Sunday, October 17, 2010

Was the sacrifice worth it?

Can you tell what was hanging from that tree?  Sorry I did not get a better shot ... the winds were too strong, I  simply could not take aim.  Well it seems to be one side of a lost flip flop tied to a string.

I knew exactly why it was hanging over the branches. I had the lucky experience of  some stranger rescuing my kite from the tree.  They would tie something heavy to one end and toss it into the branches, knocking off the kite.  At times they would use fishing weights ... but I guess an inexpensive flip flop would do the trick too!

Had it been a flip flop you needed to wear to get home, wouldn't it be a grave sacrifice.  Or if it had been one of those expensive brands ... wouldn't it be a waste of money. The chances of what you are tossing up into those branches, there is a likelyhood that it might not come back down.   Once again ... was the sacrifice worth it?

That led me to thinking if the sacrifices we made for our families ... was it worth it.   I wonder if I had sacrificed enough ... had I perservered would my life take a different route?  Would I still want to be married?

Well that's me, a complicated situation, which sometimes I wish I could have lost my memory of the unhappy times, yet within them, it was a period of growth, strength and gratefulness that there were loving family and friends surrounding me... including my dog. 

Yet pondering frequently now and then ... and wishing if I had more control of my life then and had been more assertive by setting my boundaries, there was a chance I need not have wasted 20 years of my marriage?


Ok but this post is not about me.  It has to do with a remarkable woman, who had sacrificed much of her herself, for the man she loved and believed in.

That's a picture of Mr Lee Kuan Yew (Minister Mentor of Singapore) and his 'rock' Mdm Kwa Geok Choo when they were in Cambridge. (his wife died just a few weeks ago and age 89)

The stories surrounding her death, filled the pages of the dailies, mainly about her loyalty and faithfulness to her husband of 63 years. They replayed how much she had sacrificed her career in Law to be home taking care of her 3 children.  To be there with a listening ear to the problems her husband is facing running the country. 

It does seem like any other marriage ... the kind of sacrifices a wife would make to allow her husband to build his career.  She continued to do so for 63 years, even the 2 years she laid in bed unable to move or talk.  She listened as her husband returns home each night to read her favorite poems, books and tell her of his day.

Was this sacrifice worth it?  She gave so much of herself and the praises from people who knew her, and eulogies from family all spoke of her love and tireless devotion.  There was so much about her, but I felt they had forgotten one important detail.  The man who loved, cherished and respected her ... made her who she was. 

If without the kind devotion from a man who respected what she had to say, who depended on her and yet was not ashamed to say so.  This gave her strength to carry on... yes she was indeed a woman of great intelligence and fortitude, and with the 'greatest love of all' the man whom she too respected ... she shone! 

When a man loves a woman that much and shows it ... there is nothing a woman will not do.

Mr Lee had even written a letter of advise to his son on his wedding day and it read  "...we have never allowed the other to feel abandoned and alone in any moment of crisis. Quite the contrary, we have faced all major crises in our lives together, sharing our fears and hopes, and our subsequent grief and exultation.  These moments of crisis have bonded us together. With the years, the number of special ties which we two have shared have increased.  Some of them we share with the children."

So in this case, her sacrifice was indeed worth it. They were as loving as ever, and it made many wish they could have had a love like this ... perhaps it woud have been worth our time on earth.

Some humble quotes :
Mr Lee Kuan Yew, on how he was a "kept man" during Parliament in 1985:"Over the years, I've been a kept man. My wife keeps the family."

Mr Lee on her character:
"She's a very caring person, very staid, very caring; she's not frivolous and does not like to socialise, which saves a lot of time".

When asked if she (Mrs Lee) ever had disagreements with Mr Lee in email interviews, she replied:
" Would you believe me if I say we never disagree or quarrel? Fortunately, these are over little matters. Kuan Yew leaves household decisions to me. Family matters have not been a problem."

When asked by an interviewer about the changes in her relationship with Mr Lee over the years in an interview with Radio Telveision Hong Kong in 2002:
Mrs Lee: "The only change is that we've grown older."
Interviewer: "Black hair to white hair."
Mrs Lee: "Black hair to no hair."

Then United States President Richard Nixon's compliment to her devotion and loyalty to her husband in 1973:
President Nixon: "Mrs Lee, tell me, is it true that you were No. 1 in the class at Cambridge Law School and your husband was No. 2?
Mrs Lee: "Mr President, do you think he would have married me if that were the case?"  (I believe she was indeed No.1)


  1. this is a lovely post, Gaia.

    I know of a saying, if I can remember it correctly goes something like this 'behind every good man, is a good woman' i believe the reverse is also true.

    thank you

  2. That is true love and devotion--on both parts!

  3. What a beautiful picture of marriage! I have heard that a marriage isn't 2 people, it's 3. When God is in the middle, then He's holding the union together, and a strand of 3 cords is not easily broken.

    Beautiful story, Gaia. Thanks for sharing!

  4. Great post, Gaia. It's amazing how true love and devotion can stand the test of time - it's in the little things, I guess. As you for you, Gaia, have no regrets of the past - we all make mistakes and pay the price for them - but I'm sure you've come out a stronger, more self-contained woman for that and your blog is evidence to that.

  5. Gaia~ thank you for leaving your comment on my post. I appreciate you sharing that little bit of info. with me. Your compliment regarding my poem was heartfelt and deeply appreciated.
    thank you
    take care

  6. I guess it depends on whether or not she felt she had made sacrifices. Perhaps instead of sacrifices, she saw them as better choices?
    Great post!

    Happy day to you, Gaia!
    ~ Zuzu

  7. Gaia, thank you for sharing. Blessings.

  8. I found you on Corinne's Connections post. I just started reading your blog and liked what I was reading. So... I look forward to reading more. If you get the chance you are invited to drop in and visit me. I am almost done with a letter challenge. It has actually been very therapeutic. And every Thursday I dedicate video footage to various bloggers. I dedicated something to Corinne yesterday:-) So nice to have found your blog!!!

  9. Thank you for sharing this, It is touching and it blesses me just to read it.

  10. Gaia..this is great to read....I think Terri is's true love

  11. my thought of the flipflop was if the object we rescue is worth losing the flipflop, then it is worth it. A good trade off.
    If what we are giving up to help others, if it's a good exchange, then it's worth it. But if it makes us unhappy and in the process everyone else, then it is not.
    Great post.


Love to hear from you! Blessings always

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