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Art transforms into compassion
Contributed by a cancer victim's relative. The writer wishes to remain anonymous.

My everlasting love for my grandmother

I would like to contribute this story to express my everlasting love for my grandmother. It happened in year 1992-1993, I can't remember much about the date as I was at that time, in secondary one/two. I am a Malaysian-born, live in Singapore for 21 years till now.

My grandmother was diagnosed with cancer, at that time she was only 63 years old. It was only till recent years I get to know at that point of time, she was diagnosed with the last stage of cancer. In order not to alarm us (my family), all our relatives told us that she was ok, there's nothing serious about her illness..and we truly believe it .

I even went with my family to Alexandra Hospital to visit her, she looked so healthy and happy. I offered to hold her hand, she smiled..nodding her head, I knew she was very happy to see us. At that time, she really looked so pink and healthy that it never came to my mind that she would passed away so soon, after about 2 weeks she returned to Malaysia. Maybe she knew about her own condition, but she never let us know she was actually in great pain...

My mother was being called to go back Malaysia (she was working at a factory here in Singapore) the day my grandmother passed away. I remember the day she came home, her face was tear-filled, I was so alarmed to know that she had passed away, the one I most loved had passed away... Till now I have been blaming myself that I did not attend her funeral, did not have a chance to look at her face or hold her hands..the last time..how could I not go back? I can only conclude that young age of me, I was thinking too much of the school fun, that I did not go back and my parents did not insist that I must do so...

She was a loving grandmother, and I know she loved me most, always remembering what type of food I mentioned was good, she would prepare for me, or went all out to the faraway market cycling at 3am!(because market in Malaysia opens early and ends early). I remember whenever I went back to Malaysia, I would sleep with her in her room, every night there would be many mosquitoes, she would sleep outside of the mosquito net and let me had all the mosquito net to myself, but I would always crawl out of the mosquito net and sleep besides her, ending up with many bites of the mosquitoes.... She would then apply medicated oil onto my "wounds", so lovingly.. No matter how naughty, how stubborn I was, she never scolded me...

After the funeral about 7 days, if I remembered correctly, it's the first time and last time I ever saw my father cried, as we burned the incense paper "asking" grandmother to come back...(it's a Chinese custom). My father was my grandmother's most loved son..he is also the most fillial.... Till now he will never, because of tiredness, missed folding those "paper boats" made of incense paper, to burn during the first and fifteen of the month of every important Chinese occasions. He will always fold two large bags of those "paper boats".

To me, grandma had left all kind of sweet memories which I will never ever forget...till now, almost 10 years, I still remember her smile..her everything. And not going for her funeral was the forever pain in my heart...she loved me most and I always think, she must be wanting to see me for the last time, but I did not go back...

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