The dance with death can be long and painful or short & quick tango. But eventually the dance will end and one will step through the gate of lifelessness. At that final moment one’s last gasp of air, last breath, last inhale & exhale and then life is gone from one’s physical body. The eyelid starts to drop down lifelessly and the body stall into lifelessness. It’s gone, he is gone.
Heart rate monitor shows a flat line and screaming it’s alert. But he is not moving, not breathing, no more living. Witnessing his last breath, his final moment and departure of his life brings an avalanche of tears. The tears seems to be symbolising my heartfelt farewell to him. We will never again have a chance to relive this current life story that we have shared for the last 40 years. May be we will meet again but our current story will have been a history as a past life. A farewell for our present to become our past.
Since young he has not been the healthiest but he is the one that comes to his mother’s rescue whenever she is beaten by her husband. Growing up in a poor family with many siblings was never easy. He has to roam the street and outside world to survive from a young age. Salvaging expired pineapple can, doing odd jobs and catching fishes from the river has been his childhood.
As an young adult he work as an unlicensed cab driver and sale man selling all kinds of stuff, bee hoon, shampoo, candles etc. His vehicle of choice is a van so that he can sell more. Because he had a van, a friend asked him to help fetched a Malaysian friend whom came to Singapore to work in the factory. This Malaysian friend is one hot young lady from Taiping (Malaysia). They fell in love and got married. They work really hard for life and produced 4 kids.
He has been a responsible, faithful and hard working man for his wife, children and family. He is passionate about life and is proud of his own achievement in health and wealth. He enjoys dispensing his street smart learning to all. Diligent is his strong trait, in pursue of good health he will drive in the wee hours to climb a hill daily. In pursue of good wealth he will work 15 hours daily and 363 days a year.
After his wife pass on 7 years ago, he went into a depressive grieve. His heart and body deteriorated ever since then. He used to dispense tough love but his action always leave a trace of his sweetness to his family. Even in his weaken state he is always worried about his children’s well being.
He is my dad.
I never seems to be affectionately close to him, I guess I felt intimidated by him. I felt the benchmark he set for me is too tough for me, in a sense it killed a part of me. Hence the distance grows due to my fear of standing under his shadow.
These 2 years as his body deteriorated, our distance grew nearer as there is no more shadow scaring me away. I am glad that it have been this way as I start to feel his love that I have not experience before. The image of a scene 2 weeks before his departure resurfaces in my mind. He was in the hospital bed and I was standing beside it. He suddenly do a throwing motion at me and said “hold the baton, I am dying”. It is only now that I understand the meaning of it. It is his acceptance & acknowledgement of me. My part that have been killed have been revived.
Dad thank you for everything.
I am sorry for not living your expectation. Please forgive me.
I love you and hope that you depart to a much better place.