11th May 2014: It was Mother’s Day and everyone in the house had made a plan to visit Ah Ma at her ward in TTSH. They brought a cake out to celebrate with her.
I was happy to see her again, it’s been nearly a week since I visited her on Tuesday. I missed her so bad and hearing her voice was the only comfort to me because I know she will always support me in whatever do. Somewhat that day, something just didn’t feel right. She couldn’t speak properly and she told me she had problems breathing and her stomach ache really badly, there was nothing I could do, besides calling the nurse.
I spend some quality time with her and she barely spoke. I tried to talk to her, but somewhat her soul wasn’t there.
After which, I left home to get changed and meet my friend.
At night around 9pm, after the movie in Cineleisure, I received a text saying that grandma’s blood pressure dropped, and doctor says she might not make it pass tonight. The truth hits me, I was stunned, I nearly collapsed.
It was probably her time to go, cancer won and she lost.
After dinner, I headed straight to Novena, trying to rush to see her, and when I was her, she was cold, her hands were icy cold, legs were icy, cold, pale face and I could hear was her breathing, panting heavily to get the oxygen into the body while her organs were badly functioning due to cancerous cells affecting most her body organs function.
I called her, “Mama, I’m here. Please don’t leave me, please make it through, I really need you in my life.” in hokkien.
I know it’s probably effortless to call and talk to her because her soul was barely there, but still, everything was worth a try, to keep her by my side.
Minutes and hours started to ticked by, her breathing starts to weakened and soon, I could not hear her breathing anymore. Her eyes, did not moved at all, neither did her body. It was just her heart pumping weakly and the lungs taking in the oxygen that was given to her through the oxygen mask. I nearly wanted to break down and tear, but grandma told me not to cry over her death and I had no choice but to hold on to my saddness and tears and pretended to be cheerful till her last breath.
As her heartbeat weakens reaching 60, and then constantly decrease, I held on to her hands tightly by her bed side, and in my heart, I kept mumbling, “please don’t leave me, please don’t…” even though I know she’s in tremendous pain and she had already given up.
Till 0150, 12 May, her heart finally made the last pump and stopped for good. There was a constant straight line on the machine and even though I hoped for a miracle that there might be a sudden beat from the heart, it stopped. Yes, she’s gone.
She left me for good. Her eyes did not close at all, staring blankly into space. Like the elders always say, if someone dies without his/her eyes closed, she wasn’t able to let go of some things in her life or she wasn’t willing to die yet. I could feel that grandma couldn’t let go, she is always constantly worrying about me, worrying about me being bullied and ill-treat by my parents, bullied by my younger sister, worrying about whether I had friends, had money, basically everything about me.
I know she never fails to stop nagging at me, this actually started when she found out she had cancer and her days were probably soon. I know how much I hated her nags, but that was the only way she cared and worried about me. She taught me how to cook, cooking my first dish, frying my first egg, how to handwash my clothes, how to iron my clothes, how to sweep the floor, mop the floor, wash dishes, etc.
She was the one who always defended me from my mother’s scolding, canes (when I was much younger), the one who would stand up for me despite my mother’s making claimless accuses which she hopes to punish me and be able to vent out her anger that she accumulated from her workplace.
I’m all alone now, in this cold cold house. I really love her, the one whom fulfilled the duties and responsibilities of a mother, someone who taught me to walk, taught me to speak, fed me when I was hungry, carried my heavy bag when I started primary, showered me, Even though, she may be just my grandma, to me in my heart, she will always be my mother, my dearest mother.