My good friend Ian passed away early yesterday morning. I don’t think it’s really quite hitting me yet. Even as I’m writing this, it feels as though I’d just be seeing Ian next week. Ian, who’s supposed to be helping out with my shop renovation (and hasn’t been able to because he fell ill with fever), whose Victoria’s Secret teddy bear I demanded from; who is hardly ever sick. Ian, who narrowly escaped death 4 – 5 times, whom if he had not survived that fatal trailer-car crash in Australia 9 years ago, I wouldn’t have known. Ian, my friend, and my brother in Christ.
The damned dengue fever got him. The dreaded fever, which has been plaguing Singapore and other Asian countries for the past few months.
“Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?” Hosea 13:14
My brother is in heaven today, clothed in his new body, with Christ beside him. No more wise cracks from him, no more of his pseudo intellectual theological discourses. And no more him wiping up a delicious meal for us anymore. And he didn’t even have a chance to leave me any recipe except his mum’s bachang (rice dumpling) one which we were both trying to make just last month.
Yesterday I walked home from his place for the very first time. I never realised how near it is. In my laziness, I’d always insisted that he give me a lift out cos he just would. Ian was the kind of friend you could count on for anything. I remember I was awfully sad once and he came for church service with me even though we aren’t from the same church anymore. That day I remembered I just wanted to pour my heart out to God. Actually I was pretty much on my knees and weeping. At least he knew when the wise cracks ought to end. He just stood there beside me and that was all I really needed then – a friend who cared, who didn’t have to try to pat me on my back or give me a hug because a friend’s presence was all I needed to know that I wasn’t going through it alone. He had the harshest words for me alot of times but I knew that deep beneath that tough armour he always put up, he had a beautiful heart of gold. I guess God wanted him sooner and wanted to set that heart of gold free but how I will miss him.
Ian, I never knew how much I love you and how much your friendship means to me. I never knew I had the capacity to cry bucketfuls of tears for you. Alot of times you really tried my patience. I always called you my greatest teacher in patience anyway. You were always acting so tough and you were always calling me weak but I guess you hated to see a sister down. Truly you were very hard to love but I loved you nevertheless and will miss you very much. I long for the day to see you again, when I know that you no longer have to pretend to be tough and macho and you are really who God made you to be. I thank God I had the chance to know you. I thank you also for your brutal honesty. I know that if I were to have called you up at 3am because I was down and out you would whine but you would answer. I pray that because it was so hard to see that goodness in you sometimes, I will learn to be able to find that goodness that God has planted in everybody else, no matter how they appear at times or deliberate actions that hurt me.
The road trip up Kuantan in June 2006 because I needed a breather from an emotional wreckage. What great friends I have in Ian and Allie. We really hunted for a waterfall to go to along the way simply because I insisted on seeing one. Ian doesn’t fancy photo-taking much.
P/S Xin kills any mosquitoes that she sees violently now. Every whack is done in the name of justice for you, my friend. The poor mozzies. My mum and sis will miss you too. Love you and till we meet again in heaven, let it be goodbye but just for now.