I prefer to keep my family out of social media. This is especially the case when it comes to my wife Gabbie as she is a private person. I am going to steer away from this for a moment to tell you about Gabbie and how recent events have turned my world upside down and the impact this has had on shaping plans for the future.
The reason for writing this now as I have received many messages of concern after completely dropping out of contact for the past month or so. I have also received many invitations to work and questions about projects that I have been working on (such as Rungkopi that is supposed to be released this summer). This post is intended to bring some clarity and hopefully take some pressure off my family & I during this time so we can focus on Gabbie.
Four weeks ago, my sweet wife and best friend Gabbie fell critically ill. Since then, there have been many dark and desperate hours while ICU medical staff have worked hard to treat her. Considering this public forum, I am deliberately going to avoid providing details. I have and will continue to keep these details within my family & circle of close friends with what has been the most painful chapter of my life.
Gabbie & I have been married for almost 24 years. She is my best friend with whom I have walked together through many, many good and bad times. She is my wise counsel and the reason for many life decisions. She has sacrificed much for me and I would never have accomplished many things in my own life (including finishing my PhD) without her love, commitment, support and encouragement. She is a proud Chinese woman who holds dear to her culture and traditions and yet would give me a green light each year to spend Chinese New Year running around Hong Kong to work on the Four Trails Ultra Challenge. She is also a loving & devoted mum to our daughter Anya. When people comment on how impressed they are with our daughter Anya, I often remark that it is mainly because of her amazing mum. Hours as dark as these shape life perspectives and I am more aware than ever before just how much Gabbie means to me and how the future will change.
As I write this, Gabbie is still critically ill in a hospital Intensive Care Unit and I have been living in the ICU waiting room for the past weeks to be near to & care for Gabbie. I have cancelled all future work assignments for the time being and it is possible that I will not return to filming and photography work. I will make a final decision about whether I will return at all at the appropriate time but be assured that this decision will be made considering what is best for Gabbie, Anya and my ability to spend as much time with both. All work projects are on hold. From Rungkopi through to other assignments that I was working on when Gabbie became ill, I cannot give any time or any assurance that I will even be able to complete these. I am not accepting any new work assignments or delivering any photography workshops.
I want to thank those who have been there for Gabbie, Anya & I during these incredibly painful days. I do not need to mention names, as friends like you do not need public recognition but I will never forget your kindness. From a sleeping bag for me while living in the ICU waiting room to providing food when I was not eating and taking care of myself, to taking Anya into your home, to a hotel room for me to catch up on sleep during the day and to driving Gabbie’s sisters flying in from Taiwan to the hospital, as well as financial aid while we have struggled through these weeks, I am choking up as I type this & I will never forget the kindness shown by each one of you.