Saturday, January 3, 2009

Love of my life

“Do not think that love, in order to be genuine, has to be extraordinary. What we need is to love without getting tired.”
- Mother Teresa -

A glowing tribute to my lovely wife, Doris Lau Siew Lang

I have been married to Doris for more than 33 years and I treasure her so very much. She has been such an inspiration to me. Despite the huge challenges I face in caring for her as she copes with schizophrenia and severe arthritis, there is no other woman that can replace her in my heart. Doris is a beautiful human being and always puts me before self.

I have grown to love Doris so deeply as I witness how schizophrenia has ravaged a major part of her life. It is through my wife’s illness that I have learnt to appreciate her even more. Having seen how much the illness has tormented her life, I know only too well the sufferings of caregivers who struggle to keep their own sanity. And there are thousands out there who are suffering in silence. This is why I have become a staunch advocate for the mentally ill. For unless you travel this journey, you don’t know, and many sometimes, you don’t care.

I am indebted to Doris because it is through her illness that I can bring hope to thousands out there who lead an isolated life. Our society is still not ready to accept people with mental illness and that is why my advocating continues.

It is a sad state of affairs in Singapore that very little is being done to look into the welfare of the mentally ill and their caregivers. We have a Centre for caregivers in AWWA, but I do not see much being done for caregivers of the mentally ill. Why?

In Singapore, funds are raised for all kinds of illness, which includes cancer, heart diseases and even AIDS, but nobody has found it in their hearts to raise funds on a large scale for people with mental illness. Why?

It is through my wife’s 33-year battle with schizophrenia that I have become a successful author, motivational speaker and trainer. Many people have told me that it is because I love my wife unconditionally that God has blessed me with many talents and that includes acting on TV, venturing into songwriting and inspiring readers with my heartfelt poems.

I also ghostwrite true-life stories for people wanting to chart new directions in life. I have ghostwritten one such book for a lady who also suffers from schizophrenia. Another lady has approached me to write about her true-life experience with another mental disorder faced by a family member.

I have edited several books for authors and have made those books marketable.

Doris, you are indeed my soul and inspirational. Simply put, you are, “THE LOVE OF MY LIFE.”


Raymond Anthony Fernando

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