Growing up with only a little brother, I never experienced the fun of having a sister. I’ve never had someone to share clothes with, gossip with, and share kilig boylet stories with. That’s why I’m really happy to have Aileen as my little sister. Finally, I have someone to share clothes with (I love shopping for her), share gossip and watch Ate Ian’s movies with. Indeed, having a sister is a precious gift. Who knew that these life’s little pleasures are just short lived.
One will really admire how strong Aileen is. Dealing with a disease that is constantly fighting your body will bring almost anyone to anger, depression and to the depths of the universe. But not her. Despite all the hardship and sadness that it caused her, she kept on fighting and bouncing back from every hospitalization or dialysis session. You won’t see her lament about her condition in her FB status updates. You won’t hear her complain about the procedures done to her. And instead of sulking about her fistula or the side-effects of all the medicines prescribed to her, she faced it head on with a positive attitude. She experienced heart break during those turbulent times, yet she moved on and still fought hard for herself and her happiness. She’s that strong.
Today should have been her 25th birthday. We usually call this the quarter-life crisis as most of us find our life’s purpose and goals around this age. I believe Aileen already found hers and despite leaving this world at an early age, she has touched a lot of lives with her presence and cheerful personality. And while most of us think of what we would do to our lives as we turn 25, she was thinking of what to do for her family and friends. Looking back, she lived the days leading to her last preparing all of us. She went to places she’s been holding off for a long time, she prayed, she bought us gifts, she even left her facebook password discreetly. She’s that goal-oriented.
Despite the emptiness that we feel though, I know she’s just here with us. Watching over us. Playing with us. Laughing with us. It will be too selfish for us to ask her to fight some more, seeing how she has fought hard until the very end. It will be too selfish for us to keep mourning, knowing that she’s now free from all the hardship and the pain.
I will forever keep this poem close to my heart, as the words seem to be her final message to all of us.
Don’t grieve for me, for now I’m free
I’m following the path God laid for me.
I took His hand when I heard Him call,
I turned my back and left it all.
I could not stay another day,
To laugh, to love, to work or play.
Tasks left undone must stay that way,
I found that place at the close of the day.
If my parting has left a void,
Then fill it with remembered joy.
A friendship shared, a laugh, a kiss,
Ah yes, these things, I too, will miss.
Be not burdened with times of sorrow,
I wish you the sunshine of tomorrow.
My life’s been full, I savoured much,
Good friends, good times, a loved one’s touch.
Perhaps my time seemed all too brief,
Don’t lengthen it now with undue grief.
Lift up your heart and share with me,
God wanted me now, He set me free.
Happy 25th birthday, my dear sister! Until we meet again.