I went to the Terengganu Market this morning. It is one of those poorer areas where you can see poor, old ladies, with walking difficulties, haggling for 20 sen reduction from the ikan gelama they are buying which costs less than RM3. It is always an eye opening trip for me because you get to feel guilty about spending so much on a white pomfret.
So, usually, I ended up not buying too expensive seafoods because of the guilt. Of course, I didn’t offer my money or anything like that because the poor will always be with us and the only thing we can do is to see how we can make the world a better place.
I wonder who is the Adun for the area because the paths are all so full of potholes, uneven surfaces and even I myself almost tripped due to raise bricks. He should make sure the people there have better facilities because the area is so densely populated. Many votes mah, must jaga baik-baik, orh.
Anyway…after that observation of poor old mothers living on their own, I sort of feel emo lah.
I passed by Kampar Road. I suddenly recall this woman whom I shall refer as my first patient. She lived in Kampar Road. She even wrote down her address and phone number. She promised me she will take me to the hawkers near her apartments to eat.
I know she can never fulfill that promise because she was at end stage of liver cancer. Why is she the first patient? When I started volunteering in Mt. Miriam, I thought I will be given some coaching or guidance.
No….the nun told me, ‘pray to Jesus, you will know what to do’. Heh, My first encounter with nuns and they already freaked me out. But I learned what faith is when they threw me in the deep end like that.
So, I was dropped outside this woman’s room in the cancer hospital. Imagine, me. Alone. Never done a single pastoral care. Only thing I have is my lack of fear of dying people.
I knocked the door (people will tell you that knocking on the door takes the greatest effort) and the woman put me at ease from there. We talked about silly stuffs, we laughed. She asked me about Mother Mary. I didn’t preach to her but I explained what kind of god I was praying. I promised to bring her my son’s illustrated five minute Bible because she is not literate.
When I first visited her, she was already jaundiced. The next few days, she was still conscious. But after that, she had lost consciousness.
And when she was about to die, I knew I won’t be seeing her the next time I go. (I work only on Mon to Wed).
But…till today, I still remember her as the first patient who gave me the confidence to carry out the pastoral care duties. After her, I had no problems approaching terminally ill patients to be with them.
So, when I drove past Kampar Road and remember her promise, it is sort of memories flooding back. Thanks to you, dear auntie with tattoo eyebrows. I believe you are living in the heaven I described. Amen.