Sunday, May 09, 2010
My Dear Susan
I received a text message from my friend late this afternoon.
It bore a shocking message...
Our long time friend from the old Kalang plant had passed away on Friday. It was the day I took leave off work to take Mom to TTSH for her MRI results.
I quickly checked the obituary in the Sunday Times newspaper and there it was, her face, the Finance Supervisor lady I had known for the past 18 years had passed on.
She succumbed to lung cancer, just like my late Dad.
Coincidentally, I met her at National Cancer Centre late last year. We met at the pharmacy... she was leaving the centre after collecting her medications while I was passing by to go to Clinic A for Dad's routine follow-up.
That was the first and only time I met her after she resigned from the company a year after we moved from our old to the current HQ in Ang Mo Kio.
We initially were not close because she was in Finance on the 3rd floor, while I was in operations on the 4th. We interacted only when there were money matters to settle for the vendors or orders.
Eventually, the more interactions brought our common interests together... our sons. While my son was doing well in school, hers was in the gifted programme.
She was so proud of him it inspired me. Her son was studying in Raffles Institution, one of the top and most sort after secondary schools on the island. He played the piano very well and a talented writer too. He wrote a few intriguing poems compiled in a booklet with the other students' work in his school. The booklets were sold for charity.
I bought one for Sonny to read and get inspired by the many talented works.
Since then, she would call me at my desk and have short chats about work but mostly about family and education.
She kept the calls coming even after we moved to our new site. She kept in touch well after she quit her job to rest. After short hiatus, she called to inform of her new job as a Customer Service officer, "a simpler and not as demanding a job as closing balances every month end."
"I don't know why I was so caught-up with work so much... so much stress I put myself in... I forgot to rest to enjoy life." Her words that I remember she said not two years ago.
After a while, the calls were far in between and then stopped.
The time I met her at NCC was my last with her. She did looked a little frail but nonetheless high spirited and positive. It was a shocker then to know of her illness... something we again had in common.
She gave me her cell phone number so that we could keep in touch. She called my desk once asking how the company was doing, how I was coping during the recession, just wanted to chat for a while. It was a short call but a nice and welcomed one to hear her voice after knowing what she was going through.
On Friday, 7th May 2010, she returned to her Lord. Her battle with cancer had ended. She was 55. She left her husband and an exceptionally bright son.
May you rest in peace dear Susan.