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Dying at the Age of 55

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Dying at the age of 55 seems a bit too early, but somehow I think I deserve it. I lie here in the hospital ward, knowing that I don't have much longer to live. The smell, the sounds and everything else seems all too familiar.

My mother and I never really got along well. I always thought of myself as the 'step daughter' in my mother's eyes. She treated my brothers better than she treated me. I never got what I wanted without working extremely hard for it, where as my brothers had everything they wanted. I used to quarrel with her over this issue.

My father on the other hand, and I would like to think, thought of me as his princess. My father doted on me. He was the one who, against my mothers will, sent me overseas to further my studies. I loved the idea of being away from my mother. I hated her and never wanted her in my life. That was why I stayed in Australia for such a long time without coming home to visit.

On October 10th 1999, my father passed away. That was the first time in over 20 years that I have returned home. I blamed my father's death on my mother. I hated her for that. During the time I was here, I found out that my mother was in ill health. Under my brother's persuasion, I agreed to move back to Singapore to look after my mother.

My mother has many problems with her health. I used to get so tired of sending her to and from the clinic that I would say, "Why not you just die already?" I knew I had hurt her, but I did not know that I had really broken her heart by saying those awful words.

Every time when she slipped and fell, she would always need to go to the hospital. I once said to her, "Why do you keep falling? Do you think I have all the time in the world to see you at the hospital?"

After a few times she got admitted to the hospital, I had had enough. I told her that I could not take care of her anymore and was sending her to a nursing home. If I could take back those words now, I would. The nurses at the nursing home did not take care of her well. For one last time she was admitted to the hospital for falling and knocking her head on a table. This time was her last.

During the last few days of her life at the hospital, I realised that she was still my mother and I loved her. But it was already too late to apologize.

Two weeks ago, I was diagnosed with stage 4 leukaemia. I was going to die. I was admitted to the same room which my mother was admitted to before she died. It was like déjà vu. Everything that happened to her in that last few days of her life were going to happen to me. I think I deserved it for hurting her so badly.



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