Posts Tagged ‘anniversary’

My Mom left this world very suddenly; without a word of goodbye, on the night of November 24th 2000, at 8.30 pm while Dad and I was having dinner in the kitchen.

It was a day after Dad’s 80th birthday and two days after their 50th wedding anniversary which we did not celebrate due to her illness.

Hearing her groaning softly on the sofa, we threw down the bowls and chopsticks, rushed out to see her but….it was too late.

She was gone in less than ten minutes, even before I could finish making a call for an ambulance to come fetch her to hospital.

Mom died from heart attack, as a result of being overloaded with saline water from dialysis and blood transfusion she received from the hospital that evening.

It came so unexpectedly that it left us in a state of total shock and disbelief. Gazing down at the lifeless body of someone you loved so very deeply, while outside, the world still moves on, it was so surreal and scary.

The sudden feeling of loneliness and emptiness within our hearts; and the hollowness that engulfed the house was very frightening.

I broke down and trembled with sobs while Dad grimaced with sorrow.

Only an hour ago, on the way home from the hospital, she was still with me, telling me to get new curtains for the house as the new year is fast approaching, and now she was no more.

“How can this happened, surely this can’t be true?” my brain kept asking again and again.

But it’s true. Mom had left us. Nothing in the world could bring her back to life or to us.

We cried and cried. We wailed and wailed. That night was very long and time stood still.

The residential area we stayed in was very quiet and dark as everyone had retired indoors. Not a soul to be seen on the road.

Stray dogs were howling from a far distance and gushes of cold wind-swept into the hall from the hills facing our row of houses.

Mom’s face was lifeless but her eyes were closed and her lips curved into a slight smile. She looked like someone in a deep and restful sleep. We covered her with a blanket and waited for day light to break.

Where her soul had gone to, I kept wondering sadly. I sat beside her until dawn came.

We went through the next two days in grim. Prayers from the nuns, words of condolences from friends and relatives, watching her face for the last time before her body was sealed away forever and put into the furnace.

The thought that we could not get to see her again made me mad with grief. Dad was teary. It was one of the saddest days in our lives.

After the funeral, we gathered at Dad’s house. The atmosphere was haunting. The sky was gloomy and dark. As dark as the mourning clothes we were wearing. We cleared her room and her things and packed them away. It was raining heavily outside for hours until evening when the sky finally cleared up.

Then everyone left, leaving Dad alone in the house.

This is just not right! How can he be left alone when he had just lost his partner of fifty years?

For goodness sake, he was already eighty years of age, old, sick and alone.

Who will chat with him? Who will cook for him? Who will wash his clothes?

Who will accompany him to see the doctor? Who will do the things Mom used to do when she was still around?

Nobody, it seems. Everyone was busy with his or her own families.

“My dad is lonely and sad. Can I bring the babies home to stay with him?” finally I asked my husband.

He was a very considerate and compassionate man.

“Yes, do what you can for your dad. Keep him company so that he will not be so sad,” he consented.

With that, I moved back to Ipoh from Kuala Lumpur where I was staying, with my little children in tow.

Nicholas was three and Alexandra, only one.

Dad was agreeable with my plans.

He could play with his grandchildren. He could watch TV with them.

He would have warm home-cooked meals to eat and some people to eat together with him.

He would have us to chat with him at night before he retires to bed.

He would have someone to take him to see the doctor.

The days after Mom was gone were not easy.

I have an old and sick father to look after and two babies to take care of.

I kept myself occupied because when you are busy, you will not have the time to feel the pain.

It is tolerable in the morning when the sky is bright and the whole neighborhood came alive with people walking past our house. Noises and activities kept you away from loneliness.

But I fear the evenings when the sky grew darker and the whole place was so quiet. I felt very down and unhappy.

By night, not a soul, neither a car could be seen; sometimes a cat or dog just passed by.

An idle mind is a devil’s workshop. It’s true.

Staring at Mom’s portrait on the wall; I could almost hear her soft whispering. I could still feel her presence in the house. I dare not sit on her favorite chair. It was too painful.

I wish she was still around to tell me what to do when the babies got sick; I wish she was still around to teach me to cook some of dad’s favorite dishes.

There were many times when I suddenly woke up in the still of the night, my head still blank and I still could not digest the fact that she had gone.

I don’t know how but Dad and I managed to struggle through the days, the weeks, the months and the years thereafter.

Now, even Dad had gone away too.

Eleven years had passed. The pain had diluted somehow, but the memories of her still remained in my heart.

Looking back, I had overcome sorrow, fear and extreme loneliness. It was very difficult.

I loved what Winnie the Pooh said, “If there ever comes a day when we can’t be together, keep me in your heart; I’ll stayed there forever.”

Yes, I loved to keep Mom in my heart so that she could stay there forever.

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