Blessed Birthday To You, Nate!

Blessed Birthday To You, Nate!

Dear Nate,

Blessed birthday to you! It’s our fourth year visiting this special place in remembrance of you – a place where only Mom, Dad, Sib and Em will always be visiting whenever we miss you.

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Your sis specially picked this ‘yellow’ bouquet for you. Hope you like it!

A Special Meaning Behind This Yearly Family Affair

As much as we wished you can be around with us here, we know there’s a greater meaning behind why you left us to join God in heaven. This annual visit means a lot to us as a family – it makes us treasure one another even more, letting us appreciate every blessings we received thus far.

For every losses, every challenges, every blessings are part and parcel of God’s plan for us. Some challenges are harder to embrace, and some blessings are easily forgotten – but whenever I look back at how we lost you, it always make me realise how unexpected life can be – we can only treasure what we have at the moment and make the best out of whatever circumstances we are in. Life is short but it will be shorter if you start letting your days pass by without appreciating everything you have  around you.

May every 2nd February be our official family day! To put everything behind and just have as much fun as possible for just this special day!

Here’s us chilling together for late lunch 😉 Checking out the horses and laughing over the silliest things we see! We had a lot of fun despite Em having slight running nose and Sib with a churning stomach. :/

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Hope you are enjoying yourself up there too! Love you so much, Nate!

Love,
Mummy

I Miss You So Much, Especially Today… And Probably Every Family Milestones We Celebrate In The Future

I Miss You So Much, Especially Today… And Probably Every Family Milestones We Celebrate In The Future

Dear Nate,

It has been a while since mummy has written a post here. Time really flies and your little sister is now 3 months shy from turning three! Today is actually her first day in school!

Check out that wide grin on her face – she couldn’t hold in her excitement at all!

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Family Milestones Like Today’s Just Makes Me Miss You Even More

As much as I’d like to smile as wide as your little sis, I just couldn’t help thinking about you and I wished you were here with us to celebrate today’s milestone too. We will continue to share stories about you with your two sisters. And you will always have a special place in our hearts, no matter how long you have left us.

It’s Almost 3 Years Since You Left Us And We Still Miss You A Lot

I’ve read somewhere that the grieving will taper down as time passes – as new memories replace old ones. I don’t think that’s true at all.

The loss will still continue to grow as time passes. I will always be grieving the loss of your every milestone – your first day in school, first family holiday, first girlfriend and so on and forth. 

So, I will continue to miss you badly – and I know that’s what a normal grieving parent will do. And that’s perfectly okay. 🙂

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Here’s to more milestones to celebrate and I will continue to miss you, Nate. May God continue to shower us strengths and protections to the family as we grieve in a Godly manner and remember you forever.

Love,

Mummy

Your Company Can Probably Replace You (With Someone Better) But Your Kids Will Never Find A Dad Who Loves Them More

Your Company Can Probably Replace You (With Someone Better) But Your Kids Will Never Find A Dad Who Loves Them More

The past week has been a rough one, both physically and emotionally. Being in Singapore, it’s pretty guessable that work is one of the reasons why.

Running your own startup has its own pros and cons. One of the cons is that it’s just naturally harder to separate between work stress and personal stress. And personal stress has its way of getting into family matters. You get tired, you get cranky, you start losing focus and you just snap at home.

In Singapore, working adults pride ourselves on being able to work hard and to be productive for our company. Whether it’s to impress our boss, co-workers or just our family and friends, being able to achieve in the workplace is seen as a major sign of success in life – somewhat similar to getting good grades for exams.

What happen though to spending time at home, raising your kids and being there for them when they need you? Is being a successful dad less important? Surely not.

Are We Killing Ourselves For A Company Who Will Just Replace Us Within A Day If We Are Gone? 

People leave companies all the time. Whether it’s due to poor performance, a working relationship with the boss go wrong, career advancement or retirement, every company would deal with losing with good talent. A company doesn’t just decide to stop functioning because it loses a good employee or even it’s CEO.

In fact, they try to replace you (and I) with someone better. And very often, they succeed in doing so, regardless of how important you and I think we are to the company.

Our Kids Can’t Replace Us…Even If They Want To

While many of us dad may pride ourselves on being able to bring home the dough, we need to ask ourselves one additional question. How “successful” are we faring in our role as a dad today?

We spend 9, 10 maybe even 12 hours a day in the office. But even as the CEO, I am under no delusion that my company will continue to function well if I am no longer around to work with them tomorrow, for whatever reasons.

You know who is going to really miss me though? My family.

My parents will be devastated. At their senior age today, the realisation that they will spend their golden years without one of their son beside them is going to heartbreaking. They will need to move on and continuing living their lives well, knowing that they still have children and grandchildren who are in their lives.

My wife will need to move on. Unfortunately, there is no option to opt out of lives whenever bad things happen and the responsibilities of the kids will fall upon her. It will be tough but she will need to do her best for the decades to come. The next 20 years (at least) will be very difficult.

For for my girls, 2 year 9 months and 10 months respectively, they are going to grow up without a dad. At the start, they may not notice it. After a while when they are older, they will start to realise it. They may think it’s okay because they will never really know what it’s like to have a dad who loves them, because they never experienced it in the first place, and that’s the sad, painful part.

IfSib, I love you. Always remember that 🙂

Money, talent, skills, opportunities or even good health is something that we can’t always promise we can give to our kids. One thing can definitely give them, if we want to, is our love. For many of us, spending time with our girls, loving them and just being with them is something that is within our control.

Come home early whenever you can. Spend time with them. Read and laugh with them. Pray with them. Because our kids can’t replace us.

If I Could Spend One More Day With Anyone, It Will Be You

It’s been a while since either of us wrote a post. Though we have been busy, this blog is very much still around.

Compared to my day job (I run a pretty popular website), the traffic from this blog is wayyy lower.  However, The Little Nathaniel do get a handful of unique visitors each week. And whenever I see some traffic on the site, my heart goes out to you, whoever it is who is reading.

I am really sorry if you lost a child recently.

Maybe one day, we will meet. I hope and pray that you (and your spouse) will find the courage to move forward in your lives in the hope that one day, you will find your joy even though the days may appear unforgivingly dark right now.

Though my wife and I have been through a personal tragedy ourselves which few words can describe, I dare not say we know how you feel.

There is a popular question that people love asking.

“If you could spend a day (or have a meal) with anyone, past or present, who will it be.”

Recently, I thought about this question and here’s my answer.

#1 Little Nate will be top on my list. 

I don’t know what we will do. He will probably spends his entire day drinking milk, pooping, peeing and sleeping. I will do about 7-8 diapers change and just look, hug and kiss him during the time.

It does feel unfair. Spending less than 5 minutes in total with a child who was already gone by the time we saw and carried him. Two kisses. A few words. A prayer. That’s all.

I still remember the smile on his mother’s face when he was delivered. In spite of her sadness, seeing him was enough for her to break into a smile, even if it was just a short while.

It was a quiet operating theatre. The nurse told me “he’s a boy” and that the time was “4:35pm”. Just these two statements.

We miss you darling.

# 2 Natalie (Sib) Is Next

Next on my list is our 18-month old daughter. If I could spend a day alone with anyone right now, it will be her. And yes, we are going to have some daddy/daughter time this weekend!

I don’t know if any dad actually describe their relationship with their daughter this way but having Natalie around is just like falling in love…all over again!

You feel young, energetic, happy and everyone else is just looking at the two of you (with envy sometimes) having the time of our lives. What do we do? We talk baby gibberish words with one another, and find, do and laugh at the silliest, lamest and dumbest thing that either of us can think of.

If you want to share your story with me, you reach me at timothy.hozixin@gmail.com

We also have a small, closed Facebook group. If you wish to join, drop me an email and I will add you into it. 

Our (Your) Special Day

Our (Your) Special Day

Today, Daddy and Mommy talked about you. We are reminded that you are, and always will be, a part of our family. We remember the 39 weeks that you were with us, and the two cherished moments that we had with you – After you were delivered and before you had to be cremated.

Even though these fleeting moments were less than five minutes in total, they are memories that have long been seared into our hearts, and will remain so for a long time, perhaps as long as we lived.

After your passing, neither of us could get close to babies without having the painful memory that we lost you. Thankfully, we were blessed to have your baby sister slightly more than a year later. Though she is still young and doesn’t yet know, she has been the renewal that we needed in our lives. For a long time, we were in a dark, difficult place. Families and friends encouraged us, work (and Netflix) kept us occupied, but your baby sister was the spark that reignited our lives.

Today, we brought her to the place where we once buried your bones. Of course, it’s only symbolic now because 1) you are no longer in our world and I hope that you are having a blast up there in Heaven, and that it’s as good as advertised and 2) the bones have been back at home for the past year.

As usual, we brought flowers. Your baby sister helped choose it and the salesperson even asked her if she was buying it for someone special. She was!

Of course, we brought her along to drop off the flowers.

Mommy and I joked this morning that your baby sister is more pampered than most  because of you. She is showered with all the unconditional love that the people around her could possibly give.

In the future, your baby sister will grow up and understand why. She will treasure the care that people have shown her.

Still, all of these will never make up for the fact that given a choice, she will trade all of these away, just for the chance to be able to grow up with you, her older brother, by her side. However, this isn’t her choice, or ours, to make.

We love you and we miss you.

– Daddy, Mommy and Sib

Your Baby Sister Is 8 Months Old (And You Would Absolutely Love Her)

Your Baby Sister Is 8 Months Old (And You Would Absolutely Love Her)

Our baby daughter is now almost 8 months old!

Time flies. The last time we wrote, it was the day before little Natalie was due. It’s been almost 8 months since.

Natalie has been the most amazing little baby that Dee and I could ever have hoped for. She is soooooo cute (I know everyone says that about their own baby), getting all the attention wherever she goes, and really getting along with almost everyone, including other babies and toddlers. She is great to be with, play with, live with and to talk to.

A part of us always wished that Nate and Nat could have known each other. Seeing how Nat plays with other babies, there is no doubt in our minds that the two of them would have enjoyed each other company. Nate would love her, and his little sister would love him.

Dee and I always remind ourselves that Natalie have a “kor kor”, just that he is no longer around by the time she came. We talk about how Natalie appears to have the  characteristics of what it takes to be a “good little sister” – just by the way she enjoys observing others.

To Nate, Daddy wants you to know that we are doing really well. Your little sister has been a bundle of joy beyond our wildest imagination. We thank God for each day that we get to spend with her. She is so adorable that both of us misses her, even after just half a day apart. We wish you were here, because you would have loved her every bit as much as we do. She’s that adorable! 

Natalie (aka Sib) on her first month birthday!

To both Nate and Nat, we will always love and treasure the time that we spend with both of you. Though both of you didn’t get the chance to meet one another, at least not on this side of our world, we are and always will be a family together. Daddy, Mommy, Little Nate and Little Nat.

 

A Rainbow Baby – Dad’s Thoughts

A Rainbow Baby – Dad’s Thoughts

Dee recently share an article about rainbow baby. A rainbow baby refers to a baby born after the loss of a child. It could be a miscarriage, stillbirth or infant/child loss.

I am not sure how the term came about. One possibility I suspect is that it’s make in reference to God’s covenant with Noah after the flood, when a rainbow appeared as a promise that a flood will no longer destroy the earth again.

A rainbow symbolises hope. Hope that the future is going to be better than the past. Rainbows typically appear after storms have passed.

Living In The Present

 

Having lost a child at late pregnancy makes the next pregnancy tougher. You are  afraid to plan too much in advance. We try not to think too much about the future. None of the financial planning about how much this will cost us, what to do on her 1st month birthday, who is going to take care of her in the next few months.

People have asked us these practical questions, we don’t really have answers (yet).

We much rather live in the present than to worry about the future. If anything, the previous pregnancy taught us never to take anything in the future for granted.  Everyday, we talk to our baby daughter in the womb. Every kick is a timely reminder of the amazing gift that God has blessed us with.

Dee has been an amazing Mom the past 9 months. Being awaken in the middle of the night by little sib’s kicks is something we will treasure. Dee will wake me up and in my groggy state, i will put my palms on her for a short while, feel sib’s kick, smile and get back to sleep. It’s been an amazing few months seeing sib grow from the faint nudges to the big kicks.

As much as I like being awaken by the kicks, I am gladly looking forward being woken up by the cries in the future.

It’s Moving Forward, It’s Never Deja Vu

A week ago, Dee asked me if I have any feeling of deja vu. My response was easy. No – no deja vu for us.

Of course, circumstances can appear similar. 14 months ago, we too were awaiting baby Nathan to join us, but that didn’t happen.

This is a different pregnancy. It’s different because it’s a different child. It’s different because no matter what happens, Nathan will always be in our heart. Having baby sib won’t change the pain of losing Nathan, but it would, however, remind us that we can move forward in the chapters of our lives with hopes in our hearts – hope that tomorrow will be good.

It’s not deja vu because couples move forward, not back.

Praying For The Future

I reminded myself that as much as tomorrow may seem like a “big day”, it’s actually not for me at all, but for my two girls.

For Dee, it’s her second delivery in less than 14 months. In fact, she has been pregnant for the past 22 months, with the exception of a 4 to 5 months gap. It’s been tough, physically, mentally and of course emotionally for her.

For sib, it’s obviously a big day for her. I have no idea how babies think/feel/react but I can imagine how life in our world would be drastically different from whatever it is that they are used to in the womb, at least for the few first weeks.

As a Dad, I remind myself the only thing I can do in the days, weeks and months ahead is to be there for her, to care for her in the best possible way I can, physically, emotionally, spiritually.

To my dearest sib, when you are old enough to read for yourself. I want you to know that Daddy & Mommy loves you, a lot. We love you while you are in the womb, and we will continue loving you with all we have when you are with us, for as long we are around. You are an amazing gift that God have given us and it’s our prayer that you will be with us for the rest of our lives on this earth. 

Never Once (Matt Redman) 
Standing on this mountaintop
Looking just how far we’ve come
Knowing that for every step
You were with us
Kneeling on this battle ground
Seeing just how much You’ve done
Knowing every victory
Was Your power in us
Scars and struggles on the way
But with joy our hearts can say
Yes, our hearts can say
Never once did we ever walk alone
Never once did You leave us on our own
You are faithful, God, You are faithful