It has been 15 years since the day my sister woke up in the morning to find Ayaa cold. Life has gone out of her. A mother who birthed eight children, three of whom predeceased her. A life of suffering, of pain, of breathlessness came to a merciful stop sometime in the early hours of Feb 2, 1992.

She had lapsed into a diabetic coma more than slightly a month earlier. Mom and me alternated at the hospital, washing n caring for her. Mom always does the graveyard shift…staying up to watch over motionless Ayaa…where did she find that strength?

I remember Ayaa came out of the coma eventually. She came home. Regained slow use of her limbs. I remember her sitting outside the kampung house, showered and dressed and with powder on her fair face. Ayaa was beautiful always.

Dad came from work, and Ayaa raised her hands and touched her eldest son’s face. Strange, unusual exchange it was. Rarely saw such open gesture of affection in the family. It was her last. The next day she was cold….

We remember you Ayaa…with love.


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