who had gotten away with such a heinous act simply because there was not enough evidence. He spoke about injustice, about pain, about intolerance. He spoke about bigotry, about how much suffering it has caused them throughout their lives. He spoke about Matthew Shepard, about Jamey Rodemeyer, about Ryan Halligan. He quoted Harvey Milk, Barack Obama, even Andrew Cuomo, who had recently legalised gay marriages in New York. He cried, he swore, he raged, and the crowd with him.
When he finally stepped down, the cheering could be heard a mile away.
He knew then, that his run wasn’t over.
There might not be any changes in his lifetime. He could be running a rat race, for all he knew, but one thing was certain; this was something he had to do.
After Nick, he thought he had lost his purpose in life. But then a newsflash about a gay kid who committed suicide changed everything.
He knew what a dark place it was. Heck, he himself had almost gone over the edge, and he didn’t want any more innocent kids facing that horrible choice.
No, the time for change had come.
Time to run.
Stage One – The Give ’em Hope Campaign is an inspirational online video initiative to inspire and uplift those who feel marginalised or isolated. We exist to bring hope to those who need it most.
The campaign was founded by David E Watters in early 2011 and has grown, with the support of numerous international cheerleaders and proactive participants.