The Princess and The Frog (2009)

mp’s rating: 4 / 5 stars

aHey all of you Disney lovers!! Have you checked this movie out? If the answer is ‘no’, I do not only encourage you to watch this movie, but I COMMAND you to watch this! I have watched this movie for the third time now, and it never fails me to fall in love with this movie again.

As a Disney’s movie, “The Princess and The Frog” (2009), directed by Ron Clements and John Musker, it did it again. A combination of the ‘fairy tale’ world and the ‘modern’ world as well, this movie tells the story of nowaday’s struggle in the world, but it never looses its magic. Starting the story from wishing upon a star, and doing hard work, Tiana a.k.a. the waitress yet to be the ‘princess’, has opened the eyes of the viewers that the “star can only take you part of the way. You got to help him with some hard work of your own.” And wait for magic! A beautiful, fantastic fairy tale wrapped in gorgeous music and impeccable performance. Well done, Disney!

What I have learned the third time I watched this movie are about dreams, stars, hard work, and of course, magic.

Number one: dreams. You have to dream. You have to set your goals. And you need to set your goals HIGH. Michaelangelo once said, “The greater danger for most of us is not that our aim is too high and we miss it, but that it is too low and we reach it.” We need to take a further step and believe that, “We can turn our dreams into reality.” Remembering my chats with my second sister, I deduced that there are three kinds of people in this world (excluding those who really do not care about their futures). There are the realists, the idealists, and the dreamers. The realist  are the people who dare to dream, but sometimes they become too realistic and do not believe that their dreams can happen. Thus, they set their goals, but sometimes too low. The idealist  set their goals a little bit higher. They have nailed the pathways to become someone, but sometimes idealist people become too idealistic, forget the process and they tend not to be satisfied with themselves (in a negative way). The dreamers are the people who set their goals high. In this movie, a poor waitress dreams to open her own fine dining restaurant. It is a high dream. We need to set our goals up high.
(PS. I do not say that the right kind of person is the dreamers, or idealists, or realists, I just want to give the fact that sometimes people do not set up their dreams high ;p. You can be a realist and set your dreams on cloud 9 ;p).

But, lesson number two: SETTING THE GOALS HIGH ARE NOT ENOUGH! We need to ‘wish upon a star!’. I am not saying this literally, but I am decoding it in another way. We need to keep praying to God! The ‘star’ represents the Lord, and we have to keep telling Him about our goals, dreams, and wishes, because He knows the best for us and He knows us better than we do. Without relying on God, even though you have the perfect plan to become a professor, it will be just a waste.

The bitter truth is lesson number three: IT IS STILL NOT ENOUGH! We need to set our goals up high, relying on God, and do some hard work on our own! If we have done our part until lesson number two, it is the same as a student who wants to get HD with praying and no study. It is not the way it works. God wants to bless us; He wants us to achieve our goals. But we also need to do our part, and then God will do the rest. We need to do the best of our ability and wait for God’s time. Hard work is never easy. But, do you want to land on that star of yours of not? You choose ;).

Lesson number 4: magic. Do not take this literally, people will say that ‘there is no such thing as magic.’ But if you do say that, I believe that you really are not a dreamer. Well, it is not the kind of magic that requires a person to walk on water, or flying on a broomstick or such. But, I decode this ‘magic’ lesson as the ‘time’, the ‘process’, and the ‘feeling’. After we have done all the three lessons above, we need to wait for the right time, and while our character is forged through the process, we feel the satisfaction, love, and joy. Landing on that star of yours without no joy is worth nothing. This is called ‘life’; this is called ‘living’. Why do we do all these things? Why do we set our goals? Are they not to achieve what so-called ‘happiness’? Happiness, joy, and love are indeed magic. Not all people can achieve it. In the end Tiana learns that achieving her dream and opening that fine dining restaurant will not make her happy. What is important is love. The dream comes true is just a bonus. “Never, ever lose sign what is really important.”

This movie is also wrapped in beautiful soundtrack, which has Disney’s trademark and gorgeous storyline. The song that I like the most is “Almost There”, where Tiana sings about her hard work and re-enforces that we can never give up on our dreams. It is hard, and it takes time, but we will get there.

So all of you Disney lovers or not, this movie is a definite worth to check. It is light; it is beautiful; it is magical. ;)

Remember The Titans (2000)

mp’s rating: 3 / 5 stars

“Before we reach for hate, always, always, we remember the Titans.”

And I do.

I always love this movie. The first time I watched this movie was two or three years ago when I was still in High School. I love this movie until now.

My last exam is coming (five more days!) but then I spent one hour and a half to watch this movie again. It is one of those movies which gives you magic – the one which rises up your spirit once more when you are down. If any of you have not watched this, I highly recommend this movie to all of you (and believe me, I do watch too many movies. Think I am going to comment on all movies that I have watched, if only I have the time!)

The plot summary goes:

“Suburban Virginia schools have been segregated for generations, in sight of the Washington Monument over the river in the nation’s capital. One Black and one White high school are closed and the students sent to T.C. Williams High School under federal mandate to integrate. The year is seen through the eyes of the football team where the man hired to coach the Black school is made head coach over the highly successful white coach. Based on the actual events of 1971, the team becomes the unifying symbol for the community as the boys and the adults learn to depend on and trust each other.” Written by John Vogel (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0210945/plotsummary)

Based on true story, “Remember The Titans” (2000), directed by Boaz Yakin became one of the most known movie ever, especially among Christians. Starring Denzel Washington as Coach Boone, one of my favourite actor (and I just realised this earlier today, there is little Hayden Penettiere in that movie as well!), this movie is all about respect, honour, friendship, trust, and humanity. We all know the dark history of the segregation between the white and black men in America, with all the discrimination, racism, lots of betrayal, and dehumanisation. Black men are treated unfairly. Stereotypes humm through the air about all these so-called ‘blacks’. People say white and black cannot be one. But not in Titans.

“Remember The Titans” has so many aspects we can learn from. The friendship. The hardwork. But what I want to stress in this writing is not those. What I have learned from this movie today is from Coach Boone. It’s all about leadership, respect, and honour. In the movie, he says that, “I don’t care if you like each other or not, but you will respect each other.” Coach Boone is a great coach. And why is that?

  1. Coach Boone is a coach, he does not only know about how to master the outer game – football, but he knows how to master the inner game. In this analogy, the game does not only come to the skills you possess. It is about mastering the inner game – the soul power, as is said in the movie. Each one of the player in the Titans is a great player. They have the skills, they have the persistence, they have hardwork. But those are not enough, they need to have the soul power to master their own hearts and battle with their own stereotypes and mind about their own teammates. My teammate’s black. Yes, he is! So what? Before the players set their foot on the field, Coach Boone first teaches them to deal with their inner selves.
  2. A leader is not a leader, until he learns how to serve. Coach Boone does not only care about the winnings of the game, but he cares also about the personal problems of his players. When one of his player is pessimistic on getting to college due to his low grades, Coach Boone manages to help him and thus enables him to go to college. The best way to lead is to serve.
  3. RESPECT. This is a very valuable lesson in life. You may not like your boss, your teachers, your parents, your elders in church, your friends, but you MUST RESPECT them. There are some old sayings that, “If you want my respect, you have to earn it.” Well, at some parts it’s true but let me say, NO! It is time for us to respect everyone, show people the dignity they do or do not deserve. Who are us to judge whether or not someone deserves to be respected or not anyway? Every one of us is equal, and we pay others the respect that we want them to pay us as well.
  4. What maters most is not winning the ‘game’. It is a bonus. What matters most is the process. Coach Boone says that, “I’m not gonna talk to you tonight about winnin’ and losin’. You’re already winners ’cause you didn’t kill each other up at camp.” On the other occasion, he also says, “It’s all right. We’re in a fight. You boys are doing all that you can do. Anybody can see that. Win or lose… We gonna walk out of this stadium tonight with our heads held high. Do your best. That’s all anybody can ask for.” I really like the phrase “with our heads held high”. You know, when we have gone through the process, master it, we become winners. Whatever others may look at us (the winning or loosing), we will have our heads held high, we are proud of what we have achieved, and that what matters. Sometimes we become too focused on the results and not the process, and loss all the way through the end. Don’t.

And for further saying, I really like the soundtrack. “Ain’t No Mountain High” is really a spot-on song for me. Great lyrics. Great friendship. The other song which I do not know the title (the lyrics goes, “Nananana, Hey hey hey, goodbye”), hums perfectly in my head until now. I can feel the atmosphere. I can taste the situation.

“Remember The Titans” is one movie which you will do remember. Martin Luther King had a dream. Others did not believe in him. The Titans put the dream into reality. And sometimes we need a little of faith to believe in our dreams. And if it can happen there, why cannot it happen to you now?
and P.S.: be a great leader with some tips from Coach Boone! ;p.

Back to The Future

My ‘noble’ plan today was to take a break for a while, do laundry, cook, and study in the evening. Nope, that’s not going to happen. I went to Westfield instead and had a good chat with my friends. Somehow, it turns your mindset around. Your future.

Somehow I always know that the future is coming soon. Well, yes, maybe I’m still a first year university student now. But hey, isn’t just last year that I was a high school student? Seems like yesterday though. Time flies. fast. Maybe now is not the right time anymore to just playing around and enjoying your life. “There is much more to life that just this,” that’s what I keep telling myself. Just 3 years ago I loved playing Play Station 1 and finished Final Fantasy 7, 8, 9, Legend of Mana, Legend of Dragoon, and all sorts of other RPG games. Now, to be honest I’m literally not interested in playing those games anymore. Well, yes, I will do like to play those games again sometimes. But it’s just not ‘my life’ anymore. I won’t be sitting in my room up until 3 a.m. just to fight against the Boss. Well, I’ve changed.

Soon university life will be over. What do I want to achieve? I don’t want to be just ordinary university students who go into class, go to the tutorials, studying for exams, get good marks, and graduate. There’s no point of studying if it just comes down to that. I want to do something else. I want to do more.

University. Some people just can’t enter one. But while I’m here, having that golden opportunity, I just have no idea what to do with it. Is my aim to get good grades? Not really. For me, I guess, experience is more important. but I don’t want to just get average grades as well. So I’m really confused right now on what to prioritise. Getting good grades, getting experiences by doing part-time jobs, or what? And I really do need to think about my future. What do I want to become?

I think we really need to set our goals. and we really need to specify it. So far, the goals that I’m setting are not achieved yet. I don’t talk to one stranger per day (errrr, maybe it’s just one stranger per week, not good ;p), and I haven’t started cooking since 2 weeks or so. Uh no. Maybe I need to do things like the movie “Julie and Julia”. Buy a cookbook, try to do all the recipes, and get your calender marked!

Experience. Hard work. Yes, we need to enjoy our lives and such but, to what extent? If I can do something that is more useful, then why not?

I think my biggest obstacle now is that I procrastinate. I always delay things, like, “oh, I’ll do that next week,” or “I’ll start applying jobs next month,” and such. Hey, do you think that you can get a job that easy? Well, I won’t say so. Setting goals… Hmm… I think now I need to grab my journal and a pen and start to re-think about my dreams and goals. I want to be a reporter, a traveling journalist, a writer, a Disneyland CEO (ahahah!), a cafe owner, and many more. And now I think I need to apply part-time jobs that are related to those fields as well. But I don’t know what. I hope that someone will turn that light bulb on and give me the answer. I want to take a ride to the future. But, the sense of achievement won’t be as satisfying. I want to be the one who really gets into the job, struggles to do it, tries to do better, experiences all of it, and becomes a real person. Taste life! I have a looooongggg loooooooooonnnngggg way to go.

Maybe in the mean time I’ll try to plan my exam study time first. Then my winter holiday. And when 2nd semester starts, I would really like to say that, “the game is so ON.”

demoralised

Ever since my second sister uses this word, I’m getting fond of it as well. I think it is such a good word for the students, especially when we are in the state of seeing our exams there on the verge of breaking down – right in front of our eyes. And who says getting to university is an easy task? I won’t say that, it is way harder than the high school, or maybe it’s because I did pull out the brake, make a 180 degree turn, and now I’m wondering what the definitions of ‘grades’ are.

I don’t think my writing makes sense, maybe sometimes it doesn’t have to. It’s just pouring down what you’re thinking inside your head right? and right now my head won’t think straight, so I’ll take a roundabout, a T-intersection, a U-turn, a hook turn, and all the possible turns whatsoever.

I graduated from senior high school with high hopes in mind. During my high school years I definitely was a science person. In year 11 I took Biology, Chem, and Phys, the triple science subjects which will definitely give you a high mark of the UAI or, now known as ATAR (the marks from the HSC – Higher School Certificate, using NSW standards). This ATAR mark will determine whether or not you’ll enter your desired university. My second sister is in Melbourne University, thus it is logical for me to aim for the same university as well. Out of its prestige, reputation, and of course, its fame. In year 11 I was determined to take Biomedicine in Melbourne University. Do you want to know why? The first reason went to its high entry requirements and prestige. The second reason went to my second sister because she is doing medicine. The third reason went to my parents. The fourth one went to my teachers. The fifth…. went to all the expectations (growing up in a ‘science’ family – my first sister is doing Bioscience in NTU, my second sister is doing Medicine in MelU…). The sixth… maybe it was because I wanted to prove that I could do such a difficult subject. None of the reasons went to my interest nor my love for the subjects.

Here is a revelation (since I’m not in high school anymore ;)): I never liked science subjects. I never did like Chemistry, nor Physics, or Biology. Well, to some extent I do like Biology, maybe because it’s interesting and it deals with living things. I remember studying how mitosis and meiosis happen, as well as remembering all the Australian fauna and tries to force my hippocampus to consolidate all sorts of information and store them in my poor amygdala. Chemistry never makes sense to me. I’ve studied about molecular Chemistry, about the Lewis structure of an atom and how to calculate how many grams of solvent needed to be put… or that hard water is the ones that have calcium and sodium in it… Or that when burnt, potassium will give you a lilac colour (hopefully all these information are still right,, hahah). I never liked Physics. Until now I still don’t understand the principle of inertia, nor about the gravity, the weight, the projectile motion, or all those stuffs. I studied about how a CT scan work, MRI, PET scan, endoscope, USG, and all those stuffs. It is a miracle that I still can remember all these studies until now, ’cause all my friends know that I have a ‘short-term memory lost’, just like Dori in the movie Finding Nemo.

I dropped Biology in year 12, and took Mathematics Extension 2 instead. Now, maybe I can say that I regret that decision a little bit (my Bio teacher was so angry at me at that time =p), but I also think that I made the best decision. Well, I did confess that I was a fool to drop Biology (so far my assignments are of high marks, and some of them even the best of the class, which I proudly held until now lol), but hey, who can resist the temptation of doing the hardest subject and succeed? =p. Mathematics Extension 2 is a subject that is normally taught in the university, I think I can still remember the subject outlines: complex numbers, polynomials, volume, …and I forgot. hahah, it has some integrations, harder this and that, implicit differentiation, combination of polynomials with complex numbers, the new definition of probability and many more. And why did I take Math Extension 2 again? Apart from the fact that my second sister also took the subject as well, maybe… I just wanted to prove that I can do the same. Marcella Purnama can do these subjects and survives. Not only survives, she can survive beautifully. That’s what I thought. That’s what I wanted to achieve.

In the middle of the road I began to think about my interest and I really put my interest in the hospitality area. I like hospitality since I was young, and I just love the idea to work with customers, to serve, to work in Disneyland, and all sorts of things. My teachers always say that my presentations and speeches are good. I think I want to do more in that area. But once more, reality stroke me back. I was a year 12 students, taking Chemistry, Physics, Math Extension 1, Math Extension 2, Indonesian, and English for my subjects, and none of this has any relation with hospitality area. People looked at me as a science student. My parents looked at me as a science student. My teachers. My friends. I never told them that I was taking these subjects because I wanted to, but because I had to, and… oh well – I can.

If I say that I was not a proud student – I would be lying. I was proud, and sometimes even too proud. I was not that ambitious, but I did want to be the best of the class. Well, who don’t? ;) I excelled in my Chemistry subject, Indonesian, English, and both Maths subjects. Physics – I just couldn’t get my head around it. The same went for Chemistry though, I excelled in Chemistry because out of the 5 assignments throughout the year, all five of them were reports based and practical based – which fortunately are the parts where I’m good at. I’m terrible with memories and paper-test based. This is proved in all my subjects, as each of my Chemistry and Physics tests was usually a let-down.

Until the very end of the year, even until I took my HSC, I still thought that I was going to take Biomedicine, or nutrition area – anything that was considered as science. I was proud – really really proud of myself when out of my 6 subjects, I was the best in 4 of them. I never thought that I would have these honours. My friends were ‘gods’ in Mathematics Extension 1 and 2, and my other friends were really brilliant in Chemistry and other subject. You know, at my Senior High graduation, hearing your name being called because you did some ‘justice’ towards your subjects – is really a great feeling. I will never forget that. At least, this one time, I can beat my sister (maybe ;p).

I received my ATAR score and was really thrilled with it. I was in the top 0.65% of all Australians, Internationals, whoever students who took HSC test. This meant I could get into Biomedicine Bachelor in MelU, as it had the entry requirement of score 95 at that time. But I don’t like science. I don’t think what I’ve learned so far is what I want to spend the rest of my life studying at. I don’t want to work in labs. I don’t want to know anything about the different colours and smells of each chemical substance, nor about the atom that I can never know its existence or not. My teacher pointed me to deliver the graduation speech, and my friends asked me to write for the yearly story for yearbook. I always love to write. I always love to read. I always love to talk. Why don’t I become a professional?

My passions thus grew higher and higher, as my teachers, friends, and even parents praise my graduation speech. Weeks later I found out that I got rank 8 for the English as Second Language (ESL) HSC exam. That means I was the eight best ESL student in the whole Australia! (or maybe just the ones who take the subjects). But I felt thrilled. Extremely thrilled. Two weeks before Melbourne University closed its registration, I shifted my course from Biomedicine into Bachelor of Arts, which I proudly am now, doing double majors in Psychology and Media Communication. I’m going to follow my heart. I’m going to pursue my dreams.

No one says it’s gonna be easy, in fact, it’s nowhere near one. I struggle a lot with my English, both in writing and in speaking. The English that I am proud of is shot into pieces. I need to compete with the locals, with their ‘heavenly’ English, and also you are not used to speak in English. It’s hard. The 4 subjects that I’m taking in the first semester are Creative Writing, from Homer to Hollywood, Psychology, and Critical Thinking as my breadth subject. Let me elaborate the subjects one by one, they are sooooo ‘interesting’. =)

Creative Writing is good. If I’m not enrolled in one, I won’t realise that I can write like that. There are three assignments for this subject, one poem, one creative nonfiction, and one short fiction. The poem that I made for this subject is the one titled “Porcelain Doll” which I published under the ‘justsimplyme’ category. The nonfiction piece is the one which I wrote the story of the accident of 5 teenagers, titled, “Period”. The fiction piece is still waiting on the line… I haven’t published it yet because I just handed them in last Monday and I don’t want my tutor to google it and find the piece under my blog. lol. It’s not good. But anyway, THIS SUBJECT IS HARD. They expect you to write in details, as in ‘one picture can say a thousand words’. The thing is, when I read novels or such, I DISCARD the details. I never read the setting, like in that great amount of details. The colours, the smells, the metaphors used, the imagination, everything. How can I write about something that I usually ignore in my reading? It is just an impossible task to do. But I did try my best. and I’m proud of it. Although I believe that getting a ‘pass’ is already a heaven to me (well one of my friends say that more than half of the students enrolled in this subject got ‘pass’. So…). And I did get some harsh feedback about using American or Australian spellings in my writings. and I did hate that ;p.

From Homer to Hollywood is one subject that is extremely hard and I can’t believe that I have finished that subject now. I’m hoping to pass (well, way better than pass, actually). This subject is about the representation of war that is depicted through the different genre, gender, and all sorts of things. The truth is, I always like history and I always love war movies. So there you go. I enjoyed part of this subject and some parts I don’t. I don’t understand a thing about “Henry V” play by Shakespeare, nor about the Bayeux Tapestry or about the “Guernica” painting by Picasso. They have the arts mind that I will never get even a peek at. My exam was finished 6 hours ago and it was a 2000 words essay. I didn’t think that I did enough to get an H1, or even just H2A or H2B. I may just get a ‘pass’, or an H3. But anyway, I’m happy with my writing. I don’t know if I can do any better given the 2 hours time and 2000 words limit. I’ve done my best and I’ll let God do the rest ;).

Psychology is my only connection left with science. Even though I do not like science, (and maths), and I can’t believe that I’m saying this but… I REALLY MISS STUDYING THEM. I miss studying Maths Extension 2 and get around the complex number questions and just playing it around until you get the answer. I miss studying chemistry and remembering that it was just a year ago that I knew everything about polymerization, about how to make a soap, how to make a reaction about the ozone degradation, about the sulfur batch, the industrial chemistry, and all such that. Psych is really a biology thing, we are supposed to learn about brain, the frontal, occipital, temporal, and parietal lobe, and the diseases such as akinetopsia, prosopagnosia, multiple sclerosis, Huntington’s disease, hemiachromatopsia, and all such things. I really studied for this subject, but let’s just hope the best for the exam results. I hope I’m getting H2B at least… But… oh well ;) let’s just see…

Critical Thinking is 50% okay and 50% not. Half of me saying that I need to be grateful because this subject really shifts my critical thinking brain from the off position to be on. I start to think about the news and begin to question the reliability and accuracy. I look at some billboards advertisements and if there are percentages figures, I begin to wonder about its validity. But yet, I really hate this subject for giving so many assignments, tests, quizzes, major assignments, and all sorts of things. It has 10 quizzes, 5 tests, 3 Short assignments, 1 major assignment, and 1 group project. and I really do hate the tests. I never got good results. Once, I did get 20% out of 100, which is pretty miserable… hahah… And actually what really demoralised me today is the fact that my major assignment mark is pretty bad. Just slightly above 50%. I really feel d.e.m.o.r.a.l.i.s.e.d because I do feel that I put enough effort to get better than that. Even though maybe I don’t deserve an H1 or so, but I guess I have done that project some justice! (if you guys are watching masterchef, you guys must now why I’m using the word ‘justice’,, lol). But I’m really not happy with my results, and I guess now it’s questioning me about my studies. Have I made the right decision? Well, I still got the exam on the 18th, and hopefully I can get it right somehow and put my marks out of its miserability. I’ve achieved around 43% so far, and because the exam is worth 40%, I still have the chance to get an H1 (NOT), hahah… it’s a miracle if I can get an H1. I’ll definitely treat someone to eat fine-dining in Crown Hotel if I get one. But hey, I won’t mind getting an H2B or H2A ;)

So here I am, demoralised.

My ‘noble’ plan for my life so far is: finish university in 3 years (and while in uni, do some part time jobs in Sbucks or such), take a break from school, do 2 years of traveling and just do some volunteers jobs and whatever jobs that you feel like it (and of course, working in DISNEYLAND!), taking further diploma or master in hospitality or such, and then get a proper job at the age 25. I always dream of opening my own cafe though. And now I really do want to learn how to cook because of Masterchef. Not good ;)

Phew, I guess writing all these stuffs in here de-demoralised me. Well, sometimes you have to be reminded by yourself about your plans and dreams and goals rite? Sometimes it’s good to do so ;). Now that I think of it, I think taking Bachelor of Arts is the right decision for me. Even though it’s hard and thus I will need to lower my grades goal (it’s not like science where you can study hard and memorise all things and you can get an H1), but I guess it needs more EQ than just IQ (wow, what am I talking about? hahah). I’ve got so much to learn, so many stars to look at. And I’ll land in my own stars. I believe so. I’ve got a dream. I’m going to protect it. Although sometimes I forgot, and I tend to enjoy my life more (well, this is what I believe anyway, enjoying you life counts! lol), I’ll try to find the place where I belong. I hope I can say to myself that grades only prove one part of my studies. It only portrays a fraction of my future. I know that it’s true. It’s the learning process that counts. But it’s hard to get your head around there. ;)

Anyways, this is my all-time’s hero for reaching my dreams. His name is Will Smith. ;)

(and now I doubt that any of you will get to the end of this writing… it’s like 2800 words… lol)

And This is My Story…

[yet] another lame story,,, =) haha

And This Is My Story…

No one knows the truth beneath me. No one knows the person who truly lies behind me. And no one ever will. Not until they read my story.

And this is my story.

I was born at a nearly-broken-apartment, not at hospitals like most of you did. My mother told me that it was cloudy and cold, 16°C in the spring to be exact, and neither warm blanket nor comfortable bed was there for me to sleep. Instead, I had a layer of thin fabric and a wooden cold bed. “Torturing the new-born baby,” is what my mother used to say. She couldn’t make it to the hospital nor had the guts to go into it (be real, she told me that she only got $10 in her pocket and a wedding ring as a left-over of my father!). Well, it was a miracle that I am alive. The neighbors started to yell and scream and stuff when they heard my mother’s shout that day.

My family is unique. I am one of those special people that will never have the chance to know my father. I will never know how does he look like, how does he smell, what kind of person he is, what does he like to do, his hobbies, his talents, anything. Neither can I hear his voice, nor hear his laughs. I will never know the feeling of having a father.

When I was still a little girl I often dreamt of having a father. Will my life be the same if there’s a presence of a ‘father’ in my life? Will I become the person I am now? What does it feel to be a “Daddy’s little girl”? How does it feel to be hugged by your father, at the day you want to cry? But as I grew up, these questions vanished. I began to accept the reality that I will never have a father.

My mother said that my father died because of leukemia, a week right before I was born. She said that I inherited his blue eyes, his nose, and his smile. Whenever I smile, my eyes close. “Just like your father,” she often says. I know that she really misses my father up until now. Whenever she sees me, her eyes wander; maybe thinking, if ever ‘the lost figure’ is here

I grew up not in a poor family, yet not rich. It was enough and a little bit more for both of us; but we were happy. Maybe some people say that I am unlucky and I will never have a complete family. But I just simply don’t care. My mother and I – it’s enough for both of us. Well of course there will always be an empty chair, but we’ve tried our best to live lives that are ‘normal’. Yes, it’s also true that we’re not rich and not as lucky as other people. “Why can’t I have a father? Why can I been born in a rich family?” When you have thoughts like this you will ruin your life. But instead of looking up, just look down. There are still plenty of people that are not as lucky as you!

Giving up was never in my dictionary. My mother already had enough burdens. At least I must do what I could to satisfy her. I studied hard and determined to make my mother proud. I got straight A’s and made some good friendships. These were my happy moments. Having a great mother, extraordinary friends, enough money to live, and enjoy every moment I had. So sad but true, happy moments will never last forever.

I was 15 years old when I knew that I have leukemia, the same disease that killed my father. At that kind of age, unlike my friends that were busy with dating and having fun and stuff, I had to struggle with my own mind that keep telling me that I will have no future; that I will die soon enough.

“Mother! Guess what happened at school today! Raine really loves my new short-story that I finished last night! And my teacher praised me for getting 3-straight-A’s at English exams! And Cherry! She’s dating Andrew now! You remember, the guy from the Supermarket? I’m so happy for her!”

“Yes, dear, that is fantastic! You got another A? Come here you little girl… You’re just like your father. A genius!”

“Motheeeerr, stop talking about him. I don’t even know him. After this you’ll be crying again and again. And I don’t want to see that again…”

“I know… But if you know your father, he’s really a great person! He’s responsible, humble, kind, and gentle. In short, he’s the best man ever! And you know what? He never lets me walk alone! I remember the time when we must went opposite ways but he still walked me to my home. And he…”

“Okay, okay, I already heard that story a thousand times before. …Anyway, Mother, he’s not that responsible. He left you and me alone…”

“Dear, you know that he doesn’t want to. He loves you so much and he will never want to leave you. But he couldn’t run from his destiny though. You should be proud on your father. Even though he had that kind of disease he’s still trying to live his life until his last breath…”

(Well, what’s the use? He did leave us anyway…)

I’ve cried again and again. The tears had dried and run down again. It was like an endless-stream of sadness. All was black. No more color. No more light. No more hope. I could barely face tomorrow. Just imagine when you’re fifteen and you’re supposed to be at the peak of your youth; you have to face the fact that you’re going to die. Life is cruel. And it is unfair.

I was drowned in my sadness and powerless at the same time. I had lost hope. Leukemia is the disease with no cure. And through the blood in my veins I have inherited this disease from my father, the man that I have never known.

Anger consumed me.

Why must I live? What’s the use of this life I have? We’re going to die in the end! So why must we live? What purpose do we have? Why? There’s no good for me!

I hated my father. I hated my life. I hated my weakness. But most of all, I hated myself that couldn’t accept the reality.

In a blink of an eye, the girl with passion and hard-working has gone. She was buried, deep inside my heart. And even though I really missed the old me, my conscious denied to accept that girl once more. It said, “Enough with what you’ve been through. It’s no use of being your-old-timid-self again!”

But I am grateful. At those terrible times, my mother was always been there for me. And I know she will always be. Whenever I need a shoulder to cry on, or maybe a person to scream off the unfairness of life, she was there. She cried with me; she strengthened me; she helped me to carry the burden; and most of all, she loved me. She loved me with all her might. I just didn’t realize it back then.

But the number one credit I want to give is not for my mother. It’s for this guy-the guy who helped me to find myself back, when I was lost at that space.

I was going to a lake and even had planned suicide there. I had lost all hope, why must I continue on living? I was just torturing myself, to continue living like this. Maybe it was better if I die. And I really thought about that. On that chilly autumn I sat there beside the lake, staring at the blue water, hoping, I could become one with them… But on that chilly autumn beside the lake, I was remembered, that hope, is never lost.

He has brown eyes with curly hair. By the look of his face I know that he was about my age, maybe even older. Well, why must I care? I was going to die anyway. But he saw me; he walked towards me, and asked me my name.

“Caitlin,” I said to him.

“Well, mine’s Josh. What are you doing in here alone by the way? It’s cold, you know.”

“Well, I don’t care if it’s cold or such. I just want to be alone.”

“Hey, I care. What if you catch a cold or freezing to death?”

“I’m going to die anyway, so to die now or later is the same for me.”

“Eh? You’re not like other girls. Funny. Well, put on this jacket. It’s against my conscious to let a girl died ‘freezing’ in front of me.”

I laughed at his ‘ironic’ joke and I realized, it was the first time I laughed since I knew that I had leukemia. I canceled my plan to die, and spent the rest of the day talking to him.

He was funny, and thoughtful. And it happened that he was seventeen at that time. He knew how to react in front of girls. And when I imagined it, my mother’s stories came into my head one by one; the story about my gentle father. When it was so late he walked me home, and promised to meet me at the same place and same time tomorrow; made me longing for tomorrow to come.

Days became weeks, weeks became months. We became good friends and then best friends. We did many things together. He made me wanted to go to school again; to get my courage once more, and tried to hope. But one day he found out about my illness-the day that I never wanted to come.

We were back at the lake and chatted about many things. I was sixteen, and he was eighteen. That day I didn’t feel too well but I really wanted to see him. I knew my time was short. Maybe I wouldn’t see him anymore. So I wanted to express my feelings to him, and then vanished. I didn’t want to hurt him. He already gave so much to me – he gave me my-old-self back.

The wind was blowing hard and suddenly I felt dizzy. I was in panic. I didn’t want to die, yet. I looked deeply into his eyes and before I could say anything, I collapsed. I was unconscious and was brought to the hospital. And right there, the doctor told him that I have leukemia.

When I woke up in the hospital I saw my mother was crying. She hugged me tightly and then left him and me to be alone. Then, he burst into tears. I began to cry too. He told me that I was a fool because I never let him knew about my disease. And I told myself that I was a fool because of collapsing in front of him and made him knew that I had this disease. After that I told him to go away. But he never did. He sticks right beside me, up until now.

I treasure my life. Now I know what’s the meaning of life. It’s not how long your life spend is but it’s how you realize the most important things in life. It’s not about being rich and being popular and such things, but it’s about living your life to the most and enjoying them.  We’re only humans. Sooner or later our time will come. It’s not ‘when’ will it come but ‘how’ you have lived your life until that time comes.

I am 19 years old and this time I am sure, that my time is short. I can hardly breathe and have no power left. But I think that I should tell you this story – my story. I’ve learned to be grateful. If it’s not because of my father, I won’t learn about the true meaning of life. If it’s not because of my disease, I won’t learn how to be grateful about my life. And if it’s not because of you, I won’t learn a thing about true love. So thank you, all of you, for my father, my mother, and you. Thank you.

One more thing, you don’t need to remember me. But know this, I will always remember you. So before it’s too late, I just want to see your smile once more… and I won’t say goodbye. I’ll say, “‘til we meet again.” For death, is not the end; it only ends when you say so.

Marcella Purnama
10 October 2007

DAD, I love you! =)

And here is the other version for my Dad… made when i turned 15 as the ‘birthday present’ for him,, ;)

When I was little, my father had always been a ‘hero’ for me
He had always stood by me, even though he knew that I was wrong
He had always accompanied me
From playing roller coaster to going shopping for toys

When I grew up a little bit, he still did the same
He stood by me when my Mother was angry with me
He stood by me when my Mother kept telling me to study
He bought me almost everything I wanted
And accompanied me to play bowling, billiard, and badminton

When the time came and I grew up from a ‘child’ to a ‘teenager’
I began to forget my Father
I didn’t like the same things anymore
I began to like shopping, less playing
But my Father had always been the same
He still accompanied me to do our triple Bs, and eat ice-creams afterwards

My Father had taught me many things
From simple things like how to play cards, bowling, and billiard,
Or how to drive a car
To important things like how to behave, to be a real person, and most of all
To be a responsible person

My Father is not perfect, I know
Many times he stood by me when it was actually my fault
Sometimes he lost control of his temper
Sometimes he’s mad
But I know that he already tried his best to do what’s right

I know sometimes I’ve made my Father sad
But he has always been patient to me, still cares for me
And loves me
He still likes to tell me stories, like the ones he used to tell me when I was a child
He still accompanies me, from going shopping to watching movies,
although maybe sometimes he doesn’t like it

and now as I grow older, I want to do better
I want to be stronger
I want to be more understanding
I want to make my Father proud

15 years have passed since you stand by me
15 years have passed since you love me
and now I’m very grateful to have you as my Father
I can’t ask for a better Dad
You’re the best Dad ever!
I LOVE YOU, DAD!

Marcella Purnama
23 April 2007

Mom, I love you =)

I made this poem when I was 15 (again), exactly when i turned 15. Although it sounds so lame (again), but hey, I did write that! hahah ;) this was the ‘birthday present’ towards my Mom on my 15th birthday ;)


When I was little, I had always been a naughty girl
I was selfish, didn’t want to do what my Mom’s told me
I was a bad-tempered child and had always been the laziest one

When I grew up a little bit, my personality hadn’t changed
In fact sometimes it might got worse
I never wanted to practice my piano lessons,
Nor studied my lessons at school

When the time came and I grew from a ‘child’ to a ‘teenager’
It was still much the same
I yelled, I cried, and I was angry for nothing
I denied every single thing and believed that I was right
I was the most arrogant person in the world

But my Mother has always guided me
She prays for me every morning and loves me always
She teaches me the rights from wrongs
Makes me a better person day by day

At first I didn’t understand
But now I know
She’s angry with me because she cares
She keeps yelling at me to study because she wants me to be a great person
She hugs and kisses me every morning because she loves me

She’s not perfect, I know
Sometimes I get really mad at her
But then I realise that she just tries her best to do what’s right
still forgives me, and never gets tired of loving me

and now as I grow older
I’ll try to do better
I’ll be more patient
I’ll be more responsible
I want to make my Mother proud

It has been 15 years since you love me
It has been 15 years since you care for me
And now I’m very grateful to have you as my Mother
No other person can replace you
You’re the best Mom that I can ever have!
I LOVE YOU, MOM!

Marcella Purnama
23 April 2007