Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Thank You Aunt, My Sincerest Gratitude

As much as we hope for, life never always give us what we want. Same for life and similar for death.

And that I got to experience that for myself first hand when I received the shocking news that one of my favorite aunts passed away last Sunday. Unlike what most think, she didn't die of any illnesses. Instead, she died due to an accident in her bathroom where it was suspected that she fell which resulted in her death. Certainly, no one sees it coming.

Whether or not the fall was fatal was unknown. However, what's certain is that her death prove to be too sudden and alarming for us to accept. For my parents, my sisters and me.

Speaking from the bottom of my heart, she was unquestionably one very caring and brave woman whom I have known. I remember the time when I was serving my National Service, during my first 3 months, she and my uncle, who unfortunately also passed away 3 years ago due to cancer, took time to visit me in the camp on the parent meeting session.

To say I was surprised to see them there was an understatement! Just think about it. How many of my relatives or even friends would know I was already servicing my NS? Not to mention when was my parent meeting session!

Also, unlike most of my other relatives, she and my uncle always took time off their schedules to visit us at our home, with no other reason other than the desire to catch up with us and see how we were.

Although her husband's death wasn't sudden, still unquestionably, it was a great blow to her. Imagine having to lose your life partner whom you have been living with for the past 30 odd years.

In fact, there were times when my family and I went to visit her in her house after my uncle's death, we saw several photo albums lying around on the sofa. Obviously, she was there alone flipping through the past photo albums, recalling the wonderful moments she had with her husband. It really pains my heart to see that, really.

In front of us, she might look cheerful. However, no one either than herself knew how many nights had she cried her way to sleep. How many nights had she woke up to find herself alone on the bed which she once shared with a guy, a guy who provided her the care, concern and love for the past 30+ years. How many nights was that?

Getting over a love one's death is not an easy task. However, I really think she had done a great job in that aspect. After her husband's death, she tried to live on bravely without him. She gradually learnt to take care of herself and to get herself occupied with stuffs like learning English and go traveling with her friends.

I still remembered clearly the holiday she spent with my family in Taiwan. That was the first and last time we spent our holiday together. Together, we brave through the cold weather, visit places of great sceneries and shopped at the streets of Taiwan, enjoying the food there. That's definitely one wonderful memory I will keep for the rest of my life.

As much as it hurts, we have to accept the fact that our loved ones will eventually leave us, with signs or no signs. From the deaths of my two closest relatives, I truly come to realize this important lesson, a lesson which I have read over and over again but take little notice of it.

Always treasure the people around you. Never take them for granted for you'll never know it may be the last time you see them.

Accidents do happen, whether we like it or not. Cherished the time you have with everyone around you. Don't keep what you want to say to them in your heart. Let them know while they still can respond and hug you in return.

Do something sweet to them, like what my uncle and aunt had always done. Make them know that they are important to you. Show them that you truly care.

In life, there may be millions of choices for you to choose out there. However, there are 2 choices which you certainly have no control over. Life and death.

You can't decide who give birth to you. Neither can you decide when you want to die. Since life is given to you and you will have to live through it till your death, whether you like it or not, why bother making your life miserable by clinging on to the sad and unhappy grudges you had with other people.

Is it really worth it? Do you want people to attend your wake only to remember the grudges between both of you? Or do you prefer others to hold fond memories of you in their heart, forever?

It never takes much for you to show others that you care. A simple word like, "I'm sorry" or an simple act of hugging and kissing show a lot. Don't ever underestimate all these simple actions.

Throughout the 24 years of my life, I have learnt that being obstinate and stubborn never pays. Someone in my life bring me this great wisdom,

"Saying "sorry" or showing the act of apology first doesn't necessary mean you are at fault. It can also signify that you care and love the other party more than your ego. You want him/her to feel loved, rather than sad or angry. In simpler words, "I care about you! Can we talk?" was what a simple act of apology can do."

Easier said than done? Well, to speak the truth, even though I understand it logically, I have really yet to master it. Nevertheless, to say it is impossible to achieve is certainly untrue. At least there is someone special in my life who has constantly showed me that it is all possible, as long as your love for the other party overrides the love for your own ego.

Learn to love your ego less and love others more and you'll find yourself a freer person. If nothing else, you get to be your true self, rather than having to hide your true feelings from others.

Understand that your actions or inactions may ultimately decide the amount of regret you have to live with the rest of your life. Therefore, start loving the correct people now.

Sidetrack: Dear, do you want to know why I called you so many times last Sunday? Well, that was what I wanted to say. And also thank you for always been there for me, for even though I was at my very worst, you still stand by me. Thank you.

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