Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Burying 2014

It's been a great year!

So goes Facebook's compilation of your photos and postings for the year 2014. I sort of cringe whenever I read that. This has been a year I've been rather glad that it's coming to an end, with the inane hope that things would get better in 2015, as though replacing 2014 with 2015 would somehow miraculously bring better days.

I started off the year with a fractured ankle and a month long MC just after transferring into my new department. What a way to start new beginnings.

For the first few months of 2014, I had an acquaintance (I'm still finding it strange for being affected by his passing), seeing my friend in agony and helplessness as she watched his life ebb away, a grandaunt and a granduncle pass away. A close friend went through a divorce and battles depressing emotion.

Right after that was the disappearance of MH370, with an ex-colleague's wife, mother-in-law and sister-in-law, Jan's friend's dad and two church members on that flight. The shock, the confusion, the frustration of witnessing how the whole investigation unfolded to no avail. Suddenly, the world felt like a very big place, with unknown depths of the sea swallowing an entire plane to oblivion apparently.

As the nation tried to grapple with the agony, MH17 happened. This time, the conclusion was swift, no one survived. At least there was closure and the nation mourned as the bodies were returned to tanahair

At this point, when I flew to Perth in September, I couldn't help but to take a good look around at the other passengers, wondering if our names and lives would forever be linked together.

Then there was the sudden passing of a Malaysian giant, Karpal Singh. The testimonies that flowed for weeks thereafter were evidence of what an incredible person he was. Malaysia truly lost a great man that fateful night.

In between, disturbing developments in this country were allowed to rear it's ugly head. Extremists were given free reign to say, threaten and do whatever they wanted without consequences, many were even defended by ministers! On the other hand, other people were slapped with sedition for the slightest things that "offended" those in the corridors of power.

In terms of weather, we've had a dry spell which had the capital city on water rationing for months, we recorded a fierce twister in the northern state of Kedah, we've had landslides on Cameron Highlands, and topping off the year, we had 8 out of 12 states on Peninsular Malaysia suffer from floods.

On a global scale, we had Ebola, ISIS, kidnapping of the Nigerian school girls, Sydney Seige, Talibans slaughtering school kids...

As 31 December approached, an AirAsia plane crashes into the sea in the midst of bad weather. AirAsia is my preferred airline and each time the plane goes through turbulence, I comfort and remind myself this is normal, nothing to worry about. I now know that whatever turbulence I will experience next time will be filled with fear.

My family and friends who are flying over the next month or so are having jitters for sure. It doesn't help when another AirAsia flight three days after the crash overshot the runway in Philippines, thankfully with no casualties.

In the midst of all this sorrow, pain and uncertainty to usher in a new year, I can only try and take hope in Prov 3:5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.

To end this post with a little flashback, at the end of 2013, an ad agency came up with this funny video on averting bad luck associated with the number 4 in the year. If only...