I lost my Mum to lung cancer on August 30, 2016 and that has made me realise how transient life is. She was still in reasonably good shape albeit feeling tired and a bit breathless when I went to Kuching on August 14. I never expected her to leave us so soon. She was first diagnosed with terminal lung cancer in August 2015 and the oncologist informed us that my mum’s life expectancy was only three to six months. But my mum was a figure of strength and defied the odds to survive for a year. Even on the morning of August 29, she was able to have her usual light breakfast with us. She breathed her last breathe at about 8.30am on August 30 and she left us with such a peaceful look on her face.
I will always cherish the fond memories of my mum. Her death has changed my perspective on life as I realise that life can be very short and unpredictable. Her death also reminds me to live a more meaningful life, reinforcing my resolve to savour it.
I dedicate the following poem to my dearest mum. You may be gone but your love had made such a huge difference in our lives.
Ode To My Mum
In 1932 you came into this world
Let your story be told.
You survived your teenage years
Amidst hardship and fears.
Under the Japanese occupation
Life called for gumption.
You became a woman of substance
And a pillar of strength under any circumstance.
At Methodist School in Sibu
You accepted your Lord and Saviour,Yesu.
You married when you were a tender teen
Shouldering the responsibility in the house of Lim.
Four sons and a daughter
Raising them fell on your shoulders.
When your youngest son was born
Your heart was almost torn.
When your husband wanted to give him away
You steadfastly refused to let your husband have his way.
Thus your youngest son too was raised as a Lim
Remaining as the family’s youngest sibling.
When your children were small
You dearly loved them all.
Getting up at night with a needle and torchlight
You killed those nasty bed bugs outright.
You healed our hurts with loving grace
Erasing our tears without any trace.
You were there for us through thick and thin
When we were sad, you made us grin.
You juggled your duties as mother and housewife
Never ever complained about your life.
Our love for you will never cease
We pray that you have found eternal peace.
Your sufferings they have ended
But your life has not been tainted.
Cancer may have ravaged your body
But you are now with Lord Almighty.
We thank you for all that you’ve done
We’re very happy that you were our mum.
Farewell for now for you must go
To a fairer land without any sorrow.
Dearly loved, dearly missed.
Your loving youngest son.
Lim Chin Yong
September 8, 2016