My Mom was always very supportive of this blog and kept it bookmarked in her favourite sites. I hope she doesn't mind me sharing this news with the world. Nevertheless, it's hard to capture my feelings into words.
My Mom fought multiple myeloma (a cancer of the bone marrow) for eleven years. She lived her life with so much optimism and a big smile on her face despite having this terrible illness. She was kind to everyone: strangers, new nurses and hospital staff, people who probably didn't deserve her goodness too. On Saturday, February 11, 2012, the day we feared for so long came. The night before I got the call. Saturday morning I hopped on a plane and rushed to the hospital. She held on for 9 more hours so I could hold her hand and talk to her about anything, everything. She's been holding onto life so bravely for the past decade just for us. Then at 9:40 PM she floated up peacefully to Heaven. Just like that. My brain still can't wrap around this. It was so sudden - we still chatted and wished each other happy Chinese New Years two weeks before. But she more than deserves this peaceful rest and we are happy that she doesn't need any more chemo, medication, pain, suffering. As much as it hurts to let her go ... bittersweet.
Last week was rough and it stretched on like a year. I tried to keep this inside and not share with many people but I am so thankful for the friends that called me and patiently listened while I sobbed incoherently. Thank you guys. And if I haven't yet told in person yet, I just don't have the strength to mouth the words again and again. My Dad and brother have been so strong too and we are here for each other and even closer now. We went through the motions of starting to plan the funeral and it all came together beautifully, in the process allowing us to focus on how special and bright our Mom's life was. Looking through old photo albums was both difficult and calming. She was just 24 in these photos, and she had a rare radiance and beauty, in youth and after she became sick. The memorial service took place this past Saturday, with lots of family friends flew in from all over the country, and it meant a lot that they would come so far at short notice. My Mom touched the lives of everyone she met. If you talked with her for 5 minutes, she would change your life and you can count yourself a really lucky person. She made us strong because she was and is the best role model there can be.
This is why I've been MIA from the internet for a while. It's going to take a long time to heal and even if the world stops turning, we won't forget her. But life moves forward. I'm going to have a lot of adventures for her - go all the places she couldn't travel to because she was sick. I'm going to take care of my body and never forsake my health just to get ahead in work. Since coming back yesterday, hearing people complain around me about tests and work and not having enough time to do things they love makes me realize that the small things are not worth stressing over. A lot of things have been put into perspective and I hope that this inspires you to appreciate the time you're given instead of complaining. My Mom somehow never blamed, yelled about the pain, or tried to make us miserable with her. She did everything she could to live a normal life and to give her family happiness and spent all her remaining energy worrying about us instead of herself. She's always been an angel. I'm going to try hard to be a better person every day, to become like her and to continue doing things that make her proud. In a way, she won't be missing anything - she has the best seat in the house.
We love you so much, Mom.