Thursday, August 03, 2006

Some Bad News.

Things are so weird in my life lately. After the sudden knowledge about Adrian's coates disease, the incident of the horrifying pilgrimage that left all of us questioning God happened. It's as bad as learning that my best cousins in the world are going to migrate to some foreign town in a few years time, leaving my family and me behind while they take a whole new start. It sucks to know that my best cousins' family is ditching me (and the rest of the family) for a better life. It doesn't end there. It also adds up to the bitterness, when I found out that I did well badly on my English paper this monthly test. Something that I can't forgive myself for. I thought I did ok, until Mr. Goh approached me, personally, about my deteriorating writing skills. I was so bummed and I felt pathetic.

Not like that's bad enough, I just got news a couple of days ago that tua pek (Big Uncle in hokkien) went for an MRI scan and discovered that he had three growths on his brains. I thought I heard wrong, but what were the odds? He was complaining about dizziness and that he was walking as if he was putting on a balancing act on a rope with a pole to help him gain his stability. He went for a check up himself and discovered what he feared most. Being his stubborn self (I think it runs in the family blood), he didn't want to spend the night in the hospital. Mom and dad visited him yesterday at his home and from what mom relates, he acts like a drunkard. He's taking this very hard on himself and he just couldn't face the horror. Mom said that he was refusing to eat and he was extremely down about his situation and was often seen mumbling to himself, "I can't live anymore longer."

Certainly, as harsh and cold as this may sound, when the news reached my ears, I wasn't surprised at all. From the number of ciggarettes tua pek puffs a day, this was only going to happen sooner or later. The sorrow and sympathy was obviously inadmissible. He was the man who gave Grace, Edmund, and me our Chinese names, anyway. So far, the one who's badly affected by this is amah. She was the one who got the news first hand from tua pek's wife. Naturally, as a mother, she's taking this very hard also. Akak was so worried that she might pass out from all the crying the next day when she went to amah's house for her daily cooking and cleaning to only find amah's eyes so swollen. Don't you think that's a little bit too much of an impact to an 80 year old woman to get news of her son being diagnosed with final stage cancer on the brains, first hand?

I think so. I wonder what was tua pek's wife thinking when she decided to pick up the phone and be the barrier of bad news to amah. It could easily send a woman like amah into one of her heart attacks and can eventually get her killed. Tua pek's wife probably didn't have that in mind when she picked up the phone, huh? I haven't been calling either amah nor tua pek also, as I wouldn't know how to handle a situation like this. Akak keeps telling me to give amah a call to check and see if she was alright but I simply ignored her annoying cries for help. I swear that aka could be a little too busybody at times.

Till now, I've only received informal news about tua pek's situation. As far as I know, he has been warded today and is going for, what mom says is, radiotherapy. But I fairly suspect that she meant chemotherapy. Oh, I wouldn't know anyways. Oddly, though, dad doesn't seem to be overly sad over the matter. I mean, tua pek and dad were the closest siblings in the family and it's strange that dad shows no signs of sorrow. Either he's been keeping strong in front of us or he really doesn't feel anything. I haven't got the chance to speak with dad yet. Admittedly, we children, aren't that closely bonded with the paternal side of the family. Maybe it's because of the different religion that we don't have weekend gatherings and visits to each others house. Things are just different if compared to what we share with the other family members on the maternal side of the family.

However, I certainly am not looking forward to tua pek's death anytime from now, but I don't know how strong that man is. I'd love giving him some words of encouragement, if he understood English and if I was dealing with a more open minded family member. Reality is, I still live in a proverbial Chinese family where children are considered good when they don't bud in on things like that. Believe me, I'd love so much to help out but, something tells me that I'd better stay away from dealing with all these sticky web of family issues. I don't know when I can visit tua pek but I hope it'd be soon.

Oh, I pray that God be with him and help him along the way on this treacherous journey to fight cancer. In my position, I can do nothing but offer my prayers. After all, I still need to go attend the SONY Photography Camp that's been making my entire week a living hell. The bad news of family members impending death and bad grades is one thing. Waiting for the whole week for this camp is another agonising thing. *sighs*.

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