Kak Long has been in the hospital since Tuesday the 8th, and today she started her first cycle of chemotherapy. She’s lucky that four of her nine children are already in college or university. They are the ones who have been ferrying her and the other members of the family to the hospital and staying to accompany their mom, Alhamdulillah… This whole experience with my sister and her ailment is evoking a lot of memories: rushing to and fro the hospital, checking on the kids, preparing meals on the run, and all the procedures in the hospital… Things are different, yet so familiar. Even the walk down the long empty corridor of twilight zone towards the specialist centre is so eerily similar.
Kak Long is scared, but very strong. When I spoke to the doctor today, she said the prognosis wasn't too good. We pray the best for her, for we do not know what lies ahead and what is even good for us.
Back at her home, her loyal maid of more than 10 years, Suyati, is often very sentimental, with tears welling in her eyes whenever she is reminded of Kak Long’s condition. I have spoken to her, telling her to be strong, for the children and also for Kak Long’s sake. Putting a brave front is very important because once one person breaks down, then it’s contagious. I myself have many a times blinked my tears away and sucked in all the emotions, whenever I have to talk to people about my own loss or with Kak Long herself.
Kak Long's younger children seem to be rather oblivious of the actual condition their mom is in. Three days ago, her No. 8 was nagging her mom to attend her sports event at school on Sunday. So, I told Y that her mom wouldn’t be well and asked her whether her Mak Su (ie: me) can go instead. Sheepishly, she nodded. I told her I’d be clad in bright red attire myself (as she belongs to the Red house) and cheer her name on top of my lungs – if she wouldn’t mind. However, she said her brother belongs to the Yellow house, so it wouldn’t be fair if I wore red. After a moment of thought, I told her I’d then wear red but bring a big yellow flag to cheer for Little Im when it was his turn. And the kids did not bother their mum anymore… I had managed to steer their attention away, and it was enough to excite them that their aunt and four cousins will be there on their sports’ day to give them support.
Time to run... Please pray the best for my sis, and for me too.