I LOVE YOU CHAR CHAR

Friday, October 28, 2011

Baby,

How are you doing up there? Mama misses you a great deal, so does your Kor Kor. Mama has been very sick with a bad cough and sore throat and is finally down at the clinic now to get some medication. It's odd how mama has hardly fell ill in the 2 years 8 months journey and the few times I actually did, I could bounce back quickly with some over-the-counter medications. Yet, I've been trying to nurse my cough and throat for almost a week now to no avail. That's probably what mama has been telling you all along - Adrenaline is an amazing drug. And now, without you, my only source of adrenaline, my body is slowly losing it's invisible power shield.

Yesterday, 27th October 2011, was the seventh day since you left us. According to Chinese traditions, we visited you at the temple. I hope you are happy with your new home; mommy has had quite a few headaches trying to absorb all these traditions and trying to make all the decisions in such a short time.

Yesterday, mommy and Kor Kor finally cried while sitting besides your urn and chatting with you. It feels good to be able to cry a little like yesterday. Ever since your cremation day, mommy and Kor Kor have been doing an awesome job; we have not even shed a single tear... And to be honest, mama is starting to wonder and somewhat fear that I must be going insane on the inside. How can mama not feel despair and sorrow? I've read from other aunties that we will live in this odd detached place, feeling numb and void of much emotions... Is this what it feels like?

Mama cannot describe clearly what or how I feel like. I think we look great for someone who has just lost a precious little girl... I keep telling all the jie jie and Kor Kor who messaged mama that we are okay; I am okay except that I feel sick. And it does feel that way... I tell them it must be cheeky monkey you watching over your mama and Kor Kor, making sure that we don't spend our days crying and sobbing away. Btw, you are doing a great job there!

Honey, you remember what you used to say to mommy right? "I am not sad that mama is crying because I know mama will feel happy after crying." Yup, that's what mommy needs now. I know I am strong because I have you but I want to cry, it makes mommy feel normal.

It's hard to process the memory that just last week this time, I was preparing to head out with Gong Gong to select a coffin and decide on the funeral arrangements for you. I bet you must be out there watching and complaining that mommy didn't stay by your side the entire time and sneaked out instead. Forgive me, my love. :-) You know how your mommy is, I have to make sure that I do everything for you myself to make sure that it's done correctly the way you would have wanted.

Last week's memories are a pain and yet very much cherished. I don't know where to begin sweetheart...

You had been bleeding for a few days before Thursday... Well, outwardly anyway. Only Heavens will know how long you had truly been bleeding on the insides, without your retarded mommy knowing. Dr Aung returned on Monday the 17th and I had called her informing her that you were bleeding in the mouth... We discussed and made arrangements to bring you in that night. I remember Rong Rong jie jie calling mommy to tell mommy that your platelets were arriving between 8-9pm and that she would give us a call again when the platelets arrive so that we don't have to wait a long time at the hospital. Wrong wrong jie jie called mommy about 8:23pm that night and I called up our Ambulance auntie Jackie. That night, they took an hour to arrive at our home and we only settled into Ward 76 Bed 16 past 10pm. I remembered only because I remember the TV was on and they were showing .

Our nurse that night was Auntie Salome. As usual, they went about ordering pre-meds for the transfusions and I reminded them of all the IV meds you needed and the timings. I decided to knock off as much as I could because we didn't get to sleep much the nights before when you had more pain... Is it your mommy? Or is it because of the number of times we had screw-ups within the hospitals that I find it incredibly difficult to trust most people... It is not to say that the doctors or nurses are not good, most are but when it comes to my child's fragile life, I will not even allow one single blunder, considering how long you had been fighting and enduring treatment.

(Good grief, I find myself having to edit and amend my grammar continuously. Still can't register in my head that my baby, my child is a thing of the past now. Seriously, how much more cruel can life get?)

Suddenly, sitting in Dr Yeo's clinic now, I remember the early days of your treatments when I had to bring you in daily for your painful GCSF injections...when mommy would force you to put on your mask... When the auntie in the clinic would whisk us to the smaller room so that you not get all the germs from others... They remember you today and that brings me great comfort.

Sorry honey, mommy digressed again! Back to Monday the 17th, we had a platelet transfusion overnight and hmm I think we had a blood transfusion as well. Oh ya, we did because it took forever, more then 6 hours to finish that bag of packed cells. Speaking of which, if there are some of you who only got to know of my little princess Char after her earning of her angel wings, please do not despair that you have gotten to know her too late. You can honour her by continuing to spread her goodness.

PLEASE REMEMBER TO CONTINUE TO DONATE BLOOD AND PLATELETS IN HONOUR OF CHARMAINE. Let her spirit to fight continue to live on through us. Let others have the chance to continue to fight and live on through your precious priceless donation.

Oh dear, I side-tracked once again. :-) Haha, baby you know your mommy can't summarize and stay on track for nuts! I figure the only time that your mommy stayed on track is the time when I was determined to do everything I can humanely do to allow you to live. And I failed... Not only did I fail, I also begged the heavens to give you your wings and let you fly away from me...

So anyway, we finished the red blood transfusions the next morning and spent the next few hours waiting for all of our IV medications to be dispensed by the pharmacist. If my memory serves me right, we only left KKH past 4pm and was discharged by Xiu Hua jie jie. Another long long night and day... But we made it home. Your bleeding actually got better for awhile there...

I was glad and relieved. Throughout those non-stop slow bleeding in your mouth, we couldn't see the tumor as you could no longer open your mouth and we had assumed that you had bleeding gums... And you continued to ask for water to drink, with the occasional "lemony" or "yakult". You even asked for "ribena" once. Now that I know you must have had been bleeding non stop and because you didn't even attempt to spit out one drop of blood, one can only imagine how much blood you had been swallowing back into your stomach... You didn't even wince once my dear child, just how on earth you did all that with not a single word of complaint is totally beyond me and will forever remain so... I honestly cannot even begin to understand your strength... It's like I'm only seeing the small tip of your iceberg of courage, strength, patience and sheer determination...

As I'm typing these words here to you, I'm trying to imagine myself tasting and swallowing blood every second, for days and maybe even weeks... The thought freaks me out and I'm totally ashamed of my own cowardice reaction... You most certainly didn't inherit your strength from your mommy me. They are all mistaken. You were born special and unique, with a level of wisdom and strength many of us may never even know... I love you my child. I miss you baby.

The day you left, you had spend the whole day calling out for me "mama... mama... mama..." and wanting to hold my hands in yours the entire day. Regrettably, I had to let go of your hands ever so often when I had to run to the toilet, when I had to prepare your medication, when I had to eat... They are now forever a memory etched in my brain... That day, you even spread your arms around my neck many times, hugging me as 'tightly' as your frail body allowed... I didn't know... I didn't know those would be the last time you would be hugging me...

Even though I was the one who begged the heavens to give you your wings, it still didn't register... That thursday, Auntie Aishah and Auntie Lilis ace to change your morphine/Ketamine around 4pm and it was also around that time when we were all fussing over your bleeding mouth that I first saw the huge tumor growing on the inside of your left cheek... I just broke down uncontrollably and completely... I just couldn't control my pain and heartache anymore... It really was too much to bear... Most days, you looked like you were doped out and somewhat staring into space but every now and then, you would say a word that's totally coherent and rational like "sheesh sheesh" and it would make me wonder if you were even doped in the first place...

That day when you saw me crying like that, you raised your hands gently and put them on my tears streaked face, wiping off my tears... Oh honey... I remember apologizing for crying again and I told you through my sobs that I am so sorry for so selfishly begging you to hang in there, to breathe and to live for me... That I am ready which is obviously a big fat lie. How can your mommy me ever be ready to be without you? Never honey. It's been more then 2 weeks since anyone had seen your smile... Your charming cheeky lovely smiles... You held on, hang in there for more then 2 weeks to hear your mama say that she is ready... I am so sorry I took such a long time, I really feel so useless... I know I know... You must be saying "NOO! You are the best. And you are my best mama!" I truly hear you sweetheart, thank you. :-)

That morning, I also was so shocked to discover the bedsore that had developed on your frail body... It was so deep and I was so sure I didn't see it 2 days ago... The bedsore, the tumor in your mouth, the non-stop bleeding... Everything just screamed at me that I am causing my own child to suffer... Suffer horrifically... And yet you didn't even make a sound... Nothing... Baby... You were so amazing, I bet you didn't even know how amazing you had always been...

I called Dr Aung to inform her of your bleeding mouth... Your tumor and as usual, we arranged to bring you into KK for another transfusion... But for that few hours, I had procrastinated. Usually, I would have already prepared our bags, called for an ambulance but I didn't... I didnt know why... Not sure if I was just plain exhausted from the day's crying and horrific discoveries... But I just kind of stalled for time... I didn't even arrange for the ambulance... I didn't go shower...

Finally around evening time, I think maybe 6 or 7pm, you suddenly said "Hospital". I had told you that we were going KK for another transfusion to help you stop the bleeding and make you feel better but you had never once asked to go... You mentioning that night just made everything more significant. It's as though you once again knew I was having a dilemma and needed help to make a decision... I can't say that I had a hunch you were leaving but oddly, I kept wondering if you wanted to stay at home instead. At the back of my mind, I even made up the contingency plan to call Dr Aung should we somehow decide not to go KK.

But once again, like magic, you saved me once more. I asked if you wanted to go KK and you nodded your head...

I said OK and called for the ambulance to arrive at 8pm which they did. Somehow, that night, Jase requested to go with us to KK and stay overnight. I said ok.

In the ambulance ride, I noticed you tearing... Were you trying to say goodbye to mama? Your silly mama saw the tears but didn't register. Maybe I did but was in a numb state...

We arrived at KK (the time was slightly past 9pm) but we didn't manage to get our usual bed, we got Bed 17 instead... The bed we stayed in for a long time... The memories came rushing back... You doing your painting while laying down bedridden... You doing your homework while in pain...

You were still bleeding in your mouth... Your lips looked red and dry... I was just plain exhausted from all the crying, could barely keep my swollen eyes open... You asked for "lemony"once more, took a sip but could barely keep any in...

You kept touching your lower lip and pulling it. I didn't know why. You didn't wear your BIPAP mask...

Past 11pm, I looked at you after you made a sound... Your lips went pale white. Your eyes rolled up... I instinctly knew that you leaving us soon. I pressed the alarm for Shao Yang jie jie and she came. I told her something's not right... She rushed to get the doctor... I told you to wait for gong gong, por por and gu gu to come... I kept touching you and called home... Told them to rush down and I kept trying to wake Kor Kor who was sleeping soundly besides us to wake up... Finally the doctor helped me to carry Kor Kor onto our bed... He kept crying non stop... Tears flowed down my cheeks but I didn't sob uncontrollably because I kept reminding myself that I had to be rock solid so that Jase didn't freak out...

Like the sweet child you had always been, your eyeballs rowed back down, as if quietly agreeing to wait... They rushed down in time... And you left @ 0022 hours 21st October 2011 peacefully... Without any struggles...

Like Godma Jolene said, your mouth was opened because of the tumor... Your mommy tried to close them a little but they wouldn't...

Dr Aung also arrived and she asked if I wanted to carry you... I nodded my head... I carry you onto my arms fr the final time...

I talked and made silly jokes... Kor Kor was too devastated and had to carried outside...

Miraculously, after an hour or so, as you were laying in my embrace... Auntie Ainee smiled and said "She's smiling now. Do you want a picture?" I couldn't see your smile as I was carrying you so I laid you down lower on my right arm and sure enough, you were smiling that trademark smile of yours... That smile I had missed... It was a smile that belonged to Char Char, my one and only Char Char...

I LOVE YOU CHAR CHAR. I MISS YOU SO SO SO MUCH SWEETHEART.

Until we meet again...

Goodnight sweetheart.

Love,
Mommy

21 comments:

Angel said...

Love is eternal, so be assured that it will be well-received. Even if this person is not around, we must always remember the unwavering spirit of never quitting.
Jia you & spread the wings of inspiration to all those people who are suffering from pain & interal struggles.
Lets share the story of a little gal who dares to battle the Giant.

Jennie & Andrew Precious said...

Hi Cynthia,

Stay strong and stronger! Princess Char is happier now. She will be glad to see and know there are so many aunties, uncles, jiejies & kor kors that love her so much and that she will always be remembered.

Story of Charmaine, Jase & U really makes me cherished every little detail of my daily life even more and im more contented than ever. I feel for your loss and I hope u will continue to shine and be strong for Jase =) They are lucky & proud to have u as their dearest mommy!

Cynthia, u r the greatest! Big hug to u! Stay happy for Charmaine, Jase & the rest of ur family.


Regards,
Jen

Lick Suan said...

Cynthia, upon reading what u are passing thru, especially the last few days of little Charmaine, I juz can't hold my tears.

My twin gals r same age as her. So I can't imagine losing anyone of them. They're borned prematured at29wks. On the 3rd day after they were borned, my elder suffered fm a brain bleeding and the doctors n nurse can't do anything but only to KIV. I was so worried n I cried the whole day. Luckily the bleeding stopped after that. Though it as caused some issue on her left hand n leg these few yrs, but we did not give up n keep giving her thrapis.

So after all these yrs I reading ur blog (though I didn't make any comments until Charmaine departed), I think you are a very very very strong young woman, w/o even a man's shoulder for u to depends on (sorry to mention that heartless creature here).

I can understand ur memory loss after Charmaine's departure. That happened to me too when my mom passed away, as I was so closed to her, and she departed when I was only 24.

Time will heal ur pain, for sure. But the sweet memories will be in our hearts, forever. Treasure ur son. Give him all ur full love and concentration which u might have missed out the passed 2yrs+ when u had to fully-concentrate on Charmaine. He needs u badly. His pains will not be lesser than u. She is his dearest companion and game mate all these yrs, his 1st dear friend n dearest only sibling. And he might not know how to express himself or relief himself. Maybe u need to pay more attention on him these while. If necessary, bringing him to a psychologist.

U have all love ones, ur family, ur dearest frens surrounding u. Treasure what u have. U have all our best wishes.

vkhoo said...

Cyn, you are a very brave mum. I couldn't help tearing just by reading your post. I hope the best for you and your family. And, to little angel Charmaine, you had fought a good fight. You are and will always be a special girl.

mamabumperbee said...

i cant bear to read any further, i am tearing..and in the ofc, i cant let go...
Cyn, i have been following this blog since 2009, although i do not know Char, but she is very dear to me. i really miss her. ...very much
if you do not mind, may i know which temple is Char? would like to pay her a visit. Thank you so much. You may email me at sherra_sim@yahoo.com.sg

Lick Suan said...

By the way, I think recently there are some virus passing around, with sore throat and fever coming along. My gals have been sick and absent from school for 1 whole week, fever going up and down (goes up when the fever medicine timing is up). Finally today the doc give them antibiotics.

Take antibiotics and rest well, drink some liang teh. U'll recover. Get well soon!

Lina Ng said...

Hi Cyn mummy,

Its a hard time for both Jase and you.

I would like to offer alittle help if you are willing to accept it. I know that Jase has been missing school for quite awhile and he might have problems catching up with his school work. If you allow, I am more than willing to help Jase cope with his school work by offering tuition sessions on a regular basis. This is something small which I think I can offer for your family and char char.

Do email me at linangpx@live.com, I really hope I can do a little something.

Regards
Lina Ng

Gabby Momma said...

Cyn Mommy,

Take a little step at a time. There are days when you feel that you are perfectly fine and strong. There are days when you just feel like the whole world is shattering apart. Cry if you want to, it's ok. It's part of griefing and there is no dateline to this process. Move on only when you are ready.

I lost my 2nd daughter & parents in short span of 2 yrs. It was a tough journey, I am not completely out of it yet, but I know I will eventually.

Glad that you blog & reminsce all the fond memories & thoughts abt Charmaine. I do find comfort is blogging about how much I missed them. I hope you will too.

Lastly, I wish to tell you that do look up in the sky at night & look for the brightest star. It is actually Char Char shining upon & smiling at you. :)

Gabby Momma said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
I still play with dolls said...

Hi Cyn Mummy, this entry of yours is so poignant. Almost teared while reading this at work as it did remind me about the time when my dad was leaving whilst in hospital. (He too had cancer.) Cliche as this may sound but time will help though it took me almost 9 years and i still tear once in awhile when I think of him (though not as often as before!). Give yourself time and be patient. Hugs for your and Jase.

kittymin said...

you are indeed the strongest women I have ever seen. Or read in this matter.

Cyn Mummy, Charmaine indeed inherited her mental strength from her mother, namely you. You are NOT a coward. Instead, the fact that you willing to type this post proves that you are willing to face char's passing.

Many of us have already said before - Be brave for jase. And I know you know it as well.

Take your time to cry and grieve. After that use the love you had for Charmaine and give it to Jase. I believe he won't complain =)

I wish you all the best and hope that you can get used to this new life of yours soon.

Oh ya. Get well soon!

jasmine lek said...

Once again,I read your blog with tears rolling down.
I can feel the closeness between you and your beloved Char Char.She must have missed you and Jase alot,watching over both of you and your family to make sure everybody is good.You will definitely feel sad but with Char Char freed from all the pains and flying like an angel now,will make u feel that she's happier now.Time will heal. Let it be a good memory,rekindles the feeling of love for her thru your blog (she might be reading) and your prayer. You have to take care of yourself for Jase and yourself. I am staying nearby,pls let me know if I can help in anyway....which I really hope I can. Good night!

Happy mother said...

Cyn, my tears dropped as I read your post. Your girl is amazingly such a wonderful sweet child. I am sure she watching over you and your boy every minute and every second right now. I know it's hard on you but give yourself time. Cry if you need to, write whatever you are feeling, thinking on the blog and you will feel better. Jia you, you are an amazing mother as well. If I were you, I think I won't be as strong as you. Hugs...

Phyllis

Carolyn said...

Cyn mum, it teared me when I read this post. It must have made you feel better after noting down all the memories of the day.

I salute you, really. And your little Char Char. Do continue to pour out your feelings here if it does help you feel better. We all can understand and empathise with you.

Please take care and continue to live strong for Jase.

Carolyn said...

Cyn mum, it teared me when I read this post. It must have made you feel better after noting down all the memories of the day.

I salute you, really. And your little Char Char. Do continue to pour out your feelings here if it does help you feel better. We all can understand and empathise with you.

Please take care and continue to live strong for Jase.

Carolyn said...

Cyn mum, it made me tear when I read this post. It must have made you feel better after noting down all the memories of the day.

I salute you, really. And your little Char Char for all the strength and courage you have in the past 2 years or so. Do continue to pour out your feelings here if it does help you feel better. We all can understand and empathise with you.

Please take care and continue to live strong for Jase.

stacey said...

One day, I hope to see you write a book about Char. You and Char's courage and spirit can inspire others in many ways. You heart can be broken, but it still beats. Someone says losing a child is nine parts unthinkably horrible, and one part gift. The secret is finding that gift. I would recommend this book, Love Never Dies: A Mother's Journey from Loss to Love by Sandy Goodman. Take care.

claire said...

love is indeed limitless and knows no boundaries. God bless you and your family. Maybe one day you can write a book on Charmaine and share her story of love, strenght and courage. :)

M said...

Dear Cynthia, so much can be said and yet, I don't know what to say. Time lessens the pain but will never replace the love we have for our loved ones. Grief comes like waves in the ocean, it comes and goes, sometimes stronger, sometimes weaker. May I suggest counselling sessions to help you walk through this phase. May you be comforted by the presense of many who read your blog and keep you and your family in our thoughts.

Mama Joan said...

This is a love ltr frm a mommy to her beloved daughter... Every sentence speaks ur love, ur heartache n ur longing for her.. In fact i tik it didnt speak enuff of this love becos its beyond what words can describe... Cyn, i feel ur pain n heartache, a tip of it only i know, becos its really too much for a mommy to go thru, nw i know wat u mean by inhumane n cruel.. Cyn, m sure lil' char had gone to a better place where it is painless n she can free do whatever she wants.. Her life maybe short but full of zest n thru her, many of us hv learn to count n appreciate our daily blessings which we hv took for granted..m sure lil' char passed thru ur life with a purpose, go find it when u r ready..

Lil char, auntie misses u too n i love u too...

M&M said...

Dear Cyn mommy,

U mentioned about those who just got to know Char Char and i know that u read all post as i commented about it earlier. U r really a great lady as admist all your chores, u still take time to read.

Glad and happy to know that Jase and u r moving on well.I'm a mommy of 2 gals 5, 3. It really amazes me to wonder where does all ur strength emerge from and i know now it's from Char Char. Do hope that when u r ready, share the departing smile with all of us here. She is indeed a very brave girl.

I have 2 gals that r extremely close to me like your Char Char and u. They'll assure me with the 'i luv u' and 'my favourite mommy' everyday and i cannot imagine anyone of them gone. I teared every single time i read your blog and sometimes i cried so hard for u too. Pls let me know which temple is Char Char at now. I would love to bring my gals down to visit her and let them know what is behind my tearing and the main point is to let them understand more about life and the everlasting love of mommy. Of cos i also will understand if u decided against it. My email is estherbbb81@hotmail.com

 
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