I remember my mum’s voice that night when she called. She was crying over the phone, barely able to utter the words clearly but I heard all I needed to hear: “Aunty Audrey… lung cancer… final stage… Doctor gave her 6 months to live”.
I don’t know what to say at times like that but I knew I had to be the strength for my mum. So as I took in the shocking news I told my mum a white lie: that I knew Aunty Audrey will be ok… and they’ll find a way. The Doctor gave Aunty Audrey 6 months to live and we knew the next 6 months were going to be difficult for my cousins.
That was two years ago.
For two years, Aunty Audrey fought cancer. She suffered not just physically but mentally. I can never imagine how it must feel like, knowing that you were going to die in the near future and knowing that it would come slowly and painfully. I was never very close to Aunty Audrey through my childhood but it was in her final years that I saw her the most. I saw how cancer slowly took her. I remember how she fought on hard. The Doctor had given her an instrument to measure her lung capacity in order to decide if she was fit for surgery. She blew into that instrument each day, hoping to get a good enough reading. At times she felt defeated but my mum encouraged her, told her never to give up.
Months passed and slowly life got more difficult for Aunty Audrey. She got weaker, lost her hair and had to walk with a stick. That stick soon became a wheelchair, on to her last days where she had to stay in bed.
This morning I attended Aunty Audrey’s funeral and paid my last respects. It was the most peaceful funeral I had ever attended. We sang her favourite song “Yue liang dai biao wo de xin” and said our last words to her. Everyone was sad but it was peaceful because I think as much as everyone will miss Aunty Audrey, we’re glad that she was a part of our lives.
My other Aunty told us all how one day in her final days, as she lay in bed she suddenly grew a big smile. She beckoned for my other Aunty to come over and told her
“Jesus is here…. I can see him”.
And she continued to have the biggest smile for the longest time. Whether you believe in God or not, I’m glad my Aunty Audrey felt there was someone waiting for her on the other side.
I will always remember Aunty Audrey for the kind woman she was and the big smile she always had.
Goodbye Aunty Audrey… see you in Heaven some day.