Tomorrow.. on the same day one year ago, you left me.
It was 5 am in the morning, my first day of trimester break. I was in a camp somewhere in Ipoh, and I woke up to so many missed calls. From my little sister. I called back, and I heard her crying. She said that you passed away, after collapsing in the middle of a talk session.
It took me awhile to understand what’s happening. Not having you around is the last thing that would come to my mind. I have never regretted anything in life (even when I did make many bad decision calls), but yours was different. I clearly remember that a week before that, I said “Sorry Dad, I am busy with finals revision. I’ll call you back in a week time once I start my holiday.” I should have called you that evening when you said you missed me. I did not know it could be the last time I could hear your voice.
My world has been different from that day onwards. I could be eating somewhere, and I’d think of you because your favorites are in the menu. I could be reading the newspaper, and I’d think of you because we’d discuss the highlights over breakfast. I could be packing my lunch box, and I’d think of you because you will pack food for our lunch (even if sometimes it doesn’t taste nice). I could be window shopping in the mall and I’d think of you, because those brands of clothes I see are the ones you normally wear. I could be watching TV and I’d suddenly think of you, because we would argue on the government policies and make a bet whether those politicians will stick to their promises.
Sometimes, I think you don’t love me as much (like we fight and argue all the time). You rarely give compliments or acknowledgments, no matter what I have achieved. Little did I know that you talk a lot about me when you are with your friends, telling about all the things that I was doing, proudly. You even show off to your friends that I text you “how are you, Dad?”.
Sometimes, I hate it as a kid when I remember that you asked me to watch all those videos and tutorials about English 101. You’ll even call for tutor, so that my siblings and I will speak in English better than you do. But looking back again, I wouldn’t be studying here and having the opportunity to learn few other languages if it weren’t for you.
Sometimes, I hate it as a kid when you asked me to talk to your guests or students who come to our house. Like I don’t know what I am supposed to talk about, it feels awkward, and it could be more than 10 minutes. But looking back what I have become, I should thank you for giving the early training. To be brave. To know someone new. To build relationship.
Sometimes, I hate it as a teen when you asked me to proofread your teaching materials, articles, and even book draft as soon as I am back home at night knowing how tired I am. Little did I know that you are trying to boost my writing and reading skill, saying that it is the necessary skills I am going to use in whatever work I’m going to do in the future.
You might not raise me in the best way that I would understand (it took me years to understand your intentions), but I know that you have tried your best in the 21 years of raising me. We might fight and argue a lot (sometimes we did not talk for days), but deep down I know that you have always loved me and tried your best to support what I choose to do in life.
Even now I still wonder whether you could have been saved if you could receive the necessary emergency treatments in time. I also still wonder whether you could have been alive if we were to have better access to healthcare, that none should not have been rejected for 3 times.. for treatments saying that the hospital is full or that the hospital doesn’t have enough equipment to save a patient.
Well, I couldn’t turn back the time trying to save you; but I am learning to the best of my capabilities now – so that in the future, I could be involved in improving the healthcare ensuring that none should lose their loved ones due to the lack of facilities needed to save lives.