Exactly one year ago, I told my dad that I would like to stay overnight in the hospital to keep an eye on my grand mother who lied down sick with stage 4 colorectal cancer. It was hard for me to be honest. I am the only one in the family at that moment with a medical background, but I was just a third year medical student. I have only had 6 months exposure in hospital. I could be useful but I couldn’t. On the other hand, I was also believed as one of the religious boy which I am not sure myself is one, but it was my grand mother’s thought as well. It was a dilemma inside my mind and heart. I didn’t know what to do but even if I knew I was just a kid.

After more than 2 weeks in the hospital and she was not going any better, I started to change my mind. Many of the family has given up. I could see from their faces. Though, some didn’t even care. I believed I was the last one to believe that she could still go home before she had her time up. Unfortunately, her condition drops so fast day to day made me believe that it would be difficult. I believed and I still believe until today that she didn’t receive the care she should have gotten from the team doctor. It was just a 45% care. I couldn’t voice this and I seriously regret that I didn’t voice my opinion. I thought I was just a student with a little knowledge and those qualified doctors should be able to make a better decision. Whether it was the best decision I am not sure, but I personally think it was not the best care she received.

After 3 days I kept asking my mind what I would do the best for her, I finally decided to spend my time on her side for the rest of her life. I started on the same day when it was my mother’s shift to stay overnight in the hospital. It was exactly one year ago. It was 3rd August 2010. I planned to stay all night long on her side to pray for her. Pray was the only thing I could do. I prayed for the best for her, whichever way she was supposed to take, I prayed she would gain happiness. That night was her worst night. She kept complaining she felt hot. I and my mother took a shift to wave a fan towards Grand Mother. Yet, it wasn’t enough. She kept complaining hot. I continuously told her to recite prayers she knew. But, no matter how I tried to calm her down, she did not manage to do. She started to become confused. I knew it was a sign that she might be on her way, but I didn’t know how long the path was. All I knew she has begun her journey to the next life. I told no one about this, not even my mother.

That night, I stayed up until 3am and I felt super exhausted. I was still in jet-lag mode after few long haul flights I made in that month. So, after I finished praying, I took a bit of nap. My mother woke me up at 4am because my grand mother wanted to go to toilet. I had to roll her off bed. After that, Grand Mother had a body wipe. She seemed quite stable after a horrible night. I tried to communicate with her. I thought her some physical movements. I told her not to stop her prayers in her heart. I tried to cheer her. I told her that she needed to smile more. She gave me her best smile. Then, she hold my right palm tightly and asked me, “Have you slept? Why are you not sleeping? You need some rest. Go get some rest.” I smiled and answered her, “I had a nap. Don’t worry about me. I’ll be fine.” I looked at my watch, it was 4th August 2010 4:30 am. My tears drop. I told her that I was gonna take a shower. I went to take a shower. After I finished, I found her slept tightly. I just sat on her side and did some prayers.

My father arrived at 8:00 am to pick me and my mother up. My grand mother has not woken up from her deep sweet dreams yet. So, I left a message to her nurse to tell her that I would be back later on that day.

I still could not believe it until today that she did ask that question although she was in much pain. In her mind, she was still thinking about people around her although she suffered incredible  difficult moment. She could not even speak properly because she was breathless but she still did it. That was how much love she has to her family. I never be able to repay her. All I can do is just to keep her in every prayers.

I missed her much. I think about her from time to time. I actually wished that she would come to my graduation next year. It would be an awesome moment for her to be able to attend her second grandchild’s graduation as a doctor. She attended my sister’s graduation. I also wished she would make it to my wedding and to witness my children born. Unfortunately, the destiny has destined in the other way. Now I can just kept my promise to her few years ago that I am gonna study and fight till the end to be a doctor. I believe it will make her happy in the heaven.

That conversation on 4th August 2010 4:30 am, when she asked me that question and I answered, was my last conversation with her. It was her last words for me.


P.S: a related story: A Memoir of My Grand Hero


I love you, Granny. I really do.

With Love,