roughest week

i’m glad today marks the end of the roughest week i’ve had in the year 2010, and perhaps, of all time as well.

on tuesday, before patho exam, my mum called me at 9am in the morning just as i was preparing my last minute dash for the 1pm paper later, to tell me that my auntie passed away 2 hrs ago.

it was a really big blow to me, because she was the auntie i was closest to out of all my maternal relatives. the last time i saw her was when i invited her to my birthday party. and one of the last few conversations i had with her was when she came and visited me one day during my preceptorship. i remember feeling so glad when i spotted a familiar face greeting me at the counter, after facing strangers who could either be very nice or very nasty to you. she was asking me where the Listerine was and i showed it to her.

her passing was indeed too sudden, and it left a huge hole in every one of us in the family. needless to say, i couldn’t concentrate much on studying the next few days. nonetheless, i am very thankful that it is only by His grace that i managed to get through it all.

but after attending the wakes, i’ve found comfort in the fact that her profession as a dedicated teacher has touched the lives of so many people. people of all ages would drop by the wake and pay their respects. all the kids she used to teach in primary school actually still remember her, and by the power of Facebook, were mobilized to come together and attend her wake. and these kids are like my age now, or even older and married with kids! her teaching colleagues also showed up in full force and some of them even helped out with the wake.

one common theme in their conversations about her was her generosity. she would always rewards her students with gifts. be it tidbits, or angpaos during CNY. these simple, yet thoughtful gestures, i suppose, has helped to make such a deep impression in the lives of the generations of students that she has taught.

just think about it, do YOU remember YOUR own primary school teachers? i only remember their names, but i don’t even know where they’ve gone to now!

her generosity was also with her sisters, nieces and nephews. when she was starting out as a teacher and earning a salary, she helped to support my aunt (her youngest sister) through NTU. also, her angpaos were always the biggest during CNY and specially personalized with individual messages at the back, wishing us luck in our studies for the year ahead. for my birthday, she also wrote me a special msg on the angpao, and a whole message in mandarin on my bday guestbook (which inspired cassy to write hers also in mandarin, albeit broken LOL).

one thing’s for sure: she would certainly be overjoyed to know that her life, although too quickly passed, has managed to leave behind such a wonderful legacy.

and in that, i hope she will find peace (:

Rest in peace Auntie Vivien


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