Thursday, October 25, 2007
Wednesday, October 24, 2007
It was a Wednesday night - i attended bible study at church with Daddy and Mich. As usual, took off shoes at the outer part of church and went in. Little did i know, that last the last time i would see those lovely pair of Adidas. This is (almost) what it looked it:
Coincidently, there were a pair of leather slippers laying around the corner of the church hall. Looks as if God didn't want me to go home bare footed. Thank God for his grace.
To lose my shoes like that, really un-believe-ably hilarious...!!
labels: Church + Christianity
Monday, October 22, 2007
After Mummy's passing, the whole family felt that we needed a break and wanted to get out of the house. And so we drove up to my aunt's house in Alor Star, Kedah for a couple of days. It was Fun!
Here's Daddy being a kid again with my cousins:
Ayo, ONLY on roads in Kedah. DO NOT try this in KL!
(Guess who's idea t was to hop onto the car booth? -Daddy- hahaz...)
And while we were there, we did some pretty fun stuff too..
Went to see my cousin perform her drum solo...
Aquarium (window) shopping, hahaz..
And while pumping air into the car tyre at a petrol pump, guess what we saw...
kudos to me ;-p
Wednesday, October 17, 2007
THIS IS BEAUTIFUL... AND YOU MAY BE TEARY AT THE END...
Sally jumped up as soon as she saw the surgeon come out of the operating room. She said: "How is my little boy? Is he going to be all right? When can I see him?" The surgeon said, "I'm sorry. We did all we could, but your boy didn't make it."
Sally said, "Why do little children get cancer? Doesn't God care any more? Where were you, God, when my son needed you?" The surgeon asked, "Would you like some time alone with your son? One of the nurses will be out in a few minutes, before he's transported to the university." Sally asked the nurse to stay with her while she said good-bye to her son. She ran her fingers lovingly through his thick red curly hair.
"Would you like a lock of his hair?" the nurse asked. Sally nodded yes. The nurse cut a lock of the boy's hair, put it in a plastic bag and handed it to Sally. The mother said, "It was Jimmy's idea to donate his body to the university for study. He said it might help somebody else. "I said no at first, but Jimmy said, "Mom, I won't be using it after I die. Maybe it will help some other little boy spend one more day with his Mom."
She went on, "My Jimmy had a heart of gold. Always thinking of someone else. Always wanting to help others if he could." Sally walked out of Children's Mercy Hospital for the last time, after spending most of the last six months there. She put the bag with Jimmy's belongings on the seat beside her in the car. The drive home was difficult.
It was even harder to enter the empty house. She carried Jimmy's belongings, and the plastic bag with the lock of his hair to her son's room. She started placing the model cars and other personal things back in his room exactly where he had always kept them. She laid down across his bed and, hugging his pillow, cried herself to sleep.
It was around midnight when Sally awoke. Laying beside her on the bed was a folded letter. The letter said:
"Dear Mom, I know you're going to miss me; but don't think that I will ever forget you, or stop loving you, just 'cause I'm not around to say I LOVE YOU. I will always love you, Mom, even more with each day. Someday we will see each other again. Until then, if you want to adopt a little boy so you won't be so lonely, that's okay with me. He can have my room and old stuff to play with. But, if you decide to get a girl instead, she probably wouldn't like the same things us boys do. You'll have to buy her dolls and stuff girls like, you know. Don't be sad thinking about me. This really is a neat place. Grandma and Grandpa met me as soon as I got here and showed me around some, but it will take a long time to see everything.
The angels are so cool. I love to watch them fly. And, you know what? ! Jesus doesn't look like any of his pictures. Yet, when I saw Him, I knew it was Him. Jesus himself took me to see GOD! And guess what, Mom? I got to sit on God's knee and talk to Him, like I was somebody important. That's when I told Him that I wanted to write you a letter, to tell you good-bye and everything. But I already knew that wasn't allowed. Well, you know what Mom? God handed me some paper and His own personal pen to write you this letter. I think Gabriel is the name of the angel who is going to drop this letter off to you.
God said for me to give you the answer to one of the questions you asked Him, 'Where was He when I needed him?'
"God said He was in the same place with me, as when His son Jesus was on the cross. He was right there, as He always is with all His children. Oh, by the way, Mom, no one else can see what I've written except you. To everyone else this is just a blank piece of paper. Isn't that cool? I have to give God His pen back now. He needs it to write some more names in the Book of Life. Tonight I get to sit at the table with Jesus for supper. I'm sure the food will be great. Oh, I almost forgot to tell you. I don't hurt anymore. The cancer is all gone.I'm glad because I couldn't stand that pain anymore and God couldn't stand to see me hurt so much, either. That's when He sent The Angel of Mercy to come get me. The Angel said I was a Special Delivery! How about that?
Signed with Love from:
God, Jesus & Me.
(Thanks Eve for this lovely story, so lovely that i just had to repost it in here ;-p)
labels: Church + Christianity
This post is dedicated to all those whom have extended their heartfelt love and support to the Tan family and I via lovely wreaths, SMSs, emails, greeting cards, and even being present for the wake and funeral service. We are unable to personally extend our thanks and gratitude to you, therefore this post is for you. Thank you once again. Praise the Lord!
Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia
Prof. Noor Aziah (principal), Foong Dar (ma roommie), Sham Iskandar (my neighbor roomie), li Ming, Roe Jin, Eve, Beng Chong, Pau Chynn, Ustaz Harif (Qi), Divya, Sharifah (PBSMM), Abg Aras, Hasan, Ana, Ria, Lina, Su Ling, Au Yong, Yo (x rommie Raja), Aishah (Ecah), Chu Ping, Jin Jin, Amirah, Atin, Yus, Yeoh, Kent, Wei, Nadia, Prof. Fuziah, Dr. Faridah, En. Azul, Zieana, Dr. Normah, Keat Lim, Daeng, En. Mat Pauzi, Esme, Rafizah (joyah), Kak Chem (Aisyah), Darshan, Zunariah, Tong Hua, Mann Chyun, Pn. Rusyda, Nasir, Ashley (& friends frm Com Media), Su Fui, William, Faslika, Voon Chai Fong, Azie, Shiang May/Shakila (sji), Florina, Siew Wan, Lai Thin, Mat (Dato' Onn), Hidayah, Cik. Nanie, Nicole, Tang Wai Ho, Kevin, Cheu Li, Xiang Jun, Lisa, Sue Boon, Pn. Sheila,
St. John Institution
Pn. Noor Sham, Pn. Cheng, Pn. Dorothy, Siew May, Li Hooi, Iwinder, Sze Looi, Grace (currently in Indonesia), Megala, Dinesh (curently in India), Wu-Zen, Sarah-Jane, Alexander, Terry, Qi Kit, Hanim, Hap Chee Hoe, Leonard, Sharil, Azrin, Markus, Jane Woo, Fazlina (u6a1), Risha, Min Khiong, Sai Hong, Kiew Wing
Other friends and family
Dato' Imran Ho, Daniel Lee, Low SooKuan, Mr. Sidney Tung, Catherine (APAC), Ng Di Hui, Sister Irene Choong, Yu Nuo...
& Daddy's friends, Mummy's friends, Mich's friends, and relatives.
Thank you to messages on the lovely wreaths from:
SKM St. John, Kuala Lumpur (Mr. Peter Yii dan beloved teachers)
Pusat Pengajian Media dan Komunkiasi UKM (Dr. Faridah and dedicated lectures)
Kolej Dato' Onn (Evelyn Tang, Chang Siew Sin, Kevin)
MBS OBA (Mr. Rama - Daddy's Old Boys Assoc.)
American Express (M) (Management & Staff of AMEX, Global Real Estate, GNS & Team, Controllership & Procurement)
Resource Springs Association (RSA) (Mr. Low and committee)
Kompakar (M) SB (Mr. Andy - Daddy's office)
Perniagaan Eu Yow Mun (Contractors who worked with Mummy)
Hean Keng Hock & family (Daddy's brother-in-law)
& other companies and individuals who sent wreaths to the funeral
(will do my best to upload some card soon [^^,] )
Monday, October 15, 2007
The 1st night when Mummy was placed at the parlour, close relatives came by. We stayed and chat until about 11.30 and left for home. Mich was officially made the "Cashier" for the pek kim's (funeral donations). I tagged along with uncle John to Menara Star (where he works) to make arrangements for the obituary. (Sorry, still haven't got time to scan it into digital form.. hmph!) That morning at 4 am, my aunty from Alor Setar arrived.
The next morning, we prepared for a loong day ahead. Mich has got her cousins to keep her company, while Daddy and i were busy attending to people who come to pay their last respects. A bunch of Daddy's friends and colleagues came around lunch time while my bunch of friends came later in the evening. Even my beloved lecturers and college principal came in the afternoon! Thank you for coming =)
At 8 pm that night, a short wake service was held. The turnout was enormous! Believe me when i cay enormous.. Just take a look:
and this picture wasn't even including the people OUTSIDE!!
Pastor Joshua leading the service
(sorry wasn't very clear, handphone fon ma.. paiseh =P )
I am personally awed by looking the amount of wreaths Mummy received.. Kinda regret didn't take a nice, full room picture after the service that night. It would have been perfect, just perfect!
Anyhow, after the service, people were allowed to walk towards the coffin to pay their last respects. And that's when they started to sob and cry and all.. Haiz.. Daddy, Mich, and me were on the other side of the coffin to receive their condolences. Some appeared to be moved, while others like relatives and close friends were tearing away. We on the receiving end tried our best to hold back the tears, but occasionally, one or two drops escaped our eyes..
When everyone made their round, the people gathered up in smaller clusters of friends and family and engaged conversations. I was practically running around to make sure, as the host, I representing Daddy, met almost everyone, expressed gratitude for them coming and made sure they penned down their contact numbers at the condolences book before leaving.
Boy, it was such an experience for me! Can't believe im going to say this.. but i actually made full use of my PR-ing skills! (Public Relations) hahaz.. I was going around, talking to people, making sure their needs were seen to, and consoling people who looked like they needed to be consoled. lolx. But it was a good experience. And by that, i learned that by focusing outwards - as in towards consoling people and making them feel better - it actually made me stronger as i wasn't thinking too much of Mummy no longer around. It was a great feeling to see others consoled and in the process, you being strong yourself.. i just can't find the words to express it... =D
and that was the night of the second day.
The next morning, it was raining in KL. Fear gripped me about how the funeral would turn out. As Mich and i drove to the parlor, the rain ceased and it stopped completely upon reaching PJ. The weather was cool and cloudy. Daddy, Mich and i were given some alone time with Mummy before the funeral service. We each placed a stalk of white rose on her blanketed chest. we said our personal goodbyes and promises to Mummy. We also put things that she held dear in to the coffin. Among them were the Mother's Day card and gift which i made her in 1998, and she kept so well until that day. Just imagine, NINE YEARS!!
Then the service began. The crowd was lesser today because many were working, but many relatives from Klang came too. Some commented that the service was a tad too long. Nevertheless, it was all good in the end. Once again after the service, people present paid their last respects to Mummy while we received their condolences on the other end. This time the atmosphere was more dramatic. More people cried out loud as they passed Mummy's coffin. Haiz..
Then the 3M's said our last goodbyes. We weren't allowed to kiss Mummy because the chemicals on Mummy is hazardous to health. Hmm.. So, prior to sealing the coffin, Mich was already pleading not to close the cover so that she could look at Mummy longer.. She didn't want to 'seal' Mummy. It came to a point where i had to literally pull her away from the coffin, not without some restrain, though. Believe me, it was heart wrenching. Seeing a young girl, pleading like that, very very saddening. Still hugging her, i continually assured her that everything would be okay. Daddy seems to hold himself together at first, but once they started screwing the coffin, we all lost it. Daddy was consoled by a family friend. ="(
When we got ourselves together, i passed Mich over to the sisters and i helped carry Mummy out to the hearse. It took eight people. Once in the hearse, were we told to follow behind it with hands on to gesture pushing the hearse- a symbol of 'sending Mummy off'. The Servants of God sang hymns while people accompanied behind. At the junction, I persuaded Mich to ride in the hearse (like i rode in the hearse with Grandpa). She was reluctant at first, but after much persuasion, she agreed. I gave her my hp in case she wanted to talk to someone during the 45 minute journey to Cheras. I followed Dady in uncle's car behind.
When we reached the cemetery, they were transferring the coffin onto the grave. I saw Pn. Cheng and Markus (my teacher and friend from school) and Faslika and Yurva (my UKM mates) there! What a pleasant surprise! Their presence there was so much of comfort by itself...
And also, Miko followed in the bus to the cemetery too..! Kudos to her! =)
Then Pn. Cheng told my Mich didn't wan to come out of the hearse. I turned and saw her standing at the door - she froze. I approached her and tried to lead her towards the grave, but she didn't want to move. Huyo. I was scared that she couldn't take it. I pep talked her, and she began to relax abit. She even asked to see Mummy one last time - but unfortunately was turned down by Mr. Simon. I guess it was too risky because the coffin was already placed on the two poles on top of the grave, or was it just bad superstition to look at a dead just before burial? It beats me.
Mich managed to recollect herself again, i thank the Grace of God for strengthening her. The Pastor made a sermon, followed by a short prayer, before lowering the coffin into the grave. By now, everyone present received a stalk of white rose distributed by the funeral workers. As we lowered the coffin and began to bury it, we sang "Heaven is a wonderful place" led by the Sisters. Everyone approached the grave and tossed in a handful of earth and their stalks of roses. Everyone present had the chance to 'bury' Mummy. I think it was the perfect song to sing.. Hurray to the Sisters!
Mummy's grave covered by funeral wreaths.
I even dropped by Mummy's grave later in the evening and spent some alone time there. Wasn't scared or eerie or anything. It was to tranquil and calm. Just have some quite time for myself and Mummy. I even made an orchid garland from the wreaths. Nice? hehe =D
Was raining the last couple o days, so the soil kinda sunk.
Arrangements were made to add soil to her grave.
I knew in my heart God undertook the whole thing. Praise the Lord!
Sunday, October 14, 2007
This post is a long but meaningful one, well, at least to me it is. I want to share with you, our final hours with Mummy before she gave her last breath, and the days shortly after her peaceful demise (in the next post). Thank you all so much for your condolences and kind words of support for the family. It is my wish to share this experience with you.
Mummy was scheduled for a check up at the UMSC on Monday, 08.10.07. I was at home with her on Friday for Mich's (my sis) birthday. She seems normal, as she always was. At 10 am Monday, a nurse from HOSPIS Malaysia visited Mummy. Mummy really wanted to see her too, i was told by Daddy.
Upon seeing Mummy's condition, the nurse advised that Mummy be admitted to hospital due to low oxygen levels in her body. So, when all arrangement were made, Mummy and Daddy went to UMSC in an ambulance.
Upon arrival, Mummy was checked into room 29. The doctor (which oddly, i have NEVER met before ever since Mummy was diagnosed) came by to see Mummy later in the evening. He said she looked a little bit thin and he would tap out some water from her tummy to help her breathe. Then he left.
(the tumor secretes water like fluid in the body, which takes up space and prevents the diaphragm to expand properly during inhale and exhalation, thus rendering breathing difficult without extra oxygen supply)
The next morning, the doctor came by again, did all the necessary. Mummy was complaining she had shortness of breath and asked for more oxygen supply. It was already at the maximum. Doctor suggested morphine to help Mummy relax so she could breathe better.
She refused. Alternatively, doctor proposed a lighter substance, and Mummy agreed.
Then the doctor called Daddy outside. He broke the news that Mummy only has about TWO HOURS left, and that Daddy should call the loved ones in immediately. I can't even IMAGINE Daddy's feeling at the point in time. Can you?
It was 10 am on Tuesday, when i was abruptly awoken from sleep by a call from Daddy. His voice sounded shaken and mellowed. He told me, "Son, do you have class today? I think you'd better miss your classes today and come be with your mum. she's not doing too well..".
For a moment there, i was stunned. All the thoughts ran wild in my mind. I replied, "Okay, i come now!"
I sprang up, got into my towel, and whisked away to the shower. I ran with my towel on, while silently praying and hoping that nothing bad would happen before i got to Mummy.
While Foong (my dear roommate) was still fast asleep, i quickly gathered my things and dashed to my car in record time. No time for breakfast and all. With a blink of an eye, i reached UMSC in PJ at 12.15 ish pm. (I left at 11.30 am on my Grease Lighting =P ).
When i arrived, Daddy and my 2nd aunt were already there. And there she was, my primary care giver -- my Mummy. She was wearing an oxygen mask and laid on the hospital bed which was raised 45 degrees.
She was unconscious. Seeing Mummy like that, it broke my heart, literally. (although i didn't instantly brake down to tears, was trying to be strong for Daddy.)
Her eyes were half open and they were covered with some sort of fluid, similar to cataract. Her head was resting on her favorite pillow which Daddy brought from home, but it was slightly tilting to the right, as if she had a stiff neck.
Her lips wasn't closed tightly because it helped her breathe, but as a result, saliva drooled and filled the bottom part of the oxygen mask. By then, i was almost tearing, but fought back the tears very hard.
I sat on the chair on her left and held her thin, cold hand. I began rubbing her hand to keep her warm, while Daddy and aunt were rubbing both her legs, which were swelling due to water retention. Daddy told me to call on her. And i did. I said in Hokkien, "Mi, wa lai liao.. Khi lai la.. ok?" (Mi, I'm here already, Wake up la.. ok?).
As i uttered those words, tears began to stream down my eyes. I wasn't crying like crazy (yet), but tears just keep rolling down my cheeks. I also said things like, "Mummy, wake up lah.. Open your eyes and see me. Im here with you. Ill be a good boy, ill take care of sister and Daddy, don't you worry...". (Mich who came later said similar things too)
I kept rubbing her hand and calling on her, and occasionally closed up to whispered into her right ear. She was unresponsive, but still breathing, rather heavily in fact.
And since I was on her left, and her head tilted slightly to the right, I could clearly see the vein on her neck beating with pulse. It was rather fast and irregular, while her chest was still showing signs of breathing. I kept a hawk's eye on that vein.
Two sisters from Daddy's church arrived, and they prayed for Mummy. They knew her quite well ever since Mummy started praying in church for healing. Moments later, Mich arrived with my 4th uncle.
As soon as she stood directly in front of Mummy, she froze. I mean, who wouldn't? She looked at me and shook her head in both disbelieve and denial. She just couldn't believe the Mummy that was still able to talk to her just yesterday is the Mummy that is now lying breathless in the hospital bed in front of her.
Dad told her to call onto Mummy too. She knelt on Mummy's right side and started to shake Mummy's right arm, attempting to wake Mummy up from her sleep. She kept on repeating in Hokkien, "mi.. mi.. ki lai la mi..." (Mi.. mi.. wake up la mi...). She kept on shaking Mummy's arm as streams of tears ran down her cheeks.
I think the very sight of seeing a young daughter calling and calling and shaking her Mummy to wake her up disheartened almost everybody in that room, even the sisters. The sight was just so sad to bear. It was especially hard for Daddy too. I kept assuring Mich that Mummy would be okay, and that she's just resting. I told her to keep calling onto Mummy. But she kept crying and shaking Mummy's hand.
It came to one point when Mich eventually became exhausted of crying that she just knelt there beside Mummy, resting her forehead on Mummy's arm, still, with slight sobbing. I was worried. Really, i was. While Daddy could get himself together and prepared for the worst, I wasn't sure about Mich.
We kept rubbing Mummy and called on her since I arrived at 12.15. During that time, when the sisters prayed and commited Mummy into the hands of God, I hugged Mich and kept assuring her that everything's gona be alright. We then continued to call onto Mummy, this time, both on Mummy's right side.
Mummy's head still tilted right, facing downwards. Kneeling beside my sister, I looked into Mummy's eyes, and they were still with murky-cataract-like fluid. As we began to call her again, i saw a small movement..
Mummy slightly moved her head upwards!
It was in a manner similar to the way teenagers greet each other (eg. slightly jerking one's head upwards when greeting a peer; often followed by raising one's eyebrow while saying "What's up?" or "Sup?")
[sorry for the winding description, but i really want to describe what happened, so bear with me k?]
After the slight jerk, came a low, gargling noise, as if something was stuck in her throat. I thought she wanted to say something and would wake up. As i moved closer to try hear anything she wanted to say, I looked into her eyes again. And the most amazing thing happened.
For a moment, her eyes were clear as sky! The cataract like fluid was gone! In a split second, they were normal again! Overjoyed, I quickly called sister and Daddy to see. We all got a glimpse of her looking back at us. She couldn't move or anything, but we were really blessed to be able to see eye-to-eye, despite her condition.
Sister noticed Mummy's something about Mummy's eyes and pointed out that she cried. A little bit of tears flowed down her eyes. I couldn't believe what i was seeing with my eyes, right there in front of me!
We were so touched because we knew it was Mummy's acknowledgment that she knew we loved her, and that she was happy and contented that were we all there with her in her final moments. Tears streamed even more as we were so moved by Mummy crying for us as a sign. But it all short-lived.
I didn't take my eyes off Mummy. And in just a matter of seconds, her eyes which were clear as sky moments ago, was covered with cataract like fluid. It was then that told myself, "This is IT. Mummy's gona pass on..."
I returned to Mummy's left side and held her hand. It was cold. I kept on rubbing. I did not give up hope. Neither did Daddy or Mich. Daddy kept whispering to Mummy while stroking her hair. At the final moments, one could really see the love Daddy has for Mummy was so great.. it could melt the thickest iceberg!
I kept watch on the vein on her neck. It was beating slowly with a weak pulse and irregular. In between focusing on the vein and rubbing her hand and calling onto her, it suddenly struck me that Mummy chest wasn't raising anymore. I didn't believe it at first. I stared harder. And I stared at the vein. It had a pulse. I didn't want to believe or accept that Mummy has passed on when the chest didn't move. I just didn't want to.
By this time, Daddy was already calling Mummy's name out loud. Mich was with her forehead down on Mummy's hand. She looked like she gave up all hope. It was the end.
When I finally put my right hand on her chest, I could no longer be in denial. Her chest didn't rise, and i couldn't feel her heartbeat, neither could i feel her pulse on her neck. That was it. Mummy has passed on very peacefully, it was as it she just went to sleep. In fact, in my mind, she did...
To think of it, it's been 2 weeks since Mummy's passing, and we still feel her presence at home with us. I truly hope this post would shed some light as to the feeling, emotions, and situation during those final moments...
They are truly worth remembering. Mummy, we miss you.