Last night, I had problems sleeping. I was thinking of 2 persons - My auntie and uncle.
They belong to the history. They were sufferers of cancer. One battled it for 6 years, one battled it for 10 months. They loved me so dearly. But they were gone. I didn't cry at their funeral, I only had tears threatening to fall. Death marks the end of their suffering. It should be something glad instead.
Let me start.
I grew up in a incomplete family. I didn't have childhood. I didn't have happy days. Maybe I did, but my memories only contain the misery. My family was always shifting house all the time, from this condo to that condo to another condo. Those big condos don't leave me deep impressions. But my auntie and uncle's 3-room HDB flat left me the deepest impression of all.
Its fun going to my auntie and uncle's flat. They only have a son. My existence made them love me more. I'm very very very far from adorable when I was young. I don't wear skirts. I don't have long hair. I wore shirts, pants, tom boy cuts. But they love me. They dote me like nobody did. My mum was always yelling at me, but they took extra protection of me.
At my pre-primary, I was at Poi Ching pri, so I had to shift to their flat for one year. The one year was fun. But its also the year I grew out of shape. They dote me so much, that they bought me sweets everyday, without fail. I grew out of shape in no time. I start to have small toys. There were times when I miss the sch bus, and auntie have to bring me to sch via SBS bus. They were poor. But they were kind to me. They treat me like their own daughter, trying to provide me things, no matter how poor they are.
1 year of pre-primary sch life passed, I'm due to go primary sch. Logically, I gain a seat in Poi Ching Pri sch. But I had to give it up. Auntie contacted cancer, cervical cancer if I didn't recall wrongly. That was the start of her suffering.
I had to move back to Malaysia, and attend sch in Woodlands. Auntie could no longer take care of me. I visit her pretty often. Once a week if I didnt rem wrongly. During holidays, I had some weeks staying to accompany her. But soon, things weren't as good as cancer spreads. She had one operation. But the cancer cells were still there.
After 4 years in Malaysia, the neighbour of auntie wanted to rent her flat. We rented it. For the benefit of minimising my travelling and for taking care of her deteriorating health. Cancer was really very bad. It conquer her slowly. She bleeds whenever she does heavy work. Sometimes, she bleed for no reason. That period was also a bad period for my family. Violence, abuse, fights, etc etc. It was tough, very tough. But we all held on, hoping for a better tmr.....
She finally reached a point where life has to come to a halt. She lay in her bed, slowly she stop to react, stop to move, stop to have reflexes. She's just like a corpse, with breathing. After 3 days of internal battling of the fast spreading virus through her body, on 30th June 1994, evening 630pm, it marks the closure of her life chapter. Her 6 years of suffering.
On her funeral, I didn't cry. I knew how much she suffered. Its really a relieve for her. An old belief, on the last day of the funeral, before the dead is leaving for cremation, the weather reflects the emotions of the dead. True enough, at the moment she was leaving for cremation, it drizzled.
2 years later, uncle and cousin decided to shift to a better flat. Its not quite agreeable by uncle as he miss this place, its still inevitable that they had to shift. They shifted to Chua Choa Kang. My uncle works in Tiong Bahru. But after shifting to CCK, he still visits me, once a week, every Tuesday, without fail. He'll be here, grumble about some things, and he gives me some money weekly to add on to my meagre pocket-money.
When sch holidays sets in, he'll meet me for breakfast everyday. I'm not a sweet tongued person. Our every meet-up is almost in silent. We do not have much topic. I do not have a sweet face. But he treats me so well, just for that companionship without much exchanges of words. It is amazing that he bothers to wake up earlier everyday, travel all the way from CCK to Toa Payoh, meet me for breakfast, and leave for work at Tiong Bahru. He's a hair barber.
Ang 2000, when I was at JC2, my handphone rang while I was in sch. During that era, handphones were not common. Few of my friends use hp. I receive this surprise call which is from mum. She told me uncle got stroke. Being so dumb, I don't actually know whats stoke, until much queries made. He came over to my place that very night, with the help of cousin. His nerves system broke down when he was working. He's really sad, but I feel that he was scared.
After investigations, uncle was hospitalised. He was diagnosed cancer, brain cancer. A very devastating news. Why would such things happen to a couple? It was unbelievable, but we accepted it. Though I was preparing for exams, I travel all the way down to NUH, with home-cooked food everyday, without fail. It was diagnosed that the cancer hindered one of the main nerve system. Removal of the cancer is almost impossible. We could only resort to radiography.
After 'A' Levels, I did very frequent visit to him, either at NUH or his hse at CCK. His memory is deteriorating, at a very fast speed, but he still remembers me. Once he spotted my new spectacle which I thought was rather insignificant unless u stare hard enough. He also spotted my new watch. I was very touched. For a person with slowing memory, lying in his bed, was still so observant, at me.
My 'A' Level results were out. I can actually predict my results. I did badly for my GP. Not within expectations with my daily scores, but I was sick on that very day and only did my composition part. I got an E8, though I thought it might be an F9. Though predicted, I can't help, but be very sad. My other scores were decent. He saw my sorrows.
The next few months was hell for him. Needless to say, in-and-out the hospital frequently. He could only consume liquid food, milo, milk, soya bean milk. But he could still remember me whenever I visit him. He felt frequent pains, on his brain and body. Until point, he cant even drink, we had to pipe the drink in via a tube through the nose. The sight was aching all of us, aching right into our hearts.
06-06-2001, my posting for uni was out. I got into my 1st choice. The very nxt day, I rushed over to his hse to inform him. He was already unconscious, but he knew I was here. He had no capability of response, not even consumption of any liquid. I grabbed his hand, I told him I secured a place in the uni. He gave me an unexpected squeeze on my hand. It was as if he used all the strength he was left with, to acknowledge that he knew it and was happy to know about it. It was like he wanted to tell me to work harder. The squeeze on my hand held so much meaning to me. He only let it go minutes later. I'll never forgot this moment, I told myself.
5 days later, 13-06-2001, he passed away. It was as if he was waiting for my reply, my reply of my place in the uni, then he could leave this place of suffering. On the last day of funeral when he was leaving for cremation, it poured. It shows how sad the dead person is and how unwilling he is to leave the mortal world. It poured heavily.
He left. The couple that loves me so dearly left.
This is how they look and how not-adorable I look.
Uncle left me 2 thick gold chains. I was reluctant to part them, but mum told me that it will be useless to keep them. I exchange the 2 chains for gold bracelet. If you notice, it has already been with me the past4+ years. Uncle wanted to give me his Rolex, but apparently he forgets his p/w to his safe box due to the cancer. I can see his many attempts in recalling. But the watch isnt important to me. Their love is more important than anything elses. I will never forsake my bracelet, which meant so much to me. It will be with me as long as I have them in my mind, which will meant, forever.
Much tears are shed in writing this. I still miss them so dearly.