再见了,叶老师。

I received a piece of devastating news from my Action Research lecturer this morning. Something which came to me as completely unexpected. She told me that 叶老师, my Chinese kindergarten teacher had passed away last late October due to stomach cancer. My lecturer happened to be working in the same kindergarten which I schooled in last time. My Chinese teacher was diagnosed with cancer last April, which by then she was already in the last stage of cancer. 😦 She gave specific instructions to her doctor not to tell anyone about this piece of news. So her death was a shock to everyone, I guess. She was only in her 60s, not exactly the kind of age I would expect people to pass away. Though in a way, I am consoled by the fact that she’s now freed from all pain and suffering.

When I first heard the news, I was shocked and stunned into silence. Then, as my memories of her played back in my mind, I could not help but started tearing. Upon reflection, I realized she made such an impact in my early learning years. She was always so motherly and kind to her students. Knowing how playful I can be when I’m a child, she often gave me plenty of one-to-one quality time just to ensure that my learning is not too far behind from my peers. She knew I had sensitive skin back then, so she would always remind me not to scratch it and would gave me ointment or cream for the itch. She knew I enjoyed singing, so she would let me have the opportunity to sing in front of the whole class. She really is a good teacher, one that I hold dearly to me. And she was the one who put on lipstick for me for my graduation photo. That memory is still fresh in my mind.

Funny how I was still thinking about how my kindergarten teachers were doing just a few weeks back and now I received this news. I was even more guilty than ever when I learnt that her wake was just at the block opposite mine- yet I didn’t know about it because of my hectic schedule & whatnot. I don’t even know what I was busy with back then, right now.

I told my mum this piece of news when she came back from work and she shared the same reaction too. She told me she often bumped into her in the market last year and 叶老师would still ask about us every time. 😦 We both wondered why didn’t anyone let us know- so that we can go and see her off on her final journey.

The sadness and the guilt in me is just overwhelming. Mere thought of it is enough to bring tears to my eyes. Why do we have to wait till something to happen before reflecting back on our own actions or lack thereof? Sigh. 😦

<叶老师,
谢谢你对我的耐心教导。小时候的我,不容易应付吧? 辛苦你了。希望你现在是无病痛、快乐的、幸福的。我永远都不会忘记你。还有…. 对不起。>

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