this post is dedicated to one of the strongest and most motherly people i have ever known. my friend, aunty alice. someone who greeted me with a massive hug, gleaming eyes and the loudest cheer every time she saw me, no matter where we were, no matter who was around us.
late in her age, she was diagnosed with cancer. but it never stopped her from living life exactly the way she wanted. right through her 60s, she strapped up and tied her own ice skates, enjoys a frothy glass of teh tarik at mamak lepak sessions, kicks the ass of rude people, brings tubs of healthy fruits and veggies to share with friends and most importantly, laughed out loud. it didn’t matter if you are a child or adult, a manager or a janitor, she treated everyone with the same degree of friendship. you might think that sometimes she’s out of place. but the queen is never out of place. and aunty alice was the queen of everywhere she went.
i adored aunty alice’s stories. to me, i’ve found someone who represents that length in the span of life, and came out of the other end still kicking, still laughing. makes me feel like things really can’t be all that bad, can it? that no matter how sick things may be right at this point, if someone like her can look at life in the eye and refuse to be defeated by what people do or say and still uphold morality, then everything in between must actually be … well … not all that bad after all.
aunty alice passed away last friday night at age 72.
i had my last conversation with her yesterday, as i sat on a stone bench near her casket. i gazed at her smiling face as she showed me all the paper structures that would accompany her to the next world. she’s going to have a car. with a driver, of course. and a house, with lanterns hanging out front. and a satellite dish sticking out on top. and balconies with large doors so that she could let the outside air in. and i could not look at what’s inside, but i think … no, i am quite, quite sure … that there is an ice rink inside that house somewhere. and she even though she would have a host of servants, she would still be lacing up her own ice skates. and the house would always echo with her laughter.