Thursday, January 5, 2017

Major Cleanup

Remember when we always says Christmas is the season of giving?
Yeah, so last year, we decided to give my uncle's old dingy house a makeover.

Before we dive into the whole makeover process, let's take a look into my uncle's little story.

Few years back, my uncle was hit with a stroke, thankfully he got recovered, but now he can only control his left part of his body. 
By the way, here's a small tip to remember the early symptom of stroke.
Remember this acronym - FAST

F  - Face    : One side of the face will start to droop
A - Arm     : Having trouble raising his/her own arms
S -  Speech : Having trouble talking normally
T - Take action : Call emergency immediately

As if his sickness wasn't enough, his wife passed away few years later.  
To add salt on the wound, his son got divorced, now disappeared, leaving no trace and contact but his 2 young children to him.The mother of the children has gone back to the peninsular. 

Life has been hard on my uncle, a series of unfortunate events kept on rolling in.

My uncle has difficulty taking care of these 2 grandchildren. They are now 11 and 13 respectively, the younger boy doesn't like to talk, while the elder girl is in her rebellious teenage year. My uncle expect them to help him with house chores, but the grandchildren lack matured thinking. They seem to have problem understanding that their grandpa has limited mobility, they needed to be told to do everything and their grandfather is a little upset about it. That's why, we always remind the children to take initiative to clean the house.

I'm really amazed at my uncle, he can do a lot of things with only one hand. That's how life constraint has forced him to use his only working body parts with full potential and creativity.

Okay, back to the topic, my mother discovered that their house needs major cleaning and some refurbishing, so we bought some utensils, paint, cement, and other necessities with our own money. 
Mum said, all these cost almost RM500.

Thank God we have 2 extra hands to help out with the project, they were my aunt and cousin Ruby.

The first day, we started off with the dirtiest part of the house - the kitchen. It was greasy, gloomy and grimy, a place you'll definitely don't wanna stay long, in chinese we say 见不得人! Ever since my uncle's wife passed away, no one cared much about it. That's the problem without a lady in the house. So that's how it became over the years, we can't blame anyone especially with my uncle's condition.

 Scraping away all the grease accumulated on the wall for God know how many years.

That's my uncle, with his limited ability, he was still able to help my dad with laying down the tiles.
I never knew my dad could do these.

Here are the finished product. My dad build these 2 racks from scratch!  

Finally, a clean, organized, and grease-free kitchen. Trust me, it was worse.

The second and third day, we worked on the living room and bedroom while my dad was still working on the tiles and racks.

The house was dim and and dull. 
Mum said it was because of the different colour walls and green ceiling.

Laying newspaper, ready for painting.

My aunt is really good at painting. 
That green ceiling needed a few layers of coating before it turned bright white.
We took turn to paint it and my neck was really sore the next day.

Tada! Thanks to many hands including the children,
 the major walls and ceiling were done in one day.
No more green ceiling and multi colour walls, it was covered up with cream colour,
I picked that colour. The house is now cheerful and bright.

Third day, the ladies were touching up certain areas and outside while I brought the children to clean their bedroom upstairs. It was full of dust!

We also repaint the stairs. 

I couldn't join my parents on the 4th and 5th day as I was already sick because of throat infection. 
They continue with the kitchen rack and organizing.

Although we all suffered from body ache the next day, we all felt satisfied with our work. Our strenuous effort had paid off. The house is looking amazing! The pleased look from my uncle was our reward. Now that the kitchen is beautifully organized and tiled, we told the older grandchild to help her grandfather to cook. I believe a 13 year old girl is big enough to help out in the kitchen.  
Hey, I started to cook when I was 9!

Working at a construction company has its own benefit. Like my father, he got a lot of unwanted things like the tiles and steel for the rack. We thank God that we have some of these free materials and we were able to finish this project.

This experience reminded me of our family difficult times. Our previous church helped us a lot. 
So now that we have more, we wanted to bless people around us.
You don't need to go far to bless people, just look around you, your relatives, your friends, if you can't give in monetary form, just offer your time and effort. 
My parents see that my uncle needed this, that's why they are doing it for him and his family.
They specially took leave to do all these.
Trust me, it feels good to bless people you cared for.

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