Cherry Kombucha and Lian's Life Story.
It has been 75 years since my journey through the hills and valleys of this world began. It has been a journey bursting with a wealth of experience. Let me take you to where it all began. My entry into Mother Earth was dramatic. It was at a time when the world was in a state of upheaval, as I was born a month before the 2nd World War officially ended in August 1945.
I remember being told that my mother was very ill with malaria when she was about to give birth to me. My poor mother; she went through a life-threatening ordeal. And when I was born, I am told that I refused to make a sound. I was held by the legs and clapped on my bottom for a whole hour before I gave my first sound.
I grew up in Muar, a tiny town in Malaysia. My father’s house was in Bakri, a village 12 miles from Muar. Bakri was considered a black area since it was still populated by the communists. Our transport was an armored car to protect us should from being ambushed by communists. My growing up was under a state of emergency, a kind of cold world, where death could be lurking around the corner, waiting to whisk the unguarded away at any time.
My parents were blessed with four children, all girls, of whom I am the eldest. Four females did not seem to be a blessing to some of the staff on the estate managed by my father. I remember many of the employees on the estate felt sorry for my father. Their concern was that my Papa had no heir. Some families even went to the extreme of offering him their own sons. I grew up in an environment where a male child was preferred to the female.
My father sent all four of us daughters to school and we all acquired a university education. The motivation for sending us to good schools was not because we would have better careers, but because we would land ourselves better husbands!!
I was educated in a convent school, surrounded by nuns and middle-aged spinsters who plagued me. There were prayer recitations and rules.
The four of us were different and I still have memories of our quarrels. I remember once crying for hours when one of my younger sisters said to me that “You always talk too much.”
I have had my fair share of opportunities in life; things that many would wish for. I have a university degree in Business Administration, have lived in many countries and traveled widely. I was married twice (I usually say four times). I have two sets of wonderful children, a son and a daughter who are 100% Chinese and a son and a daughter who are half Danish.
I was exposed to western culture from a very young age because my father was very western in his attitude. Among other things he enjoyed classical music, which is something that I have inherited from him. When I first came to Denmark, I was frequently asked how was it that I enjoyed classical music.
Opportunities presented themselves to me, as did tragedy. I have had cancer, but I refused chemotherapy and radiation. The health authorities were not happy about this, but I stood my ground. I do not believe in conventional medicine and nothing will make me change that stance. Some years ago, when I refused an artificial hip, I could clearly see the irritation on the doctor’s face. He did not understand the reasons for that decision and felt that I had wasted his time.
I was a very successful woman who owned her own company. At that time, I was one of the most highly-paid women in Denmark. There has also been a time when I was as poor as a church mouse; this was just after I was made personally bankrupt.
Yes, it has been a life filled with highs and the lows.
I am happy and grateful that I am able to elegantly role with chaos. I am happy and grateful that I have decades of experience, wisdom, knowledge and self-knowledge and am now grateful that others can benefit from it. I would like to help you see the connection between all things because until then, we have no way out of the isolation that often infects us.
Gladys Chew Geok Lian Henriksen – The Silver Crone from Denmark 7th May 2020